Sunday, May 13, 2018

First mock interview from my coach

May 13, 2018


I may come cross a most hard working top engineer in the world. My coach is a busy graduate student and working for top four companies in China as an intern. He has to squeeze time just before going to sleep and then giving me a mock interview for 45 minutes.

My first mock interview started from 8:00 AM PST. In less than one minute, the coach sent me a wechat message. We started our first mock interview after we first met on mock interviewing platform this January 2018.


The interview lasted 71 minutes. I finished the first algorithm in 28 minutes, and then second algorithm we discussed the solution and then I got hint to use dynamic programming instead of using depth first search, I wrote down base case and recurrence formula. And then we ended discussion of second algorithm in 55 minutes, moved on the other topics related to the future practice etc.


I was asked to answer the question about array and list difference. And then I did not answer very well. I was told to look up Google after mock interview.

I was reminded to use negative operation to make the code more efficient. And also I was asked if I work on the algorithm recently. I told him honestly that  I worked on binary tree level order traversal and zigzag order level traversal recently.

He told me that I was nervous. He gave me the hint to use queue, since I talked about zigzag level order traversal using stack. I followed his hint to use queue instead.

I explained to him after mock interview that I have met a lot of peers through mock interview, write a complicated function in the interview and end up to get stuck. I like to write a simple function to traversal the tree by level using queue first, and then I like to piggyback the work to add the list of extreme nodes.

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