First the elation, then the fear. For some tech job seekers, that pretty much sums up the feelings of landing a technical interview.
But before fear-induced paralysis of the mind sets in, it may be worth your while to take a look at one of the websites that provide examples of job interview questions asked by a number of companies, one of which may be where you are interviewing.
However, you may wonder whether it's worth the time to review such cheat sheet questions.
"You should do anything you can that's legal to prepare for an interview. That includes looking at these sites, talking to people you know who work at the company or used to work there and talking to recruiters who help the company find people," said Jon Holman, founder of the executive recruiting firm The Holman Group.
He cautioned, however, that job seekers should never divulge they've taken the time to look at these sites to get a jump on the potential questions that they may come across in the job interview. Holman stressed, "You especially don't want to assume that the statements on the blog are true or current. Companies aren't stupid. If they know that a blogger has posted their "standard" questions ... (the) questions will get changed. And if you're flummoxed in the interview because you didn't think more broadly than the list of questions on the blog, well, you don't deserve the job."
Cody Voellinger, founder of tech recruiting firm RockIT Recruiting, holds a similar view.
While Voellinger says he believes it is "definitely" worth a person's effort to review these sites and the technical questions listed, he noted it is far more important to consider the type of questions asked and develop a broader frame of mind that will help in preparing answers to the questions.
For example, there are 20 different areas that the interview can focus on, Voellinger noted. And in looking at the cheat sheet questions, job candidates may notice a particular company likes to use pair programming tests, while another company may prefer white board tests.
Gayle Laakmann McDowell, founder and CEO of IT career and job training site CareerCup and author of Cracking the Coding Interview, said, "The goal of these questions is not to test if you know how to solve some problem, but rather to assess if you can 'figure out' how to solve a new problem."
She added that tech companies typically are supportive of job candidates who engage in interview preparation. "They want to hire more software developers, and know that the process isn't perfect. Good developers often get rejected because they just weren't prepared," Laakmann McDowell said. "Many recruiters actually give candidates links to CareerCup, Cracking the Coding Interview, and other resources. Some [tech recruiting companies] go so far as to fund preparation ... they know that this can be the critical step in landing a great candidate."
In addition to CareerCup, other tech interview preparation programs include Interview Kickstart. Of course, there are the following eight cheat sheet sites with examples of technical questions asked by such companies as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Take a look and tell us whether you would use these sites to help with interview preparation or if you would recommend them to job seekers.