illustration for Success and Failure in the Interview Process with Dave Smith

episode 26

Success and Failure in the Interview Process with Dave Smith

John Lindquist

Dave Smith is on the Alexa Team at Amazon, he hosts the Soft Skills Engineering podcast and headed up the recent Utah JS Conference.

Recently Dave asked on Twitter "on a scale of 1 - 10 in difficulty how would you rate the task of writing a function that iterates over a list of strings and returns the top 10?" This sparked up a lot of good, and most people rated it a 2-3 until people started asking "wait, is this question in an interview context? In that case, it's a solid 10." Dave talks about how the external stresses of an interview can turn even a "simple" question into a very stressful and challenging experience.

The topic of interview "red flags" comes up, and Dave explains how the biggest one is refusing to answer a question. He says that even if you don't have an answer to something try to follow up with more questions and have humility, you are there to present yourself. Dave also says not to make up or guess at something if you don't know the answer, try to ask them to rephrase the question and give the angle of your own understanding.

Dave has his own excellent podcast with his co-host Jamison Dance called Soft Skills Engineering, check it out in the link below.


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