Interview Kickstart is a major competitor among the myriads of tech interview prep courses one can choose from.
Many tech giants, the likes of Google, Microsoft, Netflix etc. have hired and are still hiring candidates from it.
If you scroll through Interview Kickstart’s homepage, you’ll see many success stories.
But choosing a good tech interview prep platform is not all about how many companies recommend it.
You need to know why they do and whether those reasons are compelling enough for you.
Remember that these days, tech companies receive thousands of applications.
Everyone wants to get in, but these companies want only the best.
So they deliberately make it hard for you to enter.
Rising to the challenge means you need to get an excellent tutor to prepare you for all aspects of the interview process so that you can perform to the expectations of the recruiter.
In this review, we will see whether Interview Kickstart is that kind of tutor.
We will also see if there is a better alternative to Interview Kickstart.
Without any delay, let’s start.
Tl Dr; Quick Summary 🤬👎👍
Interview Kickstart is a good interview prep course with good enough information. However, it is lacking in some areas. The major one being its hefty price – $6200!!!🤬
Why take a $6200 course just to prepare for an interview? Not when there are other affordable and better alternatives to choose from.
I recommend taking the Tech Interview Pro course by Patrick Shyu (one of the most controversial tech YouTubers in the industry). 👍
His course contains all you need to ace your tech interview at a FAANG company.
Patrick Shyu has experience working with some of the FAANG companies like Facebook and Google – so he definitely knows what he is teaching.
With over 2000+ students landing high-paying tech jobs in FAANG and other top tech companies – earning $250k+, you can’t go wrong with the course.
The best part is that it costs way less than that – $999 and you can save 40% using the link below.
What is Interview Kickstart?
Interview Kickstart is the interview prep solution provided by Soham Mehta and Ryan Valles.
They worked as recruiters and managers in some of the world’s biggest companies before coming together in 2014 to build Interview Kickstart.
Interview Kickstart gives its training differently from other programs in its line.
It is not only meant to teach how to pass general tech interviews.
Instead, the program has many different courses, each one for a particular field of software engineering. (more on this later)
Content-wise, the software doesn’t seem to be lacking.
Many of the features we would use to rate a good interview prep course are present.
The list includes but is not limited to classes, mock interviews, salary negotiation etc.
Interview Kickstart doesn’t use pre-recorded video classes like other programs in its niche do.
It uses virtual classes where you can interact with the instructors and other students.
Of course, that means you can join the classes from anywhere.
The scheduling assigns the classes to evenings and weekends, which should mean that they have working professionals in mind.
Interview Kickstart Course Instructor
Undoubtedly, having some of the best instructors in a program like this gives peace of mind.
Interview Kickstart boasts of having instructors who are tech leads in coveted tech companies.
That means you might have a software expert in Apple or Facebook, e.t.c, as a course instructor.
And it’s not a rare occurrence for them to be hiring managers or recruiters in their respective companies.
The significant advantage is getting secrets about the interview process that you’ll not have obtained otherwise.
Interview Kickstart Course Outline – What is Inside?
For every study program, there is a course outline, and Interview Kickstart is no different.
But what matters is how comprehensive the syllabus is.
In other words, does it cover everything you need to be prepared for a tech interview?
Let’s start by highlighting the entire scope of the syllabus.
The course outline covers domain training, coding, systems design, behavioural interview prep, mock interviews & lifelong learning.
There is also a significant amount of coding sessions throughout the program.
Like I said earlier, Interview Kickstart does not only teach you how to pass tech interviews generally.
Instead, it contains about 17 domain-specific courses. You will be taught these courses from A-Z and how to pass their respective interviews.
Each course has eight months of learning devoted to it.
The first eight weeks pack training on the general aspects of software engineering, such as algorithms, systems design and data structures.
The next part is where you settle down to learn about the topics that concern that specific course for the next four weeks.
Career coaching follows for the next two weeks.
This part of the training is for resumes and LinkedIn masterclass.
The salary negotiation master class also happens here.
The salary negotiation masterclass is vital. As a prospective employee, you need to know how much your payment should be.
If not, you will be underpriced or refused the job because 0f unreasonable salary demands.
But Interview Kickstart can help negotiate with your chosen company the price of your services.
In many cases, this leads to successful candidates earning more than they thought they could.
Included in the career masterclass are the interview strategy and behavioural coaching.
Taking this part of career coaching will go a long way in helping you know the best practices in an interview.
We are now in the final stages of the syllabus.
Mock interviews come last. They are an excellent opportunity to practice all you’ve been taught about passing interviews and make mistakes before the actual interview.
To that end, you will be tested by one of the course instructors under standard interview conditions.
The interview results will be sent back to you to know how you fared and your overall progress.
At the end of the training, you are guaranteed six months of support where you can always refer back to all that you were taught.
Interview Kickstart Price – Is It Worth the Cost?
In an age where the emphasis is on getting more for less, any product that wants to command an audience must pay attention to its pricing.
I strongly feel IK is yet to learn that lesson.
Even charging $1000 for a product will be hard for some people to swallow. Paying $5600 for a product you will not have lifetime access to needs many compromises.
But if you are not content with general knowledge of tech interviews and want to learn a domain-specific course, then Interview Kickstart might be a good choice.
But you will need prior experience.
Find more about Interview Kickstart cost here.
Downsides of Interview Kickstart
Everything considered, IK would have made a good tech interview prep course, but it is not without its downsides.
#1 Overly High Pricing
To start with, its pricing is up to ten times higher than other prep platforms that yield even better results (we are looking at you, Tech Interview Pro)
To access the entire training, you will need a total of $6200 ($600 for just the trial and $5600 for the whole of the course)
Another thing is the…
The high pricing can scare many people who would otherwise have been interested in it.
But the high pricing is not the only issue. If you want to get the best out of IK, you need a few years of experience.
Don’t let the success stories from past IK users get you too excited.
All those people would not have made it on the platform if they didn’t have prior experience.
If you are fresh from college and are eying a FAANG or Tier 1 tech company, don’t even consider IK.
You will be better off with a tool like Tech Interview Pro.
#3 Limited Support Period
Extended support from your prep platform after finishing all your training is something you should consider when choosing IK or any other tech interview platform.
It helps a lot to have a mentor you can always fall back on when you need help, and a good prep tool should be that mentor.
The level of support IK offers, however, is limited to just six months. After that, you are weaned by the platform.
If an extended period of support is a bonus you cannot do without, I’ll advise you to go for Tech Interview Pro.
In the next section of this review, we will compare Tech Interview Pro with IK on a few parameters.
Interview Kickstart vs TechInterviewPro
Tech Interview Pro is the best tech interview prep course currently. It is a course developed by the popular Ex-Google and Ex-Meta engineer, Techlead (Patrick Shyu).
In comparison with Interview Kickstart, here is a quick over of how both compare.
1. Less Expensive
Did you hear that? Tech Interview Pro is less expensive than IK.
And I forgot to add, by a wide margin.
Tech Interview Pro costs just $997 (400 dollars if you click this link) compared to the $5600 price tag for IK.
If you have enough money to pay for IK, you’ll have about $4600 if you go for Tech Interview Pro.
That’s quite a fortune. Considering the economic situation in even affluent countries, you’d surely think twice before paying for something that can crash your bank account.
2. Resume Review
IK offers resume review in their career coaching but not on the scale of Tech Interview Pro.
Remember that Patrick Shyu (Techlead) runs tech Interview Pro. He is the one who personally goes through resumes for each individual.
That represents a lot of personal interest.
3. Bi-weekly Q/A Sessions
Techlead holds Q/A sessions every two weeks.
He and his team address any questions his students might have.
The Q/A is open to all and invaluable to all who attend.
One nice catch is that these Q/A sessions are recorded, so whether you are just joining Tech Interview Pro or are already a member but missed any session, you can always access past sessions.
4. Lifetime Access (Frequent Update)
The best thing about Tech Interview Pro compared to IK is the level of support granted to members.
On Interview Kickstart, you can only access the platform for six months after completing your training.
In Tech Interview Pro, the story is better.
Once you join, you have lifetime access to everything on the platform.
You can always come back to check the videos, Q/A sessions and Facebook community to refresh your knowledge.
The implication is that if you compare the two prep courses to mentors, then Tech Interview Pro is the better one of the two.
For a more detailed comparison, you can check out these resources:
Great, you stuck to the end. Hope this review has answered all the questions you had about Interview Kickstart.
The platform is a great place to start if you have the money and at least a few years of previous experience.
Also, if you can ignore the limited period of support, then go ahead.
But if the compromises above are too costly for you, you have a better option.
Tech Interview Pro is there to bail you out. It demands far less for comparatively more and allows you unlimited access to its content.
Frequently Asked Questions about Interview Kickstart
This review section will answer any other questions about the platform.
Although if you have more questions that are not covered in this review, you can always post them in the comments section of this blog.
Is it worth buying Interview Kickstart?
Interview Kickstart is a good buy if you fit in the category of people it’s meant for.
To enjoy Interview Kickstart, you must be one or both of the following:
#1 A software engineer with previous experience in a domain.
#2 Able to afford the high billing.
Is Interview Kickstart any good?
Interview Kickstart is not doing badly by any stretch of the imagination.
Those who want to learn a domain-specific course will find that the experience mimics university learning.
Besides, many tech companies like Google and Microsoft hire applicants mentored by Interview Kickstart.
How long is Interview Kickstart program?
Interview Kickstart training lasts for eight months, that is, when you consider the six month support period.
The core training itself is two months long.
Is Interview Kickstart Enough for Coding Interviews?
I can say Interview Kickstart pays a good deal of attention to coding.
However, you might want to consider Tech Interview Pro for the extra attention it pays to code.
To better understand that, there are up to 100 coding sessions on Tech Interview Pro.
Is Interview Kickstart Good for System Design?
In a word, yes.
Almost every domain-specific course you choose to learn on Interview Kickstart contains training on systems design.
Which is Better, Interview Kickstart or Leetcode?
Leetcode is a site where aspiring software engineers can practice coding problems.
It has a massive database of coding problems to solve. Using it can make one skilled at coding.
Interview Kickstart, on the other, does not just contain coding practice. It also teaches soft skills like leadership, teamwork and communication skills, the ability to handle complexity and ambiguity e.t.c
Those skills are more important than simply being able to solve all the coding problems in the world.
In the end, it is Interview Kickstart that is better when preparing for tech interviews.
And that’s because it doesn’t just teach the technical side of passing interviews. It also helps you learn the human side of giving the interview and being successful in the job. Leetcode doesn’t do that.