FinTech Futures Jobs: How to approach a data engineering interview differently
Despite the headlines surrounding mass redundancies in tech, opportunities abound for engineers and developers.
The main difference between today and 2022 however is that jobseekers are now expected to do 15% better in technical interviews as the number of people with relevant skillsets increases.
That’s according to data compiled by interviewing.io, a technical mock interview platform that also offers interview guides and salary advice to prospective candidates.
One piece of the puzzle
While you might think technical proficiency is the only thing hiring managers are interested in when it comes to recruiting for technical jobs, system design knowledge is just as important, as Kevin Landucci, a Harvard-certified advanced negotiator and interviewing.io’s developer advocate, explains:
“When candidates approach a system design interview as if it were a coding interview, they do things like expect to get a right answer, assume there is an optimal solution, and presuppose that precision is more important than covering a broad surface area.”
Instead, he recommends looking at the bigger picture and approaching a system design interview like it’s a design problem: “Design is more art, and engineering is more science, but you can approach this art in a scientific way.”
Shift gears and prepare
With this in mind, interviewing.io has created a system design guide filled with advice from 75 contributors on how to shift gears and prepare for this part of the interview process.
A couple of things you should look to avoid include ignoring interviewer prompts, not making a decision and instead cycling through a variety of options, and leaving long stretches of silence.
“Your interviewer wants to see well-reasoned, qualified decisions based on engineering trade-offs. Your interviewer doesn’t want to see specific answers with ironclad certainty,” Landucci says.
Keep it simple
That being said, this doesn’t mean your responses should lack clarity and lean on jargon, and you shouldn’t arbitrarily drop terms like MongoDB or Kafka into the conversation to make it seem like your proficiency and depth of knowledge is more extensive than it really is.
“One of our biggest findings was that keyword stuffing is the single most cited, and most hated red flag,” he elaborates.
“Keyword stuffers are heavily penalised because they come off as lacking depth and understanding, and it’s one of the most common failure modes in a system design interview.”
Instead, Landucci recommends focusing your preparation around the topics that come up most often.
These include APIs, databases (SQL versus NoSQL), scaling, web authentication and basic security, load balancers, caching and consistent hashing.
“If you don’t have much time to prepare for interviews, familiarise yourself with these topics, and you will have covered 80% of the problem space. Moreover, if you’re in an interview and if you run into a question you don’t know how to answer, just attempt to reduce it to one or more of these topics. This approach would already make you a far better candidate than most.”
Ready to put your new and improved interview prowess to the test? The FinTech Futures Job Board has thousands of opportunities for engineers and developers hoping to make a move, including the openings below.
EVORA Global in London is hiring for a DevOps Engineer to join its team. If you’re passionate about stopping the negative effects of climate change and want to work closely with a team of engineers to develop and support digital solutions, this could be the perfect role for you.
If fintech is the sector you want to align your skills with, GoCardless is looking for a Senior Software Development Engineer to drive product-led growth. In this role, you will be working on business problems that have a direct impact on company growth and revenue.
Explore a more detailed description here.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency platform Ripple is recruiting for a Senior Software Engineer to join its RippleX team. The new hire will be tasked with designing, implementing, maintaining and optimising new feature sets while diving deep into performance issues.
For hundreds more opportunities across fintech, visit the FinTech Futures Job Board today.