FULL Interview Cake Review (2023 New Features)

Written By John Sonmez

Quick Verdict

I recommend you buy Interview Cake if:

  • you know at least one coding language and the basics of Data Structures & Algorithms
  • you want a tightly focused resource for your interview prep
  • you're looking for something more affordable than a full-on job specialization bootcamp
  • you're fine with a text-based learning format 
Overall Rating: 
4/5 stars

Quality of instruction






Interview Cake is one of multiple options of platforms to prepare for your next coding interview.

While it’s not the most expensive choice out there (it’s in the middle of the pack) – you still want to know whether it’s worth investing this money into the course. And more importantly, your time and energy.

  • How good is IC’s content really?
  • Does it cover the right topics, and teach them with proficiency?
  • Will it help you prepare in the shortest amount of time?

Let’s shine a light at Interview Cake from all angles, and determine if it’s right for you.

Quick Pros & Cons

If you’d like just the quick lowdown, then here’s the major advantages & disadvantages I’ve found with the program.

  • Picking only what matters most. Interview Cake’s questions overlap with those most frequently asked at FAANG interviews. You’ll be working on the same category of problems interviewers are using most frequently, instead of spreading yourself thin on hundreds of mildly relevant questions.
  • Teaching the HOW of problem-solving, step by step. For every step towards the optimal solution to a problem, you can have IC guide you along with helpful hints. And at the end, you’re getting in-depth explanations of the solution, as well as the most important takeaways. This makes you retain what you’ve worked on – and build not mere memorization, but actual skills.
  • Providing a platform that’s easy to use, navigate and see your progress in. While its UI doesn’t look fancy, the content is organized such that you can find everything quickly, jump to other relevant articles, and see how far you’ve come & where you’ve left off. The built-in coding environment lets you build and run your solutions in real time, so there’s no switching back and forth complicating your learning.
  • No videos. As the goal is to have you be as proactive as possible when going through the course, they’ve decided not to include any of the lecture-style videos common with other coding interview prep programs. This aspect can be a dealbreaker for some, though. If you want more than the text- and illustration-based explanations, you’ll need to look for a program other than Interview Cake
  • Access for 3 months/one year only, not lifetime. You can get a short-term plan at a greatly reduced price with Interview Cake, as well as their normal option for a yearly subscription. This is fine if you use it to prepare for a few rounds of interviews throughout a year. But if you want to refresh your skills next year, you’ll have to buy it again.
  • No huge database of questions like LeetCode. I know I’ve listed this as a plus. Some people do prefer to be confronted with a massive variety of coding problems – they want to be prepared for every eventuality. If you’re in this camp, IC’s tightly focused set of questions will be a negative for you.

Heard enough already? Sign up for Interview Cake here.

How Interview Cake works & what it offers - 7 best features

Let's dive into IC's features, so you know exactly what you're getting when you join their course to prep for your next coding interview:

1. Select your language of choice

Coding languages offered in Interview Cake

The course is available in 11 coding languages. You can select the one that’s relevant for your interview, and all course contents will be automatically adjusted according to your choice.

2. Cover all relevant topics for cracking coding interviews

If you know the basics of Data Structures & Algorithms, Interview Cake will make you an expert at it, given that you commit to diligently working your way through the course.

Topics covered in Interview Cake's program

You’ll learn all topics asked in coding interviews to a high level. Here’s an overview of what’s covered:

Algorithmic thinking, Arrays & Strings, Hashing, Greedy Algorithms, Sorting Algorithms, Trees & Graphs, Dynamic Programming, Recursion, Queues & Stacks, Linked Lists, System Design, General Programming, Bit Manipulation, Math & Combinatorics, JavaScript problems, Coding Interview Tips

There’s only a few hand-picked questions for every topic. This is so you learn what you need, without being bombarded by endless problems. The questions mirror those frequently asked at FAANG and similar companies.

3. Get high-quality hints and deep explanations

One of the features setting Interview Cake apart from other prep courses is the progressive hints they give you as you’re working on a problem. With other courses, if you’re stuck, you only have the option to reveal the whole solution – which isn’t optimal for your learning.

The progressive hints inside Interview Cake

IC asks you for your answer, and if you can’t give it yet, you can click “Tell me more” to get tips for the next step. This way you can do as much as you can on your own, or tip-toe your way to the optimal solution if at some point you can’t get further.

The Gotchas feature in Interview Cake

Then once you’ve come up with an answer, there’s the “Gotcha” bonus feature. It will tell you the common mistakes people make in their solutions to this specific problem, and show you how to avoid doing the same in your own.

Most of the questions inside Interview Cake have a whole page of explanations. Parker did a good job at being thorough, making sure you understand the how of solving each problem in detail.

Taking your time to study these lessons means you’ll be well prepared for your next coding interview.

4. Build your code in real time

You can create and test your code right in IC’s built-in IDE. This is a feature not all prep courses offer. It’s convenient to be able to do this, saving you the stress of switching back & forth between the course and your code editor.

The built-in coding environment

You feel like you have everything you need to be well-prepared right inside the platform. No need to go to other applications to solve the problems (and also no need to Google anything because the instruction is so thorough). But, just in case you do want more input (from other users), there’s the bonus of IC’s community..

5. Join a community

Something that’s been added to Interview Cake recently is the Slack channel, which you can use to get assistance with the course from your peers, as well as network or just chat with other students.

Unlike more expensive programs like Interview Kickstart, IC doesn’t include live group classes or 1:1 mentorship calls. With the Slack channel you get similar benefits of being part of a community without having to spend thousands.

6. Receive career advice

Granted, the “Interview Tips” section of IC isn’t huge – but working through these articles means you’ll know what to expect at your interview, the best way to prepare yourself, and how to act so you avoid common pitfalls.

7. If you don’t like it, get a full refund

Just email Parker Phinney, Interview Cake’s founder. He advertises a 98% success rate for his program. Only 2% of people felt they didn’t get value out of the course and got a refund.

Online reviews by past students

Aside from the numerous testimonials published on IC’s website, such as these –

Testimonial for Interview Cake

– past students are also sharing their experience with Interview Cake on sites like Quora, or their personal blogs:

"I'd recommend Interview Cake the most to candidates who have already have experience and want to brush up on algorithms. If you're someone who's familiar with technical interviews and working your way through a problem, Interview Cake is great because it explains problems and logical flow well." - A commenter on Quora

"It’s great for all levels of experience. Whether you’ve been coding for 3 months or 30 years.

They have a high quality set of questions. All questions you’d see at FAANG coding interviews. There’s high overlap with frequently asked questions at Google interviews (like the egg drop question). You'll notice these showing up in the mock interviews at Pramp & interviewing.io. So after going through Interview Cake, you’ll be familiar with these popular questions." - Colorful Codes, programming blogger

Final Verdict - Is it worth it?

Taking into account all pros & cons, its features, price point and the quality of questions, I can recommend Interview Cake as an effective program to prepare for your next coding interview.

It's less intensive than premium-priced courses like Interview Kickstart, but with the whole set of 50+ coding problems for you to complete, you'll get a strong preparation plan at a moderate cost. 

IC's explanations and hints leave nothing to be desired. It's great to get not just single solutions, but learn patterns for approaching any interview problem.

The built-in coding environment is helpful as well.

My verdict:

If you put your head down and diligently go through Interview Cake from start to finish, solving interview questions will have become second nature for you. I doubt you'll have any problems passing coding interviews even at high-profile companies after that.


Who should use Interview Cake?

Interview Cake is aimed at those who know at least one programming language and are familiar with the basics of Data Structures & Algorithms. If you’re a few months out from your next coding interview, and you’re looking to drill the most relevant problems, Interview Cake’s platform is a good choice.

How long does it take to complete Interview Cake?

If you budget an average of a bit over an hour for each question, and for five days per week you work on one question daily, you’ll complete Interview Cake within three months. You can go through the course as slowly or as quickly as you’d like, e.g. tackling all 50 questions within six weeks.

What‘s the pricing?

Interview Cake offers three pricing options – three-month access for $149, the yearly plan for $249, as well as three weeks free access for students.