Thu Sep 08 2022

Insider’s Guide For System Design Interview Questions

Soha Rajput
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The goal of system design interview questions is to find out how good a candidate is at designing real-world software systems with many parts. Questions about system design are often given to candidates with more experience. Most of the time, interns aren't asked questions about system design because it's hard to expect them to have enough experience in the field to answer these questions well.

When candidates answer system design interview questions, they can show how knowledgeable they are by giving specific solutions to the company's problems. Most of the questions in these interviews are open-ended, which gives a chance to the candidate to show off their skills, qualifications, and knowledge. You can ask your own questions to help you narrow down your answers and figure out what the company needs.

Let’s have a look at the top 5 system design interview questions

1. How do you build systems with TinyURL?

A TinyURL is a service that turns a long, complicated URL into a short, unique URL that is easier to share. You can talk about this to see how good the candidate is at designing. Even though the question may seem simple, see if they also talk about how they could give each URL they enter a unique ID, how to handle redirects, or delete URLs that have already been used.

2. What are some ways you could make a search engine?

Most companies or organizations use search engines to find files or important information about their employees. As a hiring manager, you might want them to show that they know what the company needs and can make their design fit those needs. It is best if you also ask about monitoring the front-end performance of websites, testing improvements to the search engine, and combining previous search data and indexing trends.

3. How do you design web crawlers?

Crawlers are programs that go to other websites and look for information by reading through them. From that information, an index for a search engine is made. Some people also call crawlers "bots" or "spiders." When asking about web crawlers in a system design interview, it's important to check that the candidate knows what web crawling is and how it works.

4. How do you set up a shared drive?

You should ask this question to see how well the candidate’s system design interview preparation is about the basics and history of algorithms. You should see if the candidate talks about whether to make it so that changes show up in real-time, whether to let people lock it, and whether the shared drive may naturally converge. By using these key terms, you can check that the candidate knows everything there is to know about how shared drives are set up.

5. What do systems for picking up trash need?

A garbage collection system has a Java system that is running, so a programmer doesn't have to do that task by hand. Systems with garbage collectors use a lot less memory, so it's important to check that the candidate can design and run them. As a hiring manager, you should ask this question to see if the candidate knows enough about different systems and can design their own as well.


Hiring for a tech role can be tricky, especially if you are not aware of the right system design interview questions, as they require extensive knowledge of the field. This is why you should connect to Remotebase to accelerate your tech hiring with the top 1% of developers from around the world. We thoroughly vet each of our developers by tech experts and give you your ideal developer teams who are ready to start working within 24 hours, helping you save a significant amount of hiring time and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a system design interview?

System design interview questions comprise mainly three areas: Fundamentals of distributed system design, the structure of massive web applications, and designing distributed systems. You should evaluate the candidate based on questions related to them.

Is there coding in system design interviews?

System design interviews are more common for senior and higher-level employment, while coding interviews (data structures, algorithms, and problem-solving) are common for all levels.

What are system design fundamentals?

A systematic approach to building and engineering systems is required for system design. A good system design necessitates considering everything in the infrastructure, from the hardware and software to the data and how it is stored.

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