Preparing for a C++ interview

The Amazon tech interview topics is a great guide to whet your appetite. Know your language standards, algorithms and data structures. Be comfortable calculating and discussing the complexity of your solutions (Big O notation).

What's the difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption?

Get some side projects on GitLab to talk about at interviews and run/deploy them as a daily cron job. Be aware that recruiters may remove any contact details in your CV -- including URLs with your coding projects -- so be sure to obfuscate them. Your website might be easy to find but very few recruiters have time to research you.

Tell me something you did beyond all expectations.

Practise your coding tests. It's good to get in a regular rhythm of doing these tests -- ideally daily -- well in advance of any interview. HackerRank is a popular platform and Leetcode has (subscription-only) company-specific tests for the big players like Amazon and Facebook. It's good to experience both as the IDEs are slightly different. Also see this curated list of interview questions.

What's the worst bug you've ever fixed?

Do the skill assessments on Pluralsight to highlight your weaknesses and do the recommended courses. The more senior the role you're going for the more you'll be expected to know design/algorithm patterns and talk about the software life cycle.

Increasingly you must be aware of a larger tech stack.

Imagine you're a browser requesting a web-page, describe all the technologies you meet along the way.

Register with a cloud provider, spin up some instances of Windows and Linux VMs and get comfortable connecting to them remotely (via ssh, remote desktop).

Study topics

  • Modern C++ (post-11)
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Algorithms and Big 'O' notation
  • Data structures
  • Design patterns
  • Software development life cycle
  • Imagine you're a browser...
  • TCP/IP, networks
  • Clouds and containers
  • Operating systems
  • Parallelism, multi-threading
  • CPU caches
  • Cryptography
  • Agile
  • Databases
  • Cyber security / penetration testing
  • Cryptocurrency


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