Preparing for interview:
I referred to interview experience stories at several platforms, finding InterviewBit to be the most helpful. Started off topic wise with solving questions on their platform daily to brush up on dynamic programming, arrays, trees, and graphs.
Other than this, I went through “Up system creation” challenges and how post creation if we need to scale the system, what alternatives could work. Writing pseudocode on paper helped do the same in the real interview, as most interviewers expect you to write on a paper in an onsite interview, after initial screening round which will be on an online coding platform.
The interview process at DE Shaw involved one telephonic round, after which I was called up for the onsite round and was provided travel arrangements for the same. There were 4 rounds with different interview, questions asked were from coding, system design, OOPS concepts, DB queries. The coding questions were from dynamic programming, hash tables concept and arrays, all of them had to be solved on paper. The system design question was for creating a flight system and DB queries were joins specific questions.
Later we talked about the day to day work life and overall the work process was smooth and timely. After a week or so I was given details on the offer and I negotiated with them to meet my expectation.
The coding questions were in line with the latest ones that appear on the platforms like hackerrank, InterviewBit, geeksforgeeks, and the interviewers will be helping if you get stuck somewhere and later in the day we had discussions on corner cases and time complexities of the problems. Specifically, the dynamic programming problems and HashSet related problems were asked. Overall the difficulty of the problems was medium.
The uniqueness of the interview:
The interview also included a tour of the office and at the end, the HR showed a video on the life at the firm showcasing the various events and team outings and it was a good way to get an idea of the life inside the firm.