Interview Kickstart Review: Close, But No Cigar

December 13, 2020
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Interview Kickstart is a strong software engineering interview prep boot camp that mainly focuses on helping SWEs get into the interviewing mindset. However, its price and exclusivity make it unable to be used by everyone, which is why we recommend you use Tech Interview Pro, a proven program offering hundreds of coding walk-throughs that also prepares you for the soft side of the interview.

Interview Kickstart is a software engineering interview prep boot camp. They work with people who have extensive experience so that they can be more successful in their technical interviews, and they mainly focus on helping software engineers get into the interviewing mindset.

Advantages of Interview Kickstart

#1 Expert Led

Interview Kickstart has 60+ instructors to choose from, and all of them are either hiring managers or tech leads (many work for Google, in fact).

This way, you don't have to worry about the legitimacy of what's being taught to you.

#2 Structured & Guided Pathway

The old way of preparing for technical interviews was to do 200-300 questions from LeetCode, hoping to solve one of those questions in your interview.

However, companies today have databases of 16,000+ technical questions they can pull from, while all of LeetCode has just 1,000 questions: this is simply not an option anymore.

So rather than focusing on questions, Interview Kickstart focuses on teaching you problem-solving patterns so that you're capable of solving any programming question, even if you've never seen it before.

#3 Proven Track Record

Interview Kickstart has a proven track record of over 4,000 offers generated, the majority of which are experienced working engineers. 

This means that you'll have a lot of specific feedback from plenty of different companies at hand, so make sure to take advantage of this.

#4 Personalized For Everyone

Interview Kickstart also offers personalized feedback loops from your instructors to learn exactly where you're lagging behind.

This will allow you to address problem areas that you may have pretty quickly, and it will allow you to become a stronger software engineer overall.

#5 Huge Community

The Interview Kickstart community is 5,000+ members strong, which is honestly a pretty hefty number of software engineers that can help you with any problems you could have.

This also allows you to get feedback on your interviews and offers, and it's also useful for meeting other engineers who have successfully landed jobs in FAANG and other tech firms. 

Amazing! Interview Kickstart's worth it then, right?

Almost.

The thing is, while it does have a big list of positives going for it, it also has a few key negatives that don't allow me to fully recommend it, and those would be…

Interview Kickstart's Biggest Weaknesses

#1 Cost

Interview Kickstart's cost is around $6200 in total: around $600 is for the trial, and the rest goes towards the full course.

That price tag gets very close to some of the courses Springboard has, and as I've mentioned in that article, interview prep resources don't have to cost a fortune.

#2 Exclusivity

Similar to the exclusivity issues of Interview Cake, half of Interview Kickstart's students have 8-12 years of experience, and nearly everyone in the community has at least 5+ years of experience under their belt.

What's that? You've just graduated and you want to use Interview Kickstart to prepare for your interviews? Tough luck, buddy.

Interview Kickstart vs. Tech Interview Pro

So, we're running into a little case of déjà-vu here.

Interview Kickstart is both too pricy and it's very likely that it won't fit your current background, so what else could you use?

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

Here are just a few of the reasons I recommend Tech Interview Pro over Interview Kickstart.

#1 Smaller Cost, Same Quality

Tech Interview Pro will cover all aspects of getting hired, not just your technical skills: and it will do so while asking for a tenth of Interview Kickstart's price.

Here’s what you can expect to see in 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, there’s plenty of technical and behavioral content to see there, and you can expect every single topic shown here to be covered as thoroughly as possible.

You can get more detail on each of these nine modules in our in-depth Tech Interview Pro review.

#2 Created By An Industry Insider

Tech Interview Pro is run by an industry veteran who has reverse-engineered the hiring process to give you the best chance of success.

TechLead (Patrick Shyu) 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.

If you're looking for someone who knows how to get a job at FAANG, TechLead's your man.

#3 Bi-Weekly Q&A Sessions

TechLead hosts live Q&A sessions for all Tech Interview Pro students every two weeks. These Q&A sessions normally last for about an hour, and you can expect to be surprised by just how thorough they are. 

The best part about these Q&A sessions is that you can ask anything and get extensive feedback in return. For example, you could ask:

  • I want to land a job at Facebook. Where should I begin?
  • I have an upcoming phone interview at Amazon. What should I look out for?
  • I have an upcoming interview at Apple. How should I prepare?
  • I didn’t get the internship I wanted at Google. What should I work on over the next 6 months to ensure I get the next one?

Also, it's worth mentioning that every Q&A session is recorded, so as soon as you join Tech Interview Pro, you’ll gain access to all previous Q&A sessions.

#5 Resume Reviews

Your resume will probably be a recruiter’s first interaction with you, and TechLead knows exactly just how crucial it is that their first glance at it knocks them out.

That's why TechLead will also personally review your resume and help you tailor it for the position and the company you’re pursuing. 

#6 Lifetime Access

Every Tech Interview Pro student gets lifetime access to everything within the course: this means new video lessons as they’re added, the private Facebook group, all of the live Q&A sessions, and everything else.

It doesn't matter if you're looking to land a job now or 10 years ahead: Tech Interview Pro has you covered.

In Summary

Interview Kickstart is a solid interview prep course, and you can't say no to that.

But not everyone is both able to pay what it asks for while also having 5+ years of software engineering experience.

If you want to get ahead of your peers and give yourself the best shot at getting a big tech job offer, you’re going to need a better edge. I recommend setting yourself apart from the rest of the job market with Tech Interview Pro.

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