April 18, 2018

Mock interviews are a waste of time!

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 Do a mock coding interview with a real Google engineer!

Think that will get you a job at Google? Think again.

The way mock coding interviews are traditionally run is fundamentally flawed. They aren’t a study tool, they’re an evaluation tool. And a blunt one at that.

Traditional mock interviews are designed to emulate the real world interview experience to give you a snapshot of how your interview prep is going. You see what worked well and what worked poorly, and then are left to decide for yourself what to do about it.

Here at Byte by Byte, I do things differently. Rather than do strict mock interviews, I bring in a coaching component that makes mock interviews into an incredible learning opportunity.

When you get stuck, I use this opportunity not to tell you what to do next, but to show you how to figure it out for yourself. Having worked with so many students, I’ve seen it all before, and developed a series of techniques to help you get unstuck while you’re going through a problem.

Over time, as we continue to work together, you will get more used to using these techniques and figure out which ones work for you. This is one of the most powerful ways that you can succeed in your interviews.

The key isn’t to not get stuck. The key is to know how to get unstuck.

Unlike normal mock interviews. I will help you learn how to get unstuck.

Traditional Mock Interviews

  • Single mock interview. A mock interviewer doesn’t know who you are or what you’ve done. They are only evaluating you on what happened in that one mock interview. This means that they can’t really give you good feedback. Good feedback focuses on what you need to do to improve, NOT what you screwed up that one time.
  • No coaching on how to improve. Doing a mock interview is like getting a blood test. It’s a single point of reference, but unless you have a great doctor, you’re not going to know what to make of the test results. Most interviewers are great at determining your performance, but are clueless when it comes to helping you get better. That’s not their job.
  • Learning how to solve a specific problem. There is a commonly held belief that if you do a mock interview with someone from a company, you might see the same problem again in your actual interview. This is just wrong.

Byte by Byte Anti-Mock Interviews

  • Long term coaching. I work with all of my clients over a period of weeks or months to really understand what they are struggling with. Rather than criticize one-off mistakes, I help people to identify their underlying struggles and perform more effectively in the future. This means that you're really getting the feedback you need over time.
  • Experienced interview coach. Not only have I worked as an interviewer and gained experience evaluating candidates, but I have extensive experience interviewing myself and coaching over 30 clients to interview successfully at companies like Amazon and Microsoft. In addition to feedback on your performance, I will show you how to actually get better.
  • Learn how to solve ANY problem. The key to successful interviewing is NOT having seen a problem before. It’s knowing how to solve a problem that you haven’t seen before. I teach my clients how to do this.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to make real progress with your mock interviews, traditional mock coding interviews are not the way to go. They are simply a waste of time.

At Byte by Byte, I do things differently, and the results speak for themselves. If you’re interested in learning more, submit an application now!