In this review, we will be examining Hack the Tech Interview in deep detail.
The program is designed to help software engineers surmount the hurdles of tech interviews that aren’t getting easier.
Sure, you can get a lot of information online about successfully passing tech interviews.
But you will need all that information in one place. Besides, you need only the correct information.
Anything and everything else is trash.
Although the wealth of information is not the only thing to consider.
And since that is the case, we will examine the software from all possible angles.
Such as the features, curriculum, flexibility and more.
Sounds good, right? Let’s jump into it.
Overview of Hack the Tech Interview
Hack the Tech Interview is an interactive course taught by Randall Kanna.
In it, Randall Kanna shares much information on scaling tech interviews through downloadable resources, PDFs, and code assignments.
The course platform has a robust curriculum consisting of step-by-step video tutorials, exercises and worksheets.
A good look at the platform reveals that it is structured like a study guide.
That is because it is mainly geared toward self-practice.
An outstanding aspect of the course is the hacks it gives for answering about-yourself questions in the culture-fit part of interviews
It is in the culture-fit layer of the interview that you will be asked questions about yourself.
After taking the course, you will not be stammering when you are asked questions like;
“Tell me about yourself”, or “why should we hire you”?
Everything the course offers, it offers online. You only need a laptop or mobile device with a good internet connection to access the system.
The course is not like a video conference class where you must stick to specific schedules.
Since it mainly consists of resources, you can create your schedule and learn at your own pace.
However, not everything is self-study on Hack the Tech Interview because it also has a Discord community for the student to student interaction.
Randall Kanna – Course Instructor
Every prep course, tech or otherwise, usually has a course instructor.
They usually feature prominently in the lectures.
Hack a woman heads the Interview. She is the one mentioned in the heading above.
Randall Kanna is a tech interview expert who has made a name in various aspects of software engineering.
She’s currently a published O’Reilly author and speaker.
Randall Kanna has had a lot of involvement in the interviewing and hiring process of many companies.
So it is not surprising that she has enough expertise to publish a course designed to show aspirants of tech companies how to pass interviews.
I believe the first two parts of this review have served as an appetiser for the main course.
And the main course is the course outline because it tells us everything the program has to offer us.
Hack the Tech Interview Course Outline
I have to repeat something I wrote earlier here.
Hack the Tech Interview is structured like a study guide.
Randall’s idea is that what makes or breaks successful candidates is the level of self-practice.
As a result, the course is awash with tons of assignments, challenges and printable study plans.
Let’s come to the course outline itself. It is a succession of more than a dozen modules students will find very useful.
Some of the modules describe what the typical interview looks like and how to pass it.
Other modules suggest study plans for separate topics in software engineering and teach you how to respond to questions about yourself and your interests.
Let’s examine them in more detail.
Module 1: Welcome
The first module does what every opening module does: welcome the students and introduce the course.
As part of the warm-up, students will be treated to the Discord invite and be enlightened on how the course can work for them.
The module concludes with the first printable resource: Hack the Tech Interview checklist.
The checklist summarises the objectives of the course and the knowledge students should have gained.
Module 2: The Interview Process
The interview process module immediately follows the welcome module.
It gives insights into everything you need to do when you receive an offer. Plus, everything you need to do before and after the interview. Complicated? Let’s break it down.
For instance, when you receive a job offer, you must be punctual and get to the interview early.
The kind of clothing you wear is also essential. It is what makes or breaks your first impression.
After that, assignments immediately follow. They require you to do additional research on best practices for the interview.
As you progress, there is a printable pre-interview checklist. It’s a summary of all the ways you should be prepared for an interview.
During an interview, you won’t only answer questions. You will also need to ask questions.
But there is no need to fret because those questions have already been prepared in a printable format.
Finally, the last printable resource in this checklist contains the cheats for any technical interview.
What’s our next module? Module 3
Module 3: Your Interview Study Plan
Are we getting a study plan in Randall’s course?
You are right, and it’s one of the best features of the course.
A good study plan is needed so that you’ll study in the right direction. And Randall’s suggested study plans seem to work well.
The study plans teach how to stay focused and track your time.
There are also study plans for studying specific topics in software engineering.
I noticed that the study plans and challenges after that emphasise studying way before the interview.
What’s the hint?
Immediately after the study plans, there are three interview prep challenges. The first one lasts for 30 days, the second for 50 days and the third for 100 days.
Module 4: The Coding Take-home
In many cases, coding interviews involve you being given a small project to work on over a short period.
The objective is to assess your skill level in the assigned coding aspect.
Depending on how well you did, your work might be rejected or satisfactory
Hack the Tech Interview knows that and tries to shore you against rejections in their coding take-home module.
The module includes a step by step guide to conquering a coding take-home
There are coding take-home challenges for specific aspects of coding viz: frontend coding, backend coding and blockchain coding.
Module 5: Excelling at the Culture-Fit Interview
Many unsuccessful candidates, when recounting their experience, will tell you that the culture-fit part of the interview was what failed them.
The culture fit is the part where you answer questions about yourself and what drew you to the company.
These questions are not tricky but tactical, and you need all the assistance you can get.
The Excelling at the Culture-Fit Interview helps you rehearse for many questions like;
“Tell me about yourself, “why should we hire you”, what is your greatest weakness,” and so on.
Module 6: Data Structures
If you’ve been taught data structures somewhere, you remember that it refers to organising and storing data so we can use it efficiently.
You might have wondered whether Hack the Interview has data structures in its curriculum.
Good question. The answer is yes.
Of course, every good tech interview prep program must have data structures in its curriculum or else it is incomplete.
We all know why. Data structures and algorithms (module eight) are among some of the hottest IT skills.
For something as famous as that, it is no coincidence that Hack the Interview includes it in its training.
Module 8: Algorithms
In brief, algorithms are the computational calculations mobile devices and computers use for executing actions.
And to solve problems as well.
Without algorithms, there would be no computer systems.
Technology like AI (artificial intelligence) would be unheard of.
Thus, a software engineer must understand algorithms or else he will be handicapped.
Anyone weak in this area can brush up with a tool like Hack the Interview.
Module 9: System Design
System design has to do with designing the elements of a system.
If one of the components or elements of a system like Windows or Android is missing, the system could crash.
We all know the chagrin caused by devices whose systems are faulty.
So we can easily understand why system designers must be adequately qualified.
You want to ensure that any prep course you enrol in teaches the subject adequately and prepares you well for the interview.
The system design module also features interviews with system design experts.
These interviews can show you the grey areas you must pay attention to when planning to ace a system design interview.
Module 10: Interview Hacks
The Interview Hacks section is dedicated to tips and tricks to seek out job opportunities and apply for them.
It contains training on boosting your resume to neither hide your potential unwittingly nor overblow yourself.
Something ardent job seekers do is to Google search for job opportunities.
The average Google user can do the same thing without getting good results.
But in this module, you will learn how to amp your Google search results.
For instance, did you know that you can Google search for a particular company and exclude every other result?
That trick and more will be exposed in this module.
But that’s not all, though.
Ever heard of the rubber duck method?
It is the art of explaining a problem step-by-step for the solution to become apparent.
It is also part of what the module covers.
Module 11 (coming soon) The Frontend Interview.
Frontend interviews differ from the typical software interviews because they are more specialised.
The module is in progress, and we expect it to land very soon in the Hack the Interview Course.
Extras and Bonuses
Many prep courses nowadays pride themselves on the bonuses they offer users aside from the core training.
Without these bonuses, the experience would be barebones, and any buyer could begin to doubt the sensibility of their decision
Hack the Tech Interview has some bonuses among its selling points. Though not unique as we’ve gotten used to them, they are essential.
We’ll now go through them one by one.
Hack the Tech Interview Community
Yeah, Hack the Tech Interview has a community. And it’s a Discord community.
Having a community is key to better learning. Of course, no one is an island.
The Hack the Tech Interview community is where students and software experts roam freely, sharing information.
You can ask questions and get answers from fellow members of the community.
And then, some fellow students have successfully done tech interviews and have received the job.
Their expertise will surely go a long way toward your progress.
If live sessions are important to you, Hack the Interview Course has them.
They hold weekly and are often lively. In the live sections, complex topics are broken down, and there are Q/A sessions.
I will quote the site directly for this one.
Their treasure chest promises you, “Every book, website, free course, cheatsheet, manual, app, and list you will ever need to pass a coding interview. Including special discounts on other courses and books!
Going by all we have seen this course offer, it looks like a no-brainer for software engineers looking for a tech position in a prestigious company.
But all the wealth of information it allows you would have limited value without lifetime access.
How else would you be able to go back and make references long after your subscription has terminated?
Fortunately, that’s not the case. With Hack the Interview Course guarantee of lifetime access, you can have peace of mind knowing that your money always counts.
Hack the Tech Interview – How Much Does It Cost?
When writing this blog post, Hack the Interview Course is closed for enrollment.
Randall says on the homepage that she wants the current section of students to finish first before the program comes on sale again in the fall of 2022.
I will update this blog post with the pricing once the product returns on sale.
Just bookmark this page if you are interested in paying for the program.
And if you need an alternative right away, Tech Interview Pro is my top recommendation.
Besides the rich content on Tech Interview Pro, you get access to a resume review by Techlead (the instructor), lifetime access to the private community (and course), live Q&A with Techlead, and more. You can check out my Tech Interview Pro review here.
Hack the Tech Interview Course Pros and Cons
I have said a lot about the Hack the Tech Interview Course.
Granted, reading all that content has taken a while, and you just want the key takeaways without scrolling up and down the page.
I get it. I now present to you the pros and cons of the program.
#1 Solid Technical Coverage.
Without exaggerating, Hack the Tech Interview Course will not leave you lacking in any area of software engineering you may encounter in the typical tech interview m
Coders will find it a solid tool to brush up on whether they have a lot of or limited time to prepare for an upcoming interview
#2 Lots and Lots of Resources
As far as coding is concerned, there is no shortage of material and resources in Hack the Interview Course.
And with a treasure chest (see the bonuses section), the amount of information you have at your fingertips is almost endless.
#3 Self-practice Friendly.
To make perfect, there is no substitute for self-practice.
The amount of freedom Hack the Tech Interview gives you to solve problems on your own is remarkable.
Honestly, you won’t find any coding problem in your interview too challenging after finishing the exercises.
And then, there are study plans to help you focus on where your focus should be.
#4 Lifetime Access
You shouldn’t worry about what to do after your subscription terminates, and you need to refresh your memory.
Once you pay for the program, your subscription stays for as long as the program exists.
During or after your subscription, you can always access all the materials and resources on the platform.
Okay, that’s about it for the pros. Let’s look at the cons.
#1 No Free Trial, No Refunds
Hack the Tech Interview Course would have been perfect save for a few weak links.
Among them is the absence of a free trial and the no refunds policy if the course is not up to your taste.
Randall emphasises that you must be sure that you want the course before paying for it.
She explains that training—the downloadable nature of the PDF’s resources and community—is stressful to revoke hence the lack of refunds.
But it’s still a downside. It means that you have limited options in your safety game.
#2 No Soft Skills Training
Soft skills are fundamental aside from all the technical knowledge.
Soft skills encompass all the skills involved in interacting with and working with people.
They include leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork skills and so on.
If you keep firmly in mind that you will be interacting not just with machines but people as well, then you have enough incentive to look elsewhere for another course.
One that teaches you technical skills but doesn’t miss out on soft skills.
Finally, it’s time to hand down the decision.
You, the reader, are the judge here based on whether the platform has everything it takes to satisfy your need.
But if you need some comments from me, it is this:
Hack the Tech Interview Course by Randall Kanna is easy to recommend. It’s got an utterly self-paced system that equips you with study plans and plenty of exercises, plus access to a vast library of resources you might not find anywhere else.
All of that is yours forever if you sign up and pay for the program.
Nevertheless, you might still need to pay for an external service to teach you the vital soft skills for any job, tech or otherwise.