At the end of the day, passing a software engineer interview is about convincing another person that you're competent. The best interview candidates behave in a way that naturally puts the interviewer on their side. Weak interview candidates behave in a way where the interviewer becomes their opponent. This video covers how to do the former.
Here are the core points:
- Always be communicating - Nobody can read minds. By regularly explaining your thought process, you are keeping your interviewer in the loop and giving them the maximum chance to fully understand you and your skill. Communication is an especially important axis for Big Tech.
- Be very careful asking for hints - If you haven't made a lot of progress on the problem, asking for a hint is effectively asking the interviewer to solve a good amount of the problem for you. This severely reduces the signal the interviewer gets on your abilities. If you ask for hints too aggressively, you may be tanking your own chances. For deep dive of the dynamics of interview hints, check out our video here.
- View your interviewer as a human not an obstacle - While it's true that you need the rubber stamp from the interviewer to pass, focusing on that too much will negatively show in how you interact with and communicate with your interviewer. When you view your interviewer as another person and have empathy for their situation, you will understand what they're looking for and be much better equipped to show that signal.