Interview Cake Review: Not For Everyone

November 27, 2020
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Interview Cake is an interview prep course that has plenty of features to help you prepare for your technical interviews, and it does its best at teaching you to solve programming questions in an efficient, timely manner. However, it also has quite a few shortcomings that don't allow it to be used by everyone, and it'd be difficult to recommend it on its own. Instead, we recommend setting yourself apart from the rest of the tech job market with Tech Interview Pro, a proven program offering hundreds of coding walk-throughs that also prepares you for the soft side of the interview.

Interview Cake is a self-paced course that teaches you how to work through all the major problem areas that candidates struggle with in their interviews.

It offers a series of exercises and plenty of detailed articles to help you study core technical interview topics, such as data structures & algorithms and systems design.

Advantages of Interview Cake

#1 “Gotchas”

One of the things that makes Interview Cake different is that it has its own set of “gotchas” for every programming question. Their purpose is to show you common mistakes that candidates make in similar questions.

This is a useful tool to have because it both makes sure if you've truly understood a problem and it sets you apart from candidates that make these mistakes during their interviews: a feature that other interview prep courses often don't have.

#2 Extensive Coding Problems

Interview Cake has around 50 programming questions available, and while it doesn't sound like much if you're coming from an online judge platform like LeetCode, it makes sense once you see the approach these coding questions take.

This number of problems is actually a realistic one to go through, and every programming question is designed to teach you every aspect of the problem itself, whether it's the algorithm or the strategy you should be using to go about doing so.

#3 Focuses On The “How” Of Problem-Solving

Another thing that characterizes Interview Cake is how it focuses on the “how” of problem-solving instead of just getting to a coding question's answer.

Every coding question is broken down into this series of steps:

  1. Try to solve the problem on your own (If you get stuck, each problem has multiple hints to help you: this way you don’t have to just give up and look at the solution).
  2. Once you have the solution, Interview Cake shows you common “gotchas” that people often get wrong
  3. Finally, when you are confident in your solution, Interview Cake gives you a detailed breakdown of not only what the solution is, but how to think about the problem so that you know exactly how to solve similar problems in the future

#4 Questions By Topic Or By Company

Interview Cake has an extensive list of practice programming questions ordered both by topic and by company, which makes the studying far quicker in case you're looking to prepare for a specific company or topic.

These lists are quite extensive, so it's unlikely that you won't find what you're looking for here.

#5 Multiple Coding Language Support

Whether you’re reading an article, doing a practice problem, or looking at coding explanations, you always have the option of choosing the programming language that's being displayed, saving you the unnecessary hassle of learning a new programming language just to understand the content that's being featured.

#6 Private Slack Group

Interview Cake also grants its users access to a private Slack group, where they're allowed to ask any kind of question that they have on their mind (whether it's about coding or it's interview prep advice).

This feature is particularly useful in case you're the type of person that asks a lot of questions and needs detailed feedback for better learning.

#7 Completely Risk-Free

Interview Cake has two features that make it a risk-free purchase.

First, you can test a big part of the content for free: if you’re not sure whether Interview Cake is right for you, you get free access to the Table of Contents, many of the articles, and even 3 practice problems of your choice.

Second, if you’re unsatisfied with what Interview Cake has to offer at any point (even if it’s just because you didn’t pass your interview), you're allowed to have a 100% refund.

So, is Interview Cake worth it?

Interview Cake certainly has some strong points going for it, but it does also have a few key weaknesses that won't allow me to fully recommend it on its own.

And these are weaknesses that, when combined, make Interview Cake an interview prep resource that is simply…

Interview Cake's Biggest Weakness: Not For Everyone

#1 No Video Content

Interview Cake is a course that relies entirely on written articles to teach you these topics, and although there are a few folks who prefer this method, the vast majority would find it much more comfortable if they were being taught these crucial tech interview concepts through video lessons.

#2 Unfriendly To Beginners

Interview Cake's approach to teaching you core tech interview topics is one that only coders with some experience can tolerate without getting confused.

The thing is, Interview Cake doesn't have a clearly defined study path, since it’s organized by topic and not by how you should study. For beginners, it's better to take the latter approach rather than the former in order to avoid frustration.

#3 Not Consistently Thorough

Interview Cake can be extremely thorough in some of the topics that it covers, and that's undeniable.

But with some other topics, Interview Cake can also be pretty light (systems design would be a good example of this). Depending on the job position you're looking to land, this could be detrimental to your interview prep if you're only using Interview Cake to study.

Interview Cake vs. Tech Interview Pro

Interview Cake is definitely a good course to use during your interview prep, but it's also likely that it won't completely satisfy your needs depending on what you're looking for. What to do, then?

I recommend you take a look at Tech Interview Pro, a program designed by a former software engineer at Google and Facebook who has compressed years of interview knowledge and experience into a single course.

And here are just a few of the reasons why I recommend it over Interview Cake.

#1 Comprehensive In Every Aspect

Tech Interview Pro will teach you everything you need to know on all aspects of getting hired, and it will do so with as much detail as it possibly can.

Here’s an outline of Tech Interview Pro:

  1. Understanding The Interview Process
  2. Four Axes of the Interview
    1. Coding
    2. Data Structures & Algorithms
    3. Systems Design
    4. Communication
  3. Interviewing Masterclass
  4. Data Structures & Algorithms
  5. 100+ Coding Sessions
  6. The Mock Interview
  7. Systems Design
  8. Transitioning Careers
  9. Negotiating & Accepting Your Offer

As you can see here, Tech Interview Pro not only prepares you for the technical aspect, but it also gives the behavioral aspect the importance it deserves.

#2 Private Facebook Group

Tech Interview Pro grants its users access to an active private Facebook group with over 1,500 former students of the course, which allows you to get immediate feedback on your interviews and get immediate feedback on your interviews and offers.

Here are some of the posts you can expect to see in it:

Tech Interview Pro Review - Success Stories
Tech Interview Pro Review - Success Stories
Tech Interview Pro Review - Success Stories

#3 Led By An Industry Insider

Tech Interview Pro was created by TechLead, a former software engineer who has grown his own websites to millions of users, spent his recent years working at Facebook and Google, and has conducted over 100 technical interviews for Google.

Considering just how much of the interviewing process he has seen, he's simply an invaluable source of insight.

#4 Bi-Weekly Q&A Sessions

Tech Interview Pro also grants its users access to bi-weekly Q&A sessions with TechLead: these Q&A sessions often last for about an hour, and they allow you to get specific feedback for any question you might have.

Tech Interview Pro Review

Some of the questions you could make in these Q&A sessions in exchange for extensive feedback include:

  • How should I prepare for an SWE machine learning interview at Google?
  • I have an interview with Facebook in 2 weeks. How should I prepare?
  • What is the best answer to the question “Why Amazon?”
  • What are some Microsoft interview questions?

Oh, and every Q&A session is recorded and can be accessed at any time, so as soon as you join Tech Interview Pro, you’ll gain access to all previous Q&A sessions, too.

#5 Resume Reviews

TechLead will also personally review your resume and help you tailor it to the company and job position you're seeking to apply for, which will help you immediately leave a lasting first impression on your recruiters.

Considering this is the first interaction you have with the company, you definitely want to make sure your resume knocks them out.

#6 Lifetime Access

Every TIP user gets lifetime access to the course's content, which sounds logical, but it doesn't end there.

This means that every user is granted access to new video content when its added, Q&A sessions whenever they're recorded, the private Facebook group, and everything else the course offers.

TIP's got your back, whether it's in the present or in the future.

In Summary

Interview Cake is an interview prep course that has plenty of features to help you prepare for your technical interviews, and it does its best at teaching you to solve programming questions in an efficient, timely manner.

However, Interview Cake also has quite a few shortcomings that don't allow it to be used by everyone, and it'd be difficult to recommend it on its own. Instead, we recommend setting yourself apart from the rest of the tech job market with Tech Interview Pro.

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