How FAANG companies hire top talent?
FAANG is an acronym for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google. Those "tech giants" have a complex recruitment process designed to select the best of the best. Around 3 million people applied to Google alone in 2020. Only 20,000 of them were hired, which gives us a 0,67% acceptance rate!
With so many applicants, FAANG companies had to come up with an efficient and accurate hiring process. After years of experimenting, most tech giants decided to conduct phone screening and five 45 minutes to an hour onsite interviews. The phone screening usually takes about an hour, and is easier than an onsite interview. The idea behind it is to avoid wasting time interviewing people who wouldn’t have a chance of passing an onsite screening anyway.
What do these interviews look like?
We will focus on describing the technical interview for a software engineering position. The most significant difference between "tech giants" and smaller companies is that they are not so concerned about your knowledge of programming frameworks. Technologies change rapidly. There are new internal frameworks, introduced at FAANG companies, almost every month. An excellent developer is an engineer who can learn and use them almost instantly, and that's what they are looking for in these interviews: fast-learners and intelligent people.
The software engineering interview usually consists of a phone screening with one coding question and possible follow-up questions in the event that you are fast. Nowadays, onsite interviews take place in the form of five phone interviews, usually consisting of three 45-minutes coding interviews, 1 hour of software design, and 45 minutes of soft skill interviewing.
At the coding interview, they test your algorithms and data structure skills. There are multiple platforms upon which you can research those questions and solutions. One of them is www.huro.io. A unique feature of this platform is that it breaks up solving a problem into techniques you can use to solve more problems.
Software design interviews test your knowledge of designing big, scalable systems. It's hard to prepare for them without the work experience in developing such projects. However, I would recommend reading about terms like “Load Balancing”, SQL vs. NoSQL databases, and different APIs like a REST API or GraphQL. That would be a good starting point.
Soft skill interviews focus on an applicant’s ability to work in a group, communication skills, and ingenuity in dealing with challenges connected with your day-to-day job.
Xfaang can help conduct interviews at your company.
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Daniel Stradowski ex Facebook - ex-FAANG engineer