5 Tips to Crack Low-Level System Design Interviews
Low-level design is very important when you have to design software-level components. It is one of the important components of software design and at the time of requirements you have to collect all the necessary points which are required to design the system. So, you can say low-level is a step by step refinement process.
The main goal of low-level design is to design the internal logical design for code. After that, it is easy to understand internal low-level design architecture. In this article, we are going to discuss the 5 main tips for low-level design which is helpful to crack the interview.
- “No right or wrong” answer for the Design Question
- Understand and Read the Question properly
- List the requirements
- Think and be clear with your answer
- Practice Practice and Practice
1. No Right or Wrong Answer For the Design Question
In industries getting the better design of the product is an iterative process and a lot of times refactoring of code also gets to happen to improve it. However, in the interviews, we only have limited time to come up with the design which should good enough to convince the interviewer. Always start designing from the basic entity in your system and then iteratively proceed towards the higher components. That way chances of missing out the basic components are less in comparison to that if you start with big entities in starting.
2. Understand and Read the Question Properly
Often in the interviews, it happens that you get the question you have read earlier, don’t rush, and start to wring whatever you have just read, first understand the question completely, and then you must proceed. It may happen that the interviewer might expect some different requirements from what you read. Hence it is very important to be calm and listen to the interviewer patiently.
If you have read the answer prior to your interview it will definitely give you a head start, but don’t just sound like as if you have mugged-up the answer. Also, there are high possibilities that some of the requirements which you have read are different during the interview and in that case, if you just blindly copy-paste your already read answer, your interview will get a negative impression and the chances for you to crack the interview will fall drastically. It’s very important for you to understand the whole picture and then think before you jump to the conclusion.
3. List the Requirements
Don’t assume, just clarify with your interviewer about all the requirements and then write them down, this will help you to avoid the confusion later and it will also help you proceed step by step.
Once you have all the requirements clarified, they will become base for design and you will be able to proceed step by step accordingly. Without listing the requirements, you will be lost during the designing process as you will not have a clear reference for what to do next. It is very-very essential for the design that you have gathered all the requirements.
Once you have all the requirements clarified, they will become base for design and you will be able to proceed step by step accordingly. Start designing your system on the basis of listed requirements one by one.
4. Think and Be Clear With Your Answer
At the time of the interview, after getting all the requirements think and discuss with your interviewer. But many times it happens you are telling the wrong answer but if you have to think correctly then your interviewer can guide you. So, you can give the exact answer whatever interviewer expected and give you some hints, so discuss.
Remember the time in the interview is limited to 45 minutes to 1 hour and if you think that first, you will think come up with the whole design in one go and then explain the complete to your interviewer, believe me, it’s a blunder and that will not be successful especially in design interviews. Because there are chances where you can make mistakes during the process and if you will be continuously discussing it with your interviewer then he or she will definitely give you hints and tell you that you are going in the wrong direction, do so and so to correct it. Also, it will save your lot of time which you would be spending on correction and explanation later.
Always remember that your interviewer is there for hiring you and not for rejecting you, so feel free to seek help and hints if required, however, do not make it a habit at each and every step, seeking too many hints and help can also be negative sometimes, so you must be aware of each and every scenario.
5. Practice Practice and Practice
Just don’t underestimate the power of practice and being consistent, the only key to becoming better in anything is practice. So, before your interviews, you must have to read the notes which you have prepared or you can read the materials you have available to you. Sometimes it happens that whatever you have practiced the same question is being asked, in that case, you will always have an edge, but as we mentioned earlier do not just start writing the same blindly.
Take few questions and try to solve them and come up with the design on your own first and then if the solution is available somewhere just compare with that what is being missed or what can be done in a better way. Just do not go and directly read the solution, that way the learning curve will not be exponential. First, try and then go for a solution.
Often people make the mistake of just reading the solution and going for the interviews, believe me, that’s not a very good habit, always try yourself first and then watch out the available solution.