Nowadays, numerous students prepare with zeal and zest to crack the interview of the various product-based companies. In fact, many students desire to become software developers so that they can later work with FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google).
The main reason behind the popularity of these product-based companies is that they offer lucrative packages along with exposure and cool work culture. This boosts up the confidence of the employees and they get to bring the best out of themselves.
For landing in a good position, you need to work hard at that level. Product-based companies conduct multiple interview rounds and analyse the potential of the candidate thoroughly before releasing the offer.
Over the years, apart from Competitive Coding and Data Structures and Algorithms, these top-notch recruiters also focus on the computer science curriculum that includes System Design, Operating System, Database Management System, Computer Networks, etc.
If you want to clear all the rounds of a product-based company you need to have a clear concept of the computer-science based subjects.
There are certain subjects that form the backbone of computer science. A programmer’s aim might be to develop a website or application but while doing anything in the area of software development, one will communicate with the computer.
To establish this communication uninterruptedly and efficiently and reach the final goal easily, one must be affluent with these topics of operating systems, database management and computer networks.
The company might ask you to take an assessment with MCQs or go for a viva interview round based on computer fundamentals. You can prepare the most important questions from these subjects for scoring well and getting a good rank. Read below, to know more about the subjects important for grokking a product-based company interview.
Subjects important for grokking a product-based company interview
1. System Design
For acquiring highly promising job positions such as Software Developer, Technical Lead, Software Architect, and other Software related fields a clear understanding of System Design is required.
By definition, Systems design is the process of defining the architecture, product design, modules, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements. Systems design could be seen as the application of systems theory to product development.
A lot of concepts are common in the disciplines of systems analysis, systems architecture and systems engineering.
The area of system design focuses on designing the various components and modules of a system including the data that flows in the system. In software development, it is significant to develop codes that are best compatible with the system and would allow optimal change further.
Only if a programmer has knowledge of the concept of system design, will his code suit the system.
If you want to get hands-on experience in System Design, you can take the free trial of our course. You can check out our courses on System Design in case you wish to build a few design projects on your own under the guidance of our Mentors. You can even through our guided path for System Design Interview questions.
2. Data Structures and Algorithm
You must have heard people saying, “It’s important to master Data Structures and Algorithms.” But have you ever thought about why you should have a good command of Data Structures and Algorithms?
Data Structures and Algorithms help us solve real-world problems. For example, while developing a website, you might have to use a binary tree to get the hierarchy of your web pages. Due to its utmost importance in companies, engineering college grads and working professionals can’t skip DSA.
Fortunately, candidates get more reality checks from their seniors or social platforms like LinkedIn. Even before entering the real world of job-hunting or the workplace. Almost every tech-giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe conduct multiple interviews to evaluate applicants’ problem-solving skills and knowledge of data structures and algorithms.
You can learn different algorithms and solve a lot of problems by using them. For having a command of Data Structures, you need to be well versed with the basics – Arrays, Linked Lists, Stack and Queue, Strings and finding the Time-Space Complexity for the solutions.
3. Database Management
The Database Management System manages the data; the database engine allows data to be accessed, locked and modified; and the database schema defines the database’s logical structure. These three foundational elements help provide concurrency, security, data integrity and uniform data administration procedures.
Typical database administration tasks the Database Management System supports include change management, performance monitoring and tuning, security, and backup and recovery.
Most of the database management systems are even responsible for automated rollbacks and restarts as well as logging and auditing of activity in databases and the applications that access them. The Database Management System provides a centralised view of data that can be accessed by multiple users, from multiple locations, in a manipulated manner.
A Database Management System can limit what data the end-user sees, as well as how that end-user can view the data, providing many views of a single database schema.
End users and software programs are free from having to understand where the data is physically located or on what type of storage media it resides because the Database Management System handles all requests.
You need to be well-versed with the concepts of Database Management Systems as you might encounter situations being a Software Developer where you will have to deal with and manage Database Management Systems.
4. Operating System
An operating system is formally defined as a program used for managing a computer’s hardware and software applications. The operating system is activated as soon as you turn on the target device. It includes all the processes that assist us in accessing the system and its controls.
The Operating System is designed to make computation easy, by enabling multitasking. For instance, when you maximise a video for watching a video or playing a game, all the background applications are kept running by the operating system.
The Operating System also maintains and controls the antivirus, therefore, if any threat is detected all the processes are halted and the antivirus pop-up dialog is given the highest priority.
Some common Operating System questions include:
- What are semaphore variables? How are they used in a code?
- What do you mean by mutual exclusion?
- What are the conditions for a deadlock?
- Explain Banker’s Algorithm with a suitable example.
- How many levels are there in POSIX?
- What is meant by process synchronisation?
5. Computer Networks
The interviewer might ask you a few questions based on Computer Networks if you apply for the position of network engineer, network consultant, cloud engineer, and so on. If you have mentioned networking as a skill, then be prepared with the most popular computer network questions for clearing the viva interview.
It is another important core subject of the Computer Science curriculum. Most of the networking questions are related to the OSI Model or the TCP/IP Model.
Some common Networking questions include:
- What is Routing?
- What is the purpose of the Data Link Layer of the OSI model?
- What is the key advantage of using switches?
- When does network congestion occur?
- What is a Window in networking terms?
- Does a bridge divide a network into smaller sections?
- Which LAN switching method is used in CISCO Catalyst 5000?
- What is the role of the LLC sublayer?
- How does RIP differ from IGRP?
- What are the different memories used in a CISCO router?
- What is BootP?
- What is the function of the Application Layer in networking?
- Differentiate User Mode from Privileged Mode
- What is 100BaseFX?
- Differentiate full-duplex from half-duplex.
- What is MTU?
- How does cut-through LAN switching work?
- What is latency?
- Utilizing RIP, what is the limit when it comes to the number of hops?
- What is a Frame Relay?
- How do you configure a Cisco router to route IPX?
- What are the different IPX access lists?
- Explain the benefits of VLANs.
- What is subnetting?
Frequently Asked Questions
You can crack the interview of a product based company by preparing well for other computer science-based subjects apart from competitive coding and data structures and algorithms. You need to be prepared with other computer science-based subjects such as System Design, Operating systems, Database Management systems, Computer Networks, etc.
Once you have mastered a programming language of your choice and the topic of data structures and algorithms, the next step for aspiring software developers is to invest their time in learning development. Based on your interest, you can choose from various fields of development that include Web development, Android development and Application development.
Skills required for working in a good product based companies are:
1. Data Structures and Algorithms
2. High academic proficiency
3. Good coding skills
4. Multiple language proficiency
5. Knowledge of core computer subjects
6. Effective communication
7. Knowledge about networking fundamentals
Big companies usually conduct four to five rounds of interviews. Among these rounds, the last one is definitely the Human Resource round in which the salary, the job location and other job profile related discussions are made. Big companies have one communication assessment in which your listening and speaking skills are evaluated. And there are multiple technical rounds, you may be asked to write a code, or solve some MCQs or design a system or the interview might just ask some questions verbally.
Cracking the Coding Interviews is a highly recommended book for grokking the interviews of product-based companies so start working on that book. You need to practise a high number of questions based on data structures such as graphs, trees using dynamic programming to get hands-on experience in problem-solving. Try to find the optimal solution for problems, do not settle for brute force approaches.
Yes, the coding interviews are typically hard. The preliminary rounds might be easy but as you move forward the level of coding questions get tougher. The time and space complexity are also analysed in the interview rounds of big companies.
Consistent preparation is definitely important but it is not sufficient for grokking the interview of any product-based company. Self-evaluation and time management are the two key concepts that help you crack any assessment or interview. You need to go through the previous interview experiences of candidates and prepare accordingly.
You can take the latest mock test and masterclass designed for clearing the Amazon recruitment process. If you are confident about data structures and algorithms and competitive coding, you can start brushing up your system designing skills.
Many product based companies have a distinct System Design based interview round. You may learn to design software systems within a stipulated time period.
By Vanshika Singolia