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How can I prepare for a group technical interview at a large firm (not Big Tech)?

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Transitioning to SWE at Series B Startup2 months ago

I'm a junior engineer, and I have a second-round software developer interview coming up where the format is as follows: Group technical interview with three product managers (director, senior, senior) and one software engineer.

I can't find any more information about this interview online (Reddit, Glassdoor), and the HR coordinator/recruiter has not answered my follow-up question in terms of live-coding.

The first round was a behavioral recorded video interview with nine questions, and I feel like I did not over/undersell experience.

Any tips for how to prepare for this interview or redirects to existing Taro questions with this information would be appreciated. I would be glad to provide more information as well; I am trying to manage my nerves.

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    3 product managers for a software engineer interview is very interesting. If I were to guess what it will be like:

    • It will be more of a behavioral interview (kind of has to be as they aren't technical)
    • They will ask you for your personal opinion about product direction (this could be a place where SWE and PM are expected to work very closely together)

    In terms of preparation, you should do research on those 3 PMs and the product verticals they own. I talk more about this here: "How to tackle behavioral interview questions with different departments?"

    If you haven't already, ask the recruiter what sort of material they'll cover as well. It might be more important to clarify this as there's 3 PM rounds and only 1 SWE round.

    Lastly, I recommend this big thread about how to find out what's on any interview: "How to figure out what's going to be on an interview?"

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    Tech Leadership Coach • Former Head of Engineering
    2 months ago

    Very interesting interview format.

    Generally, when approaching cross-functional interviews, it's important to gauge within the first 5 mins which of the following 2 things they're primarily evaluating you on.

    1. Whether you speak their language and have at least a working knowledge of Product. Like an interaction, people want to be heard and understood. At a minimum, they'd like to see if you can see things from their perspective (making collaboration easier).
    2. Whether you are a proficient engineer. This one feels a bit weird since you'd only expect this from your engineering counterparts. However, given your scenario, it's quite possible that the decision maker (likely on the Product side) may not solely rely on the one SWE for this part of the evaluation.

    I've personally experienced #2 in a cross-functional interview where the Chief Revenue Officer wanted to go into my engineering competencies even after passing the CTO round.

    In terms of mentality and nerves, I would focus your prep on knowing the value you bring to the table in the context of their company and not too much beyond that. Go in with an open mind to adjust your approach based on a live read of the situation. It's counterproductive to draw up every single scenario beforehand, as that will likely add anxiety and mental clutter.

    Feel free to DM me if you'd like to chat further on interview prep strategies.

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