10 tips for a perfect Crio Interview

10 tips for a perfect Crio Interview

Crio Interviews are like mock interviews, only much better!

After going through a rigorous learning program to sharpen their problem solving, data structures and algorithms skills, developers on our platform go through a series of Crio Interviews to get into interview mode and assess their preparedness for real interviews.

After a Crio Interview, we conduct detailed surveys to capture what developers wish they had done before and during the interview.

Below is a list of 10 of the most common takeaways based on data from hundreds of Crio Interviews we have conducted so far. By addressing these, you can score a perfect 10 on Crio Interviews (or any interview, for that matter):

1. Prepare

Take Crio Interviews just as you would a real interview. Prepare for it. Practice a few problems the previous day to revise and stay warmed up. Be professional. Do whatever you would for/in a real interview. The more real you keep it, the more you are going to get out of it.

2. Stay calm

Stay calm during the interview. The interviewer is talking to you because s/he is trying to hire you - not to make you uncomfortable or feel inferior. Staying calm comes with practice and familiarity. Use Crio Interviews as a way of getting comfortable in an interview setting.

3. Read the question carefully

Even if it is very similar to a question you have already solved. There might be a twist in there that is easy to overlook. Or you might be making some assumptions based on hindsight bias. These are common pitfalls that can be difficult to recover from later in the interview. The easiest way out of this: slow down and read the question carefully.

4. Communicate with the interviewer

Ask questions to clarify your understanding of the problem. State any assumptions you are making and course-correct if the interviewer requests. Interviewers actually like it if you ask good questions and communicate freely with them during the interview. After all, when you start working with them after you get hired, there will be a lot of talking and communication with each other. Why not start at the interview itself?

5. Don’t jump to writing code

Use Crio's recommended problem-solving approach. Discuss your approach with the interviewer. Run through a few core and edge test cases. Write some pseudo-code, if required. Then start writing your code implementation.

6. Solve first, optimize later

It is ok to write sub-optimal, but functional, code at first. Once you get it working, spend time optimizing it. A sub-optimal solution that works is better than a potentially more efficient solution that does not work. Refactor later.

7. Write modular code and test it along the way

Modular code shows your ability to think about a problem in structured way. Well-designed modules also make it easy for you to validate that you are in the right direction. They also make later refactoring easier.

Also, don’t wait till the end to validate if your code works. This does not mean that you make repeated submissions to run incremental tests - that's actually a bad sign. It means that you should run through your code verbally with the interviewer at regular intervals and move from success to success. If you find any flaws, you can either fix them immediately or leave a TODO in the code and let the interviewer know that you will get back to them later.

8. Follow good coding style

Use explanatory variable/function names. Write comments. Use indentation. All this is low-hanging fruit. Don’t lose out here.

9. No silence, please

Don’t have a silent interview where you go off on your own personal coding journey for 30 mins. It is actually a red flag if neither you nor the interviewer has spoken for more than 5 min. All the same, don’t ramble and ask unnecessary questions or make trite comments. Strike the right balance.

10. Believe in yourself

It is ok to get stuck. It happens to everyone. Gather yourself and go step-by-step. Be confident that you will find a solution and proceed. This is easier said than done, but with practice, you will learn to pick yourself up and march along. Practice is key. Take at least 2-3 Crio Interviews and fix your mistakes (based on the actionable feedback given by Crio Interviewers) and go from strength to strength.

That’s it for now. We will share more tips/tricks based on our learnings from the Crio Interviewer program. Until then, we hope the points listed above give you a good starting point.

Good luck on your interviews!

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Ajay Ravindra

Written by Ajay Ravindra

Dad. Hacker. Writer. Doer. Laugher.
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