New Grad SWE Interview Questions

by Nian Li

Posted on March 30, 2020

In this article, new Grad SWE Technical interview questions would be introduced in various sectors. For my personal experience, I interviewed full-time SWE positions for over 10 companies in 2020 and interviewers are from their Singapore, United States and China office.

Personally, I prepared my SWE interview for around 1 month and I wrote down those questions which I think are important to review. From my experience, over 50% interview questions I was asked appear in my prepared question list. Here, I would like to share my list to you and I hope it can help you get your dream SWE job!

Algorithm & Data Structure Coding

Interview Position: All
Leetcode Solution Page


Interview Position: C++ Engineer

  1. List the types of inheritance supported in C++.
  2. Explain Encapsulation, abstraction and inheritance.
  3. Explain the purpose of the keyword volatile and extern.
  4. What is an inline function?
  5. What is a storage class?
  6. What is the role of mutable storage class specifier?
  7. Distinguish between shallow copy and deep copy.
  8. Function Overloading v.s. Function Overriding
  9. virtual & pure virtual function
  10. Abstract class and assignment
  11. New & delete
  12. Reference variable
  13. References vs pointers
  14. Static member variable & Static member functions
  15. Name the data type which can be used to store wide characters in C++
  16. Do we have a String primitive data type in C++?
  17. Un-buffered standard error stream (cerr) & Buffered standard error stream (clog)
  18. Destructor & Can it be overloaded?
  19. Constructors & default Constructors & parameterized Constructors & copy constructor
  20. Constructor Overloading
  21. Difference between the keywords struct and class in C++
  22. Block scope variable
  23. Command line arguments
  24. Can a program be compiled without main() function?
  25. Different ways of passing parameters to the functions
  26. What is the full form of STL?
  27. S++ or S = S+1, which can be recommended to increment the value by 1 and why?
  28. Actual and formal parameters
  29. Variable declaration and variable definition
  30. Friend function
  31. This
  32. Scope resolution operator
  33. Class template
  34. Container class
  35. Token
  36. Virtual destructor

Computer Architecture

Interview Position: All
Reference1 Reference2

  1. Explain what is Computer Architecture
  2. How Computer Architecture is characterized?
  3. Mention what are the different types of fields that are part of an instruction?
  4. Mention what are the basic components of a Microprocessor?
  5. Mention what are different types of interrupts in a microprocessor system? Explain?
  6. Mention what are the common components of a microprocessor are?
  7. Mention what is the simplest way to determine cache locations in which to store memory blocks?
  8. What technique is used to automatically move program and data blocks into the physical main memory when they are required for execution?
  9. Redundant Array of Independant Disk (RAID)
  10. Mention what are the types of micro-operations?
  11. Explain what is WAIT state?
  12. Explain how you can deal with WAIT state?
  13. Explain How Many Types Of Memory In Computer Architecture?
  14. What Do You Understand Vertical Micro Code?
  15. Explain The Cpu Is Busy But You Want To Stop And Do Some Other Task. How Do You Do It?
  16. What Are The Different Types Of Fields That Are Part Of An Instruction?explain?
  17. Steps in an Instruction Cycle
  18. Explain The Difference Between Interrupt Service Routine And Subroutine?


Interview Position: System / Server Engineer
Reference1 Reference2

  1. How to check the kernel version of a Linux system?
  2. How to see the current IP address on Linux?
  3. How to check for free disk space in Linux?
  4. How to see if a Linux service is running?
  5. How to check the size of a directory in Linux?
  6. How to check for open ports in Linux?
  7. How to check Linux process information (CPU usage, memory, user information, etc.)?
  8. How to deal with mounts in Linux
  9. Man pages
  10. What is Linux Kernel?
  11. What is LILO
  12. Check serial port numbers?
  13. Show difference between 2 files
  14. How you can view the text file using Terminal?
  15. Get group ID and name?
  16. What is Linux system call?
  17. ACL -- Access Contril Lists
  18. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
  19. Process states in Linux?

Machine Learning

Interview Position: Machine Learning / AI Engineer
Reference1 Reference2

  1. What’s the trade-off between bias and variance?
  2. What is the difference between supervised and unsupervised machine learning?
  3. How is KNN different from k-means clustering?
  4. Explain how a ROC curve works.
  5. Define precision and recall.
  6. What is Bayes’ Theorem? How is it useful in a machine learning context?
  7. Why is “Naive” Bayes naive?
  8. Explain the difference between L1 and L2 regularization.
  9. What’s your favorite algorithm, and can you explain it to me in less than a minute?
  10. What’s the difference between Type I and Type II error?
  11. What’s a Fourier transform?
  12. What’s the difference between probability and likelihood?
  13. What is deep learning, and how does it contrast with other machine learning algorithms?
  14. What’s the difference between a generative and discriminative model?
  15. What cross-validation technique would you use on a time series dataset?
  16. How is a decision tree pruned?
  17. Which is more important to you– model accuracy, or model performance?
  18. What’s the F1 score? How would you use it?
  19. How would you handle an imbalanced dataset?
  20. When should you use classification over regression?
  21. Name an example where ensemble techniques might be useful.
  22. How do you ensure you’re not overfitting with a model?
  23. What evaluation approaches would you work to gauge the effectiveness of a machine learning model?
  24. How would you evaluate a logistic regression model?
  25. What’s the “kernel trick” and how is it useful?
  26. How do you handle missing or corrupted data in a dataset?
  27. Do you have experience with Spark or big data tools for machine learning?
  28. What are the different types of Machine Learning?
  29. What do you understand by selection bias?
  30. What is the difference between inductive and deductive learning?
  31. What is the difference between Gini Impurity and Entropy in a Decision Tree
  32. What is the difference between Entropy and Information Gain?
  33. Explain Ensemble learning technique in Machine Learning.
  34. What is bagging and boosting in Machine Learning?
  35. What are collinearity and multicollinearity
  36. Simple/Stratified/Clustered Random Sample; Cluster Sample
  37. What is the main difference between a Pandas series and a single-column DataFrame in Python?

Operation System

Interview Position: All
Wiki Reference


Interview Position: All (especially back-end & full-stack engineer)


Interview Position: Back-end, Full-stack & Data Engineer