Episode 2: How to nail the vetting process
In the previous episode, we discussed how to nail the English test with Singapore companies. After you pass your English assessment, you will jump into a vetting process including the Algorithm Test and the Technical Interview. This will allow you to showcase your knowledge and skills to employers. They can be exciting, knowing that you’re that much closer to a job offer if you do well. They can also be intimidating — especially if you’ve never done one before or have previously struggled with them. But don’t worry. We’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll go over what to expect during the vetting process, as well as how to prepare, practice, and impress your interviewer.
1. Algorithm Test
The Algorithm Test is a 45-minute live coding test on HackerRank wherein you will be shown a problem statement to solve. Start writing your logic in the built-in code editor, and then click Submit Code and Run to execute the code.
Based on the given requirements of the JDs (junior or senior level), the qualified software engineers have to meet:
- Junior-level: must pass 02 questions at Level Easy (complete only, not required to optimize) in due time.
- Senior-level: must pass 02 questions at Level Easy (Algorithm must be optimized) and are on the right path to solving the last question at Level Medium in due time (Performance at Level Medium will be evaluated further).
The Algorithm Test screen will look like this:
- During the test, you have to turn your camera on to ensure transparency and share your screen so that the interviewers will be able to see your coding screen and results.
- You are not permitted to use Google to research algorithms related to the test.
- If you don’t understand the questions, you can use Google Translate.
- Run the code by clicking Submit Code & Run. The output will be displayed. Each question allows candidates to “Submit Code” up to 3 times. Unlimited number of times Run code
- Each question has many different solutions, and the candidate with the more optimal solution will be given a higher rating.
Preparing for the Algorithm Test
The key to a successful technical interview is preparation. You may not know what your assignment will be, but there are several steps you can take to prepare for anything. Furthermore, your interviewer will be impressed by your preparedness.
Ask questions leading up to your interview
By the time you have your Algorithm Test, you’ve probably already spoken with the company’s recruiter or hiring manager. Feel free to ask them questions about what you should expect or the technologies used by the team you’ll be joining.
Practice with projects and coding challenges
Theoretical knowledge will only take you so far. Completing coding challenges and projects will help you develop the skills you’ll need for your new career. You can practice with a sample test on HackerRank to help you get familiar with its test environment. Furthermore, the more you practice, the faster you will become. Imagine how impressed your interviewer will be when you’ve efficiently solved the problem in half of the allotted time.
Other preparation tips
- Pay close attention to the instructions of the test.
- Be mindful of coding elements such as brackets, parentheses, dots, and spaces.
- Most importantly, don’t give up. It is critical to maintain focus and keep moving forward.
2. 1-1 Technical Interview
Most roles require a variety of job skills—or some combination of workplace skills and technical skills. While workplace skills pertain to how you work, technical skills are those you develop in order to complete a particular function, such as knowing a programming language.
The technical interview is conducted 1-1 between candidates and our Tech Lead within 45-60 minutes. This helps interviewers can determine the extent of what you know, your ability to solve problems and think critically, and how prepared you are to begin the role should you get an offer.
Types of interview questions you may face
- Tools: Interviewers ask these to know more about which software, programs, and tools you know how to use. (With backend position, the question about database will be involved and also data structures and algorithms, logical computation)
Example: What are the pros and cons of Node.js? Is Node.js single-threaded or multi-threaded?
- Processes: Interviewers ask these to learn more about the way you go about your work and how well you’d potentially transition into your new role.
- Situational: Interviewers ask these to understand how you solve problems and think critically about certain tools and processes.
Example: Did you encounter any difficulties during the programming process, and how did you handle it?
- Experience: Interviewers ask about your previous projects or experience.
Tips to Help You Impress
Answering technical interview questions should involve more than just discussing your knowledge. You can frame your responses in ways that highlight the breadth of your knowledge as well as your other skills.
A technical interview is, in essence, a standard interview with some additional tasks and questions thrown in. Therefore, it’s important that you prep yourself for the interview itself and don’t just focus on the technical side.
The employer will be looking for a personable, articulate individual who, despite being technically minded, can confidently present their findings in a way that others can understand. If you don’t know the answer to a question, try not to be thrown off. Take a few deep breaths and do your best to demonstrate how you would approach the question, even if you won’t be able to provide an answer. The most important aspect of any interview is to remain calm and composed.
Ready to ace your interview and land your dream job?
It can take your time and effort preparing for the vetting process to achieve your dream of a remote career, especially one with Singapore companies, but with this short guide, you’ll be on your way to success.