Check out a free preview of the full Introduction to Data Structures for Interviews course

The "Course Overview" Lesson is part of the full, Introduction to Data Structures for Interviews course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Bianca reviews the course agenda and tips on how better master the material.


Transcript from the "Course Overview" Lesson

>> Bianca Gandolfo: So what are we gonna cover today? So we're gonna talk about the background of each data structure, each of these data structures listed below. We're going to talk about how we use them in real life. How we're gonna implement them. We're gonna analyze them. And then, I hope that you guys gain experience and intuition through practicing with just some classic problems related to these data structures.

>> Bianca Gandolfo: Okay, so how to succeed, how to be effective. Like I mentioned earlier, don't memorize, it's not gonna help you. But learn the overall concepts and think about how you're gonna apply them. Keep these tools in your belt. But be able to adapt them to the various problems that maybe thrown at you in an interview.

You wanna find themes, but don't jump to conclusions. This is important, once you start having that intuition, do not let your assumptions take over. Once you start to have an assumption, clarify with your interviewer and that is totally fine, but don't run with it. If it seems like a good way to solve a problem is with a stack, say that, don't just keep it to yourself, cuz it might not actually be what you expect.

>> Bianca Gandolfo: Rule #3 is practice with a timer because speed matters. Most people, when they go through the interview process, they don't do well the technical portion. Not because they don't know the theory and the analysis, but because they aren't able to solve the problems in enough time. So they would have arrived at an answer, but it just took them a long time.

So practicing a lot in getting fast is really important to get through, even just the initial phone screen.
>> Bianca Gandolfo: And so, you wanna be able to solve these problems. Some of them are longer than others, but typically, like, 30 minutes. You wanna able to, or even like some of these, like 20, 10 to 20 minutes.

Some of them are very like entry level problems, but you wanna try to do it as fast as you can. Next point, actually, practice. Reading does not count, reading the solution does not count as actually practicing because that's the memorization piece. It is not the, have a tool and adapt it, technique.

So you can read the solutions and go through them, but it doesn't replace actually, struggling through a problem. I recently took an interview prep class, and they said to struggle for two hours before looking. But that's pretty brutal, I don't know if I recommend that. But that was their recommendation, like struggle for two hours and then ask for help, and then look at the solutions online.

So every common interview question has a solution online, it's out there. And last but probably the most important, make sure you communicate really well, and that you're nice throughout the whole time. Even if you're frustrated, even if it's not going well, even if you don't know, communicate, be polite, it'll get you a long way.

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