Have you been hired by Google, Facebook or Microsoft (or another big company) for your performance on programming contests/challenges lik…

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Have you been hired by Google, Facebook or Microsoft (or another big company) for your performance on … by Hieu Pham

Answer by Hieu Pham:

In my Junior year at college, I got internship offers from Facebook, Microsoft and Google. Considering my profile at that time, I think the only reason that they wanted me was my contests experience. My team was ranked 2nd in the regional ACM ICPC contest the prior year, and I was yellow on TopCoder, purple on Codeforces.

How do I achieve this? There are several steps.

  1. At the document round, I put my contests performance into my resume, and highlighted that I want to work in algorithm. Usually, for internships, this would bring you to the interview round.
  2. At the interview rounds, answer the questions as flawlessly and quickly as you can. These questions are usually fairly easy if you have any background in programming contests. Don't do anything like "First give a slow algorithm, and pretend as if you were trying to optimize it…", as taught at Hacking a Google Interview. IMO, it's quite dishonest and most interviewers would recognize that.
  3. If you answer all the questions very fast, you may ask for more questions. In case the interviewer did not prepare more, it's your responsibility to come up with questions for him or her. To do so, it is important to do some research about your interviewer beforehand. Stalk their Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever, for their background, school, and interest and prepare about 5 thoughtful questions about them and their team. You would be extremely lucky if your interviewer is involved in programing contest. It was once my case, where I just asked how my contest experience can fit into his team's work.

Good luck!

Have you been hired by Google, Facebook or Microsoft (or another big company) for your performance on programming contests/challenges lik…

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V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valourous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.

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