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Know All About The Format Of A Software Engineering Interview

For Engineering internships, the interview format is quite tricky. To get Engineering intern jobs, one has to pass through all the Software Engineer Interview questions that are going to directed toward you, an aspiring Software Intern. After the interviews, it can get 3-4 weeks to hear from a company.

Software Engineering Mohamed Mnete Software Engineering Intern

For Engineering internships interview you first get a phone screen and the phone screen is basically just one of the ways of both knowing you and knowing if what you are and what your resume shows match perfectly.

After that you get arranged interviews and these are technical interviews. Sometimes you as an aspiring Software Intern can start with- like, “Hello, How are you? My name is ..”. It really helps to melt down the initial awkwardness of an interview.

Then you start off with a little introduction. It is followed by with a series of questions from the interviewer/s. These technical interviews are usually like 45 minutes to an hour. During that time you will usually get just one technical question to solve. You must be able to navigate your way from a really terrible solution to a better solution.

During Software Engineer Interview questions and answers round, you will be asked in every stage whether there is a better way of solving the problem, you are given. As long as you can keep on going and explain yourself as you're doing it, that's the best thing to ensure your chance of getting into Engineering internships.

From the phone screen to the start of the first interview, there remains mostly a period of three weeks in between. You can give two back-to-back interviews during that period. After giving those back to back interviews within the three weeks time will make you more knowledgeable. After that you may have to wait for few weeks; it can be three or four weeks.

There can be another interview that comes towards you. You can choose to go for the interview to gather knowledge from the company or you can refrain from doing so. Some usually do two interviews and stay away from going for another one. But sometimes one may need more interviews for collecting more data.

After a few weeks you will get to take your decision, but it depends on the companies you went for interview.

For Example: sometimes like Google, they have this project matching phase, where when you apply and you get past detective interviews. You get to a project matching phase which basically means that they have to match you with a certain project that's going on right in the location that you applied for. If you get a project match then good for you but if you don't then it sort of ends there.

But there are companies like Facebook, where if you have passed the interview you gave then you can just get in. Then once you get in, you can start looking for a project.

Subject Preparation for Software Engineering Internship 

  • Enrol for Short Courses: Most universities have algorithms and data structure courses which cover many topics that are needed for the interview and learning derived during the Software Engineering Internship. These courses help you prepare well for the interview and familiarize you with the format and the array of questions that can be posed. 
  • Update Technical Skills: Multi-level interviews are conducted to test your software and coding skills. Various technical level questions relating to strings, string manipulation, need to keep an auxiliary array for character count, creating valid sentences from a jumble or doing distance question between two strings. These are all frequent questions and it is best to be prepared with them.
  • Know Graph Theory: Graph theory questions like binary trees and using recursion on that, vector, matrices, going from point A to point B and knowing how to a breadth-first search to find this path – are also oft tested skills and are included in the interview.

Generally, these are the more common subjects for interview questions for software engineer internship. Sometimes, a dynamic programming question is asked. Knowing all these topics is really important.

Further preparation in the following way can be done:

  • Do a leak code question once a day. Knowing leak code and leak code cracking is an integral part of this job profile.
  • Learn from You Tube and other channels like Byte by Byte. They will help you through the process of how to think during an interview and they have a wide variety of topics with a step-by-step breakdown on how to handle it. 


Interview Format of Software Engineering Internship Positions

  • Number of Interview Rounds: The number of interview rounds depends on the company. Generally, for internships the number of interview rounds are less than for full-time employment. Essentially the internship interview format is less rigorous than full-time and generally involves phone interviews rather than on-site interview. There is usually a maximum of two to three interviews. Of course, there are always exceptions who develop and follow their own formats. 
  • Technical or Behavioural Format: Interview Questions for Software Engineer Internships are generally much more technical than behavioural. The interviewer might ask a behavioural question just as an icebreaker. These questions get you thinking and give the interviewer a glimpse into how best you could fit into the culture of the company. These are short questions and are usually asked at the beginning of the interview.

Be prepared to answer questions like tell me about the last time you worked in a team, etc. The major part of the interview will be focused on the technical portion. If it is a phone interview then some sort of software or document sharing will be done and they will tell you what code or solution they want. 

If the interview is on site then the questions are whiteboard questions with a difficulty level such as can be completed in the given time frame. It will be in your best interest to explain your thoughts and discuss with the interviewer the proposed solution before you start writing the code. 


3 Resources for Software Engineering Internship Candidates

  1. Cracking the Coding Interview is the Holy Grail or the Bible of interview study. It is important to know how to use it. Like with any text book you should know what you need to work on and to then use the book in a manner that will actually help you. It is a gigantic book and it is important to know how to use it and to not waste your time. 
  2. YouTube channels like CS Dojo and Byte by Byte make coding interview question and/or coding interview videos. YouTube videos are generally the best because it shows you how to tackle questions and the thought process behind it. You can actually view the progression of the thoughts as they go along with the question. It helps you understand the algorithm and the solution from the very basics. 
  3. Learn and understand leak code. Leak code knowledge and the cracking of leak code is a very valuable tool and resource to adopt. 

Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of technicalities of a software engineer job. Anticipate and prepare for certain software engineer interview questions. During technical questions discuss the solution with the interviewer and explain your thought process well. Employ the various resources available to you and successfully bag the Software Engineering Internship.

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