What an API Design Interview Is: Why Data Scientists Should Care

career advice coding + programming job interviews May 03, 2023
Robot in a Data Science API Design interview


As a data scientist who has gone through multiple career transitions, I understand how important it is to stay informed about the latest trends in our fields. When I heard that Meta was starting to give software engineering candidates API design interviews, I knew a trend was beginning. Word travels quickly among MAANG companies, so the others were not far behind.

So, what exactly is an API design interview, and why have top tech companies like Meta started to prioritize it?

To recap, design interviews are a unique subset of technical interviews in a typical interview loop. They're quite different from traditional coding interviews for a number of reasons:

  1. They don't typically require you to write any code.
  2. You are expected to lead the conversation.
  3. They are one of the primary sorting tools that interviewers use to determine your level of seniority.

Going into any design interview unprepared brings the risk of getting down leveled into a less senior position or even missing out on the next big step in your data science career entirely. As a career coach specializing in data science, I've seen established professionals face challenges when they are not ready for such interviews.

The API design interview is relatively new to the software developer technical interview loop. As a result, it requires special preparation. If you work in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or advanced analytics, staying updated on this new interview trend is crucial. Remember, you are more ready than you may think, and everyone has to start someplace.

Don't take your journey for granted. As a professional who has gone through similar situations, I encourage you to invest time and effort into understanding and preparing for API design interviews. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to take on new challenges and continue to grow in your career.

Stay tuned to this blog for more thoughts on the emergence of the so-called API design interview.



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