In defense of Leetcode Interviews

June 21, 2024 · 4 mins · 830 words

For the last weeks at Wallapop, we have been interviewing candidates for a Data Scientist position. Our current interview process is quite standard, but there are some things we would like to change about the process. We were talking about it during lunch, and I saw my opportunity to propose one of my hot takes: “We should start doing Leetcode interviews” 1. And, as expected, no one agreed with me. Their main arguments against my proposal were

To be honest, I wasn’t able to answer all their arguments, and for some moments I felt they might be right. Let me clarify that I have had this opinion from a long time ago, but it wasn’t based on strong arguments but rather on feelings and intuitions. However, I usually trust my intuition quite a lot, and before giving it up I decided to find some strong arguments in favor of Leetcode (LC) interviews, and here they are.

I’m aware that for the last few years, no one has liked LC interviews, and I understand that this type of interview is not always optimal. Of course, you don’t want to make a PM to pass this interview. Also, LC problems might not fit your company or team culture or the role you’re looking for. Also, some people get nervous in these interviews.

However I do not agree that LC interviews are always useless, and for the 90% of tech interviews, I believe they make a lot of sense. I’m also aware that this way of thinking is very biased by my experience. So please, feel free to send me your arguments against them and change my mind about it :)

  1. For those who don’t know, Leetcode interviews are technical interviews where the candidate has to solve Leetcode problems under time constraints. For example, the candidate needs to solve an easy and medium Leetcode problem in less than 30 minutes.