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I just finished my 4th and last round of interview for an internship. They said they would email me their decision next week.

First round was an online coding challenge to which I had an ok O(n) solution for.

Second round was all behavioral.

For the third round, my HR rep told me that a developer would go more in depth for that coding question along with some OOP questions. To prepare, I figured out a better O(n) solution to that coding question to which one of their devs (I'll call him Bob) interviewed me on.

For the 4th interview, I was told that another dev (I'll call him Joe) would go even further in detail for that coding question along with some computer science fundamentals (trees, etc). So I studied the hell out of that question and found an O(1) solution.

However, something came up the day of the 4th interview and they told me Joe wouldn't be able to make it, but another dev, (Billy) would be interviewing me instead. In the interview, Billy never brought up that question I've been studying but instead just asked me other coding questions the entire hour. I'm assuming that the sudden switch of interviewers is what caused this.

My question is:

Would it help me in any way if I emailed Bob (third round) that I found an O(1) solution to their coding question (they seemed really into that question) and was just never able to bring it up?

  • How did you feel you did in the 4th interview? If you were able to impress that interviewer there might not be much benefit in bringing up that first question, but it's odd that they felt the need to discuss it in three separate interviews. Did you fee like they weren't happy with your former solutions? – Lilienthal Mar 31 '16 at 21:29
  • I think the 4th interview went pretty well. I was able to to answer all 4 of their coding questions (albeit I had some minor mistakes for two of them in which the interviewer suggested could be fixed. Each mistake took me no more than a couple of seconds to fix). I'm pretty sure that Bob liked me as a person and my code, but he asked me some questions about it that I wasn't able to answer that I could now after coming up with my new solution. – user3613290 Mar 31 '16 at 21:39
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    Four interviews for an internship? Holy cow. – grfrazee Mar 31 '16 at 22:05
  • @grfrazee sad life :/ – user3613290 Mar 31 '16 at 22:07
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    If this was a real product I personally would rather keep the solution that was understood by the developers without the need to "study the hell out of it". If it turns out that code profiling reveals that this code is an important performance bottleneck, it can always be improved later when (and if) needed. – Brandin Apr 1 '16 at 13:13
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I think sending in your solution isn't a bad idea but I would send it to the HR Rep you've been dealing with rather than going to "Bob" directly as they can probably get it into the right hands who may be making the decision etc.

I would frame it as an email to thank them for the experience and challenge and that during your preparation for the 4th round you think you came up with a stronger solution and attached it for reference incase any of the panel would be interested in it.

That allows them to decide if they need further data points but also allows you to touch base with HR to show a desire and interest in the position. Whilst I couldn't say it would help your chances I can't see a way that it would hurt them

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From personal experience, I would not send the solution. It may make you look vain. You had the interview and Bob was there. You got assessed under time constraints. Interview is done.

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