Career

Recent Weird interviews process

Samsung freesam
Dec 4

Recently I have two remote interviews which I think is weird .

Amazon send me a online assessment. I finished the two coding questions in just 30 minutes even though the total allocated time is 90 minutes. It’s online IDE and all the test cases in the assessment showed my code passed. Then I finish the code method summary essay and working style assessment. This morning I got rejection. Since I think I did perfectly on the coding part and the coding approach summary, I wonder if they will kick people out by the working style assessment?

Another is the airbnb phone interview, I also finished the question and compiled the code and even wrote test cases in the main program. My own test cases show correctly. And there are 5 minutes left( total interview time is 45) the interviewer refused to go through the code with me (he said someone will test the code later) and insisted the last 5 minutes is reserved for me to ask questions. I didn’t have questions so the interview finished. This morning I also received a rejection. But the code I wrote should work. I am not sure what kind of bar those companies are. It seems much more difficult than Google. I already compiled the code and finished all the test cases but still cannot pass. The bar is mysterious.

I am happy if any one can point that if my code is horrible . So I pasted my solution and the problem here

Airbnb one is quite clear. They asked me to design an iterator which has next(), hasnext(), remove() method. They also give some examples of using the iterator. So it’s quite clear . The input is list of list of integers:{{1,2,3},{},{},{2},{3},{}}. I use a list{list{int}}::iterator and list{int}::iterator to solve this problem in C++.

This is my solution to the airbnb one. The amazon one already shows 22/22 test cases passed.

#include
#include

class solver{
private:
list >:: iterator iter_l ;
list::iterator iter ;
list::iterator last;
list > *List;
bool check(){
if(iter == iter_l->end()){
iter_l++;
iter = iter_l->begin();
}
while(iter_l != List ->end() && iter_l->size() == 0){
iter_l++;
iter = iter_l->begin();
}
return iter_l != List->end();
}
public:
solver(list >* input){
List = input;
iter_l = input->begin();
iter = iter_l->begin();
check();
last = iter;
}
int next(){
if(!check()) return -1;
last = iter;
return *(iter++);
}
bool hasNext(){
return check();
}
void remove(){
if(last == iter) return;
iter_l->erase(last++);
}
};

comments

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  • Walmart.com / Eng$randomGuy
    Always ask questions to the interviewer. I am not saying that this was a factor in your rejection.
    Dec 41
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Amazon is online assessment, no one is there. And all the test cases show passed, for example 22 of 22 test cases got accepted . And I finished all the two questions in 30 minutes. That’s quite weird .
      Dec 4
  • Twitter Chodu
    I have seen a lot of interviewers reject a candidate in their assessment if they didn’t ask a question. That could have been the red flag in the Airbnb one.
    Dec 44
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Thank you for letting me know... I really don’t have much to ask because I know much about it already ...
      Dec 4
    • No you don’t - look for insights on the team, soft factors in general
      Dec 4
    • Walmart.com / Eng$randomGuy
      Some questions: What do you work on? Whatever he says, then ask some follow up questions or just say sounds exciting / challenging / great. How about the work culture? Do you get specific work assigned or do you define your own problems given a broad agenda. These two are enough actually to take you through 10 mins.
      Dec 6
    • Samsung Freeman999
      good to know. Thanks!
      Dec 6
  • Prosper
    Dadahound

    Prosper

    BIO
    Tall white dude
    Dadahoundmore
    I think we are at a point in tech hiring that we create a mandatory feedback process to candidates. Its unfair to not know what gets you rejected and you lose all the time and effort you put in.
    Dec 40
  • DreamBox / QA
    KADacey

    DreamBoxQA

    PRE
    Microsoft, Homeaway
    KADaceymore
    Not asking questions is a death sentence in an interview. You should ALWAYS have a set of questions to ask.
    Dec 41
  • Wayfair addA30
    It's a job interview, not a coding exam. They already know you can code. They're not testing your coding abilities (although if you cant code you should and will be rejected). In-person coding interviews exist to give your interviewers a sense of what it would be like to work with you. Getting a half-right solution while demonstrating willingness to learn, be coached, and collaborate with team members will lead to a better outcome than a perfect solution developed in silence.

    I have rejected plenty of obviously smart and competent people who lack communication skills, empathy, or a demonstrated willingness to learn.

    Hell, maybe you smelled bad. Nothing worse than walking into an interview room that smells like an unwashed homeless man. I sure as shit don't want to work with someone every day who smells awful on interview day - what will they smell like on a normal day??
    Dec 49
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      I see. I would prefer people ask me the very hard algorithm question instead of judging me based on their personal preference. I am an interviewer too and I reject people based on only if they can solve my problem.
      Dec 4
    • Wayfair addA30
      That's stupid. You should hire people who you want to work with and who will fit in well with your team. The best developer in the world will be a net negative if he's an asshole.
      Dec 4
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      I prefer to work with people who is smart and don’t need me spend time teaching him. That’s why I ask hard algorithm questions. Also, I don’t care wether he edit his code during the interview as long as he give an working answer eventually.
      Dec 4
    • Wayfair addA30
      Alright buddy. Good luck, have fun.
      Dec 4
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Your way will make the raciest people just hire races of their kind.
      Dec 4
    • Microsoft Gandalfee
      Freesam, I have to disagree to your opinion here. This is precisely the reason you failed AirBnb. Hard algorithm question only selects the person who have seen the problem before. You failed it because there are many others who practiced the same question. Coding quiz should be a tool to look at many aspects in the person. The first and foremost one in my opinion is personality. You don’t need to test ones coding abilities too hard if the person has credible past (eg worked at a respected company for over 5 years and got a degree from well known CS program). Interview has changed so much that todays coding questions have nothing to do with what the people in the past envisioned. Engineers are just going with herd mentality by following and making even harder for everyone. I like this practice not because it is right but because it limits the supply artificially. Just like doctors have a license, software engineers created this perception that person who passed the coding quizzes must have demonstrated intelligence or skills. They are raising the bar every year and no one knows how to stop this. Thanks to that artificial limitation though, some of lucky ones can enjoy the nice salary while contributing not as well as expected for the salary.
      Dec 4
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Gandalfee. I understand your point. But the question I asked is only the question I can solve when I first encountered the question and feel that this is a good and hard question . So I expect the candidates, like me, can solve it at the first glance too. I always choose the question that has only one working solution to avoid the case sometimes candidates has some weird solution and it’s difficult to tell the time complexity, greedy algorithm seems to be good because candidates can either solve it or not, it’s easy to name the corner case. I think this is a fair criterion.
      Dec 4
    • Microsoft Gandalfee
      I see. I guess the hard question you mentioned is not necessarily hard one then. It is a reasonable question many candidates should be able to solve without prior practice then it seems like a good one. If only a few people can solve it, I would think it is unnecessarily hard but it looks like that is not the case.
      Dec 4
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Yeah. I like greedy Algorithm problem because it’s difficult to find a pattern to solve it. You have to analyze it part by part.
      Dec 4
  • Microsoft Gandalfee
    For AirBnb, you need to be perfect. If it took 45 mins, that would have been rejection. Their expectation is finishing in 30 mins so you can go through the code and show it works for any edge cases. And when coding, you should not fix your own code too much.

    I was rejected at the second round at the onsite but passed the first one and got a feedback. I passed but there were still numerous picky points such as he rewrote this statement twice, he discovered a bug while testing it etc. I think I was able to pass it because I solved the problem before. The expectations at Airbnb and some other startups are atrocious and unreal. It will be advantageous to someone who doesn’t have a job or someone who doesn’t have an important role for a while. Feels like an Asian exam where they test for useless things and the bar is unnecessarily high for no reason and even the test preparers don’t have an idea why the problems were unnecessarily complicated and don’t allow a slight mistake.
    Dec 43
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      thank you so much. That’s the most helpful answer in this thread. I think the problem explanation took 5-6 minutes and I used 34 minutes to finish coding, compiles and writing test cases and fix all the edge cases I can imagine. If they wish me to do it in 30 minutes I think it’s quite a high bar.

      Also I fixed some of the code when I first compiled the program because initially the C++ library <list> is not there and it shows lots of errors in the first compilation
      Dec 4
    • Microsoft Gandalfee
      Yeah, basically you can’t pass unless you have practiced the problem 1-2 times before. It depends on preparation and luck. Most of my friends who passed Google and Facebook failed because they didn’t practice enough. The reason the expectation is high is because their set problems used to be limited. People solve all of airbnb problems from leetcode. They become interviewers and expect the same thing. This time though their problem sets are more so candidates have harder time meeting the same bar. I should say bar is higher because of that and this bar is a made up bar that selects lucky candidate. It favors existing engineers because this practice will protect their job; thereby keep getting high salary. Probably bad if you are a director and need to hire quickly. Think of doctors enjoying high salary due to license limiting the supply pipeline. This type of study based coding exam kind of creates that. Good for the first ones who joined when it was easy.
      Dec 4
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      thank you so much for your constructive explanation. No wonder I passed google hiring committee but failed here. That’s way higher than the bar of Google in my experience.
      Dec 4
  • Amazon Biggles
    You’ve repeated your code three times in this thread. Maybe you come off as aggressive — in an asshole way, rather than an eager way.
    Dec 42
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Why repeating code is an asshole way? I didn’t get it. I just want to be transparent.
      Dec 4
    • Microsoft Shhebdj
      Biggles, I think it is too far fetched if not rude.
      Dec 4
  • Uber / EngoNatenOw
    Amazon is notorious for rejecting based on LPs
    Dec 42
    • New jxAa11
      LPs?
      Dec 4
    • Uber / EngoNatenOw
      Leadership principles... Look at some other posts on Blind about this.
      Dec 4
  • Microsoft / EngCrashOverr
    I think everyone here is missing the possibility that your code might be horrible
    Dec 40
  • Amazon what¿
    On Airbnb did you just solve it, or talk though it to confirm assumptions, explaining reasoning and tradeoffs?

    Also, reserving 5 minutes for questions you did not use is not good. Why not ask something about the role?
    Dec 41
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Airbnb one is quite clear. They asked me to design an iterator which has next(), hasnext(), remove() method. They also give some examples of using the iterator. So it’s quite clear . The input is list of list of integers:{{1,2,3},{},{},{2},{3},{}}. I use a list{list{int}}::iterator and list{int}::iterator to solve this problem in C++. I have to write { here because the < is not allowed. It’s quite apparent problem and you should be just careful of the corner cases. The interviewers refused to go through the code with me after I finished and didn’t ask about the time/ space complexity . He only said someone will test it later and insisted that I should ask him questions in the last 5 minutes.
      Dec 4
  • Microsoft
    🐙M🐙

    Microsoft

    BIO
    🐙
    🐙M🐙more
    The Amazon assessment asks you to describe your approach and runtimes, right? If those answers were wrong even if the code was right I’d expect you could get rejected based on it.

    I also would expect you could get rejected based on the culture fit questions, otherwise why would they ask them?
    Dec 41
    • Samsung freesam
      OP
      Yeah, they asked those question. But it’s really two simple question. One is the top K frequent word question , just a Priority queue to solve it. The other is a shortest path question, I use bfs. I can solve it in 15 mins and bug free. How can I not know the time complexity. The first one is O(Nlog(K)) where N is the total element number and K is the request number . The bfs shortest path is O(M*N) in the worst case if M is the row number and N is the column number. Maybe I got screened out by the work style question. It’s just some disagree, agree, neutral choice
      Dec 4

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