Weird junior job interview

Soo I had a job interview today. Which went very different than I expected. It was a junior position which required c++ basics. I applied and I got the interview. Everything went fine and at the end they said they will send me a task to my email address and I should let them know if I have any questions and send them the solution. I got home and it was something entirely different. On my email I got sent a hard math problem which I do not even know what it is about. It contains a summation sign and some formulas I have never seen in my life.

So I wanted to ask a question are all companies like this? And will I require to learn advanced mathematics to even get a position as a software developer?

It really depends on the company. Get to know the company you’re applying to to get a better feel for what the interview might revolve around.

Also there are ways to check what are common questions that companies do ask. I think leetcode subscription shows you how often specific companies ask certain questions. It can give you an idea as to what types of thing they are looking for.

What constitutes advanced mathematics is a matter of subjective opinion. It feels like a foundational grasp of discrete maths is very helpful for any interview with this type of problem coding component. Do you need to know (basic) topology or group theory? Probably not for the vast majority of the cases.

An example is linear algebra. How much linear algebra does one need in programming? The answer varies into what kind of programming you’re interested in and the companies you might like to apply for in the future. If it is in your field of interest, then it follows that linear algebra becomes very important as well.

As a final note I’ll say that discrete maths shouldn’t be seen as something scary. They’re a tool that can really help refine one’s programming (and therefore save you a lot of time down the line… or get more mileage for your buck).


Feel free to ignore me, many do, but I’d say that’s not necessarily that weird.

We, by which I mean “where I work”, haven’t interviewed for a junior in a while but we like throwing some curveballs at them… including one particular C# question which is an absolute nightmare (and which even our lead dev admitted was “a bit sneaky”).

We don’t do it to be mean, or even necessarily expect the correct answer. Very useful to see how well the prospective hire can think on their feet and problem solve, though. :slight_smile:


Here you have the question.

Feel free to solve it!

As a junior developer I would like to learn it.

It may be translated a little bit bad but if you understand what is going on it should not be a problem for you.