30 Computer Scientist Interview Questions and Answers

Common Computer Scientist interview questions, how to answer them, and example answers from a certified career coach.

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of computer science, those who master the art of problem-solving, algorithm development, data management, and innovative thinking are poised for success. As you prepare for a pivotal interview in your career as a computer scientist, keep in mind that employers will be looking to assess not only your technical skills but also your ability to think critically and stay at the forefront of industry advancements.

To help you navigate this important step in your professional journey, we’ve compiled a list of common interview questions you might encounter when applying for a computer scientist role. Through this article, we aim to equip you with insightful tips and sample answers to confidently articulate your expertise and passion for this dynamic field.

1. Can you describe a complex data structure you’ve created and how it improved a software solution you were developing?

The essence of computer science lies in problem-solving and creating efficient systems. This question aims to assess your ability to design complex data structures, which is a fundamental skill in this field. It also allows interviewers to gauge your problem-solving skills, creativity, and ability to improve software solutions, all of which are critical for success as a computer scientist.

Example: “In one project, I developed a hybrid data structure combining Hashmaps and Linked Lists to create an LRU Cache. The hashmap provided O(1) access time, while the linked list maintained order of usage for eviction policy.

This significantly improved our software’s performance by reducing costly database queries. It stored frequently accessed data in memory, ensuring efficient retrieval and saving computational resources.”

2. Explain how you would handle a situation where your code was not running as expected?

Debugging code is a significant part of a computer scientist’s job. Hiring managers ask this question to gauge your problem-solving skills, and to understand your approach when faced with a challenge. It also helps them determine your ability to troubleshoot, analyze, and find solutions in a systematic and logical manner.

Example: “When my code isn’t running as expected, I first try to understand the problem by checking error messages and debugging. If that doesn’t work, I use print statements or a tool like a debugger to examine the state of my program at various points.

If the issue persists, I would isolate the problematic section and test it separately. This can help identify if the problem is in this specific part or due to interaction with other parts of the code.

In case I’m still unable to resolve the issue, I’d seek assistance from colleagues or online communities. It’s important to be able to ask for help when needed while also learning from the process.”

3. Describe a time when you had to optimize an algorithm for better performance. What was your approach and what was the outcome?

In the fast-paced field of computer science, efficiency is key. Hiring managers want to know that you not only have the skills to write algorithms but also the ability to optimize them. This is because optimization often leads to better performance, faster processing times, and improved user experience – all of which are vital for a company’s success in today’s technology-driven world. Your approach to this situation and the outcome can speak volumes about your problem-solving skills, creativity, and understanding of the intricacies of coding.

Example: “In a past project, I worked on an image processing algorithm that was taking too long to process high-resolution images. My approach involved profiling the code to identify bottlenecks and then applying optimization techniques.

I found that the main issue was repetitive disk operations. To resolve this, I implemented caching mechanisms to store intermediate results in memory instead of constantly reading from the disk.

The outcome was a significant improvement in performance – reducing the processing time by roughly 70%. This allowed us to handle larger datasets more efficiently and improved overall system responsiveness.”

4. How would you explain the concept of object-oriented programming to a non-technical person?

The ability to translate complex, technical information into simpler, understandable language is a valuable skill for a computer scientist. In many organizations, computer scientists often interact with non-technical team members or clients who rely on their expertise. Interviewers want to see if you can break down complex ideas into digestible pieces for those who may not have a technical background. This not only demonstrates your technical knowledge but also your communication skills.

Example: “Object-oriented programming, or OOP, is like organizing a big event. Think of each object as a team member with specific roles and responsibilities. These objects interact to achieve the overall goal, similar to how different departments work together in an event.

In OOP, we have ‘classes’ which are like job descriptions. They define what tasks an object can do. An ‘object’ is an individual who performs those tasks. This structure makes it easier to manage complex programs, just like having clear roles makes managing large events more efficient.”

5. Can you provide an example of a project you worked on that required significant problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving is the lifeblood of computer science. Whether it’s debugging a software issue, developing a new algorithm, or designing a complex system, a computer scientist needs to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Employers ask this question to gauge your analytical abilities and to understand how you approach complex situations. They want to see that you can think on your feet and navigate challenges with creativity and resilience.

Example: “One project that required significant problem-solving skills was developing an AI-based image recognition system. The challenge was to improve accuracy in identifying specific objects within images.

I used a two-pronged approach: enhancing the training dataset and optimizing the neural network architecture. By diversifying the data set, the model could learn from a wider range of examples. Then, I fine-tuned the layers of the neural network for better feature extraction.

The result was a 20% increase in identification accuracy. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of innovative problem solving in computer science.”

6. What experience do you have with machine learning algorithms, and how have you applied them in your past projects?

Machine learning algorithms are becoming increasingly integral to technology-driven industries. As a computer scientist, your understanding and experience with these algorithms can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of a project. By asking this question, hiring managers are trying to gauge your technical skills, practical knowledge, and your ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world problems.

Example: “I have extensive experience with machine learning algorithms, including supervised and unsupervised learning models. I’ve worked on projects involving regression, classification, clustering, and dimensionality reduction techniques.

One notable application was predicting customer churn for a telecom company. I used logistic regression, decision trees, and random forest algorithms to create an ensemble model. It successfully improved the prediction accuracy by 15% compared to their previous model.

In another project, I implemented K-means clustering for segmenting customers in a retail business. This helped in targeted marketing and personalized product recommendations, resulting in increased sales.

These experiences have equipped me with the skills to effectively leverage machine learning algorithms to solve complex problems and drive business growth.”

7. How do you ensure the security of the software you develop?

Software security is a cornerstone of computer science. It’s not just about ensuring your end product functions as intended, but also about safeguarding it from potential threats and vulnerabilities. By asking this question, hiring managers want to know if you understand the importance of security in software development and if you’re equipped with strategies to implement it effectively.

Example: “To ensure software security, I adopt a proactive approach. This begins with secure coding practices to prevent common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting.

I also use automated tools for vulnerability scanning and static code analysis to identify potential security issues early in the development process.

Furthermore, I incorporate security testing into the regular QA process, including penetration testing where necessary.

Lastly, I believe in continuous education about emerging threats and staying updated on best practices in cybersecurity.”

8. Describe your process for debugging a complex piece of software.

The art of debugging is a critical skill in the field of computer science. Interviewers ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and patience. Having a systematic approach to debugging not only helps in resolving the issue efficiently, but it also minimizes the chances of introducing new bugs into the system. It also shows your understanding of the software development life cycle and your ability to tackle challenges that come along with it.

Example: “Debugging a complex piece of software involves several steps. I start by reproducing the issue to understand its nature and context. Next, I isolate the problem area using systematic debugging tools like breakpoints, log statements or code stepping.

Once the problematic section is identified, I analyze it closely for logical errors, incorrect assumptions, or data inconsistencies. If necessary, I consult documentation or colleagues for additional insights.

After identifying the root cause, I correct the error and verify the solution through rigorous testing. It’s crucial to ensure that the fix doesn’t introduce new issues elsewhere in the system. This process helps maintain the integrity of the software while resolving bugs effectively.”

9. Can you discuss a time when you had to learn a new programming language or technology to complete a project?

As a computer scientist, your ability to adapt to new technologies and programming languages is critical. The field is continuously evolving, and staying stagnant with only one or two languages under your belt can limit your capabilities. This question allows hiring managers to gauge your adaptability and your willingness to step out of your comfort zone to learn something new for the benefit of a project.

Example: “In one of my projects, I had to learn Swift for iOS app development. Initially, I was comfortable with Java and Android but the project required an iOS application.

I started by taking online courses and reading documentation on Swift. Then, I built a few small apps to practice. It was challenging due to differences in syntax and concepts, but it also broadened my perspective on programming paradigms.

Eventually, I developed proficiency and completed the project successfully. This experience taught me that learning new technologies is essential in this ever-evolving field.”

10. Explain a situation where you had to use your knowledge of data structures and algorithms to solve a problem.

As a computer scientist, your ability to use data structures and algorithms effectively is key to problem-solving. Employers want to see that you not only have the theoretical knowledge but that you can apply it to real-world situations. This question gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as your ability to translate complex concepts into practical solutions.

Example: “In a recent project, we were tasked with optimizing an e-commerce site’s product recommendation feature. The existing system was slow and often recommended irrelevant products.

I implemented a hybrid recommendation algorithm using collaborative filtering and content-based filtering. This involved creating user-item interaction matrices – a task where understanding of data structures was crucial.

The challenge was the sparsity of these matrices due to many users not rating most items. I used dimensionality reduction techniques like Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to address this.

This resulted in faster, more accurate recommendations, improving user engagement on the site. My knowledge of data structures and algorithms played a key role in achieving this outcome.”

11. What is your experience with distributed computing and how have you utilized it in your projects?

The essence of this question is to gauge your understanding and practical application of distributed computing. This is a fundamental concept in computer science that involves processing data across several machines, also known as nodes. By asking this question, the interviewer wants to see if you’re capable of effectively utilizing this technique to solve complex problems, manage large amounts of data, and improve the efficiency or performance of systems.

Example: “I have extensive experience with distributed computing, particularly in the realm of big data processing. I’ve used Hadoop and Spark to manage large datasets across multiple machines for parallel processing.

In one project, we had a massive amount of unstructured data that needed quick analysis. Using Apache Spark’s capabilities, I designed a solution that split the task among several nodes, significantly reducing processing time.

My understanding of distributed systems not only pertains to their implementation but also involves dealing with challenges such as latency, fault tolerance, and concurrency issues. This knowledge has been instrumental in ensuring efficient and reliable system performance.”

12. How would you handle a situation where a project deadline is approaching but you’re not ready to deliver a fully tested and working solution?

This question is all about your problem-solving skills and your ability to work under pressure. In the fast-paced world of computer science, deadlines can sometimes creep up faster than expected. Managers want to know that you can handle this pressure, prioritize tasks effectively, and communicate with them about any potential delays. They’re looking for evidence that you’re proactive, have good judgement, and can manage your time and resources effectively.

Example: “In such a situation, I would prioritize communicating the issue to stakeholders promptly. It’s crucial they understand the reasons for the delay and what steps are being taken to rectify it.

Next, I’d focus on risk management. Identifying critical components that need immediate attention can help streamline efforts.

Where possible, I’d apply agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban to manage tasks effectively, ensuring we’re working as efficiently as possible.

Lastly, I’d conduct a root cause analysis post-project to prevent similar situations in future. This could involve improving project estimation techniques or implementing stronger testing strategies.”

13. Can you talk about your experience with cloud computing and how it has benefited your work?

This question is posed to gauge your experience with modern computing technologies. As cloud computing is a major facet of the tech industry today, understanding your familiarity and proficiency with it can reveal your ability to navigate and leverage cutting-edge tools. This also gives an insight into your problem-solving skills, showing how you effectively utilize technology to enhance your work and achieve your objectives.

Example: “I’ve extensively used cloud computing in my work, particularly for data storage and processing. This has significantly improved efficiency as it allows for instant access to data from anywhere, reducing downtime.

Cloud platforms also offer robust security measures which are crucial given the sensitive nature of the data we handle. It’s an economical solution too, eliminating the need for costly on-site servers.

Moreover, I have leveraged the scalability of cloud computing during high-demand periods, ensuring seamless operations without overloading our local resources.

In essence, cloud computing has been instrumental in enhancing productivity, cost-efficiency, and data security in my work.”

14. Describe a time you had to balance the trade-off between system performance and development time.

The reality of the tech industry is that time is often of the essence, but so is the functionality and efficiency of the software or system being developed. Interviewers want to know if you can make tough decisions that balance the need for speed and the need for quality. Your answer will give them insight into your problem-solving skills, decision-making capabilities, and understanding of software development processes.

Example: “In a recent project, we were developing an AI model for real-time image processing. The initial model had high accuracy but was too slow for real-time applications.

We faced the trade-off between system performance and development time. To balance this, we decided to use transfer learning from pre-trained models which significantly reduced our development time.

However, it slightly compromised on the accuracy of the model. We justified this by considering that in real-time systems, speed is often more critical than achieving the highest possible accuracy. This approach allowed us to deliver a functional product within the deadline without majorly compromising on its performance.”

15. How familiar are you with software development methodologies like Agile or Scrum, and how have you implemented them in your work?

The essence of this query is to assess your understanding of the core methodologies used in software development. Agile and Scrum are industry-standard practices that enhance productivity and collaboration in development teams. Being conversant with these methods not only indicates that you can easily adapt to their work environment, but also shows your ability to work effectively within a team and manage tasks efficiently.

Example: “I have extensive experience with Agile and Scrum methodologies. In my work, I’ve used Agile to ensure rapid, continuous delivery of software, which allows for quicker feedback and adjustments.

With Scrum, I’ve led daily stand-ups to keep the team updated on project progress and address any roadblocks. This iterative approach has significantly improved productivity and efficiency in my projects.”

16. What is your approach to ensuring high code quality and maintainability?

As a computer scientist, the quality and maintainability of your code is a direct reflection of your professional skills and capabilities. Hiring managers want to ensure they’re bringing someone aboard who will contribute clean, efficient, and easily maintainable code. This question also allows them to gauge your understanding of best practices and standards in the field.

Example: “To ensure high code quality and maintainability, I follow a few key principles.

I write clean and readable code by adhering to coding standards and conventions of the language I’m using. This includes proper naming conventions, indentation, and use of comments for clarity.

Testing is another critical aspect. I utilize unit tests to verify individual parts of the code and integration tests to check if different components work well together.

Code reviews are also essential as they provide an opportunity for peers to spot potential errors and suggest improvements.

Lastly, I believe in continuous refactoring. As requirements change or new technologies emerge, it’s important to revisit and update the codebase to keep it relevant and efficient.”

17. Can you discuss a time when you used multithreading or multiprocessing and how it improved your program’s performance?

Asking this question, hiring managers aim to gauge your understanding and practical application of advanced programming concepts such as multithreading or multiprocessing. These are essential for developing efficient, high-performing software. By discussing a specific instance where you used these techniques, you demonstrate your ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world tasks, thereby enhancing software productivity and performance.

Example: “In a recent project, I used multithreading to speed up data processing. The program was designed to analyze large datasets and the initial single-threaded version took hours to complete.

By implementing multithreading, I divided the dataset into smaller chunks that could be processed simultaneously by different threads. This drastically reduced the time needed for analysis as tasks were performed concurrently rather than sequentially.

The result was an improved runtime from several hours down to just minutes, enhancing efficiency and productivity significantly. It also ensured better resource utilization as all cores of the processor were engaged in computation instead of sitting idle.”

18. How have you used data visualization in your work and what tools do you prefer for this purpose?

The question is posed to assess your ability to interpret complex data and present it in a manner that is easily understandable to others. Since data visualization is an essential part of computer science, it’s important for employers to know how adept you are at using various tools and techniques to visually represent data. This can reveal your problem-solving skills, your proficiency with certain software, and your ability to communicate complex ideas.

Example: “In my work, data visualization has been crucial for communicating complex information in an understandable way. I’ve used it to highlight trends, patterns and outliers that might not be immediately apparent from raw data.

My preferred tools are Tableau and PowerBI due to their user-friendly interfaces and powerful capabilities. They allow me to create interactive dashboards which enable stakeholders to explore the data themselves.

For more technical visualizations, I use Python libraries such as Matplotlib and Seaborn. These provide greater flexibility and control over the final output.”

19. Can you describe a time when you had to make a critical decision regarding a software architecture design?

Decisions about software architecture design can drastically impact the success of a project. Hiring managers are keen to understand your decision-making process, especially in high-stake situations. They’re looking for your ability to assess, strategize, and make sound judgments that demonstrate your technical expertise, foresight, and understanding of the project’s requirements and constraints.

Example: “In one project, we were developing a large-scale web application. The decision was between using a monolithic architecture or microservices.

Monolithic would have been easier to deploy and manage but wouldn’t scale well as the user base grew. Microservices offered better scalability and isolation but required more resources for management.

After evaluating our team’s capabilities, project requirements, and long-term goals, I decided on a hybrid approach. We started with a monolithic design for rapid development and later transitioned into microservices as the need for scaling became apparent.

This decision allowed us to meet deadlines while ensuring that the software could handle future growth. It also provided valuable experience in managing both architectural styles.”

20. Describe a project where you had to work with a cross-functional team. How did you ensure effective communication and collaboration?

Cross-functional collaboration is vital in the field of computer science, where projects often require the expertise of individuals from various disciplines. The ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with team members who may have different backgrounds and skill sets is key. This question helps the interviewer gauge your teamwork skills, your ability to communicate technical information to non-technical team members, and your approach to problem-solving within a diverse team.

Example: “In a recent project, I was part of a team developing an AI model for predictive analysis. The team comprised data scientists, software engineers, and business analysts.

To ensure effective communication, we utilized agile methodologies, specifically scrum meetings to discuss progress and roadblocks. This approach fostered transparency and kept everyone updated on the project’s status.

Collaboration was enhanced by using tools like GitHub for code sharing and version control. We also used Slack for real-time communication which facilitated problem-solving discussions.

The result was a successful delivery of the project within the stipulated timeline, demonstrating that clear communication and collaboration are key in cross-functional teams.”

21. What is your experience with database design, and can you provide an example of a complex database system you’ve developed?

The world of computer science is vast and complex, with databases serving as key components in many systems. Understanding this, hiring managers want to gauge your aptitude in designing, implementing, and managing databases. They want to see if you can handle the intricacies of a complex system and how you approach challenges. This question enables them to assess your problem-solving skills, your knowledge of database systems, and your ability to implement them effectively.

Example: “I have extensive experience in database design, with a focus on relational databases. My approach is to understand the data flow and business requirements thoroughly before designing.

A complex system I developed was for a multinational corporation. It involved creating multiple interlinked tables to handle their diverse operations. The challenge was ensuring data integrity while allowing real-time access from different global locations.

The solution was a multi-tier architecture that separated transaction processing, analytical processing, and reporting functions. This ensured high performance and reliability. With this design, the company could make data-driven decisions effectively.”

22. How do you approach software testing and what strategies do you find most effective?

This question is designed to gauge your analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as your familiarity with testing methodologies. In the ever-evolving field of computer science, ensuring the accuracy and functionality of software is a critical task. By asking this, hiring managers want to understand how you identify potential issues, solve problems, and maintain the quality of your work, all of which are vital to the role of a computer scientist.

Example: “In software testing, my approach is to understand the functionality thoroughly before creating a test plan. I prioritize tests based on risk and business impact, focusing first on critical areas.

I find black box testing effective for validating system functionalities against requirements. It helps uncover discrepancies in implementation without needing deep knowledge of the underlying code.

White box testing, on the other hand, allows me to scrutinize internal structures and workings of an application. This is crucial for identifying hidden errors which might not be caught during black box testing.

For ensuring user satisfaction, usability testing is invaluable. It provides insights into how intuitive and user-friendly the software is from an end-user perspective.

Combining these strategies ensures comprehensive coverage, catching potential issues at different layers of the software.”

23. Can you discuss a time when you had to refactor your code for better readability or performance?

Refactoring code is a fundamental part of programming and an integral part of maintaining and improving a system over time. Interviewers want to know if you are capable of this practice. It’s not just about creating code; it’s about making it efficient, easy to understand, and easy to maintain. Through this question, they can get insights into your problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and commitment to quality.

Example: “Sure, during a project at university, I wrote an algorithm for sorting data. Initially, it worked fine but as the dataset grew larger, performance issues arose due to its O(n^2) complexity.

To improve this, I refactored my code using the QuickSort algorithm which has an average time complexity of O(n log n), significantly improving performance with larger datasets.

Moreover, I added comments and renamed variables to make them more descriptive, enhancing readability. This experience taught me the importance of considering scalability and readability from the start.”

24. How have you used artificial intelligence in your projects?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly expanding field and is becoming increasingly important in various areas of computer science. By asking about your experience with AI, hiring managers want to gauge your familiarity with this technology, your ability to apply it to real-world scenarios, and your adaptability as the field continues to evolve. They’re also interested in how you’ve used AI to solve complex problems or improve processes in your previous projects.

Example: “In one of my recent projects, I used AI to develop a predictive model for customer churn. By using machine learning algorithms, we were able to identify key predictors and patterns in customer behavior that indicated potential churn.

This allowed us to proactively address these issues and improve retention rates. The use of AI significantly enhanced our ability to make data-driven decisions and strategies.

In another project, I implemented natural language processing techniques for sentiment analysis on social media data. This provided valuable insights into customer opinions about our products and services, helping us to refine our offerings and marketing approach.”

25. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult bug? How did you resolve it?

As a computer scientist, you’ll be constantly faced with the challenge of identifying and rectifying bugs in code. The ability to tackle these issues and find a solution is a key skill that potential employers look for. They want to see if you have a systematic approach to problem-solving, how you persevere under pressure, and if you can learn and improve from these experiences.

Example: “During a project, we encountered an elusive bug that caused the application to crash intermittently. It was challenging because it didn’t leave any trace in the logs.

I approached this by systematically isolating parts of the code and testing each one until I found the problematic section. The issue turned out to be a race condition due to improper synchronization between threads.

To resolve it, I implemented proper locking mechanisms ensuring thread safety. This experience taught me the importance of careful multithreaded programming and thorough testing.”

26. What is your experience with full-stack development?

Full-stack development is a highly sought-after skill in the field of computer science. It involves working on both the front-end and back-end of a software application or a website, essentially having a hand in all aspects of development. Hiring managers ask this question to gauge your technical breadth, problem-solving abilities, and your understanding of the user experience from start to finish.

Example: “I have over five years of experience in full-stack development. My expertise lies in using JavaScript, Node.js for backend and React.js for frontend development. I’ve also worked extensively with databases like MySQL and MongoDB.

Throughout my career, I’ve developed several web applications from scratch. This involved designing the architecture, writing code, testing, deploying, and maintaining these applications.

Moreover, I’ve collaborated closely with UX/UI designers to ensure a seamless user experience. I am well-versed in agile methodologies and believe in continuously improving my skills to keep up with evolving technologies.”

27. How do you keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies?

In the rapidly evolving field of computer science, staying current is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a must. Employers are keen to hire professionals who are proactive about their learning, and who have strategies in place to ensure they’re always at the forefront of industry advancements. It’s about demonstrating your commitment to continuous improvement and your ability to adapt to new technologies and methodologies.

Example: “Keeping up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies is crucial in computer science. I regularly read relevant publications such as TechCrunch, Wired, and academic journals to stay informed about new developments. Participating in online forums like StackOverflow also provides insights into current challenges and solutions within the field.

Additionally, attending tech conferences and webinars allows me to learn from leading experts and gain firsthand knowledge of emerging technologies. I also take advantage of online courses on platforms like Coursera or Udemy to deepen my understanding of specific topics.

Moreover, I believe in hands-on experience. Therefore, I often experiment with new tools and technologies in personal projects to understand their practical applications better.”

28. Can you discuss a project where you had to use your knowledge of computer networks?

This question is designed to evaluate two main things about you as a candidate. First, it’s to assess your practical knowledge about computer networks. Theoretical knowledge is important, but applying that in real-world scenarios is equally essential. Second, it’s to understand your problem-solving abilities. By asking about a specific project, the interviewer can gauge how you approach challenges, devise solutions, and deliver results.

Example: “In a recent project, I developed a cloud-based application for real-time data analysis. My knowledge of computer networks was vital in ensuring efficient and secure data transfer.

The application needed to receive large amounts of data from various sources simultaneously. I implemented load balancing techniques to distribute network traffic evenly across multiple servers, preventing any single server from becoming overwhelmed.

To ensure security during data transmission, I utilized my understanding of VPNs and encryption protocols. This ensured the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive data as it moved through the network.

Overall, my knowledge of computer networks allowed me to optimize performance and maintain high levels of security throughout the project.”

29. How have you dealt with a situation where you had to handle a large amount of data efficiently?

The efficiency of handling large datasets is at the heart of computer science. It tests your knowledge of algorithms, data structures, and databases, and also your practical skills in applying this knowledge. Potential employers are keen to understand how you’ve applied these skills in past scenarios to gauge your problem-solving abilities and technical prowess.

Example: “In a recent project, I dealt with a dataset of several terabytes. To handle this efficiently, I employed distributed computing using Apache Spark which allowed me to process the data in parallel across multiple nodes.

I also used techniques such as sampling for exploratory data analysis and feature selection to reduce dimensionality. For storage, I leveraged columnar databases like Apache Parquet that provide efficient compression and improved query performance.

These strategies significantly reduced processing time and made handling large datasets manageable.”

30. Can you describe a time when you had to make a significant technical presentation to non-technical stakeholders? How did you ensure they understood the key points?

As a computer scientist, you aren’t just working in isolation. You’re often part of a larger team, and that team can include people who aren’t as technically savvy as you. The ability to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders is a critical skill. It ensures that everyone on the team—regardless of their background—understands the work being done, why it’s being done, and what it’s expected to achieve. This is why interviewers ask this question.

Example: “In a past project, we developed an AI-based predictive model for customer behavior. I was tasked with presenting our findings to the marketing team.

I started by identifying the key points they needed to understand: how the model works and its benefits. To explain these complex concepts, I used simple analogies related to their field, like comparing the algorithm’s learning process to A/B testing strategies in marketing.

To ensure understanding, I encouraged questions throughout the presentation and provided real-world examples of how this technology could enhance their work. The feedback was positive; they appreciated the clear explanation and practical applications.”

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Computer science interview questions and answers.

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Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Prepbytes

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

The field of computer science is a dynamic and exciting realm, and landing a job or internship in this field often involves rigorous interviews. To help you navigate these interviews with confidence, we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 computer science interview questions you’re likely to encounter.

Top 15 Computer Science Interview Questions and Answers

Below are some of the questions related to Computer Science Interview Questions and Answers:

1. What is the difference between a compiler and an interpreter? A compiler translates the entire source code into machine code before execution, generating an executable file. In contrast, an interpreter executes the source code line by line, translating and executing it simultaneously.

2. Explain the concept of time complexity. Time complexity is a measure of the amount of time an algorithm takes to run as a function of the input size. It helps us analyze and compare the efficiency of different algorithms.

3. What is the significance of Big O notation in algorithm analysis? Big O notation provides an upper bound on the time complexity of an algorithm in the worst-case scenario. It helps assess how an algorithm’s performance scales with input size.

4. Can you differentiate between a linked list and an array? A linked list is a data structure where elements are stored in nodes, connected by pointers. An array is a fixed-size data structure that stores elements in contiguous memory locations.

5. What is the purpose of a hash table? A hash table is used for efficient data retrieval and storage. It maps keys to values, allowing for constant-time average complexity for operations like insertion, deletion, and retrieval.

6. Explain the difference between breadth-first search (BFS) and depth-first search (DFS). BFS explores all neighbors of a node before moving to the next level, making it suitable for finding the shortest path. DFS explores as far down a branch as possible before backtracking.

7. What is object-oriented programming (OOP)? OOP is a programming paradigm that uses objects and classes to organize and structure code. It emphasizes concepts like encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism.

8. Describe the purpose of a constructor in object-oriented programming. A constructor is a special method used to initialize objects when they are created. It assigns initial values to object attributes and prepares the object for use.

9. Can you differentiate between SQL and NoSQL databases? SQL databases are relational and use structured query language for data manipulation. NoSQL databases are non-relational and support flexible data models, making them suitable for unstructured or semi-structured data.

10. Explain the concept of multithreading in the context of programming. Multithreading allows a program to execute multiple threads (smaller units of a process) concurrently, enabling better resource utilization and improved responsiveness.

11. What is a binary search algorithm, and when is it most useful? A binary search algorithm is used to find an element in a sorted list by repeatedly dividing the search interval in half. It is highly efficient and most useful for large, sorted datasets.

12. What is a stack and a queue in data structures? A stack is a linear data structure that follows the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle, while a queue follows the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) principle. Stacks are used for tasks like function call tracking, and queues are used for managing tasks in a sequential manner.

13. Can you explain the concept of recursion in programming? Recursion is a technique where a function calls itself to solve a smaller instance of the same problem. It is often used for tasks like factorial calculation or traversing tree structures.

14. What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is unsecured and transmits data in plain text, while HTTPS (HTTP Secure) encrypts data using SSL/TLS, ensuring secure data transmission over the internet.

15. What is the significance of version control systems like Git? Version control systems like Git track changes in code, allowing multiple developers to collaborate, manage revisions, and ensure code integrity. They are essential for software development projects.

Conclusion In the world of computer science, interviews serve as the gateways to promising careers and opportunities for professionals and newcomers alike. These top 15 computer science interview questions and answers provide a strong foundation for acing technical interviews and demonstrating your knowledge, problem-solving skills, and passion for the field.

As you prepare for your computer science interview, remember to practice not just memorization but a deep understanding of the concepts and principles behind the answers. The ability to communicate effectively and think critically is often as important as getting the right answer.

FAQs related to the Computer Science Interview Questions and Answers:

let’s explore some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to computer science interviews:

1. How can I prepare for a computer science interview effectively? Start by reviewing fundamental computer science concepts, data structures, algorithms, and programming languages. Practice problem-solving and coding challenges, and consider mock interviews or coding competitions.

2. What are behavioral questions, and why are they important in computer science interviews? Behavioral questions assess your soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving abilities. They help interviewers gauge your fit within the organization and your capacity to work effectively with others.

3. Should I focus solely on technical questions during my computer science interview preparation? While technical questions are crucial, don’t neglect behavioral and situational questions. A well-rounded approach that addresses both technical and interpersonal aspects will make you a stronger candidate.

4. How can I stay calm and confident during a technical interview? Practice is key. Solve a variety of problems, both alone and under time constraints. Additionally, understand that interviews are a two-way street; it’s a chance for you to assess the company culture and your fit within it.

5. What if I don’t know the answer to a technical question during the interview? Don’t panic. Explain your thought process, ask clarifying questions, and try to make educated guesses. Interviewers often value problem-solving skills and adaptability more than an immediate correct answer.

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100+ Coding Interview Questions for Programmers and Software Engineers in 2024

Solve these frequently asked coding problems to do well on your next programming job interviews..


Coding Interviews are such an important thing in a programmer’s life that he just can’t get away with that. It’s the first hurdle they need to cross to get the software developer job they wish throughout their school and college days.

To make the matter worse, you will find that so many people on the internet telling that coding interview is flawed, the hiring process for programmers sucks, and so on but you don’t need to pay attention to them, not at least at the start of your career.

They may be right but they are inside the train which you are trying to get into. No matter, how much they criticize the coding interviews and programmers hiring process, many of them have gone through the same route to where they are.

We all know that Coding Interview System is not perfect and many are trying to change it but until it's changed, you got to follow its rules to get into the System. This is something for experience developers to deal with, as a junior developer your priority should be to clear the coding interview and get the job you want.

As an author of a Java blog and a Medium publication , I receive a lot of queries related to coding problems and how to deal with them and that’s why I keep writing articles like this which have helped a lot of programmers directly and in-directly in their career.

In this article, I am going to share with you the top 100 coding interview problems from programming job interviews which every programmer should know.

What to prepare for Coding Interviews?

Now that, I have cleared the confusion that Coding interviews is important and you should not distract, let’s get into real work. The big question is what to prepare for Coding interviews?

Well, the most important thing to prepare is Data Structure-based coding problems like array-based coding problems, string problems, linked list problems, binary tree problems, etc.

Apart from data structure-based questions, most of the programming job interviews also ask algorithm, design, bit manipulation, and general logic-based questions, which I’ll describe in this section.

It’s important that you practice these concepts because sometimes they become tricky to solve in the actual interview. Having practiced them before not only makes you familiar with them but also gives you more confidence in explaining the solution to the interviewer.

One of the main problems with coding problems is that there are hundreds and thousands of coding problems on interviews, there are even sites like LeetCode , HackerRank , Codewars , Topcoder , freeCodeCamp , HackerEarth which train programmers for coding interviews with lots of tough questions, which sometimes just overwhelms a beginner looking for a job.

I believe in simplicity and the 10% of effort which produce 90% of results and that’s why I have collected top 100 coding problems which are not too tough and also frequently asked on real interviews.

Solving these problems not only gives you confidence but also helps you to recognize some of the most common algorithmic patterns which will also help you to solve some unseen problems in real interviews.

Best Resources for Coding Interviews

The selection of good resources is very important for success in your coding interviews. If you chose the wrong resource then more than money, you will lose the valuable time you need for preparation, hence spending some time researching for a good resource.

If you need recommendations, the following are some of my the tried and tested resources to learn Data Structure and Algorithms in-depth for coding interviews:

  • Data Structures and Algorithms: Deep Dive Using Java for Java developers. Learn about Arrays, Linked Lists, Trees, Hashtables, Stacks, Queues, Heaps, Sort algorithms, and Search algorithms

Data Structures and Algorithms: Deep Dive Using Java

So you've worked with the basics of data structures and algorithms in java (or another oo programming language) but….

  • Algorithms and Data Structures in Python for those who love Python A guide to implementing the most up to date algorithms from scratch: arrays, linked lists, graph algorithms, and sorting

Algorithms and Data Structures in Python

This course is about data structures and algorithms. we are going to implement the problems in python. i highly….

  • JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Masterclass by Colt_Steele for JavaScript programmers. The Missing Computer Science and Coding Interview Bootcamp. Learn everything you need to ace difficult coding interviews.

JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Masterclass

This course crams months of computer science and interview prep material into 20 hours of video. the content is based….

  • Mastering Data Structures & Algorithms using C and C++ for those who are good at C/C++
  • Data Structures in Java: An Interview Refresher by The Educative Team to refresh important Data Structure and algorithms concepts in Java. This course contains a detailed review of all the common data structures and provides implementation-level details in Java to allow readers to become well equipped.
  • Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions by Fahim ul Haq and The Educative Team This is like the meta course for coding interviews, which will not teach you how to solve a coding problem but, instead, teach you how to solve a particular type of coding problem using patterns. Master these 15 underlying patterns to interview questions, and you’ll be able to tackle anything you face on the interview

Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions

Coding interviews are getting harder every day. a few years back, brushing up on key data structures and going through….

System Design is another topic which is quite important for coding interviews and when it comes to System design , there are not many places where you can learn System design concepts and architecture in depth, but ByteByteGo is exceptional.

ByteByteGo | Ace Your Next System Design Interview

Everything you need to take your system design skill to the next level.

It’s one of those sites where I have learned a lot. They explain many key System design concept like Microservices , load balancing, caching, Algorithms like CAP theorem and how to design a particular system with easily digestible diagram. It’s created by Alex Xu, author of System Design Interview — An insider’s guide , one of the best System Design book , and I highly recommend this to everyone preparing for coding interviews.

System Design Interview - An insider's guide

Buy system design interview - an insider's guide on ✓ free shipping on qualified orders.

And, if you prefer books, there is no better than the Cracking The Coding Interview , by Gayle Laakmann McDowell which presents 189+ Programming questions and solutions. A good book to prepare for programming job interviews in a short time. Btw, I will also earn some money if you buy any of these resources mentioned here.

5 Best Tips to Crack Coding Interviews in 2023

Here are a few of my practical tips to crack your next coding interview. These are hard-earned and I learned from my own mistakes and experience.

  • There is no better way to do well in Coding interviews than practicing as many coding problems as possible. This will not only train your mind to recognize algorithmic patterns in problems but also give you the much-needed confidence to solve problems you have never seen before.
  • My second tips are to learn about as many data structure and algorithms as possible. This is an extension of the previous tip but it also involves reading and not just practicing. For example, If you know about the hash table you can also many array and counter-based problems easily. The same is true for trees and graphs.
  • Choosing the right data structure is a very important part of software development and coding interview and unless and until you know them, you won’t be able to choose.
  • Time yourself — candidates who solve interview problems within the time limit and quickly are more likely to do well in the interview so you should also time yourself.
  • Think of edge cases and run your code through them. Some good edge cases might be the empty input, some weird input, or some really large input to test the boundary conditions and limits.
  • After solving the problem, try explaining it to a friend or colleague how is also interested in coding problems. This will tell you whether you have really understood the problem or not. If you can explain easily means you understood . Also, the discussion makes your mind work and you could come up with an alternative solution and be able to find some flaws in your existing algorithms.
  • Another useful tip to excel in Coding interviews is to appear in the coding interview and lots of them. You will find yourself getting better after every interview and this also helps you to get multiple offers which further allows you to better negotiate and get those extra 30K to 50K which you generally leave on a table if you just have one offer in hand.
  • Btw, If you are ready for Coding Interview then you can also take TripleByte’s quiz and go directly to the final round of interviews with top tech companies like Coursera , Adobe Acrobat , Dropbox , Grammarly , Uber , Quora , Evernote , Twitch , and many more. I didn’t know about Triplebyte before, but they are providing a great service to job seekers. A big thanks to them.

Triplebyte: Software Engineer Job Search

Take a quiz. get offers from multiple top tech companies at once..

Top 100 Coding Problems from Programming Job interviews

Without wasting any more of your time, here is my list of 100 frequently asked coding problems from programming job interviews. In order to get most of this list, I suggest actually solving the problem.

Do it yourself, no matter whether you are stuck because that’s the only way to learn. After solving a couple of problems you will gain confidence.

I also suggest you look at the solution when you are stuck or after you have solved the problem, this way you learn to compare different solutions and how to approach a problem from a different angle.

  • How is a bubble sort algorithm implemented? ( solution )
  • How is a merge sort algorithm implemented? ( solution )
  • How do you count the occurrence of a given character in a string? ( solution )
  • How do you print the first non-repeated character from a string? ( solution )
  • How do you convert a given String into int like the atoi() ? ( solution )
  • How do you implement a bucket sort algorithm? ( solution )
  • How do you implement a counting sort algorithm? ( solution )
  • How do you remove duplicates from an array in place? ( solution )
  • How do you reverse an array in place in Java? ( solution )
  • How are duplicates removed from an array without using any library? ( solution )
  • How is a radix sort algorithm implemented? ( solution )
  • How do you swap two numbers without using the third variable? ( solution )
  • How do you check if two rectangles overlap with each other? ( solution )
  • How do you design a vending machine? ( solution )
  • How do you find the missing number in a given integer array of 1 to 100? ( solution )
  • How do you find the duplicate number on a given integer array? ( solution )
  • How do you find duplicate numbers in an array if it contains multiple duplicates? ( solution )
  • Difference between a stable and unstable sorting algorithm? ( answer )
  • How is an iterative quicksort algorithm implemented? ( solution )
  • How do you find the largest and smallest number in an unsorted integer array? ( solution )
  • How do you reverse a linked list in place? (solution)
  • How to add an element at the middle of the linked list? (solution)
  • How do you sort a linked list in Java? ( solution )
  • How do you find all pairs of an integer array whose sum is equal to a given number? ( solution )
  • How do you implement an insertion sort algorithm? ( solution )
  • How are duplicates removed from a given array in Java? ( solution )
  • how to remove the duplicate character from String? ( solution )
  • How to find the maximum occurring character in a given String? ( solution )
  • How is an integer array sorted in place using the quicksort algorithm? ( solution )
  • How do you reverse a given string in place? ( solution )
  • How do you print duplicate characters from a string? ( solution )
  • How do you check if two strings are anagrams of each other? ( solution )
  • How do you find all the permutations of a string? ( solution )
  • How can a given string be reversed using recursion? ( solution )
  • How do you check if a given string is a palindrome? ( solution )
  • How do you find the length of the longest substring without repeating characters? (solution)
  • Given string str, How do you find the longest palindromic substring in str? (solution)
  • How do you check if a string contains only digits? ( solution )
  • How to remove Nth Node from the end of a linked list? ( solution )
  • How to merge two sorted linked lists? (solution)
  • How to convert a sorted list to a binary search tree? ( solution )
  • How do you find duplicate characters in a given string? ( solution )
  • How do you count the number of vowels and consonants in a given string? ( solution )
  • How do you reverse words in a given sentence without using any library method? ( solution )
  • How do you check if two strings are a rotation of each other? ( solution )
  • How to convert a byte array to String? ( solution )
  • How do you remove a given character from String? ( solution )
  • How do you find the middle element of a singly linked list in one pass? ( solution )
  • How do you check if a given linked list contains a cycle? How do you find the starting node of the cycle? ( solution )
  • How do you reverse a linked list? ( solution )
  • How do you reverse a singly linked list without recursion? ( solution )
  • How are duplicate nodes removed in an unsorted linked list? ( solution )
  • How do you find the length of a singly linked list? ( solution )
  • How do you find the third node from the end in a singly linked list? ( solution )
  • How do you find the sum of two linked lists using Stack? ( solution )
  • What is the difference between array and linked list? ( answer )
  • How to remove duplicates from a sorted linked list? ( solution )
  • How to find the node at which the intersection of two singly linked lists begins. ( solution )
  • Given a linked list and a value x , partition it such that all nodes less than x come before nodes greater than or equal to x . ( solution )
  • How to check if a given linked list is a palindrome? (solution)
  • How to remove all elements from a linked list of integers which matches with given value? (solution)
  • How is a binary search tree implemented? ( solution )
  • How do you perform preorder traversal in a given binary tree? ( solution )
  • How do you traverse a given binary tree in preorder without recursion? ( solution )
  • How do you perform an inorder traversal in a given binary tree? ( solution )
  • How do you print all nodes of a given binary tree using inorder traversal without recursion? ( solution )
  • How do you implement a postorder traversal algorithm? ( solution )
  • How do you traverse a binary tree in postorder traversal without recursion? ( solution )
  • How are all leaves of a binary search tree printed? ( solution )
  • How do you count a number of leaf nodes in a given binary tree? ( solution )
  • How do you perform a binary search in a given array? ( solution )
  • How to Swap two numbers without using the third variable? ( solution )
  • How to check if two rectangles overlap with each other? ( solution )
  • How to design a Vending Machine? ( solution )
  • How to implement an LRU Cache in your favorite programming language? ( solution )
  • How to check if a given number is a Palindrome? ( solution )
  • How to check if a given number is an Armstrong number? ( solution )
  • How to find all prime factors of a given number? ( solution )
  • How to check if a given number is positive or negative in Java? ( solution )
  • How to find the largest prime factor of a given integral number? ( solution )
  • How to print all prime numbers up to a given number? ( solution )
  • How to print Floyd’s triangle? ( solution )
  • How to print Pascal’s triangle? ( solution )
  • How to calculate the square root of a given number? ( solution )
  • How to check if the given number is a prime number? ( solution )
  • How to add two numbers without using the plus operator in Java? ( solution )
  • How to check if a given number is even/odd without using the Arithmetic operator? ( solution )
  • How to print a given Pyramid structure? ( solution )
  • How to find the highest repeating world from a given file in Java? ( solution )
  • How to reverse a given Integer in Java? ( solution )
  • How to convert a decimal number to binary in Java? ( solution )
  • How to check if a given year is a leap year in Java? ( solution )
  • Can you implement a Binary search Algorithm without recursion? ( solution )
  • What is Depth First Search Algorithm for a binary tree? (solution)
  • What is the difference between Comparison and Non-Comparison Sorting Algorithms? ( answer )
  • How do implement Sieve of Eratosthenes Algorithms for Prime Number? ( solution )

These many questions should be enough but If you need more such coding questions you can take help from books like Cracking The Code Interview , by Gayle Laakmann McDowell which presents 189+ Programming questions and solutions. A good book to prepare for programming job interviews in a short time.

Now You’re Ready for the Coding Interview

These are some of the most common questions outside of data structure and algorithms that help you to do really well in your interview.

I have also shared a lot of these questions on my blog , so if you are really interested, you can always go there and search for them.

These common coding, data structure, and algorithm questions are the ones you need to know to successfully interview any company, big or small, for any level of programming job.

This list provides good topics to prepare and also helps assess your preparation to find out your areas of strength and weakness.

Good knowledge of data structure and algorithms is important for success in coding interviews and that’s where you should focus most of your attention.

Further Learning Data Structures and Algorithms: Deep Dive Using Java 10 Books to Prepare Technical Programming/Coding Job Interviews 10 Algorithm Books Every Programmer Should Read Top 5 Data Structure and Algorithm Books for Java Developers From 0 to 1: Data Structures & Algorithms in Java Data Structure and Algorithms Analysis — Job Interview 20+ String based coding problems from interviews 20+ linked list problems from interviews 20+ basic algorithms based problems from interviews ByteByteGo for System Design and Architecture

And, if you like to watch videos, here are videos where you will data structure and algorithms courses and tutorials:

and here are free DSA tutorials

Closing Notes

Thanks, You made it to the end of the article … Good luck with your programming interview! It’s certainly not going to be easy, but by following these searching and sorting algorithm questions, you are one step closer than others.

By the way, the more questions you solve in practice, the better your preparation will be.

So, if you think 100 coding problems are not enough and you need more, then check out these additional 50 programming questions for telephone interviews and these books and courses for more thorough preparation.

All the best for your coding interview.

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Computer Science Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Computer Science interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Computer Science was updated by William Swansen on October 29th, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What has been the biggest mistake you have made when delegating work? The biggest success?

How to Answer

Answer example.

Delegation is a key skill any worker needs to possess. It is even more important for managers and supervisors. Talking about what you've learned from your mistakes and successes while delegating a task will demonstrate your growth potential. When discussing a mistake, make sure you talk about what you learned from it and what you will avoid doing in the future.

"My biggest success when delegating work was assigning an inexperienced coder the job of creating code for a complex task. I knew this was a stretch for them, but I also knew that it would help them develop new skills if they were successful. I assigned one of the more experienced coders to work with them. The individual was able to complete the task and learn some new coding skills along the way. Ironically, a similar situation was my biggest failure. I tried to do the same thing with another new coder, and they could not complete the code. The difference between these two situations was that I did not assign a mentor, so the individual had to work on their own in the latter. Not only did they fail in developing the code, but they became discouraged and quickly left the company for another job. What I learned from this was that I need to make sure my staff have a coach or manager who can help them be successful when I assign stretch goals to them."

Next Question

25 Computer Science Interview Questions & Answers

Below is a list of our Computer Science interview questions. Click on any interview question to view our answer advice and answer examples. You may view 15 answer examples before our paywall loads. Afterwards, you'll be asked to upgrade to view the rest of our answers.

1. What has been the biggest mistake you have made when delegating work? The biggest success?

Written by William Swansen on October 29th, 2020

2. What is a process and a thread, and how are they used in your profession?

This technical question asks you to define and compare two very similar terms. Knowing the answer to questions like this will demonstrate your qualifications as a computer scientist. It is highly recommended that you review the terms, technologies, concepts, and processes used in your job before attending an interview. Interviewers are likely to ask about all of these.

"A process and a thread are very similar in concept. In the execution of a program, both define the sequences and code a program executes. The difference between a process and a thread is that a thread is a segment of a process. Processes can have several different threads which define how the program executes. Another difference is that processes will take longer to terminate than individual threads. Finally, threads can share memory while processes can't."

Anonymous Interview Answers with Professional Feedback

Anonymous Answer

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

Marcie's Feedback

3. What are the most popular operating systems, and how experienced are you at working with them?

Even though you may only use one computer operating system in your work as a computer scientist, you should be familiar with all of the operating systems available in the industry. This will demonstrate your adaptability and your ability to move between operating systems as required. Organizations will continually adopt new technologies that better meet their computing needs. These can include new processers, operating systems, and programming languages. Being able to switch between these will increase your value as a computer scientist and help you advance your career in the field.

"The most popular operating systems in today's IT industry include Microsoft Windows, OSX, and Linux. I've worked with each of these in previous positions and am very familiar with all of them. I also know how to recompile code so that it can work with the different operating systems. I've done a lot of work adapting internal programs in order for them to have a similar look and feel despite the individual operating systems' nuances. I have also created reactive applications that work on both desktop and laptop computers and that also adapt to the interfaces of mobile devices."

4. Describe what a chipset is.

Throughout an interview for a position in the field of computer science, you will be asked a great many technical questions. Remember that technical questions ask you to define a term, process, or concept and discuss how it is used in your work. Technical questions can range from very basic to extremely difficult. Typically, an interviewer will start with basic questions that are easy to answer. As the interview progresses, the subjects of the questions will become more difficult and specific. Continue to answer the questions briefly and to the point.

"The chipset is a collection of integrated circuits used to help the computer communicate with its various components. Chipsets are individual processers that perform specific functions. These include the CPU, a graphics chip, memory, and other chips that control other devices that interface with a computer. Chipsets can control items such as keyboards and mice, USB drives, and audio input and output devices."

5. What is an interface in the context of its use in Java?

The terminology used in the computer science profession can have different meanings depending on the context i which it is used. This question is an example of this. In normal computer language, interface is the connection between the computer hardware and the operator. However, this question asks you to define interface as it is used within the context of a programming language. Knowing these nuances and answering the question appropriately will help demonstrate your qualifications for this position.

"Within the context of Java, interface is a reference type. This is similar to classes that are used in other programming languages. However, the one difference is that within Java, interface also includes abstract methods."

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

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6. What are the most commonly used processors in modern computers?

Employers expect job candidates to be up-to-date on current trends in technology used in the computer science profession. You should be able to name the current processors used as well as the latest versions of operating systems, popular software applications, and other technology that has been recently released from manufacturers. Research the company or organization prior to your interview to determine what technology they use. When providing examples of current technology, you should reference the same technology you discovered in your research.

Written by William Swansen on November 4th, 2020

"The most popular processors in use in today's computers are from Intel and AMD. The latest releases from Intel include the Core i5, the Core i7, and the Core i9. AMD's most recent processors are the Ryzen 5 and 7."

7. What are the differences between primary and secondary memory?

This technical question is meant to determine your knowledge of the subject and how you use it to perform your job. The best way to prepare for an interview as a computer scientist is to thoroughly understand your profession's technical terms. You should be able to identify, define, and talk about how these items are used. Describing unique uses and innovative ways to employ the concepts will distinguish you from other candidates.

"Primary memory is the main memory used by the CPU in a computer. It consists of ROM and RAM and is stored on integrated circuit chips. Secondary memory refers to storage that is external to the computer's motherboard. Examples of secondary memory include hard drives, DVDs, USB memory sticks, and other devices where memory is stored externally and can be removed from the computer if necessary."

8. What is multiple inheritance? Can you discuss its advantages and disadvantages?

This is a challenging and complex technical question. As the interview progresses, the questions will become more difficult and detailed. This indicates that the hiring manager is gaining confidence in your qualifications and is willing to explore your background in more depth. Continue to answer these questions just as you did the easier ones, briefly and to the point. Also, anticipate follow-up questions.

"Multiple inheritances refer to classes. Specifically, a situation where one of the classes inherits arguments from multiple super-classes. The advantage is that this type of class can inherit more than one class's functionality and, therefore, can be more flexible. The disadvantage is that using more than one super-class may create arguments that conflict with each other due to them both using the same descriptors."

9. Please describe the difference between C and C++ and in which language you prefer to code.

This is a hybrid technical and operational question. It starts by asking you to discuss two types of programming languages and then asks which one you use in your work. Interviewers can create any type of question they want to while attempting to collect the information they need to make a hiring decision. There are no hard and fast rules for interview questions. However, identifying the types of questions will help you understand what the interviewer is seeking to learn and how you can format your response to their question.

"C is based on a very structured programming protocol, while C++ is an object-oriented programming language. Since C++ is easier to use and more flexible, I prefer programming in this language. Fortunately, code written in C can be recompiled to work with C++ programs."

10. Please discuss default constructors and conversion constructors.

This is a technical question which requires that you talk about two tools used in your profession. Technical questions are best answered directly and succinctly. You should be prepared for follow-up questions. The best way to prepare for an interview that involves technical questions is to review the terms, processes, and operations used in your profession before the interview. It is also good to research the company to understand the technology that it uses to be prepared to answer questions about it.

"A default constructor will either have no arguments or, if it does have arguments, they will be the default values. On the other hand, a conversion constructor can accept an argument that is different from the default. It uses the argument to create conversion rules for a class."

11. Can you describe what a class and a super-class are and how they differ?

This is a technical question. Technical questions ask you to define a term and then describe how you use it in this job. Like operational questions, technical questions are best answered briefly and directly. You should anticipate follow-up questions when providing your answer.

"A class is used to define the characteristics of an object used in programming. A class will inherit the state and behavior from all its ancestors, which are the classes that preceded it. A super-class refers to the class's direct ancestor or the class that just preceded it as well as all the classes that follow it."

12. What programming languages do you prefer to work with? Why?

This is an example of an operational question. Operational questions help the interviewer understand how you go about doing your job. While interviewing for a role as a computer scientist, you can expect a wide range of question types, including behavioral, situational, technical, and operational. Operational questions are best answered briefly and directly. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need additional information.

"While I am adept at several different programming languages, the one I prefer the most is Python. This is because it's easy to learn and has a great many libraries I can leverage. This helps to reduce the time it takes to code and enables me to be more creative and efficient."

13. What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give an example.

No one likes to be interrupted when they are working, but it happens. The key is managing the interruptions and succeeding in staying on task in order to complete your work on time. Since the question asks for a specific example, you should have a story prepared and integrate it into your answer to this question.

"While I don't like interruptions, I do know they happen. My strategy is to pause my work and manage the interruption as effectively and efficiently as possible. If I can't resolve the issue immediately, I commit to doing it later so I can get back to my immediate task. A good example of this was when I was writing a piece of code that demanded a great deal of concentration. I was interrupted several times an hour by my team to help resolve minor, unimportant issues. I pulled the team together, let them know that I needed to focus for at least four hours and that I would address their concerns after that. I also assigned one of my supervisors to be their point of contact for any concerns that couldn't wait."

14. Why do you want to work for our software company?

This is a typical question you will likely receive early in the interview. By the time you've been invited to the interview, the organization has already verified your qualifications for the position. The interview is meant to confirm these qualifications and discover how well you will fit into their company. Organizations prefer people who are passionate about both the work they do and the companies for which they work. Your answer to this should support both of these.

"When searching for opportunities where I could apply my computer science background, your company kept rising to the top of the list. I admire the work you do and your leadership in this industry. I have spoken to several current and former employees. They are very enthusiastic about the work environment, the flexibility they have to explore new ideas, and the collaborative and diverse work culture your organization promotes. I would be honored to become part of your company and to contribute to your ongoing success."

15. What would your goals be as a computer scientist working for our company?

Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are both qualified for the job and willing to take initiative. When preparing for an interview, you should understand the company's business objectives and challenges. You should then formulate a plan to resolve these and be ready to discuss it during the interview. The interviewer will not fault you if your plan is not perfect or even something they are thinking about. The point is to have a plan and be able to communicate it effectively.

"Based on the research I've done, I noted that your company has been challenged with a shrinking customer base and lower demand for your products. One reason behind this is that you may not have a clear understanding of your customer preferences or the type of products they are planning to purchase. If hired as a computer scientist, I propose a revamping of your customer resource management system so that your salesforce can effectively interface with the customers. They could recommend new products that would align with the customer's needs, discover opportunities for product upgrades, and recommend products related to those they had already purchased. This would help you with customer retention as well as increase your revenues."

16. Tell me about something you are proud of regarding creating a new function or model in your coding.

This question is asking you to brag about something. Most people are very humble and find it difficult to promote themselves or talk about their significant achievements. You need to overcome this tendency during an interview. There's nobody else in the room who will speak on your behalf, so you have to do it. When answering this question, you should identify a function or model in the coding that aligns with the role for which you are interviewing. The research you conduct before the interview will help you accomplish this.

"The function I am most proud of in my coding is a voice recognition module in a network management dashboard. It allows the systems administrators to make requests for information in the dashboard hands-free. This comes in handy when they are away from the computer terminal or are actively working on the network and have tools or measuring equipment in their hands."

17. Have you come across a problem that you could not solve? How did you handle the problem?

Your initial reaction to this question might be to state that you have never come across a problem you couldn't solve. However, this would make you unbelievably unique. Everyone has encountered a situation they couldn't resolve, at least by themselves. Being able to describe a problem, including how you came to solve it, will demonstrate humility, honesty, and innovation. This is the type of question you should anticipate, so have an example ready.

"It is rare, but I do occasionally come across a problem that I can't solve by myself. A good example of this was a recent project in which we were updating our network infrastructure. One router within the network wasn't responding, and my team and I could not identify it. We sought assistance from the network support team that had an analytics tool we were not familiar with. In a matter of minutes, they had identified and repaired the misbehaving router. When I encounter difficult situations, I don't hesitate to seek outside assistance from people who are better qualified to handle a specific issue than I am."

18. Who has been the greatest influence on you thus far in your career as a computer scientist?

This is a general question an interviewer might ask to better understand you as a person. In addition to being qualified for the job, they are interested in whether you will fit into their organization and contribute to its culture. Identifying who has had a great influence on you tells a lot about you and gives them insight into your background as a computer scientist.

"The person who has had the greatest influence on me thus far is Elon Musk. I admire his innovative thinking and the way that he can inspire others to achieve their best. His outlandish ideas make sense once he describes why he thinks they can be achieved and what it will take to accomplish them. I try to apply his philosophy and innovative thinking in my work."

19. How do you stay current on new programming updates and techniques?

The computer industry moves at a rapid pace. Updates occur daily, and staying on top of them is a real challenge. You should have a specific plan to keep yourself abreast of any changes in the market and be able to describe this to the interviewer.

"One of the things I pride myself on is being current on the developments occurring in the programming space. I do this by taking time out of my day to read industry publications and follow the most popular bloggers. I also attend regular seminars, user group meetings, and other industry events, and I go to national conventions at least twice a year. Additionally, I spend a lot of time with hardware and software vendors as well as my peers in the industry, discussing what is new on the market."

20. Tell me about a time when you did something completely different from the plan. Why did you go that route?

This is a behavioral question. Behavioral questions ask you to tell a story about an incident in the past and how you reacted. Interviewers will ask behavioral questions to gauge how you will react to similar situations in the future. Behavioral questions are best answered using the STAR framework. You state the Situation, describe the Task you had to complete, talk about the Actions you took, and then discuss the Results you achieved.

"In my last job, I was asked to help design and implement a new customer resource management system. Management recommended we work with the premier vendor in this space and expected us to complete the project within three weeks. I was aware of a new product that had come to the market and took a chance with it. We were able to design and implement the CRM within two weeks, and the features and performance exceeded the specifications with which we were originally working. Management initially reacted negatively when I had not selecting their vendor. However, after viewing the system and seeing it perform, they were happy with the results."

21. Tell me about a situation in which attention to detail was particularly important when accomplishing an assigned task.

Attention to detail is important in any job, but especially in the role of a computer scientist. Missing important details could result in software not functioning properly or processes not producing the intended results. This is in the form of a behavioral question, so you should use the STAR framework when you respond. Keep your answer positive, demonstrate the results of paying attention to the details, and emphasize the outcome.

"One of the skills I've developed while preparing for this role is paying attention to details. During a recent project, this came in handy. We were integrating a new software package into the company's HR Department. During the installation, I noted that an important field was left out of a form that was critical to the department's operations. If this had gone unchecked, it would have resulted in the HR Department having to reconstruct thousands of records. Fortunately, we were able to address this early and avoid any rework. This helped the company avoid significant costs, prevented delays in the software implementation, and resulted in a much more functional HR process. It also emphasized the need to pay attention to detail in everything I do."

22. When is the last time you had a disagreement with a peer? How did you resolve the situation?

This is a behavioral question. Behavioral questions seek to understand how you would act in a specific situation. These types of questions are best answered using the STAR framework. You state the Situation, describe the Task you are trying to achieve, talk about the Actions you took, and then discuss the Results you achieved. Make sure you emphasize the results and share that they are similar to what you will be expected to accomplish in this role.

"While it is rare, I do occasionally have disagreements with my coworkers. An example of this is when one of my peers thought we should use a different manufacturer's collaboration tool. My concern was that the tool had not been properly vetted and may not interface with the company's current software products. When it became clear that we would not be able to reach an agreement, I suggested that we meet with our manager to put forth our recommendations. He agreed, and we had a meeting shortly after that. The manager felt both recommendations were valid but chose to go with my coworker's. This turned out to be the right choice. What I learned from this was that I need to keep an open mind and that when I reach an impasse with a coworker, it is the role of the manager to intervene and resolve it."

23. Give me an example of when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty to get a job done.

Employers are always looking for candidates who are willing to go above and beyond their job description to accomplish tasks that are not their primary responsibility. Demonstrating that you have done this in the past will help set you apart from other candidates and show the interviewer that you are a team player. Make sure you pick an example aligned with the type of work you will be doing in this role.

"I am always looking for opportunities that allow me to do more than what is expected. This contributes to the company's success and also allows me to advance within the organization. In my last job, I noticed that one of my coworkers was struggling to complete a project on time. I offered to assist them and suggested that we schedule some time in the evening to focus on the project. We spent two weeks collaborating and were able to finish the project early with the outcomes exceeding the management team's expectations. I firmly believe this was one of the reasons I was promoted to a supervisory position."

24. Tell us about a time when you were particularly effective in prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.

This is an example of an operational question. Operational questions help the interviewer understand how you go about doing your job and what you have achieved in prior positions. They want to ensure that you are capable of doing the job and that your achievements mirror the work you will be doing at their company. Again, the research you conducted before the interview will help you select the achievements that best demonstrate your qualifications for this role.

"In my most recent job, I was tasked with analyzing the company's operations and creating a dashboard which would allow managers to quickly understand how the company was doing and what - if any - changes needed to be made to make the manufacturing process more efficient. I succeeded by first analyzing their current operations and noting the company's software applications used to manage their processes. I then worked with a vendor to integrate the software into a single reporting structure that could be viewed through a consolidated dashboard. This helped the managers to quickly see how they were doing and to make adjustments in real-time. This resulted in efficiencies increasing by 20% and lead-times decreasing by 5%."

25. What do you know about us?

Hiring managers expect you to arrive at the interview knowing a great deal about the position, the company, their industry, achievements, and challenges. These are the things that they will likely ask about during the interview to ensure that you can contribute to their operational and business objectives. Conducting thorough research before the interview is critical to being able to answer these types of questions. You can find the information on the company's web site, industry-related news, by contacting current and former employees, and other online resources.

"While preparing for this interview, I did a great deal of research and learned quite a bit about your company. I understand that you are an industry leader due to the company's leadership and the innovative advancements you have introduced. I noted that your market share increased by 20% last year and that you are forecasting sales to grow by 10% this year. Glassdoor rates you as one of the best companies to work for in this area. The employees I spoke with rave about the work environment and how you allow individuals to perform at their best while providing them the resources they need to achieve their goals. This is exactly the type of company I would like to work for."

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Top 40 Computer Science Interview Questions and Answers

Matthew Martin

Here are computer science interview questions for fresher as well as experienced candidates to get your dream job.

Basic Computer Science Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers

1) what is the computer system.

A computer system is a combination of memory, CPU, peripheral devices that are connected to it, and OS (Operating System).

2) List out components of a computer system

The components of a computer system are:

  • CPU (Central Processing Unit) including control unit and arithmetic logic unit
  • Memory like primary and secondary
  • Input and output devices like keyboard mouse, printer scanner, etc.

3) What is a microprocessor?

A microprocessor is an integrated circuit having all the functionality of a central processing unit of a PC.

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

4) List out some computer processors

Computer processors are: 1) Intel Core i9, 2) Intel Core i5, 3) Intel Core i7, 4) AMD Ryzen 7, and 5) AMD Ryzen 5.

5) List out some popular operating system

Some popular operating systems are Microsoft Windows, OSX, and Linux.

6) What Is A Super-class?

A super class is the basis of all the classes. The object of the rest of the class has all the characteristics related to the superclass.

7) Explain class variable

Variables represent a memory of class, which it shares with each and every instance.

8) What is SDLC?

SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle is a process that produces quality software products in less time. The stages involve by SDLC are: 1) planning, 2) design, 4) construction, 5) testing, and 6) deployment.

9) Explain the meaning of file.

A file is a named location that stores information or data permanently. It is always stored in the storage device using a file name with primary and secondary name, which is separated by a “.”(DOT).

10) What is a programming language?

A programming language is a collection of grammar rules for giving instructions to computer or computing devices in order to perform achieve task.

11) What is Integrated Development Environment?

An IDE is a GUI-based software program. It is designed to help programmers build applications with all the needed programs and libraries.

12) Explain the framework

The framework is a platform for making software applications. It provides the basis on which developers can build programs for a specific platform. For example, a framework may include predetermined classes as well as functions. It can be used to process inputs, manage hardware, and interact with system software.

13) What is an Interface?

The interface is similar to a class in Java, but it is a collection of abstract methods. A class can have more than one interface.

14) What is a class?

A class is a blueprint for creating objects. A class contains methods and variables which are a class instance.

15) Distinguish between constructor and method abstract class and interface

The difference between class and interface is:

16) What is an abstract class?

A class having an abstract keyword is called an abstract class.

17) What is an array?

An array is a container that keeps a specific number of similar data types.

18) What is a constructor?

A constructor is a method that is used to create a class object.

19) Define Cin and Cout

Cin and Cout are objects used for input and output files, respectively.

20) What is the difference between C and C++?

The difference between C and C++ is:

Computer Science Interview Questions for Experienced

21) list the types of constructors.

There are two types of the constructor: 1) parameterized constructor and 2) default constructor.

22) What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence or machine intelligence is a common term that is used to build smart machines capable of performing tasks. The main aim of AI is to solve problems in a way that are better and faster.

23) What is machine learning?

Machine Learning is a system that can learn from an excellent example through self-improvement and without being explicitly coded by a programmer.

24) What is deep learning?

Deep learning is computer software that mimics the network of neurons in a brain. It is a subset of machine learning and is called deep learning because it makes use of deep neural networks.

25) List out different OOPS principles?

The basic OOPS principle are: 1) encapsulation, 2) abstraction, 3) inheritance and 4) polymorphism.

26) Explain the various type of access modifiers

There are four types of access modifiers:

  • Private: Visible to a particular class
  • Public: Visible to the world
  • Protected : Visible to specific package as well as subclass

27) What is the difference between compiler and interpreter?

The difference between compiler and interpreter is:

28) What is a programming language?

A programming language is a collection of grammar rules to instruct computers or computing devices to perform tasks.

29) What is inheritance?

Inheritance is an object-oriented programming concept in which one class derives the properties of the rest of the classes.

30) Distinguish between constructor and method

The difference between constructor and method is:

31) What is bye stream?

Byte stream is most usually used to perform input and output for Unicode having 8 bits.

32) What do you mean by destructor?

Destructor is a class member function that deletes or destructs an object.

33) List out Layers of OSI Model

Layers of OSI models are: 1) Physical, 2) Application, 3) Presentation, 4) Session, 5) Transport, 6) Network, and 6) Data Link Layer.

34) What is s the primary difference between process and thread?

Process is called as a program which is in execution. Thread is a segment of a process, so; a process can have more than one thread.

35) Explain primary memory

Primary memory, RAM is the main memory of a computer which can be directly accessed by the Central Processing Unit (CPU). It stores temporary information until the process finishes its execution.

36) What is the internet?

The internet is a global network of a computer that offers a wide range of information and communication facility. It involves interconnected networks, using a communication protocol.

37) What is the World Wide Web (WWW)?

WWW or World Wide Web is a method of accessing information using internet media.

38) What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a rule or step-by-step process that must be followed in order to solve a particular problem.

39) What is the operating system?

An Operating system (OS) is a software that acts as an interface between the end-user and computer hardware. Every computer must have at least one OS to run other programs.

40) What is cryptography?

Cryptography is the study of techniques that hide the real meaning of information. It transforms this information into a format that cannot be read by humans and vice versa.

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15 Common Problem-Solving Interview Questions

HackerRank AI Promotion

In an interview for a big tech company, I was asked if I’d ever resolved a fight — and the exact way I went about handling it. I felt blindsided, and I stammered my way through an excuse of an answer.

It’s a familiar scenario to fellow technical job seekers — and one that risks leaving a sour taste in our mouths. As candidate experience becomes an increasingly critical component of the hiring process, recruiters need to ensure the problem-solving interview questions they prepare don’t dissuade talent in the first place. 

Interview questions designed to gauge a candidate’s problem-solving skills are more often than not challenging and vague. Assessing a multifaceted skill like problem solving is tricky — a good problem solver owns the full solution and result, researches well, solves creatively and takes action proactively. 

It’s hard to establish an effective way to measure such a skill. But it’s not impossible.

We recommend taking an informed and prepared approach to testing candidates’ problem-solving skills . With that in mind, here’s a list of a few common problem-solving interview questions, the science behind them — and how you can go about administering your own problem-solving questions with the unique challenges of your organization in mind.

Key Takeaways for Effective Problem-Solving Interview Questions

  • Problem solving lies at the heart of programming. 
  • Testing a candidate’s problem-solving skills goes beyond the IDE. Problem-solving interview questions should test both technical skills and soft skills.
  • STAR, SOAR and PREP are methods a candidate can use to answer some non-technical problem-solving interview questions.
  • Generic problem-solving interview questions go a long way in gauging a candidate’s fit. But you can go one step further by customizing them according to your company’s service, product, vision, and culture. 

Technical Problem-Solving Interview Question Examples

Evaluating a candidates’ problem-solving skills while using coding challenges might seem intimidating. The secret is that coding challenges test many things at the same time — like the candidate’s knowledge of data structures and algorithms, clean code practices, and proficiency in specific programming languages, to name a few examples.

Problem solving itself might at first seem like it’s taking a back seat. But technical problem solving lies at the heart of programming, and most coding questions are designed to test a candidate’s problem-solving abilities.

Here are a few examples of technical problem-solving questions:

1. Mini-Max Sum  

This well-known challenge, which asks the interviewee to find the maximum and minimum sum among an array of given numbers, is based on a basic but important programming concept called sorting, as well as integer overflow. It tests the candidate’s observational skills, and the answer should elicit a logical, ad-hoc solution.

2. Organizing Containers of Balls  

This problem tests the candidate’s knowledge of a variety of programming concepts, like 2D arrays, sorting and iteration. Organizing colored balls in containers based on various conditions is a common question asked in competitive examinations and job interviews, because it’s an effective way to test multiple facets of a candidate’s problem-solving skills.

3. Build a Palindrome

This is a tough problem to crack, and the candidate’s knowledge of concepts like strings and dynamic programming plays a significant role in solving this challenge. This problem-solving example tests the candidate’s ability to think on their feet as well as their ability to write clean, optimized code.

4. Subarray Division

Based on a technique used for searching pairs in a sorted array ( called the “two pointers” technique ), this problem can be solved in just a few lines and judges the candidate’s ability to optimize (as well as basic mathematical skills).

5. The Grid Search 

This is a problem of moderate difficulty and tests the candidate’s knowledge of strings and searching algorithms, the latter of which is regularly tested in developer interviews across all levels.

Common Non-Technical Problem-Solving Interview Questions 

Testing a candidate’s problem-solving skills goes beyond the IDE . Everyday situations can help illustrate competency, so here are a few questions that focus on past experiences and hypothetical situations to help interviewers gauge problem-solving skills.

1. Given the problem of selecting a new tool to invest in, where and how would you begin this task? 

Key Insight : This question offers insight into the candidate’s research skills. Ideally, they would begin by identifying the problem, interviewing stakeholders, gathering insights from the team, and researching what tools exist to best solve for the team’s challenges and goals. 

2. Have you ever recognized a potential problem and addressed it before it occurred? 

Key Insight: Prevention is often better than cure. The ability to recognize a problem before it occurs takes intuition and an understanding of business needs. 

3. A teammate on a time-sensitive project confesses that he’s made a mistake, and it’s putting your team at risk of missing key deadlines. How would you respond?

Key Insight: Sometimes, all the preparation in the world still won’t stop a mishap. Thinking on your feet and managing stress are skills that this question attempts to unearth. Like any other skill, they can be cultivated through practice.

4. Tell me about a time you used a unique problem-solving approach. 

Key Insight: Creativity can manifest in many ways, including original or novel ways to tackle a problem. Methods like the 10X approach and reverse brainstorming are a couple of unique approaches to problem solving. 

5. Have you ever broken rules for the “greater good?” If yes, can you walk me through the situation?

Key Insight: “Ask for forgiveness, not for permission.” It’s unconventional, but in some situations, it may be the mindset needed to drive a solution to a problem.

6. Tell me about a weakness you overcame at work, and the approach you took. 

Key Insight: According to Compass Partnership , “self-awareness allows us to understand how and why we respond in certain situations, giving us the opportunity to take charge of these responses.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed when faced with a problem. Candidates showing high levels of self-awareness are positioned to handle it well.

7. Have you ever owned up to a mistake at work? Can you tell me about it?

Key Insight: Everybody makes mistakes. But owning up to them can be tough, especially at a workplace. Not only does it take courage, but it also requires honesty and a willingness to improve, all signs of 1) a reliable employee and 2) an effective problem solver.

8. How would you approach working with an upset customer?

Key Insight: With the rise of empathy-driven development and more companies choosing to bridge the gap between users and engineers, today’s tech teams speak directly with customers more frequently than ever before. This question brings to light the candidate’s interpersonal skills in a client-facing environment.

9. Have you ever had to solve a problem on your own, but needed to ask for additional help? How did you go about it? 

Key Insight: Knowing when you need assistance to complete a task or address a situation is an important quality to have while problem solving. This questions helps the interviewer get a sense of the candidate’s ability to navigate those waters. 

10. Let’s say you disagree with your colleague on how to move forward with a project. How would you go about resolving the disagreement?

Key Insight: Conflict resolution is an extremely handy skill for any employee to have; an ideal answer to this question might contain a brief explanation of the conflict or situation, the role played by the candidate and the steps taken by them to arrive at a positive resolution or outcome. 

Strategies for Answering Problem-Solving Questions

If you’re a job seeker, chances are you’ll encounter this style of question in your various interview experiences. While problem-solving interview questions may appear simple, they can be easy to fumble — leaving the interviewer without a clear solution or outcome. 

It’s important to approach such questions in a structured manner. Here are a few tried-and-true methods to employ in your next problem-solving interview.

1. Shine in Interviews With the STAR Method

S ituation, T ask, A ction, and R esult is a great method that can be employed to answer a problem-solving or behavioral interview question. Here’s a breakdown of these steps:

  • Situation : A good way to address almost any interview question is to lay out and define the situation and circumstances. 
  • Task : Define the problem or goal that needs to be addressed. Coding questions are often multifaceted, so this step is particularly important when answering technical problem-solving questions.
  • Action : How did you go about solving the problem? Try to be as specific as possible, and state your plan in steps if you can.
  • Result : Wrap it up by stating the outcome achieved. 

2. Rise above difficult questions using the SOAR method

A very similar approach to the STAR method, SOAR stands for S ituation, O bstacle, A ction, and R esults .

  • Situation: Explain the state of affairs. It’s important to steer clear of stating any personal opinions in this step; focus on the facts.
  • Obstacle: State the challenge or problem you faced.
  • Action: Detail carefully how you went about overcoming this obstacle.
  • Result: What was the end result? Apart from overcoming the obstacle, did you achieve anything else? What did you learn in the process? 

3. Do It the PREP Way

Traditionally used as a method to make effective presentations, the P oint, R eason, E xample, P oint method can also be used to answer problem-solving interview questions.  

  • Point : State the solution in plain terms. 
  • Reasons: Follow up the solution by detailing your case — and include any data or insights that support your solution. 
  • Example: In addition to objective data and insights, drive your answer home by contextualizing the solution in a real-world example.
  • Point : Reiterate the solution to make it come full circle.

How to Customize Problem-Solving Interview Questions 

Generic problem-solving interview questions go a long way in gauging a candidate’s skill level, but recruiters can go one step further by customizing these problem-solving questions according to their company’s service, product, vision, or culture. 

Here are some tips to do so:

  • Break down the job’s responsibilities into smaller tasks. Job descriptions may contain ambiguous responsibilities like “manage team projects effectively.” To formulate an effective problem-solving question, envision what this task might look like in a real-world context and develop a question around it.  
  • Tailor questions to the role at hand. Apart from making for an effective problem-solving question, it gives the candidate the impression you’re an informed technical recruiter. For example, an engineer will likely have attended many scrums. So, a good question to ask is: “Suppose you notice your scrums are turning unproductive. How would you go about addressing this?” 
  • Consider the tools and technologies the candidate will use on the job. For example, if Jira is the primary project management tool, a good problem-solving interview question might be: “Can you tell me about a time you simplified a complex workflow — and the tools you used to do so?”
  • If you don’t know where to start, your company’s core values can often provide direction. If one of the core values is “ownership,” for example, consider asking a question like: “Can you walk us through a project you owned from start to finish?” 
  • Sometimes, developing custom content can be difficult even with all these tips considered. Our platform has a vast selection of problem-solving examples that are designed to help recruiters ask the right questions to help nail their next technical interview.

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Computer Science Interview Questions to Prepare For

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CS 9: Problem-Solving for the CS Technical Interview

Spring 2022

Andrew Benson (adbenson@)

Ian Tullis (itullis@)

CS 9 is a 1-unit course that acquaints you with the CS technical recruitment process. The instructors, who spent several years at Google as software engineers and interviewers, will cover the stages of the process - resumes, interviews, and more - and share from their firsthand experience. We'll also work through typical interview problems during the Thursday sessions.

Enrollment is through Axess, which also handles the waitlist. We do not have control over the waitlist ourselves.

Please see the syllabus for our specific policies regarding waitlisted students and auditors. Lecture recordings may be viewed on Canvas.

Course Calendar

In general, we'll spend Tuesday sessions discussing various stages of the CS technical recruitment process, and Thursday sessions practicing interview problems.

Top 20 Problem Solving Interview Questions (Example Answers Included)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

By Mike Simpson

When candidates prepare for interviews, they usually focus on highlighting their leadership, communication, teamwork, and similar crucial soft skills . However, not everyone gets ready for problem-solving interview questions. And that can be a big mistake.

Problem-solving is relevant to nearly any job on the planet. Yes, it’s more prevalent in certain industries, but it’s helpful almost everywhere.

Regardless of the role you want to land, you may be asked to provide problem-solving examples or describe how you would deal with specific situations. That’s why being ready to showcase your problem-solving skills is so vital.

If you aren’t sure who to tackle problem-solving questions, don’t worry, we have your back. Come with us as we explore this exciting part of the interview process, as well as some problem-solving interview questions and example answers.

What Is Problem-Solving?

When you’re trying to land a position, there’s a good chance you’ll face some problem-solving interview questions. But what exactly is problem-solving? And why is it so important to hiring managers?

Well, the good folks at Merriam-Webster define problem-solving as “the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.” While that may seem like common sense, there’s a critical part to that definition that should catch your eye.

What part is that? The word “process.”

In the end, problem-solving is an activity. It’s your ability to take appropriate steps to find answers, determine how to proceed, or otherwise overcome the challenge.

Being great at it usually means having a range of helpful problem-solving skills and traits. Research, diligence, patience, attention-to-detail , collaboration… they can all play a role. So can analytical thinking , creativity, and open-mindedness.

But why do hiring managers worry about your problem-solving skills? Well, mainly, because every job comes with its fair share of problems.

While problem-solving is relevant to scientific, technical, legal, medical, and a whole slew of other careers. It helps you overcome challenges and deal with the unexpected. It plays a role in troubleshooting and innovation. That’s why it matters to hiring managers.

How to Answer Problem-Solving Interview Questions

Okay, before we get to our examples, let’s take a quick second to talk about strategy. Knowing how to answer problem-solving interview questions is crucial. Why? Because the hiring manager might ask you something that you don’t anticipate.

Problem-solving interview questions are all about seeing how you think. As a result, they can be a bit… unconventional.

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill job interview questions . Instead, they are tricky behavioral interview questions . After all, the goal is to find out how you approach problem-solving, so most are going to feature scenarios, brainteasers, or something similar.

So, having a great strategy means knowing how to deal with behavioral questions. Luckily, there are a couple of tools that can help.

First, when it comes to the classic approach to behavioral interview questions, look no further than the STAR Method . With the STAR method, you learn how to turn your answers into captivating stories. This makes your responses tons more engaging, ensuring you keep the hiring manager’s attention from beginning to end.

Now, should you stop with the STAR Method? Of course not. If you want to take your answers to the next level, spend some time with the Tailoring Method , too.

With the Tailoring Method, it’s all about relevance. So, if you get a chance to choose an example that demonstrates your problem-solving skills, this is really the way to go.

We also wanted to let you know that we created an amazing free cheat sheet that will give you word-for-word answers for some of the toughest interview questions you are going to face in your upcoming interview. After all, hiring managers will often ask you more generalized interview questions!

Click below to get your free PDF now:

Get Our Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet!

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET: Get our " Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet " that gives you " word-word sample answers to the most common job interview questions you'll face at your next interview .


Top 3 Problem-Solving-Based Interview Questions

Alright, here is what you’ve been waiting for: the problem-solving questions and sample answers.

While many questions in this category are job-specific, these tend to apply to nearly any job. That means there’s a good chance you’ll come across them at some point in your career, making them a great starting point when you’re practicing for an interview.

So, let’s dive in, shall we? Here’s a look at the top three problem-solving interview questions and example responses.

1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to solve a challenging problem?

In the land of problem-solving questions, this one might be your best-case scenario. It lets you choose your own problem-solving examples to highlight, putting you in complete control.

When you choose an example, go with one that is relevant to what you’ll face in the role. The closer the match, the better the answer is in the eyes of the hiring manager.


“While working as a mobile telecom support specialist for a large organization, we had to transition our MDM service from one vendor to another within 45 days. This personally physically handling 500 devices within the agency. Devices had to be gathered from the headquarters and satellite offices, which were located all across the state, something that was challenging even without the tight deadline. I approached the situation by identifying the location assignment of all personnel within the organization, enabling me to estimate transit times for receiving the devices. Next, I timed out how many devices I could personally update in a day. Together, this allowed me to create a general timeline. After that, I coordinated with each location, both expressing the urgency of adhering to deadlines and scheduling bulk shipping options. While there were occasional bouts of resistance, I worked with location leaders to calm concerns and facilitate action. While performing all of the updates was daunting, my approach to organizing the event made it a success. Ultimately, the entire transition was finished five days before the deadline, exceeding the expectations of many.”

2. Describe a time where you made a mistake. What did you do to fix it?

While this might not look like it’s based on problem-solving on the surface, it actually is. When you make a mistake, it creates a challenge, one you have to work your way through. At a minimum, it’s an opportunity to highlight problem-solving skills, even if you don’t address the topic directly.

When you choose an example, you want to go with a situation where the end was positive. However, the issue still has to be significant, causing something negative to happen in the moment that you, ideally, overcame.

“When I first began in a supervisory role, I had trouble setting down my individual contributor hat. I tried to keep up with my past duties while also taking on the responsibilities of my new role. As a result, I began rushing and introduced an error into the code of the software my team was updating. The error led to a memory leak. We became aware of the issue when the performance was hindered, though we didn’t immediately know the cause. I dove back into the code, reviewing recent changes, and, ultimately, determined the issue was a mistake on my end. When I made that discovery, I took several steps. First, I let my team know that the error was mine and let them know its nature. Second, I worked with my team to correct the issue, resolving the memory leak. Finally, I took this as a lesson about delegation. I began assigning work to my team more effectively, a move that allowed me to excel as a manager and help them thrive as contributors. It was a crucial learning moment, one that I have valued every day since.”

3. If you identify a potential risk in a project, what steps do you take to prevent it?

Yes, this is also a problem-solving question. The difference is, with this one, it’s not about fixing an issue; it’s about stopping it from happening. Still, you use problem-solving skills along the way, so it falls in this question category.

If you can, use an example of a moment when you mitigated risk in the past. If you haven’t had that opportunity, approach it theoretically, discussing the steps you would take to prevent an issue from developing.

“If I identify a potential risk in a project, my first step is to assess the various factors that could lead to a poor outcome. Prevention requires analysis. Ensuring I fully understand what can trigger the undesired event creates the right foundation, allowing me to figure out how to reduce the likelihood of those events occurring. Once I have the right level of understanding, I come up with a mitigation plan. Exactly what this includes varies depending on the nature of the issue, though it usually involves various steps and checks designed to monitor the project as it progresses to spot paths that may make the problem more likely to happen. I find this approach effective as it combines knowledge and ongoing vigilance. That way, if the project begins to head into risky territory, I can correct its trajectory.”

17 More Problem-Solving-Based Interview Questions

In the world of problem-solving questions, some apply to a wide range of jobs, while others are more niche. For example, customer service reps and IT helpdesk professionals both encounter challenges, but not usually the same kind.

As a result, some of the questions in this list may be more relevant to certain careers than others. However, they all give you insights into what this kind of question looks like, making them worth reviewing.

Here are 17 more problem-solving interview questions you might face off against during your job search:

  • How would you describe your problem-solving skills?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to use creativity to deal with an obstacle?
  • Describe a time when you discovered an unmet customer need while assisting a customer and found a way to meet it.
  • If you were faced with an upset customer, how would you diffuse the situation?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to troubleshoot a complex issue.
  • Imagine you were overseeing a project and needed a particular item. You have two choices of vendors: one that can deliver on time but would be over budget, and one that’s under budget but would deliver one week later than you need it. How do you figure out which approach to use?
  • Your manager wants to upgrade a tool you regularly use for your job and wants your recommendation. How do you formulate one?
  • A supplier has said that an item you need for a project isn’t going to be delivered as scheduled, something that would cause your project to fall behind schedule. What do you do to try and keep the timeline on target?
  • Can you share an example of a moment where you encountered a unique problem you and your colleagues had never seen before? How did you figure out what to do?
  • Imagine you were scheduled to give a presentation with a colleague, and your colleague called in sick right before it was set to begin. What would you do?
  • If you are given two urgent tasks from different members of the leadership team, both with the same tight deadline, how do you choose which to tackle first?
  • Tell me about a time you and a colleague didn’t see eye-to-eye. How did you decide what to do?
  • Describe your troubleshooting process.
  • Tell me about a time where there was a problem that you weren’t able to solve. What happened?
  • In your opening, what skills or traits make a person an exceptional problem-solver?
  • When you face a problem that requires action, do you usually jump in or take a moment to carefully assess the situation?
  • When you encounter a new problem you’ve never seen before, what is the first step that you take?

Putting It All Together

At this point, you should have a solid idea of how to approach problem-solving interview questions. Use the tips above to your advantage. That way, you can thrive during your next interview.

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Cambridge Computer Science Interview: Questions & Tips

In this article we will guide you on how to best prepare for your Cambridge Computer Science interview, with guides on past Cambridge Computer Science questions, interview tips, mock examples and real experiences from students who have sat the Cambridge Computer Science Panel Interview.

cambridge interview questions computer science

This article has been made from a collection of accounts from Oxbridge applicants.

Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge uploaded sample Computer Science interview questions to YouTube. This allows you to see how your online interview may be conducted and see some sample questions, so it could be very useful to watch.

What is the Cambridge Computer Science interview structure?

Each candidate will typically have one or two interviews. These will likely be held by the college that you applied for. 

At some colleges, you will be required to sit a written assessment prior to your interview. This assessment may be something like the CSAT (the Computer Science Aptitudes Test). You can read about and practise for the CSAT at the Climb Foundation website . Although you may not have to sit any assessment before your interview, it will be useful for you to prepare for the possibility.

During your interview, you may be asked a few questions concerning your personal statement – so make sure to be familiar with the materials you’ve mentioned within it. You will then be asked academic and technical questions related to mathematics and computer science.

Oxbridge Interview Tips Questions Tutoring

What are the Cambridge Computer Science interview dates?

The Cambridge Computer Science interviews for 2025 entry will mostly take place in the first three weeks of December. Some may be a little earlier.

Most interviews will be held online. The only exception is for UK based applicants to Trinity College – these applicants will be interviewed in person.

computer science interview questions cambridge

Example Cambridge Computer Science Interview Questions

  • What interested you about Computer Science at Cambridge?
  • Why do you want to study Computer Science? 
  • What do you know about the Computer Science course at Cambridge? 
  • Questions on your personal statement: asking you to talk about some parts of it briefly.
  • Egyptians: The Ancient Egyptians used marbles rolling down shutes to create NAND gates, using these for traps. We know that a computer can be made from only NAND gates (aside from the peripherals, such as the keyboard, monitor etc.). Does this mean that the Egyptians invented the computer? If not, why?
  • Sin and cos: Can you draw a sketch of sin(x)? How could you increase your confidence that the graph you’ve drawn is a sketch of sin(x) and not cos(x)? How does cos(x) relate to sin(x) conceptually? Can you draw a triangle and use it to tell me something about sin(x) (such as what sin(45) is)? Could you draw a sketch of sin(x)x?
  • Factory: The question concerns categorisation of integers and creating operations for an automaton. To see the full question (and a discussion around it), you can watch Sidney Sussex College’s sample Computer Science interview for examples of Computer Science Cambridge interview questions.
  • Show me a sorting algorithm . Can you tell me how efficient it is? Can you think of a way to improve its efficiency?
  • Do you know about any programming languages ? What can you tell me about their advantages and disadvantages?
  • Discussion about binary searches and how efficient they are
  • Computer security and how we can ensure security between two agents
  • Proofs by induction
  • Testing your knowledge of logarithms and exponentials , including graph sketching. They may ask a series of follow up questions to test the way you handle new and challenging concepts and scenarios.
  • Questions on recursions and iterations . They may ask you to apply these concepts in more difficult scenarios. 
  • Automation of human roles by technology

cambridge computer science interview questions

Insider Guides: Cambridge Computer Science Interview

What happens on the day of your cambridge computer science interview .

My interview was held online. An hour beforehand, I received pre-reading material. This was something specific to my college (it won’t happen at everyone’s interviews). I was allowed to read through it independently for the hour prior to the interview, but they told me I could not access the internet.

This reading is what my interview was based around – they asked me problem solving questions surrounding the reading, and were essentially testing how much of it I could understand within an hour.

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What do you have to bring to your Cambridge Computer Science interview?

I did not have to bring any equipment, I had my drawing tablet, but they said that it was not needed. Depending on your interview, you may be asked to write down something to show the interviewers. So it is a good idea to have a drawing tablet or pen and paper on hand.

In terms of dress, I just wore a pretty normal jumper. I was not dressed particularly smart, so it probably does not matter much. Going back, I might wear a shirt with a jumper over it. I don’t think wearing a suit is the best course of action (for me) because I would not be particularly comfortable in one. Comfort is key!

What is the interview setting and how long is it?

The interview was online on a Zoom call. So, the setting was just in my room.

I had two interviews in a row, with a break in between. They were 40 minutes each, and there were two interviewers in each interview.

Both of my interviews started with asking two questions from my Computer Science personal statement (asking me to explain/tell them about certain things in my statement). There was no mention of any questions such as “Why cambridge?”, “Why Computer Science”, etc. For the technical part of the interview, I was tested on the pre reading that I had received. There were no A Level Maths style questions (such as graph sketching), it was more problem solving based in the sense that you had to read a sheet and try to understand it within an hour. 

cambridge interview questions computer science

What are the Cambridge Computer Science interviewers like? 

I had 4 interviewers. 3 of them were very friendly, (one more so than others), and there was one that was a bit expressionless. However, they were all nice. My internet cut out right at the beginning of one interview and they gave me a few minutes extra at the end because of it.

They didn’t follow up on any of the personal statement questions. However, there were definitely a lot of follow up questions for the actual technical part of the interview.

What are the best tips for planning my trip for my Cambridge Computer Science interview?

My interview was online, so I did not have to plan my trip to Cambridge. The only advice I have is that you should dress in something comfortable, but still professional. You should also make sure to be well-rested for your interview.

If you were to travel to Cambridge, make sure you have your revision notes on hand for those few days, a pen, and maybe a book or something else to help you relax. 

Are there any academic or challenging Computer Science questions at the Cambridge interview?

Yes, most of my Cambridge University computer science interview questions were technical, academic questions. They were definitely unlike what I had seen before. It really tested your understanding of the material. Saying this, I did have to receive a lot of hints throughout too, so you don’t have to be perfect.

Are there any personality, work experience or extracurricular based Computer Science questions at the Cambridge interview? 

I was asked some generic questions about my personal statement, such as “tell me about this”, “explain what this means”, etc. They didn’t ask me any questions on personality, work experience, or extracurriculars.

Top Tips for the Cambridge Computer Science Interview

  • Read through your personal statement . I personally made a list of all possible questions I could think of and some of them did come up!
  • Get mock interviews with people through Discord/Linkedin, or a mock interview service. This helped me a lot because they asked me questions about my personal statement and they also gave me some of their own interview questions. Of course, I did not get asked the same questions as them, but it still was useful to learn more about the understanding behind questions.
  • Work on your mathematical problem solving . Even if you don’t get asked about it directly, the interviews are all about problem solving. Not only is it about problem solving, but it’s definitely about speed too! Speed without being correct is useless of course, but so is the opposite. My interview pushed me for time and yours might likely do so too!
  • You DO NOT have to be perfect . I received a good amount of hints. Saying this, you do also have to come up with original ideas, but don’t think you’ve failed if you’ve received a few hints.
  • Try not to stress – the interviewers are nice people, and they want you to get in. If you face a technical error or whatnot, email them quickly and they likely will put in extra measures for you.

Top Tips for the “Why Cambridge” interview question

  • I would mention the great Mathematicians and Computer Scientists that went to Cambridge (Alan Turing comes to mind), and the great researchers here (I would search one up beforehand, so that I am familiar with one).
  • You should research the course , and find specific parts of the course which you enjoy that are unique to Cambridge (for example, a 2nd year group project or the dissertation in final year). 
  • You could also talk about the area if that was a contributing factor to your application: the beauty of Cambridge as a city, etc.

My Favourite Things about Studying Computer Science at Cambridge University

Definitely the people. I am learning a lot here, including the fact that I know very little compared to others, but I would definitely say that is something important and interesting, as it gives me more chances to learn. 

The opportunities here are great too. There are regular events such as talks, career fairs etc.

Tips for Preparing for the Cambridge Computer Science Interview

  • Make sure you are familiar with your personal statement .
  • Read books on computer science . It can be useful to do some wider reading on computer science, including books and key advanced research and news topics. This will also allow you to show independent interest in the area if they ask you about it.
  • Revise your basic knowledge of computer science . It can be useful to brush up on your core computer science knowledge before the interview. 
  • Mock interviews for Cambridge computer science interview questions . Practice makes perfect, and it is definitely useful to practice mock computer science interviews with a Cambridge Computer Science interview tutor or family member. 

To find out how we can support you in your preparation, call us today to find out more about Oxbridge Computer Science tutoring .

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17 Computer Science Intern Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a computer science intern, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

Every company has different needs, and the computer science intern interview questions you’ll face will be tailored to the specific company you’re interviewing with. However, there are some questions that are commonly asked in interviews for computer science internships.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with some common questions that you may be asked in your interview, as well as some tips on how to answer them. We’ll also provide you with a few questions that you can ask the interviewer to help you decide if the company and the internship are the right fit for you.

Are you familiar with the programming languages used in this industry?

What are some of the most important skills for a computer science intern to have, how do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in technology, what is your favorite project that you’ve worked on during your internship so far, provide an example of a time when you had to solve a problem on the job., if you could create your own programming language, what would it look like, what would you do if you noticed a bug in the code you wrote, how well do you communicate with other members of the development team, do you have any experience working in a team environment, when was the last time you tried something new and learned something in the process, we want to hire interns who want to pursue a career in this field. what do you hope to gain from this internship, describe your experience with computer science projects so far., what makes you a good fit for our company, which computer science concepts do you find the most challenging, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing the computer science industry today, how often do you update your resume and portfolio, there is a bug in the code you wrote. what is your process for troubleshooting and fixing it.

This question is a great way for employers to see if you have the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention which languages you are familiar with and how often you use them.

Example: “I am very familiar with Java, C++ and Python. I used these three programming languages most frequently during my internship at XYZ Company last summer. I also know some HTML and CSS, but not as much as I would like. I plan on taking an online course to learn more about those two languages.”

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in their internship program. Use your answer to highlight some of the most important computer science skills and how you developed them over time.

Example: “The two most important skills for a computer science intern are problem-solving and communication. These skills allow me to analyze a situation, develop solutions and communicate those solutions effectively with my team members. I’ve always been good at these skills because I enjoy working on complex problems and communicating with others. In fact, I was able to use both skills when I helped my professor solve an issue with our school’s website last semester.”

Employers want to know that you’re passionate about technology and are always looking for ways to improve your skills. Show the interviewer that you have a passion for learning by describing how you stay up-to-date on new trends in computer science.

Example: “I’m constantly reading tech blogs, listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos. I also attend conferences and networking events where I can meet other professionals who work in this field. I find that these methods help me learn more about what’s happening in the industry and give me ideas for new projects.”

This question is a great way to see how much you enjoy your internship and what projects you’ve worked on. It also gives the interviewer insight into what kind of work you do, which can help them decide if you are a good fit for their company. When answering this question, try to pick something that shows you have initiative and creativity.

Example: “My favorite project so far was when I helped my team create an app that would allow users to order food from our restaurant through their phones. We had to figure out how to use different coding languages to make it user-friendly and efficient. The entire process took us about two months, but we were able to successfully launch the app in time for the grand opening of our new location.”

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and how you use them in the workplace. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the steps you took to solve the issue and what the outcome was.

Example: “At my internship last summer, I noticed that our company’s website wasn’t loading properly on mobile devices. This meant that customers were unable to access some of our products when they tried to buy them online. My supervisor and I decided to work together to find out why the website wasn’t working properly. We started by testing the site on different browsers and operating systems. After doing so, we found that the website only worked on desktop computers but not laptops or tablets.

We then tested the website on other websites with similar coding languages. We found that the website was only having issues because of an outdated plugin. Once we updated the plugin, the website began functioning properly again.”

This question is a great way to test your creativity and problem-solving skills. It also allows the interviewer to see how you would apply those skills in an actual work environment. Your answer should include examples of what features it would have, why you chose them and how they would benefit users.

Example: “If I could create my own programming language, I would make it more intuitive for developers to use. I would want to eliminate as many errors as possible so that programmers don’t spend too much time troubleshooting their code. I would also add new features that allow users to customize their experience based on their preferences.”

This question can help interviewers understand how you respond to challenges and solve problems. Use your answer to show that you are willing to take responsibility for your work, even if it contains errors.

Example: “If I noticed a bug in the code I wrote, I would first try to figure out what caused it. If I was able to determine the cause of the error, I would fix it immediately. If I wasn’t sure what caused the problem, I would ask my supervisor or another member of the team for advice on how to proceed. In either case, I would make sure to document the issue so that I could refer back to it later.”

As a computer science intern, you will likely work with other members of the development team. Employers ask this question to make sure you can communicate effectively and efficiently with your teammates. Use your answer to show that you are a strong communicator who is able to collaborate with others.

Example: “I am very good at communicating with my teammates. I always try to be as clear as possible when explaining concepts or ideas. When working in teams, it’s important to share information so everyone understands what they need to do. I also like to ask questions if I’m unsure about something because it helps me learn more about the project.”

Computer science is a collaborative field, so employers want to know that you have experience working with others. They may ask this question to see if you can adapt to their team and how your previous teams functioned. In your answer, try to describe what made your team successful and highlight any leadership qualities you had in the past.

Example: “In my last internship, I worked on a small team of three people. We were tasked with creating an algorithm for a new software program. My teammates and I each took different roles within the project. One person was responsible for gathering data, another wrote the code and I created the user interface. By dividing up the work, we were able to complete our task ahead of schedule.”

Employers ask this question to learn more about your willingness to try new things and how you approach learning. This can be a great opportunity for you to talk about something that happened recently, but it can also be helpful if you choose an experience from the past that helped you develop as a person or professional.

Example: “Last semester I took a class on coding languages. It was challenging at first because I had never learned any of those languages before, but I really enjoyed the challenge. I ended up getting an A in the class, which made me feel proud of myself for trying something new.”

This question helps employers determine if you’re a good fit for their company. They want to know that you’re passionate about computer science and excited to learn more about the field. When answering this question, make sure to mention what you hope to gain from your internship experience.

Example: “I’m hoping to gain valuable work experience in my field of study. I’ve been working toward my degree in computer science for several years now, so I’m ready to put all of my knowledge into practice. I also hope to develop new skills as an intern at this company. I have heard great things about the culture here, so I am eager to see how I can contribute to it.”

This question is a great way to see how much experience you have with computer science projects. Employers ask this question because they want to know if you’re ready for the internship and what your previous work was like. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about your experience level. If you don’t have any experience yet, explain that you are eager to learn more about computer science projects.

Example: “I’ve had some experience working on computer science projects in my high school classes. In my sophomore year, I worked on a project where we created our own video game. We learned how to code using Python and built our games using Scratch. My team won first place at the state competition.”

Employers ask this question to see if you did your research on their company. Before your interview, make sure you read the job description and familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement and values. In your answer, try to relate what you’ve learned about the company to your own personal goals and values.

Example: “I think I would be a great fit for your company because of my commitment to excellence in everything I do. When I applied for this internship, I read through your website and was impressed by how much you value innovation. As someone who is always looking for ways to improve processes, I know that I could bring new ideas to your team. I also believe that I am a good fit for your company because of my ability to work well as part of a team. Throughout my academic career, I have been involved in many group projects and can confidently say that I am an excellent collaborator.”

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach challenges and whether you have a growth mindset. It can also show them that you are aware of your own weaknesses, which is an important trait for computer science professionals to have. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention concepts that you’ve overcome in the past or those that you’re currently working on improving.

Example: “I find data structures and algorithms to be the most challenging aspects of computer science. I’m always looking for ways to improve my understanding of these concepts, so I recently started taking online courses to learn more about them. I think learning from other people’s experiences will help me understand these concepts better.”

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how you approach challenges. It also helps them understand what your priorities are in the workplace. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something that is relevant to the company or industry you’re interviewing for.

Example: “The biggest challenge facing the computer science industry today is finding qualified candidates who have the right skills and knowledge to fill open positions. I think there’s a lot of misinformation about what computer scientists do, which makes it difficult to attract talent. I would like to work on developing programs that make computer science more accessible to people with different backgrounds.”

Employers ask this question to see how often you update your resume and portfolio. They want to know that you are constantly improving your skills, updating your resume and adding new projects to your portfolio. In your answer, explain that you have a regular schedule for updating these documents.

Example: “I update my resume every six months and add new projects to my portfolio once they’re complete. I also make sure to keep all of my computer software updated so I can use the latest versions when working on projects.”

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work independently. Your answer should include the steps you would take to troubleshoot, identify the bug and fix it.

Example: “I would first read through my code thoroughly to see if I missed anything. If that doesn’t help, I would then check for any syntax errors in the code. After that, I would run the program again to see if there are any runtime errors. If not, I would go back into the code and look for logical bugs. Finally, I would make sure all of the changes I made were correct.”

17 Dry Cleaner Interview Questions and Answers

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How Biden Adopted Trump’s Trade War With China

The president has proposed new barriers to electric vehicles, steel and other goods..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Sabrina Tavernise, and this is “The Daily.”


Donald Trump upended decades of American policy when he started a trade war with China. Many thought that President Biden would reverse those policies. Instead, he’s stepping them up. Today, my colleague, Jim Tankersley, explains.

It’s Monday, May 13.

Jim, it’s very nice to have you in the studio.

It’s so great to be here, Sabrina. Thank you so much.

So we are going to talk today about something I find very interesting and I know you’ve been following. We’re in the middle of a presidential campaign. You are an economics reporter looking at these two candidates, and you’ve been trying to understand how Trump and Biden are thinking about our number one economic rival, and that is China.

As we know, Trump has been very loud and very clear about his views on China. What about Biden?

Well, no one is going to accuse President Biden of being as loud as former President Trump. But I think he’s actually been fairly clear in a way that might surprise a lot of people about how he sees economic competition with China.

We’re going after China in the wrong way. China is stealing intellectual property. China is conditioning —

And Biden has, kind of surprisingly, sounded a lot, in his own Joe Biden way, like Trump.

They’re not competing. They’re cheating. They’re cheating. And we’ve seen the damage here in America.

He has been very clear that he thinks China is cheating in trade.

The bottom line is I want fair competition with China, not conflict. And we’re in a stronger position to win the economic competition of the 21st century against China or anyone else because we’re investing in America and American workers again. Finally.

And maybe the most surprising thing from a policy perspective is just how much Biden has built on top of the anti-China moves that Trump made and really is the verge of his own sort of trade war with China.

Interesting. So remind us, Jim, what did Trump do when he actually came into office? We, of course, remember Trump really talking about China and banging that drum hard during the campaign, but remind us what he actually did when he came into office.

Yeah, it’s really instructive to start with the campaign, because Trump is talking about China in some very specific ways.

We have a $500 billion deficit, trade deficit, with China. We’re going to turn it around. And we have the cards. Don’t forget —

They’re ripping us off. They’re stealing our jobs.

They’re using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China, and many other countries are doing the same thing. So we’re losing our good jobs, so many.

The economic context here is the United States has lost a couple of million jobs in what was called the China shock of the early 2000s. And Trump is tapping into that.

But when the Chinese come in, and they want to make great trade deals — and they make the best trade deals, and not anymore. When I’m there, we turn it around, folks. We turn it around. We have —

And what he’s promising as president is that he’s going to bring those jobs back.

I’ll be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I’ll take them back from China, from Japan.

And not just any jobs, good-paying manufacturing jobs, all of it — clothes, shoes, steel, all of these jobs that have been lost that American workers, particularly in the industrial Midwest, used to do. Trump’s going to bring them back with policy meant to rebalance the trade relationship with China to get a better deal with China.

So he’s saying China is eating our lunch and has been for decades. That’s the reason why factory workers in rural North Carolina don’t have work. It’s those guys. And I’m going to change that.

Right. And he likes to say it’s because our leaders didn’t cut the right deal with them, so I’m going to make a better deal. And to get a better deal, you need leverage. So a year into his presidency, he starts taking steps to amass leverage with China.

And so what does that look like?

Just an hour ago, surrounded by a hand-picked group of steelworkers, President Trump revealed he was not bluffing.

It starts with tariffs. Tariffs are taxes that the government imposes on imports.

Two key global imports into America now face a major new barrier.

Today, I’m defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum.

And in this case, it’s imports from a lot of different countries, but particularly China.

Let’s take it straight to the White House. The president of the United States announcing new trade tariffs against China. Let’s listen in.

This has been long in the making. You’ve heard —

So Trump starts, in 2018, this series of tariffs that he’s imposing on all sorts of things — washing machines, solar panels, steel, aluminum. I went to Delaware to a lighting store at that time, I remember, where basically everything they sold came from China and was subject to the Trump tariffs, because that’s where lighting was made now.


Hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods now start falling under these Trump tariffs. The Chinese, of course, don’t take this lying down.

China says it is not afraid of a trade war with the US, and it’s fighting back against President Trump with its own tariffs on US goods.

They do their own retaliatory tariffs. Now American exports to China cost more for Chinese consumers. And boom, all of a sudden, we are in the midst of a full-blown trade war between the United States and Beijing.

Right. And that trade war was kind of a shock because for decades, politicians had avoided that kind of policy. It was the consensus of the political class in the United States that there should not be tariffs like that. It should be free trade. And Trump just came in and blew up the consensus.

Yeah. And Sabrina, I may have mentioned this once or 700 times before on this program, but I talk to a lot of economists in my job.

Yeah, it’s weird. I talk to a lot of economists. And in 2018 when this started, there were very, very, very few economists of any political persuasion who thought that imposing all these tariffs were a good idea. Republican economists in particular, this is antithetical to how they think about the world, which is low taxes, free trade. And even Democratic economists who thought they had some problems with the way free trade had been conducted did not think that Trump’s “I’m going to get a better deal” approach was going to work. And so there was a lot of criticism at the time, and a lot of politicians really didn’t like it, a lot of Democrats, many Republicans. And it all added up to just a real, whoa, I don’t think this is going to work.

So that begs the question, did it?

Well, it depends on what you mean by work. Economically, it does not appear to have achieved what Trump wanted. There’s no evidence yet in the best economic research that’s been done on this that enormous amounts of manufacturing jobs came back to the United States because of Trump’s tariffs. There was research, for example, on the tariffs on washing machines. They appear to have helped a couple thousand jobs, manufacturing jobs be created in the United States, but they also raised the price of washing machines for everybody who bought them by enough that each additional job that was created by those tariffs effectively cost consumers, like, $800,000 per job.

There’s like lots of evidence that the sectors Trump was targeting to try to help here, he didn’t. There just wasn’t a lot of employment rebound to the United States. But politically, it really worked. The tariffs were very popular. They had this effect of showing voters in those hollowed-out manufacturing areas that Trump was on their team and that he was fighting for them. Even if they didn’t see the jobs coming back, they felt like he was standing up for them.

So the research suggests this was a savvy political move by Trump. And in the process, it sort of changes the political economic landscape in both parties in the United States.

Right. So Trump made these policies that seemed, for many, many years in the American political system, fringe, isolationist, economically bad, suddenly quite palatable and even desirable to mainstream policymakers.

Yeah. Suddenly getting tough on China is something everyone wants to do across both parties. And so from a political messaging standpoint, being tough on China is now where the mainstream is. But at the same time, there is still big disagreement over whether Trump is getting tough on China in the right way, whether he’s actually being effective at changing the trade relationship with China.

Remember that Trump was imposing these tariffs as a way to get leverage for a better deal with China. Well, he gets a deal of sorts, actually, with the Chinese government, which includes some things about tariffs, and also China agreeing to buy some products from the United States. Trump spins it as this huge win, but nobody else really, including Republicans, acts like Trump has solved the problem that Trump himself has identified. This deal is not enough to make everybody go, well, everything’s great with China now. We can move on to the next thing.

China remains this huge issue. And the question of what is the most effective way to deal with them is still an animating force in politics.

Got it. So politically, huge win, but policy-wise and economically, and fundamentally, the problem of China still very much unresolved.


So then Biden comes in. What does Biden do? Does he keep the tariffs on?

Biden comes to office, and there remains this real pressure from economists to roll back what they consider to be the ineffective parts of Trump’s trade policy. That includes many of the tariffs. And it’s especially true at a time when almost immediately after Biden takes office, inflation spikes. And so Americans are paying a lot of money for products, and there’s this pressure on Biden, including from inside his administration, to roll back some of the China tariffs to give Americans some relief on prices.

And Biden considers this, but he doesn’t do it. He doesn’t reverse Trump’s tariff policy. In the end, he’s actually building on it.

We’ll be right back.

So Jim, you said that Biden is actually building on Trump’s anti-China policy. What exactly does that look like?

So Biden builds on the Trump China policy in three key ways, but he does it with a really specific goal that I just want you to keep in mind as we talk about all of this, which is that Biden isn’t just trying to beat China on everything. He’s not trying to cut a better deal. Biden is trying to beat China in a specific race to own the clean-energy future.

Clean energy.

Yeah. So keep that in mind, clean energy. And the animating force behind all of the things Biden does with China is that Biden wants to beat China on what he thinks are the jobs of the future, and that’s green technology.

Got it. OK. So what does he do first?

OK. Thing number one — let’s talk about the tariffs. He does not roll them back. And actually, he builds on them. For years, for the most part, he just lets the tariffs be. His administration reviews them. And it’s only now, this week, when his administration is going to actually act on the tariffs. And what they’re going to do is raise some of them. They’re going to raise them on strategic green tech things, like electric vehicles, in order to make them more expensive.

And I think it’s important to know the backdrop here, which is since Biden has taken office, China has started flooding global markets with really low-cost green technologies. Solar panels, electric vehicles are the two really big ones. And Biden’s aides are terrified that those imports are going to wash over the United States and basically wipe out American automakers, solar panel manufacturers, that essentially, if Americans can just buy super-cheap stuff from China, they’re not going to buy it from American factories. Those factories are going to go out of business.

So Biden’s goal of manufacturing jobs in clean energy, China is really threatening that by dumping all these products on the American market.

Exactly. And so what he wants to do is protect those factories with tariffs. And that means increasing the tariffs that Trump put on electric vehicles in hopes that American consumers will find them too expensive to buy.

But doesn’t that go against Biden’s goal of clean energy and things better for the environment? Lots of mass-market electric vehicles into the United States would seem to advance that goal. And here, he’s saying, no, you can’t come in.

Right, because Biden isn’t just trying to reduce emissions at all costs. He wants to reduce emissions while boosting American manufacturing jobs. He doesn’t want China to get a monopoly in these areas. And he’s also, in particular, worried about the politics of lost American manufacturing jobs. So Biden does not want to just let you buy cheaper Chinese technologies, even if that means reducing emissions.

He wants to boost American manufacturing of those things to compete with China, which brings us to our second thing that Biden has done to build on Trump’s China policy, which is that Biden has started to act like the Chinese government in particular areas by showering American manufacturers with subsidies.

I see. So dumping government money into American businesses.

Yes, tax incentives, direct grants. This is a way that China has, in the past decades, built its manufacturing dominance, is with state support for factories. Biden is trying to do that in particular targeted industries, including electric vehicles, solar power, wind power, semiconductors. Biden has passed a bunch of legislation that showers those sectors with incentives and government support in hopes of growing up much faster American industry.

Got it. So basically, Biden is trying to beat China at its own game.

Yeah, he’s essentially using tariffs to build a fortress around American industry so that he can train the troops to fight the clean energy battle with China.

And the troops being American companies.

Yes. It’s like, we’re going to give them protection — protectionist policy — in order to get up to size, get up to strength as an army in this battle for clean energy dominance against the Chinese.

Got it. So he’s trying to build up the fortress. What’s the third thing Biden does? You mentioned three things.

Biden does not want the United States going it alone against China. He’s trying to build an international coalition, wealthy countries and some other emerging countries that are going to take on China and try to stop the Chinese from using their trade playbook to take over all these new emerging industrial markets.

But, Jim, why? What does the US get from bringing our allies into this trade war? Why does the US want that?

Some of this really is about stopping China from gaining access to new markets. It’s like, if you put the low-cost Chinese exports on a boat, and it’s going around the world, looking for a dock to stop and offload the stuff and sell it, Biden wants barriers up at every possible port. And he wants factories in those places that are competing with the Chinese.

And a crucial fact to know here is that the United States and Europe, they are behind China when it comes to clean-energy technology. The Chinese government has invested a lot more than America and Europe in building up its industrial capacity for clean energy. So America and its allies want to deny China dominance of those markets and to build up their own access to them.

And they’re behind, so they’ve got to get going. It’s like they’re in a race, and they’re trailing.

Yeah, it’s an economic race to own these industries, and it’s that global emissions race. They also want to be bringing down fossil-fuel emissions faster than they currently are, and this is their plan.

So I guess, Jim, the question in my mind is, Trump effectively broke the seal, right? He started all of these tariffs. He started this trade war with China. But he did it in this kind of jackhammer, non-targeted way, and it didn’t really work economically. Now Biden is taking it a step further. But the question is, is his effort here going to work?

The answer to whether it’s going to work really depends on what your goals are. And Biden and Trump have very different goals. If Trump wins the White House back, he has made very clear that his goal is to try to rip the United States trade relationship with China even more than he already has. He just wants less trade with China and more stuff of all types made in the United States that used to be made in China. That’s a very difficult goal, but it’s not Biden’s goal.

Biden’s goal is that he wants America to make more stuff in these targeted industries. And there is real skepticism from free-market economists that his industrial policies will work on that, but there’s a lot of enthusiasm for it from a new strain of Democratic economists, in particular, who believe that the only chance Biden has to make that work is by pulling all of these levers, by doing the big subsidies and by putting up the tariffs, that you have to have both the troops training and the wall around them. And if it’s going to work, he has to build on the Trump policies. And so I guess you’re asking, will it work? It may be dependent upon just how far he’s willing to go on the subsidies and the barriers.

There’s a chance of it.

So, Jim, at the highest level, whatever the economic outcome here, it strikes me that these moves by Biden are pretty remarkably different from the policies of the Democratic Party over the decades, really going in the opposite direction. I’m thinking of Bill Clinton and NAFTA in the 1990s. Free trade was the real central mantra of the Democratic Party, really of both parties.

Yeah, and Biden is a real break from Clinton. And Clinton was the one who actually signed the law that really opened up trade with China, and Biden’s a break from that. He’s a break from even President Obama when he was vice president. Biden is doing something different. He’s breaking from that Democratic tradition, and he’s building on what Trump did, but with some throwback elements to it from the Roosevelt administration and the Eisenhower administration. This is this grand American tradition of industrial policy that gave us the space race and the interstate highway system. It’s the idea of using the power of the federal government to build up specific industrial capacities. It was in vogue for a time. It fell out of fashion and was replaced by this idea that the government should get out of the way, and you let the free market drive innovation. And now that industrial policy idea is back in vogue, and Biden is doing it.

So it isn’t just a shift or an evolution. It’s actually a return to big government spending of the ‘30s and the ‘40s and the ‘50s of American industrialism of that era. So what goes around comes around.

Yeah, and it’s a return to that older economic theory with new elements. And it’s in part because of the almost jealousy that American policymakers have of China and the success that it’s had building up its own industrial base. But it also has this political element to it. It’s, in part, animated by the success that Trump had making China an issue with working-class American voters.

You didn’t have to lose your job to China to feel like China was a stand-in for the forces that have taken away good-paying middle-class jobs from American workers who expected those jobs to be there. And so Trump tapped into that. And Biden is trying to tap into that. And the political incentives are pushing every future American president to do more of that. So I think we are going to see even more of this going forward, and that’s why we’re in such an interesting moment right now.

So we’re going to see more fortresses.

More fortresses, more troops, more money.

Jim, thank you.

You’re welcome.

Here’s what else you should know today. Intense fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli troops raged in parts of Northern Gaza over the weekend, an area where Israel had declared Hamas defeated earlier in the war, only to see the group reconstitute in the power vacuum that was left behind. The persistent lawlessness raised concerns about the future of Gaza among American officials. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the return of Hamas to the North left him concerned that Israeli victories there would be, quote, “not sustainable,” and said that Israel had not presented the United States with any plan for when the war ends.

And the United Nations aid agency in Gaza said early on Sunday that about 300,000 people had fled from Rafah over the past week, the city in the enclave’s southernmost tip where more than a million displaced Gazans had sought shelter from Israeli bombardments elsewhere. The UN made the announcement hours after the Israeli government issued new evacuation orders in Rafah, deepening fears that the Israeli military was preparing to invade the city despite international warnings.

Today’s episode was produced by Nina Feldman, Carlos Prieto, Sidney Harper, and Luke Vander Ploeg. It was edited by M.J. Davis Lin, Brendan Klinkenberg, and Lisa Chow. Contains original music by Diane Wong, Marion Lozano, and Dan Powell, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. See you tomorrow.

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Hosted by Sabrina Tavernise

Produced by Nina Feldman ,  Carlos Prieto ,  Sydney Harper and Luke Vander Ploeg

Edited by M.J. Davis Lin ,  Brendan Klinkenberg and Lisa Chow

Original music by Diane Wong ,  Marion Lozano and Dan Powell

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

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Donald Trump upended decades of American policy when he started a trade war with China. Many thought that President Biden would reverse those policies. Instead, he’s stepping them up.

Jim Tankersley, who covers economic policy at the White House, explains.

On today’s episode

problem solving questions for interviews computer science

Jim Tankersley , who covers economic policy at the White House for The New York Times.

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Background reading

Mr. Biden, competing with Mr. Trump to be tough on China , called for steel tariffs last month.

The Biden administration may raise tariffs on electric vehicles from China to 100 percent .

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  • Python for Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning with R
  • Machine Learning Algorithms
  • Math for Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning Interview Questions
  • ML Projects
  • Deep Learning
  • Computer vision
  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Quantiphi Interview Experience for ChatBot Engineer (On-Campus)
  • Wadhwani AI Interview Experience for ML Engineer 2023
  • TCS Interview Experience for System Engineer
  • DELL Interview Experience for Platform Engineer
  • SquadStack Interview Experience for Product Engineer
  • Neosoft Interview Experience for Trainee Engineer
  • Visa Interview Experience for Senior Data Engineer FTE
  • Promact Interview Experience for Software Engineer
  • TCS Digital Interview Experience for System Engineer
  • TRIANZ Interview Experience For Software Engineer
  • Quantiphi Interview Experience 9
  • Quantiphi Interview Experience (On-Campus)
  • Sophos Interview Experience for Software Engineer 2021
  • Truminds Interview Experience for Software Engineer
  • Quantiphi Interview Experience
  • Searce Interview Experience for Software Engineer
  • Qualitest Interview Experience for Graduate Engineer
  • Accenture Interview Experience for Software Engineer

Quantiphi Interview Experience For A ML Ops Engineer

The interview process at Quantiphi began with a warm introduction. They wanted to know more about my background, my journey into ML Ops, and what drew me to Quantiphi specifically. It felt more like a conversation than an interrogation. They asked about my experiences my qualifications in deploying and managing machine learning models, and how I tackled challenges in previous projects in my colleges or anywhere.

They asked me questions like:

  • Can you tell us about your journey and why you chose the path of ML Ops engineer?
  • What are some of the projects you’ve worked on involving the deployment and management of machine learning models?
  • How do you handle challenges that arise during the deployment phase of ML projects?

Round 2: The Technical round

In the second round, they dove into the technical aspects. They asked detailed questions about the tools and technologies I’ve used, my understanding of cloud platforms, containerization, orchestration tools, and version control systems. They asked me

  • Could you walk us through your experience with cloud platforms like AWS or GCP?
  • What containerization tools have you worked with, and how do you ensure scalability and reliability in your deployments?
  • How do you manage version control for machine learning models, especially when dealing with multiple versions and iterations?

Round 3: The Problem-Solving Challenge

This round was all about putting theory into practice. They presented me with a real-world scenario where a machine learning model needed to be deployed in a production environment, and I had to outline the steps I would take to ensure a smooth deployment and ongoing management. It was a hands-on discussion that allowed me to showcase my problem-solving skills.

Round 4: The Cultural Fit

The final round wasn’t just about skills; it was about fit. They wanted to gauge whether I would thrive in their collaborative and innovative environment. We discussed team dynamics, communication styles, and how I approach learning and personal growth. It was refreshing to see how much they valued culture fit alongside technical expertise. They discussed

  • How do you collaborate with team members, especially across different functions like data science, engineering, and operations?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to adapt to a new technology or approach, and how did you approach the learning process?
  • What do you value most in a work environment, and how do you contribute to fostering that environment?

Overall, my interview experience at Quantiphi was both challenging and enjoyable. Each round felt like a meaningful exchange rather than a test, and it gave me a great sense of the company’s values and culture. I left feeling excited about the opportunity to join their team and contribute to their cutting-edge ML Ops projects.

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