I recently came across this website and found out that an excruciating amount of interviews were shared in great details with what questions were asked, any follow-up questions, answers to these interview questions, and possibly a rough description of the interviewer. These shared interviews concern a lot of the big names in the U.S. tech industry. Clearly, this sabotages the opportunities of other candidates without these privileged information of interviews taken place recently. I'm sure, you've all seen people sharing tiny bit of detail on their interviews on other job search website. But I can assure you the amount of interview detail shared is tremendous.

My question here is whether it's fair for this website to host such information? And will tech companies still find their hiring process fair if some candidates come fully prepared with the answers to a question the interviewers just asked 1 or 2 interviews ago. Because interviewers normally don't change their questions that often, those candidates actually do have higher chance of answering the question correctly.

And if it is not fair for a website to be doing this, what can we do to take it down so other candidates like me and you can get a fair competition?

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    In the US, where freedom of speech is almost a religion. Yes, it would be ok (sort of). In fact, take a look at this site careercup.com/page Maybe it's not as detailed as the Chinese site you mentioned, but that's probably because giving too many details would give away the identity of the person posting that information. However, for other countries and other jurisdictions, I have no idea how such a site would be considered. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 5 '17 at 16:30
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    Voting to close as off-topic as we don't answer legal questions here. – David K Apr 5 '17 at 16:31
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    "Sabotaging opportunities of others", yeah, that's pretty rich coming from US industries. – Masked Man Apr 5 '17 at 16:39
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    When I was at university almost every professor I ever had issued students with copies of previous years' exam papers to study as examples. I don't see how this is any different to that. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Apr 6 '17 at 9:53
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    @JonathonCowley-Thom actually, the former is not off-topic. There has been discussion after discussion about this. You can ask questions about legality in most cases. Nobody is asking for specific legal advice. – Chris E Apr 6 '17 at 14:56

My question here is whether it's okay for this website to host such information?

It is not illegal. It's not limited to China. And it's also not a new thing. These "dumps" have been going on since the interwebs were invented by Al Gore many years ago.

(Search for "google interview questions" or "facebook interview questions" or "[your favorite well-known company] interview questions". Or look at sites like GlassDoor. Plenty of results in English.)

Even before these sites existed, many agents would debrief the candidates they represented and would use the information learned to assist the next candidate (including the questions that are being asked).

And will tech companies still find their hiring process fair if some candidates come fully prepared with the answers to a question the interviewers just asked 1 or 2 interviews ago. Because interviewers normally don't change their questions that often, those candidates actually do have higher chance of answering the question correctly.

If tech companies are stupid enough to ask the same technical questions repeatedly for which an enterprising candidate could easily get prepared, then they will presumably "suffer" accordingly. It's not all that hard to come up with many questions for virtually any job.

If they can't distinguish between candidates who have memorized the answers from those who really understand what they are talking about, then perhaps they deserve whatever they will get.

When I interviewed candidates, I never asked questions that were so simple to answer. I always asked questions that demonstrate some thought and some understanding of the process. I never asked "puzzle" questions. And I seldom repeated the same question.

In my experience, hiring tech workers isn't like handing out an SAT test or entrance exam (or at least it shouldn't be).

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  • Those search results would most likely return the typical trick questions that well-prepared candidates would have already known. However, the website I'm referring to posts technical questions with dates of interview, question description, possible solutions, caveats to note. And I would assume they will be sly enough to not simply memorize the answers and recite them but try to fake a reasonable thought process as if they've never met the question and get to the optimal solution they prepared. So it would be hard for interviewers to weed out cheating candidates. – chuck Apr 5 '17 at 19:20
  • Like I said, technical questions are hard to come up with by its nature. So for a period of time, some technical questions will linger long enough for those cheaters to exploit. Also, some screening includes online challenges where candidates take a online coding test, and these online challenges are leaked in the website as well. – chuck Apr 5 '17 at 19:22
  • True, I should've looked at the search results before commenting again. Nevertheless, the questions in the other websites are not as up-to-date as this one I'm talking about. But I do find this website CareerCup share the similarity. But at first glance, CareerCup doesn't seem to contain that many leaks of online challenges/assessments. – chuck Apr 5 '17 at 19:47
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    @chuck Some web sites have collected questions and labeled them as "leaked" in order to hype them up. It's more reasonable to just treat them as questions that could be asked. – Brandin Apr 5 '17 at 23:47
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    @chuck There are books on the market that collect such questions; those are not illegal. Similar questions are on Stackoverflow.com and this site as well. No reasonable interviewer assumes technical problems they pose will not "leak" out. Besides, if a candidate comes in after having managed to memorize them all, maybe he is a good hire after all? – Brandin Apr 6 '17 at 6:33

First of all, it's unclear where you're from, so we can't possibly know exactly what the law is in your country.

However, typically, there are no laws or rules as to what you can share about the interview unless you've signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Is it "unfair" to share these details with others? I don't think so.

We each prepare ourselves for an interview as best we can. For myself, I prepare canned answers to a wide range of hypothetical questions, most of which come up in interviews in some shape or form. Should my preparation be illegal? How about studying for an exam?

I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Ultimately there's going to be a lot of different factors which tie into a company offering you a job. Not just what you say, but how you say. How you come across in a million little ways.

And last but not least, life is not fair, friend. There's no such thing as a fair competition. We each try to gain an advantage over one another, whether it's some unique experience we list on our resume's, or a tidbit of knowledge you glean off of someone's LinkedIn profile and use to form a personal connection (with a witty, off-handed comment, of course).

Instead of focusing on what the other guy is reading online, worry about your own efforts to prepare.

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    The "How about studying for an exam?" metaphor breaks down somewhat when what we're talking about here is sharing the exam questions before the exam... Personally I'd be appalled if I discovered a candidate had performed such preparations. – RJFalconer Apr 5 '17 at 16:38
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    Here I'm specifically referring to algorithmic questions typically asked in tech companies. – chuck Apr 5 '17 at 16:45
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    @chuck - those also change, and furthermore, they are not the deciding factor in a hiring decision. If you're asked to explain your solution and you don't know how because you simply regurgitated the answer, then you won't do any better than a guy who stumbles around looking for an answer and fails, but in the process demonstrates the capacity to think logically and critically. There's websites out there listing little "trick" programming questions to ask in interviews. I once "caught" an interviewer using such a question. He wasn't amused when I joked that "we checked out the same site". – AndreiROM Apr 5 '17 at 16:47
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    @RJFalconer It's more like sharing past exam papers, which most universities do, so the "study for an exam" metaphor is sound. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Apr 6 '17 at 9:48
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    ""Well-prepared" candidates would ...to the optimal solution they've always prepared. " A lot of people would call what you've described "learning how to do something new". Is looking at Stack Overflow and Dream In Code "cheating" as well? – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Apr 6 '17 at 9:52

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