6 Reasons why its simpler to get a tech job at FAANG than you think

when I say FAANG, I mean Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Spotify, AirBnB etc.

I can understand if you don’t agree with me just yet. Stay on me for a bit, I’ll explain and by the end of this blog, I am quite sure you’ll be convinced. Now to test out my hunch, I actually put things into action, went out there and applied. Guess what? I got in, I recently started working with Amazon. That being said, In no capacity do I represent either of these big tech companies in this blog. This blog is my opinion only, and a tested one.

Now, I don’t want to trivialise the interview processes at these companies. All I want to do with this post, is break the mental block that’s stopping you from giving it a shot. With that, let’s get started.

Some Context

A huge problem is, a lot of people don’t apply to these companies because they think they’re not good enough or geniuses work there. They set this imaginary image in their heads about what’s it going to be like and how good they have to be; to get in and then just keep at it without giving it a go. I am guilty of this too.

There are two simple steps to get a job in one of these tech companies:

Step 1: Getting an interview

This is the toughest part of the process. These companies get job applications in the millions and it’s their part of the job to filter out and pick the right people for the job. Just to give a perspective a simple search on the internet returns:

Approximately year on year, 3 million applications are submitted into Google and 200,000 applications for 30,000 open roles at amazon.

I understand it can be an intimidating thing, a lot of things are intimidating but what isn’t?

Don’t be intimidated by that huge scale, recruiters from these companies are very active on LinkedIn, job platforms and also on coding practice web sites, to make sure they get the right people in. They are always looking for good candidates. If you’re good and they don’t have space for you? They’ll make one.

You can also reach out to people working at these companies on LinkedIn and ask for a referral.

Step 2: Facing the interview

This is the simple part. Once you’ve been discovered by the recruiter and are scheduled for interviews, it’s all done. It’s completely in your hands now to be able to crack that interview and it’s not hard. The bar of entry is a bit high, but it’s nothing that you can’t do with just some practice. There are college graduates joining these companies and we all know how much we all knew when we were just college graduates.

Recruiters are in touch with you through out the process and even if you don’t make it, you can connect with them on LinkedIn and then reach out to them after 6 months to reapply. A lot of times they would reach out to you again.

So why do I say the interviews are the simple part?

Reason 1: You know the syllabus

You know exactly what topics would be covered in the interview in just a simple search on the internet. Additionally, there are only a few of them too.

It’s like attempting your high school math exam. You have 10–15 chapters, each chapter would have 4–5 different kinds of problems. You would be asked variations and combinations of those questions. You’ll have 3 hours to solve 10–20 questions and your success would depend your ability to solve them.

Similarly, in these coding interviews you have 8–9 odd data structures and a handful of algorithms. You’ll get around 1 hour to solve 2 questions (try for 20 mins per question) and your success would depend on you solving those questions (in code) and your ability to communicate the solution.

Remember! communication is key

Reason 2: You can get up to 2 months of Prep time

How great is that! You know what they would ask you about and they give you time to prepare. Right from the first contact with your recruiter, after going over some questions like “Why are you looking for a change?”, they would generally ask you about your familiarity with the concepts required for the job (DSA). As long as you don’t say “I don’t know them and I don’t want to know them”, you’re going to be okay.

You can just tell them, you’re not as confident as you would like to be before an interview and they would ask you how long would you need to prep? Remember, it’s one round of screening followed with 4 - 5 rounds of on-site interviews. You can ask for prep time before each round (1 month to prep for Screening and 1 month for on-sites)

Give the interview when you’re completely prepared and are confident, they don’t mind waiting.

Interviews are an expensive ordeal for these companies, their best engineers spend a lot of time interviewing candidates. They want to make sure you’re worth their time and that’s why they don’t mind waiting.

Reason 3: Recruiters are your best friends

They really are, trust me. They would help you prepare (may also give you prep material), in some cases assess your preparation. They can help you clarify popular beliefs about the company and break those myths that are being circulated on the internet.

You have no idea, how many people get this wrong. They think the recruiters are rooting for the company while all they are doing is helping you as much as they can, to land that job. They want you to succeed.

You might be able to get best advises from them. They see a lot of candidates and they know exactly what they said/did and what was the outcome.

Reason 4: The online learning community

There is a huge community when it comes to joining one of these top tier tech companies. Sites like leetcode, interviewbit, geeksforgeeks, codeforces, etc are hubs for so many aspirants each running on their own timeline.

Everyone is preparing and everyone is helping each other out. Sites like pramp allows the users to go through mock interviews for free. What an amazing thing for all aspirants.

It’s almost as if not only the recruiters, but everyone wants you to get in. Which can be very motivating to be very honest.

I was never the one pay for any of these services so you’ll be fine without it too. You don’t need a fancy subscription just because a YouTuber has it, plenty of free material out there.

Reason 5: Online resource materials

There are a lot of people putting content out there. A lot of candidates share their experiences after the interviews. It’s very rare that you would be surprised in one of these interviews.

Below is a list of resources available for you out on the internet:

  • Advice from ex-employees who were hiring managers/interviewers.
  • Experiences from other interview candidates.
  • Study guide.
  • Latest interview questions and most frequent interview questions.
  • YouTubers explaining each and every leetcode problem

Although its just 5 things, there are countless authors and a plethora of content out there in these 5 things.

Reason 6: Standard format interview and great interviewers

The recruiters tell you in advance as to how many rounds you’ll go through, what would each round look like and would answer all questions related to those rounds. Nothing is going to be a surprise for you, you’ll know everything before hand and in case you have any questions, you can directly reach out to your recruiter and they would be more than happy to resolve them.

The interviewers undergo many rounds of mandatory training before they can actually become interviewers. They can better understand your mindset in an interview and might be able to cut you some slack here and there. They go deep into what you’re trying to communicate so that they are sure they’ve understood things from all aspects.

They really care about the your interview experience and want the you have a great interview. They go above and beyond to ensure it.

But there’s a small catch

All this is good and yes, it is really simple to get into FAANG but it’s not easy. This is true for any job, you have to put in the time, you have to work hard on your skills.

You don’t have to be the best, you only have to be good.

Practice is the only answer and there are no shortcuts to this one, trust me I did search for them.

Wrapping it up

Do not let Imposter Syndrome keep you down. If you’ve not yet attempted in these companies, give it a shot. Try to get an interview. You might just get in. If you fail, you’ll know exactly where to start. It’s a win-win for everyone.

A lot of you are reaching out me for the prep strategy and the topics I’ve covered. I do plan to share all of that along with all resources that helped, so stay tuned.

If you need any help or are looking for a referral, just drop me a DM either on Twitter or LinkedIn I’ll be more than happy to help.

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A Tech Enthusiast, develops software at Amazon, made a computer print “Hello World” once; didn’t leave software since. Such an obedient fella that computer 🖥️