Ever wonder what it’s like to interview for a position with Amazon or Microsoft? Would it help to receive job interview and career advice from someone who has received job offers from Facebook and Google?
Working for one of these companies, often called the “Big Four”, would be a dream come true for many people.
And we found a guy who made that dream a reality in a huge way. Our anonymous interviewee has worked as a software developer for, or received job offers from, three of the Big Four companies.
Get ready to have all of your burning questions answered!
Q: You’ve interviewed at Google and Facebook. How did you hear about those job openings?
A: Google found me and reached out on LinkedIn because I had connected with people on there and listed my experience. I got the interview at Facebook through a referral from a friend who works there. He had actually been trying to recruit me for a while.
Q: How would you compare the atmosphere at each office?
A: Google is less personal than lots of other companies. They are very down-to-business. It feels a little more corporate. Facebook still feels like a startup, and people are walking around chatting. They are very lively at Facebook.
Q: What type of interview questions were you asked at Google?
A: The questions were very much experience-based and knowledge-based. There weren’t soft questions because they were focused on learning how good I was at computer science. The questions seemed like they were pre-designed and were very well defined. There were two phone screens, one with HR and one with a technical manager. Then I was brought in for an interview.
Q: What was the hiring process like at Google?
A: Google has a very special hiring process. Some smaller companies care about personable skills, but Google wants to remove this part of the process because they are afraid people will get hired based on personality. Notes are written then sent to a hiring committee who has never met with the candidate in person.
Q: Was there anything surprising that stood out to you about the interview process or the office itself?
A: Even though Google is a giant corporation, they are very transparent. There are no secrets from level to level.
Q: Were there any questions at Facebook that stood out to you during the interview?
A: There was more individual flare to the questions at Facebook. The company just doesn’t feel as corporate in general. The interview questions were clearly made up by the interviewer and not taken from a pre-written list.
Q: As someone who was offered jobs at Google and Facebook, as well as other companies, how do you suggest answering interview questions?
A: For software engineering, the best thing you can do is make it not feel like an interview. Jump up, use the whiteboard, and think of each question as a problem you are solving with the person interviewing you. A back and forth with the interviewer is great.
Q: What career advice would you give to others applying for a job at a Big Four company?
A: Be a good interviewee. In fact, interview a lot. For example, at one of my interviews, I was asked to solve a question I had already solved for a previous interview two days before. There is some reuse in this industry, and the questions are technical and about solving. Interview even if you aren’t interested in the company. When you get multiple offers, you can negotiate with the company you really love.
There you have it! If you’re considering a career at a Big Four company:
- Use your connections wisely
- Be comfortable and confident while interviewing
- And don’t be afraid to negotiate
We hope our anonymous interviewee’s tips and experiences help you along your career journet. What questions would you have asked?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan.
About the Author: James Hu earned his bachelor’s of Information Systems and Finance from University of Washington. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Jobscan. James has also enjoyed work experiences at Boeing, Microsoft, Groupon, Kabam Games, and a start-up of his own. Through his work in the United States, China, and Spain/Gibraltar, James truly integrates a global mindset into his career. In his free time, he enjoys water sports and backpacking. Follow James on Twitter.