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Interview Cheat Sheet 2023 Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

2023 Interview Cheat Sheet: A concise, value-packed reference for software engineers, providing expert guidance on answering common interview questions. This cheat sheet helps you present yourself confidently, align your skills with the job, and excel in interviews by offering succinct responses to key questions. Use it to stand out in your software engineering interviews in 2023

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

10 Questions

The top 10 most important interview questions that every interv­iewee should be prepared to answer:

1. Tell me about yourself.
- This is often the first question and sets the tone for the interview.

2. Why do you want to work at this company?
- Demons­trates your interest in the company and the role.

3. Why do you want this job?
- Shows your motivation and alignment with the position.

4. Why should we hire you?
- Your chance to highlight your unique qualif­ica­tions.

5. What are your greatest strengths?
- Discusses your positive attributes and skills.

6. What do you consider to be your weakne­sses?
- Reveals self-a­war­eness and ability to improve.

7. What is your greatest profes­sional achiev­ement?
- Highlights your accomp­lis­hments and impact.

8. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
- Demons­trates proble­m-s­olving and interp­ersonal skills.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Shows your career aspira­tions and commit­ment.

10. Do you have any questions for us?
- Reflects your interest in the role and company.

Being well-p­repared to answer these questions will help you make a strong impression during your job interview.

Q1: Tell Me About Yourself

- When interv­iewers ask 'tell me about yourself,' it's an icebreaker to learn about your work history.
- Keep your response short and focused because it's just the start of the interview.
- Talk mainly about your profes­sional life, not your life story or personal details.
- Keep it relevant to your work experience and career.
- This question is not the time for a long personal narrative.


1) I knew I wanted to work in the travel industry from a young age, when my family took me on a trip to Rome when I was in high school. That trip changed my life perspe­ctive, and I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life exploring all of the beautiful places the world has to offer.

2) At college I studied Hospit­ality Management and went on to get a Master’s degree in Travel and Tourism Manage­ment. Each summer I’ve worked as a tour guide in my hometown of Seattle. I designed and launched the first walking ghost tour, which quickly gained popularity and helped me save an extra $5000 the first summer. Intera­cting with all of these tourists has helped me develop strong commun­ication skills, and I’m very comfor­table speaking with new people.

3) I believe that my commun­ica­tion, organi­zat­ional and planning skills combined with my passion for travel and adventure make me a strong candidate for your travel agency, where I hope to grow my knowledge of the industry and build strong relati­onships with clients and customers

Q3: Walk me through your resume

Keep it Concise: Summarize your resume; don't go into exhaustive detail.
Three Key Sections: Organize your response into three parts: educat­ional backgr­ound, work history, and career goals.
Educat­ional Backgr­ound: Mention your relevant degrees, instit­utions, and any honors briefly.
Work History: Highlight key jobs and accomp­lis­hments, focusing on relevance to the current position.
Career Goals: Explain how your past experi­ences led you to this job and align with your future career object­ives.
Chrono­logical or Relevant Sequence: Choose a chrono­logical order or structure that emphasizes your qualif­ica­tions for the role.
Connect the Dots: Show why your past experi­ences make you the ideal candidate for this job.


1) In my academic journey, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from [Unive­rsity Name]. I joined [Previous Company] as a junior developer where I worked on front-end and back-end projects. One notable accomp­lis­hment was when I optimized a critical database query, reducing load times by 30%. I'm passionate about continuous learning, which is why I'm excited about this opport­unity. It aligns perfectly with my goal of growing as a developer and contri­buting to innovative projects. For instance, at my last role, I played a key role in developing a user-f­riendly app that garnered positive feedback from users."­

2) I recently graduated with a Master's degree in Inform­ation Systems from [Unive­rsity Name]. During my studies, I focused on cybers­ecurity and completed a project on threat detection using machine learning, which earned recogn­ition in our depart­ment. Now, I'm eager to put my knowledge into practice in a profes­sional setting. This position at [Current Company] seems ideal because of its emphasis on cybers­ecu­rity. I'm confident that my academic backgr­ound, along with my passion for securing digital assets, will enable me to make a signif­icant impact.

Q5: What is your greatest strength?

Showcase specific strengths relevant to the job.
Use examples to illustrate your strengths.
Avoid a long list of vague adjectives.
Make your response memorable with stories.
Seize the opport­unity to mention important qualif­ica­tions for the role.


1) I've found my greatest strength to be my ability to bridge the gap between technical and non-te­chnical teams. Coming from a background in marketing, I've developed strong commun­ication and interp­ersonal skills. Now, as I transition into the IT industry, I see the value in being able to translate complex technical concepts into unders­tan­dable terms for non-te­chnical stakeh­olders. This skill can facilitate smoother collab­ora­tion, which is often essential in IT projects with multid­isc­ipl­inary teams.

2) One of my greatest strengths is my attention to detail, especially when it comes to troubl­esh­ooting. During my internship at CyberTech Services, I had the opport­unity to work closely with the IT team in resolving complex issues. I found that my meticulous approach helped me identify root causes and implement precise solutions. I also documented the troubl­esh­ooting process, which proved helpful for future reference and training. In the IT field, where precision and accuracy are paramount, this attention to detail is something I believe would be an asset.

3) I'd say my greatest strength lies in my adapta­bility and fast learning in the IT domain. During my academic journey, I had the chance to work on a wide range of techno­logies and coding languages. While I may not be an expert in everyt­hing, I have a proven ability to quickly grasp new concepts and apply them effect­ively. In the fast-paced IT industry, where technology evolves rapidly, I see this adapta­bility as a critical strength that allows me to stay current and contribute effect­ively

Q7: What's your greatest profes­sional achiev­ement?

Step 1: Choose a Relevant Achiev­ement
- Select an achiev­ement that relates to the job you're applying for.

Step 2: Use the STAR Method
- Situation: Describe the context.
- Task: Explain your role and the challenge.
- Action: Detail what you did.
- Result: Highlight the positive outcomes, using metrics if possible.

Step 3: Emphasize Impact
- Clearly convey the impact and signif­icance of your achiev­ement.

Step 4: Showcase Relevant Skills
- Connect the achiev­ement to skills or qualities important for the job.

Step 5: Be Concise and Engaging
- Keep your response brief and engaging.

Step 6: Practice
- Practice your response for a confident delivery.

Step 7: Tailor to the Job
- Customize your answer to align with the company's needs.

Step 8: Prepare for Follow-up Questions
- Anticipate and be ready for additional questions about your achiev­ement.

Following these concise and practical steps will help you effect­ively share your greatest profes­sional achiev­ement during an interview.


1) My proudest achiev­ement as a junior developer was optimizing our web applic­ation's perfor­mance, reducing bounce rates by 20%.

2) During my IT intern­ship, I succes­sfully resolved a critical network issue, earning recogn­ition from the team.

3) My greatest achiev­ement during my transition to IT was developing a cybers­ecurity awareness program, reducing security incidents by 30%.

4) As a recent IT graduate, leading a collab­orative project that transf­ormed a nonpro­fit's operations highli­ghted my teamwork and proble­m-s­olving skills.

Q9: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Step 1: Set Realistic Expect­ations:
- Advise mentees to set realistic career expect­ations. Emphasize that the interv­iewer wants to assess if their aspira­tions align with the position and company.

Step 2: Show Ambition:
- Encourage mentees to convey ambition and long-term career planning. Highlight that prepar­ation and though­tfu­lness in answering this question are essential.

Step 3: Align with the Position:
- Suggest that mentees consider where the current position could lead them within the company. Explain that the answer should demons­trate alignment between their goals and the job.

Step 4: Realistic Vision:
- Guide mentees to think realis­tically about their career path within the organi­zation. Encourage them to provide a vision that's attainable and coherent.

Step 5: Flexib­ility:
- Explain that it's acceptable to acknow­ledge uncert­ainty about the future and emphasize that the experience gained in this role will help them make informed decisions.

By following these steps, mentees can respond effect­ively to the question, showcasing their ambition, alignment with the position, and realistic career planning.


1) In five years, I envision myself as a senior developer with a deep unders­tanding of various progra­mming languages and framew­orks. I'll have honed my proble­m-s­olving skills through real-world projects and collab­ora­tions with experi­enced develo­pers. My goal is to contribute to innovative software solutions and mentor junior developers to help them grow in their careers.

2) In the next five years, I aim to establish myself as a well-r­ounded IT profes­sional. I envision transi­tioning from an intern role to a full-time position with expertise in network management and cybers­ecu­rity. My goal is to contin­ually learn and adapt to the evolving IT landscape while contri­buting to the success of the organi­zation.

3) Five years from now, I see myself as a proficient IT specialist with a strong foundation in my chosen field. I plan to leverage my previous experience and newfound IT skills to excel in a cybers­ecurity role. My ambition is to become a recognized expert in safegu­arding digital assets and contri­buting to the company's security strategy.

4) In the next five years, I aspire to grow into a highly skilled IT profes­sional. I see myself advancing from an entry-­level role to a position where I can apply my knowledge in database management and data analysis to drive business insights. My goal is to become a valuable asset by contri­buting to data-d­riven decisi­on-­making processes.

Q2: Why do you want to work at this company?

Step 1: Research the Company:
- Encourage candidates to research the company thorou­ghly. This includes unders­tanding its mission, values, culture, produc­ts/­ser­vices, recent achiev­ements, and industry reputa­tion.

Step 2: Identify Unique Aspects:
- Advise candidates to pinpoint unique aspects of the company that genuinely excite them. This could include innovative projects, a strong commitment to sustai­nab­ility, a supportive work culture, or industry leader­ship.

Step 3: Relate to Personal Goals:
- Instruct candidates to connect the company's strengths with their personal and career goals. How can their skills and aspira­tions contribute to the company's success or growth?

Step 4: Be Specific:
- Emphasize the importance of specif­icity in the response. Avoid generic answers and focus on particular attributes or opport­unities that set the company apart.

Step 5: Showcase Enthus­iasm:
- Encourage candidates to convey their enthusiasm and passion for the role and the company. Interv­iewers want to see genuine excite­ment.


1) I noticed that your company is expanding its operations on the West Coast and building a new data center. This excites me because I see opport­unities to grow and train new team members. Additi­onally, I read about your expansion into Mexico, and as a fluent Spanish speaker, I'm eager to contribute to bridging any commun­ication gaps.

2) During my college internship at ABC Corp, I used your software for demogr­aphic research, and I was highly impressed by its quality and the responsive support team. This firsthand experience motivated me to join your company, where I can continue to work with cuttin­g-edge technology and contribute to providing except­ional client services.

3) Your company's values align perfectly with mine, focusing on delivering except­ional work and making a positive impact for clients. Additi­onally, I see opport­unities in your expanding operations on the West Coast and in Mexico, which perfectly complement my goal of transi­tioning into the IT industry.

4) I'm excited about the job opport­unity at your company because it resonates with my values of delivering high-q­uality work and creating positive client experi­ences. Your expanding operations on the West Coast and in Mexico also present great prospects for career growth and the chance to apply my IT knowledge effect­ively.

Q4: Why should we hire you?

1. Highlight Your Abilities: Start by emphas­izing your skills, experi­ence, and qualif­ica­tions relevant to the role.

2. Demons­trate Results: Provide examples of your past achiev­ements and how they demons­trate your ability to excel in the position.

3. Team and Culture Fit: Explain how your person­ality and work style align with the team and company culture.

4. Unique­ness: Showcase what sets you apart from other candid­ates, whether it's your unique skills, experi­ences, or perspe­ctive.

5. Confid­ence: Speak confid­ently and assert­ively, showing that you're genuinely enthus­iastic about the role.

By following these steps, you'll deliver a compelling and concise answer that convinces the hiring manager you're the ideal candidate for the job.


1) As a junior developer, I bring a strong foundation in progra­mming languages such as Python and JavaSc­ript. I'm enthus­iastic about learning and adapting to new challe­nges, which aligns perfectly with General Tech's dynamic enviro­nment. I'm eager to contribute my skills to help the team integrate new products seamlessly and thrive during this exciting phase of growth.

2) As an intern, I'm excited about the opport­unity to gain hands-on experience and learn from the talented profes­sionals at General Tech. My coursework in computer science has provided me with a solid unders­tanding of progra­mming concepts, and I'm eager to apply that knowledge in a real-world setting. I'm a quick learner and a dedicated team player, and I believe this internship will be a valuable stepping stone in my career.

3) As a recent college graduate, I'm enthus­iastic about starting my career at General Tech. My academic background in computer science has equipped me with a strong foundation in progra­mming and proble­m-s­olving. During my studies, I also completed relevant projects that demons­trate my ability to deliver results. I'm excited to contribute my fresh perspe­ctive and passion for technology to the team and make a meaningful impact.

4) While I may not have a tradit­ional IT backgr­ound, my experience in [relevant field] has honed my skills in [trans­ferable skills]. I'm eager to pivot my career into IT because I see it as a dynamic and rapidly evolving field. My ability to [specific transf­erable skill] and my commitment to continuous learning make me a strong candidate for adapting to new challenges in the IT sector. I'm excited about the opport­unity to leverage my unique background to contribute to General Tech's success.

Q6: What Are your Weakne­sses?

Be Honest: Admit a genuine weakness.
Non-Cr­itical Weakness: Choose one that doesn't directly impact the job.
Show Improv­ement: Explain steps taken to address and improve the weakness.
Avoid Clichés: Steer clear of insincere responses.
Balance: Acknow­ledge a real area for improv­ement while showing your commitment to self-i­mpr­ove­ment.
Use Examples: Share specific instances that highlight awareness and proactive efforts.
Relate to Job: Connect the weakness to skills valued in the role.


1) One area I've been actively working on is time manage­ment. In the past, I sometimes found myself spending too much time on perfecting certain coding tasks, which could affect project timelines. To improve, I've started using time management tools and techni­ques, such as the Pomodoro technique, to help me stay focused and meet deadlines more effici­ently. It's a skill I continue to refine to ensure I balance quality work with project timelines.

2) I've recognized that I tend to be quite self-c­rit­ical, especially when learning new techno­logies. While striving for excellence is important, I've sometimes found that I spend too much time dwelling on minor mistakes or seeking additional valida­tion. To overcome this, I've been working on building more self-c­onf­idence in my abilities and reminding myself that making mistakes is a part of the learning process. I've also sought feedback from mentors to gain perspe­ctive on areas where I can improve.

3) I've realized that I can be overly detail­-or­iented at times. While attention to detail is crucial, it has occasi­onally led to a bit of perfec­tio­nism, causing me to spend more time than necessary on tasks. I've recognized that in the IT industry, speed and agility can be equally important. To improve, I've been consci­ously setting time limits for tasks and period­ically reviewing my progress. This approach helps me strike a balance between precision and effici­ency, which is essential in the IT field.

Q8: Work Conflict: How Did You Handle It?

Step 1: Select a Relevant Conflict

- Choose a conflict or challenge from your profes­sional experience that is both relevant to the job you're applying for and demons­trates your ability to handle diffic­ulties.

Step 2: Provide Context

- Start by briefly setting the stage. Provide background inform­ation about the situation, such as your role, the team involved, and the nature of the conflict.

Step 3: Describe the Conflict

- Explain what the conflict or challenge was, keeping it concise. Focus on the key points without going into excessive detail.

Step 4: Highlight Your Actions

- Describe the actions you took to address the conflict. Emphasize your proble­m-s­olving skills, leader­ship, or teamwork, depending on the context.

Step 5: Discuss the Resolution

- Spend more time discussing how you resolved the conflict or overcame the challenge. Highlight the positive outcome and the impact of your actions.

Step 6: Reflect and Learn

- Mention what you learned from the experience and how it contri­buted to your personal or profes­sional growth. This shows your ability to learn from tough situat­ions.

Step 7: Future Improv­ement

- Conclude by mentioning what you would do differ­ently if faced with a similar challenge in the future. This demons­trates your openness to growth and improv­ement.

In your response, keep the focus on the resolution and the lessons learned, showing that you are proactive, adaptable, and capable of handling workplace challenges effect­ively.

By following this concise and practical process, you can confid­ently respond to questions about challenges or conflicts in a job interview.


1) During my first develo­pment project, we encoun­tered a code integr­ation issue that jeopar­dized our deadline. I took charge, leading daily stand-up meetings to enhance commun­ica­tion. Through collab­orative proble­m-s­olving, we met the deadline and improved teamwork.

2) As an IT intern, I faced a network outage during a critical presen­tation. Remaining calm, I followed IT protocols to identify and resolve the issue swiftly. This experience reinforced my ability to handle pressure.

3) Transi­tioning into IT, I encoun­tered skepticism from colleagues doubting my technical skills. I proact­ively upskilled and volunt­eered for challe­nging tasks, earning their trust through consistent perfor­mance.

4) During my college's final project, team conflicts hindered progress. I facili­tated open discus­sions, addressed concerns, and establ­ished clear roles. We resolved conflicts, improved collab­ora­tion, and succes­sfully completed the project, enhancing my leadership and teamwork skills.

Q10: Do you have any questions for us?

1. "What would a typical day look like in this role?"
2. "What are the primary respon­sib­ilities and key objectives for this position?"
3. "How does success in this role contribute to the overall goals of the team or company?"
4. "Can you describe the team's dynamics and working style?"
5. "What is the company culture like, and how does it support remote work?"
6. "What opport­unities for profes­sional develo­pment and training are availa­ble­?"
7. "What projects or initia­tives is the team currently working on?"
8. "How does the company measure perfor­mance and success in this role?"
9. "What is the onboarding process like for new employ­ees­?"
10. "Can you share insights into the company's long-term vision and growth plans?"
11. "How does the company foster collab­oration and teamwork among remote and on-site employ­ees­?"
12. "What is the typical career progre­ssion path for someone in this role?"
13. "What is the company's approach to work-life balance and employee well-being?"
14. "How does the company handle perfor­mance reviews and feedback?"
15. "What do you enjoy most about working at this company?"

These questions will help you gather valuable inform­ation about the company, the role, and its remote work culture, ensuring that it aligns with your career objectives and prefer­ences.