Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

I have a phone interview with a major Internet company and it is a mostly front-end developer position. If anyone has experience with UI/developer interviews and can give some advice/questions asked etc. that'll be great. Additionally, what resources can be read and reviewed for the following:

  • Designing for performance, scalability and availability
  • Internet and OS security fundamentals

EDIT: Now I am told that the interview I am told will be mostly on coding, Data Structures, design questions etc. Anyone?


migration rejected from ui.stackexchange.com Jun 17 '14 at 0:37

This question came from our site for user experience researchers and experts. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as off-topic by MichaelT, GlenH7, Ampt, Robert Harvey, gnat Jun 17 '14 at 0:37

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking career or education advice are off topic on Programmers. They are only meaningful to the asker and do not generate lasting value for the broader programming community. Furthermore, in most cases, any answer is going to be a subjective opinion that may not take into account all the nuances of a (your) particular circumstance." – GlenH7, Robert Harvey
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This site is about UI design (e.g. usability), not coding. That's why you haven't gotten much of response. I'm moving it to programmers. –  Patrick McElhaney Jan 13 '11 at 2:22
I was recently updated. The position is for UI but the interview will include that too. –  sabertooth Jan 13 '11 at 3:35
I guess no one was asked these. –  sabertooth Jan 13 '11 at 6:22

4 Answers 4

Your best resource is this:

Get that job at Google

This is long but it covers all aspects of a big-company interview process:

  • Anecdotes
  • How to prepare
  • Types of questions (spoiler: very comp-sci oriented)
  • Why you might be doomed anyway

Important: And I know what you are going to be thinking when you read this: "This sounds like comp-sci stuff, but I'm interviewing for a UI position".

Do yourself a favor and don't think that!

I had a phone interview with Facebook last year for a UI position. I was asked a single question (it was a online-collaboration coding session): "Write an algorithm in any language to print the nodes of a Binary Tree in level-order."

I didn't get past that stage. The interviewer sounded positive with me, especially during the questions I asked him, so I have no idea what happened, but I know that I didn't blow him away with my speed on the coding quiz. I was completely under-prepared for that type of question.

Google's hiring process is going to be much like Facebook's. So is nearly any other 2000s internet star. Older companies are probably a bit different.

P.S. In case you needed it, more proof that Facebook has a very-Computer-Science-influenced hiring process: facebook.com/puzzles


"I have a phone interview "

I.e. it is not a serious interview or HR have real issues.

May be they are searching for a cheap designer or they just need to fill with some corporate formalities (to have a three or more person to choose). In this case, you strategy is in the price.

In any case, i don't think that they will ask technical question other than simple "do you know about ...?", "can you give us a example of...?" and (specially) do you have previous experience, can you show us your website with your profile or any website where you are worked?"

-1: The biggest companies (in the United States) interview so many candidates it would be impractical to do anything but have phone interviews (technical phone screenings, usually with developers at the company) to start with. I'm sorry, but I have had dozens of these to know that they are much more than "simple 'do you know about ...?" questions. –  NickC Jan 17 '11 at 7:40
I am worked for some multinational companies and no, they don't do that, not even for a macjob. The reason are simple :its impractical to do a phone interview because a) its easy to fake it (to use another person), b) its hard to question specific question, c) HR can't measure the "human feeling". –  magallanes Jan 17 '11 at 14:09
If you are hiring experienced people (and still work during normal business hours) and plan on a series of interviews, an introductory phone screening is common. –  JeffO Jan 22 '11 at 17:21
yes but it is not part of the interview, it is before the real interview as a filter to reject unsolicited candidates and it can be done by a untrained personal. But again, it is not part of the interview. For example, in baseball, you can screw it in first base, a "phone interview" is even early, it is outside the field. –  magallanes Jan 22 '11 at 18:41
I phone screen all candidates now. It is just a quick 10-20 minute talk about some of what they've done, and entirely tech-oriented. I find I can get a feel very quickly if people know what they're talking about or not, just by asking questions and getting them to talk about their area of expertise. It totally avoids the waste of time when people look good on paper, but within 5 or 10 minutes of starting the interview, you know you're not going to hire. I personally don't ask puzzle questions or ask them to write code over the phone. The objective is just to reject obviously bad people. –  gregmac Oct 20 '11 at 17:41

Learn about Fitt's Law, I've always found that to be a good test to separate real ui designers from wannabe's :)

It's more of an UX thing though, if you're "just" and ui developer you probably aren't required to know stuff like that, although it never hurts


I don't know. I wouldn't take a phone interview too seriously . It may be an interview none the less, but the fact that it's being handled by phone makes me wonder about how many people have they interviewed that same way, and how many interviewees have managed to cheat their way through...it's just too easy...

So, I guess preparing is cheating? What if you just have a couple of algorithms at hand? –  sabertooth Jan 17 '11 at 22:43
je ne comprend pas... what does preparing or having algorithms at hand have to do with cheating? I'm just saying that it's far easier to get out of a question by phone than while in an interview. –  Dynamo Jan 18 '11 at 10:32
FYI, I think I did well in the interview but was not selected. –  sabertooth Jan 27 '11 at 0:15
Sorry to hear that but if I were you, I wouldn't make too much of a deal. I wouldn't trust a company that hires by phone—I'm at one right now, and I've witnessed horrors, HORRORS. (I was hired via old-fashioned face-to-face interviews) –  Dynamo Jan 27 '11 at 8:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.