Interview Ethics

One of the most frustrating things I’ve seen happen throughout my interviews is when a candidate knows a question. A lot of my friends are interviewing at other companies and of course, some companies will have similar questions to other questions.

I always ask them if they let the interviewer know whether or not they know the question, or if they just pretend not to know. A few of them lie to me (which I know, since we tend to practice problems from the same source together) and most of them tell me that they don’t tell the interviewer.

I’ll be honest, I think I bombed a company I really wanted to work for recently. and I’ve been so torn up about it - seeing that I admitted to knowing one of their questions. I can’t help but think about other candidates who know the question, but decided to act like they didn’t know. It’s not a jealousy issue; in the end I’m glad I admitted to knowing the question, but at the same time, it’ll suck knowing that somebody else was believed to have done better than me because they knew the question.

In the end, I believe that you should always tell your interviewer you know the question. I think the SWE interview process is already troublesome in itself. Letting the interviewer know that you already know the question helps the both of you. They say that honesty points always wins a lot during the interview too, so hopefully you’ve got that going on for you.