re: Already know the interview code question? Don't admit it! VIEW POST


You're right: If you know the answer to the question they're trying to outsmart you with, admitting that you do puts you at a disadvantage because the interviewer's ego is hurt. Their "hiring expertise" is being challenged.

...but if that's the environment they promote, it's time to run.

Don't try to get hired by a company that's worse at hiring (= dealing with people) than a technical expert (= someone literally paid to deal with code more than with people).

If you want to take on the challenge to promote better hiring practices, you're welcome to start the conversation yourself:

  1. Explain that you already know the answer to the technical question,
  2. suggest that a standard comp sci interview question isn't a good measure for skill or team fit,
  3. and ask to be challenged with a task they're confronted with on a daily basis to demonstrate your thinking process to their engineers (the team you'll actually be working with).

Never question the interviewer's approach! I'm going to repeat this in my class I'm filming. Your steps 2-3 are a near guarantee of not getting called back. It does exactly what you said in the first paragraph, it hurts their ego. It also makes an assumption that you know why they are asking a particular question, which you may not.


Never question the interviewer's approach!

Like I said: If they promote a culture where you can't even hold a conversation with the recruiter that is trying to determine whether you're a good fit, run.

If you enjoy being human and learning, you're already not a fit at this point.

Companies that value learning and honesty will have no issue with improving the interviewing style. It's an immediate test for personality match (openness, ability to adapt), and gives them a better way to qualify the candidate for the work they will actually do on a daily basis.

Bonus points scored with the engineers and the bosses, because you get things done and don't hesitate to explain your thinking.

Like you said: Those that don't fit, won't call back. 100% sure-fire way to get hired with companies that are a fit, and 100% way to avoid companies that are a bad fit.

It also makes an assumption that you know why they are asking a particular question, which you may not.

You can ask a question as a suggestion, not as a demand.

That's why I wrote "suggest".

Getting clarification on why a question is being asked = 100% OK and awesome.

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