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TripAdvisor Senior SEO Software Developer Interview Questions

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Senior SEO Software Developer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
Application Details

I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at TripAdvisor in January 2013.

Interview Details

I had two phone interviews, and an in person interview before being rejected on site.

The first phone interview had a few behavioral questions, but focused mainly on technical questions (explain what is a hashmap is, talk about the different hashing algorithms, compare array lists and linked lists, etc..). Then there was an online shared whiteboard where I was asked to write some code (write a singly-linked list and an insert method, then find the n-th value from the end of a singly-linked list in constant space). Personally I thought i failed this part of the interview completely, but somehow managed a second phone interview.

The second interview was a single online white-board question (Count the number of duplicates in a BST without using recursion and constant space). Again, i completely failed to give a final solution to this question, but the interviewer thought i managed to explain myself well enough for an in-person interview.

The in-person interview had 3 technical rounds, and ended with the HR lead telling me that they'd pass on my application, spanning about 3 hours. The guy from the first round asked a few behavioral questions and a single technical question (Given two arrays, find the n-th largest value.). I thought I answered this went reasonably well. The second guy asked me to walk through a solution I had implemented on one of my current projects, and to give him metrics regarding the performance improvements. The third guy just sat in the room, asked me not to speak to him, and asked me to implement the following three pieces of code (BST insert method using recursion, BST insert using iterative, the sum of all nodes a given height). I completely failed here.

The HR guy then came in, and explained that they'd pass on my application. I completely understood why. If you are applying or you're a candidate, be sure to know your basic Data structures as well as you know how to write a class, or compile you're code. You WILL be tested on it, and they WILL push to see how much you know, and how well you know it. The HR guy told me they measure candidates based on three silos, 1) your cultural fit, 2) your intelligence and 3) your ability to solve problems (which is different from intelligence, think book smart vs street smart). Anyways, if you're weak at any of those categories, they'll spot you. Otherwise, if you're rusty, just brush up enough that you're comfortable implementing any basic data structure from scratch. You don' t need to know how to implement advanced data structure, but you should be familiar with the time and space complexity of any of them.

Overall, I'd say the experience was fairly positive. It was skillset that simply wasn't up to the task. In retrospect I would have spent more time writing array lists, linked lists, or BSTs on a piece of paper over and over again until I committed them to memory.

Good luck. hope this helps!

Interview Questions
  • Find the n-th value from the end of a singly-linked list in constant space   View Answer
  • Count the number of duplicates in a BST without using recursion and constant space   View Answer
  • Give two arrays, find the n-th largest value.   Answer Question
  • Find the sum of all nodes in a BST at a given height   Answer Question
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