Interview Kickstart is a part-time program preparing software engineers for technical interviews in Sunnyvale, CA and online. Courses are programming-language-agnostic; instead, the curriculum focuses on challenging questions about Data Structures & Algorithms and Large Scale Systems Design, along with preparing students to show off their soft skills and career skills. In addition to technical skills, students at Interview Kickstart get coaching on productivity and study habits, writing effective resumes, developing LinkedIn profiles, networking, answering behavioral questions, effective recruiter communication, and salary negotiations.
Interview Kickstart courses are not introductory. Applicants should have a comfortable knowledge of at least one programming language. While courses are part-time, they are intense. Instructors, mock interviewers and mentors come from Google, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Uber, Airbnb, Snap, etc. The remote and in-person programs they lead follow a rigorous methodology for phenomenal results, so courses demand a lot of work. Students should expect interview problems followed by homework, an exit test, and graded mock interviews with feedback. The cost of the course varies based on a students’ level of experience.
Since its inception, Interview Kickstart is proud to have several graduates land jobs at their dream companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Docker, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, Microsoft, Netflix, Tesla, Uber, etc. Previous graduates received offers from entry-level to engineering management.
Recent Interview Kickstart Reviews: Rating 4.5
Recent Interview Kickstart News
- In PersonPart Time10 Hours/week
Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost N/A Class size 8 Location San JoseWe are language agnostic, focused on core CS principles. We cover everything that's important for such an interview: 1. Challenging Questions on Data Structures and Algorithms 2. Systems' Design Questions [Scalability, Object Orientation and Multi-threading] 3. Behavioral Questions
Deposit N/A Tuition Plans Yes
Minimum Skill Level You should have at least one programming language you’re comfortable with; your primary language. Prep Work It would be helpful if you brush up your data structures. Placement Test No Interview No
- In Person
Start Date None scheduled Cost N/A Class size N/A Location San JoseOne important part of technical interviews, is an understanding of how you'll design systems, and scale them. To that end, we've seen certain specific patterns of interview questions that are asked at good companies. We'll study those in-depth and also do mock interviews in them, all in presence of formidable engineers, working in core systems at some of these top tier firms.
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No
- In Person
Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost N/A Class size N/A Location San JoseIt is very common for a software engineer to be very good at technical skills, yet get rejected in interviews. That happens because good engineers often get blindsided to non-technical aspects of an interview. Communicating with other stakeholders in a way that is effective, is a skill that's as easy and as effective to learn as any technical skill, and helps you just as much to grow in your career. We will have experts talk about how to improve on those and see the technical interviews in a whole new light. You'll practice 1x1 with coaches on a range of topics from Behavioral Interviews, all the way to Offer negotiations.
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No
Interview Kickstart Reviews
10 reviews sorted by:
- Software Engineering Interview Prep- 12/20/2019Benin Bryant • Software Engineer IV • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
Sigh....where do I begin.
My journey as a software engineer has not been an easy one. After graduatiing from undergrad a long time ago, I realized that if I was ever going to use the math skills I possessed I was going to have to learn how to program. Given there were no boot camps at the time (it was so long ago :P ), I did the next best thing and went back to school, finding a year long masters program for Computer Science. In hindsight, that program, in its infancy at the time, was not as helpful as it should have been. Much of what we learned was old and outdated and the program lacked rigorous instruction in the single most vital component of Software Engineering interviews, data structures and algorithms. As such I didn't feel very prepared when it came time to interviewing.
The job interviewing process for me was a real wake up call and terribly frustrating. I would typically start interviewing, stumbling, struggling, and learning throughout the process until things finally clicked and I was able to land a job. Long story short the process was miserable.
A number of years down the road I found myself in the Bay Area, the tech capital of the world and I knew I would have to better my knowledge of software engienering fundamentals if I wanted to successfully receive offers from top companies. I couldn't keep preparing in the manner I had previously. Hence I found Interview Kickstarter.
I will start with the difference in my interviewing results at the conclusion of the interview kickestarter program. Previously when interviewing, as I mentioned before, I would essentially struggle and fail through interview after interview, until I finally got one right. Before Interview Kick Starter I had never had more than 2 offers at once. At the conclusion of my latest interview saga, I had been invited onsite to 17 different companies, and had received offers from half of them. Its certainly true that I struggled at times, and didn't quite get offers from the goal companies I had in mind. Nevertheless the difference in interveiw results speak for themselves.
The program is extremely rigorous, and while the structure can be too rigid at times, the resources offered to better ones interview skills, whether it be building the core compotency with data structures and algorithms, learning domain knowledge regarding system design, and other soft skills like offer negotation, healthy study habits, and resume building, provided ample opportunity for me to grow in ways I previously thought were not possible.
Long story short, joining interview kickstart was the best thing I've ever done regarding interview preparation for my career. For those who don't have the time to commit, I would caution you against signing up for the program. I was working while I did the program and I spent no less than 20 hours a week doing problem sets. The program is difficult, and will be hard for anyone working full time. The more time you can dedicate to it the better.
Best of luck!
- Rigorous, Structured, Well honed Course- 11/1/2019Srinivasan Venkataraman • Lead Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Data Structures and Algorithms Interview Bootcamp • Campus: San Jose
If you are looking to rediscover your roots as a Software Engineer and grow to the next level in your career, look no further.
Whether you have spent long years in the industry and lost that sharp edge in problem solving skills due to atrophy in a corporate environment or you are starting out your career now, Interview Kickstart begins from the basics of algorithm design and its application to problem solving. During the course of 8 weeks, you will astonish yourself on how good you have become.
You will work really hard during the course. There will be homework and tests every week. Yes you will fail those tests because they are timed! But it puts you in the interview setting and helps you get and stay comfortable in the problem solving zone. Which is when your brain works optimally.
The classroom instructors are very good and some of their pre-class videos are top notch (taught by Dartsmouth PhDs). I highly recommend Interview Kickstart if you want a structured preparation help in your high end software engineering career goals.
- Recommended for Job Process Prep- 3/29/2018Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
I went through InterviewKickstart a few months ago and found it very helpful despite having started studying on my own beforehand. InterviewKickstart forced me to actually adopt habits I already knew I should have adopted but hadn’t at. The program’s not for you if, when you go to prepare for interviewing, you:
- Successfully set up and follow a multi-month study schedule that sequences topics and has you spending 10–20 hours a week deliberately practicing solving Leetcode-style questions and systems design ones.
- Find friends who interview people at their companies and will give you critical mock interview feedback over and over again as your practice.
- Immediately jump into mercenary mode and start strategizing about your bound-to-be-successful negotiations when you get an offer.
Especially with the popularization of deliberate practice, many of us programmer types know we should prepare for interviews roughly how I described above but, as far as I can tell, very few of us actually do this. I firmly believe that getting people to do things they already know they should do but don’t is truly the “secret sauce” of InterviewKickstart
That said, I’ll briefly summarize the pros & cons of InterviewKickstart.
- Solid problem sets for most algorithms and system design topics. While the individual questions in the problem sets won’t blow your mind compared to what you might see on Leetcode, the order in which they’re presented and the solutions (and TA help) provided make getting stuck less common and less frustrating.
- There are a few really good teachers who teach at InterviewKickstart. In classes with these teachers, you learn not only content but also how someone who is better than you (or me at least) at thinking would approach a problem.
- The program includes 12 mock interviews and the mock interviewers (at least the ones that I did sessions with) are all solid.
- There’s a person at InterviewKickstart who focuses on behavioral/negotiation stuff and he’s quite helpful if you’re not naturally good at this part of the job process.
- I noticed some other commenters on this Quora post arguing that InterviewKickstart’s “all hype”. From what I can tell, that’s inaccurate in the sense that InterviewKickstart promises it can help people willing to work hard get jobs at big name tech company and does so at a reasonably high success rate. While one could argue that highlights a flaw in hiring processes as much as the value of the program, it doesn’t negate the fact that InterviewKickstart is succeeding at what it promises to do, help people get jobs they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
- There are a bunch of teachers who are just OK. While the really good teachers treat classes like exploratory learning ventures, the OK ones come off as wanting to show you that they are really good at interview style problems.
- Most people doing the program are, unsurprisingly, focused on finding a job at a big tech name. If you don’t like being in an environment where it feels as though people are openly trying to achieve a traditionally valued goal, then you’ll be frustrated by the one-track-mindedness of most InterviewKickstart students. That said, in my cohort’s case, the one-track-mindedness didn’t devolve into zero-sum competitiveness. People were still helpful to each other and encouraging about others’ job prospects.
To summarize, InterviewKickstart helped me do things I knew I should do but wasn’t doing. I’d definitely recommend it to someone who’s willing to put in 10–20 hours a week preparing for interviews, wouldn’t be able to maintain this level of focus on their own, and wants a job at a “big name” tech company that uses algorithms-style interviews to evaluate candidates.
- Ted Annan • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Data Structures and Algorithms Interview Bootcamp • Campus: San Jose
I took this course in June of 2017 and it was worth every penny. Working in the industry for several years without having to interview, I was in dire need of a refresher since interviewing in the software engineering space is much different than work done on the job. This course was much more than that.
I signed up and was immediately scheduled for a quick 30 minute phone call with the founder, Soham. Why? They don’t just want sign ups for money; they want to make sure your goals are aligned with what the course offers.
After outlining the course and curriculum, I got started. I attended remotely via video. The course was an in depth dive into the key topics necessary for an interview. Trees, Recursion, Dynamic Programming, Graphs, Object Modeling, Scalable Systems, etc - these were each dedicated a full 4 hours each (12 for scalable systems and 8 for dynamic programming) along with homework and timed tests every week. Besides the topics, they also focused on interview problem solving approach - step by step guidance on how to approach each type of problem. Office hours for questions are also very useful.
During the course and after, I had access to several resources to further ensure my success - 15 mock interviews with senior/principal engineers from reputable industry leaders such as Google, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Dropbox, etc. These folks provided feedback after each mock interview which is PRICELESS because this is something you wouldn’t get from a real interview. This allowed me to hone my skills prior to the actual interviews.
Another very important note, and it was shocking to me throughout the process - these folks actually care. Soham and other leaders of the course reached on to me on several occasions to check on my status and provide guidance. Nick spent an hour on the phone during late hours working on techniques to help calm the nerves during interviews and overcome fear.
This course was a life changer - I have since received 4 offers from top companies, Facebook included. Prior to this course (in 2015) when I interviewed with Facebook I didn’t get past the technical phone screen. I passed 12/14 phone screens, and got offers from 4 of the 6 companies I interviewed onsite with.
A couple of things to note:
- The course is extremely intensive - be prepared to spend 14 hours per week on lectures, tests, and homework
- This will give you a strong base, but you will need to spend additional hours practicing on your own - I’d recommend 4–8 hours per week
- Use the course resources! There are office hours, folks from top companies you can reach out to for company specific info, workshops for behavioral interviews, scheduling interviews, negotiating compensation, etc
- santhosh • Graduate
Seriously, Its one of a kind boot camp to get prepared confidently for technical interviews. Instructors are really really good, humble, knowledgeable and provide great learning experience. Preperation pattern is of top-notch quality.To get 100% ROI out of this course please please prepare the course pre-requisites thoroughly before you start the program otherwise you will feel overwhelming and swamped.
- Software Engineer Interview Bootcamp- 7/29/2015Zulma Marti • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Data Structures and Algorithms Interview Bootcamp • Campus: San Jose
- Perfect place to prepare for tech interviews- 7/23/2015Amit Pal • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Data Structures and Algorithms Interview Bootcamp • Campus: San JoseThis is the perfect place if you want to prepare for the coding/technical interviews in the silicon valley.The standards are pretty high in silicon valley which forces you to have a thorough practice and tailored preparation.The syllabus for this course is well thought and teachers are awesome.
- Doubled my salary after completing the course- 3/12/2020AnonymousI joined Interview Kickstart in June 2019. In 2018, I decided I wanted to find better opportunities so I started leetcoding. After solving 50-60 problems, I realized I am not getting any better and merely solving problems in an unstructured way which was not helping. I lost the rhythm and stopped preparing. I work full time and I am a mother of a toddler; so I was looking for some guidance who will help me with this entire journey.
I joined Interview Kickstart out of desperation and I decided atleast spending so much money will keep me motivated to keep preparing. I have to say the entire journey was very fulfilling. I would solve homework problems every evening from 8:30-11pm. After finishing the class, I started giving Mock Interviews. I think the most benefit out of everything was Mock Interviews and 1-2 awesome teachers. After 7-8 mock interviews (coding, system design and behavioral) I was confident in solving problems on board and was comfortable to approach a problem. Mind you, I did fail a lot of practice phone interviews in the beginning; so the journey was not picture perfect. It started getting better and I cleared 5 phones interviews. Out of those, I went onsite to 3 companies and got 2 job offers.
1) Along with Interview Kickstart, I still solved a lot of problems from Leetcode.
2) I also referenced other sources for system design/OOP design. The instructors are not that great and I believe 1/2 sessions are not enough.
You definitely don't need to join IK, but if you are someone like me who has tried and failed doing that or you need some extra guidance/structured format; than this will be helpful.
- Low quality- 2/11/2019Anonymous • Software developer • Student • Course: Data Structures and Algorithms Interview Bootcamp • Campus: San Jose
I have joined their courses and I can say it didn't help me at all. They just solve the problems which already exist in youtube. Don't waste your time and money
Response From: Soham of Interview KickstartTitle: FounderThursday, May 16 2019Hello stranger, thank you for taking time and speaking your mind.
I don't even know if you are a real student of ours, but in the small chance that you are, here are some thoughts:
Youtube is the largest textbook in the world today. You're right - whatever we (or really any bootcamp here) teach or solve or espouse, can be found on Youtube. If that is your preferred method of learning, then I congratulate you - you have found something that works for you.
At the same time, let us appreciate that a deep, structured, rigorous pathway with relevant people in a defined timeline, can also be appropriate for some people. Those are the candidates we have served so far and served well (see other reviews). In fact we are proud to count nearly 2000 really smart software engineers across the planet as our alums.
Note that if you had simply talked to us about this before the program, we could have built a much better understanding of what you need and what we have/had. Hoping we can do that now?
- Software Engineer- 2/8/2017Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Data Structures and Algorithms Interview Bootcamp • Campus: San Jose
Interview Kickstart is a terrific cohort with some insanely good faculty members who are industry pros and are hugely vested in your interest.
The culture is highly impressive with most of the people down to earth, approachable and very very smart.
Apart from being a coding bootcamp, IK is also doing a great job in covering other topics like Scalability, Concurrency, and Object Oriented Design
Thank you IK