Photo of Interview Cake as a software engineer technical interview prep tool

A review of Interview Cake as a software engineer interview prep tool

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering advisor at Pathrise. I work with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of Interview Cake.

What does Interview Cake do?

Interview Cake is a study tool that preps software engineering candidates for programming interviews. A former Google software engineer who tutored his friend for her coding interviews created the platform. He developed those questions and sessions into a curriculum to help more software engineers play the interviewing game.

The course focuses on understanding the right way to think about and answer technical questions. That way, candidates can derive successful answers to questions they have never practiced before. In addition, they include a full breakdown of the solution, a gotcha list, and “what we learned” section for each practice question. The questions are grouped into categories: language, topic, or company.

Photo of Interview Cake platform

Who is Interview Cake for?

Software engineers who are looking to do well in their technical interviews can benefit from Interview Cake. Since they are attempting to teach a new way of thinking about these types of questions, both seasoned software engineers and beginners can benefit.

What does Interview Cake cost? How much work is involved?

There are 3 levels of courses. The first is optimized crunch time prep. It gives the user 3 weeks of access for $149. The second is the full course, which most commonly purchased. It gives users 3 months of access and it costs $249. The third option is full access to the course along with 4 one-hour 1-on-1 sessions. It costs $4,900. They also offer a full refund if you don’t get a job. 

Photo of Interview Cake costs

Ratings and reviews

A lot of the reviews online are affiliates (which means paid partners advertising Interview Cake), so they are usually fairly positive. Those who are not connected still provide positive opinions on the quality of the questions. They also complimented the variety, style, and depth of the solutions and the tips/tricks that they provide for each type of problem.

Those who have used the program did mention that it is beneficial to have a background in data structures and algorithms before spending money on the program.

Alternatives to Interview Cake

There are other websites that compile software engineering questions, similar to Interview Cake.

  • A good option is AlgoExpert. This is a platform where software engineers can practice questions that cover a variety of interview topics.
  • Leetcode is probably the most well known. Most people who use Leetcode feel that the questions are more geared towards real work and are often better practice for technical interviews. They also mentioned that Interview Cake only has 50 questions, versus Leetcode, which has thousands.
  • Coderbyte offer a mix of free and paid resources and challenges for software engineers looking to practice their skills. Read more about Coderbyte in our review.
  • HackerRank is another common alternative. People say that the UI is nicer on HackerRank but the questions are not as helpful.
  • Those looking to participate in mock interviews with software engineers at top tech companies should check out Interviewing.io. Learn more about Interviewing.io in our review.
  • Pramp and Gainlo are other resources for software engineers looking for mock interview prep with their peers or anonymous engineers.
  • Software engineers can use the tracks offered by Educative to brush up on skills or practice for specific-language interviews.
  • If you are looking for more help with Java, Python, and more, you might want to check out Learneroo.
More alternatives to Interview Cake
  • Codewars is a user-generated alternative where all of the challenges are written by the community. Similarly, CodinGame makes coding challenges more fun by gamifying them.
  • For people looking to prep with real world problems, CodeKata provides challenges that mimic requests from real tech companies.
  • You can also check out CodeChef for a free online community and platform to practice software engineering technical questions.
  • With exercises in Python and JavaScript for beginners and advanced engineers, CheckiO is a good free resource to check out.

We compiled a list of resources to practice software engineer interview questions that you can use to decide the best one for you. You can also check out our list of 93 software engineering interview questions from top tech companies to practice.

How does Interview Cake compare to Pathrise?

Interview Cake is a good tool for software engineers of all skill levels to use in preparation for their technical interviews. The emphasis on deriving solutions and thinking the right way about software engineering problems can make the program extremely helpful leading up to these challenges and interviews.

At Pathrise, we are focused on helping our fellows with the entire job search. Part of that is mastering the technical interview and so we recommend that software engineers in our program practice these types of questions as much as possible so they can go into their interviews with confidence.

This means there is a good opportunity for people to use Interview Cake and Pathrise together, as Interview Cake can help with technical advancement and Pathrise can help with everything else needed to find the best possible job for a software engineer.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview performance scores double.

If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your software engineer interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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