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How to prepare for interviews after layoff?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Credit Karmaa year ago

I have recently been laid-off, I was working as a Frontend developer for almost two years. I have prepared my resume and started applying for roles but I have not been in touch with the interview scene in a while. Should I just grind Leetcode?

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  • 48
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    Really sorry to hear about the layoff - The Taro community is here for you! 🙌

    First, I recommend this session we recently did about post-layoff recovery: How To Recover After You've Been Laid Off In The Tech Industry

    When it comes to the job search after a layoff, it's really no different from a regular job search. The unique angle here is that I recommend making a LinkedIn post sharing that you were laid-off (it's good for evoking sympathy and getting recruiting leads). I don't think it's bad to share that you were laid off during interviews as well for similar reasons: "How open should we be to recruiters about employment status?"

    Should I just grind Leetcode?

    Definitely not.

    Data structures and algorithms (DSA) are best done on-demand - They're usually a massive waste of time otherwise. This will be especially true in this economy. Big Tech companies are the ones leaning more into these questions, and they're pretty much not hiring right now. Smaller companies like startups generally ask more practical questions on the interview.

    Here's my core points here to wrap it all up in a nutshell:

    • If you have an interview coming up that has DSA (or is likely to), then by all means, grind DSA and study hard.
    • Minimize the overall interview prep when you don't have interviews in the pipeline: Spend more time boosting your portfolio and applying to jobs/chasing down referrals.
    • When you have interviews in the pipeline, divest from the application part and pivot most of your time into studying.
    • Space out interviews, so you have time to prepare, especially for companies you care about. Let's say you pass the recruiter screen for Uber - Ask to have the phone screen 2-3 weeks out, so you have time to study.

    I break this all down even more in-depth here: "How do I balance my time between studying DSA and fleshing out my portfolio?"

    Finally, here's the best Taro has to offer when it comes to job search resources: [Taro Top 10] Finding A Tech Job

  • 18
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    Software Engineer @ Tesla
    a year ago

    Hey! Alex posted some great resources so I don't have much to add.

    In addition though, I would have a killer portfolio. Do you have stuff you can show off?

    A website, a collection of past work, etc.

    If not, I would start trying to remember your best past work and compile them into a demonstrable document. If they were proprietary, you can be vague and leave out some details but focus on your implementation.

    Good luck!!

Credit Karma is an American personal finance company founded in 2007, which has been a brand of Intuit since December 2020. It is best known as a free credit and financial management platform, but its features also include monitoring of unclaimed property databases and a tool to identify and dispute credit report errors.
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