A FAANG interview may be one of the most critical interviews of your career. Understanding how to prepare and what questions to ask FAANG interview can help you to be more successful. How long to prepare for FAANG interview is up to you, though most people recommend preparing for at least three months.
What is FAANG Interview?
You may have heard about FAANG in the past. So, what is FAANG interview?
Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. These are some of the most elite tech companies – and it is extremely competitive to get a job with these companies. These are high-paying jobs, so the hiring process is rigorous.
Of course, the information that you learn to interview with a FAANG company can be applied to other top companies including Microsoft, SpaceX, Samsung, and others.
Another common abbreviation is GAMAM, which describes the “big five” of tech companies – Google, Amazon, Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram), Apple, and Microsoft.
Regardless of the company you are going to interview for, you need to be prepared. This goes above and beyond having a polished resume and being personable. You need to build your skills and be prepared to show them off in creative and calculated ways.
A FAANG Preparation Plan
It’s critical to develop a FAANG preparation plan. This way, when you are called in for an interview (and even before you submit an application), you are ready. HR will not go easy on you.
Knowing how to hack the interview process can help you to get the job of a lifetime. When you look at how long to prepare for FAANG interview, it should be several months. It’s well worth it in the end.
Steve Jobs once said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”
Build Your Resume
Your resume needs to be carefully built so that you can highlight your strengths.
Particularly when you are applying to a FAANG company, you have to look at your education and your skillset.
The school you attended only matters if you went to a Tier 1 school (MIT, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, etc.). If you didn’t graduate from a Tier 1 school, focus more on your skills – and any certifications that you may have obtained.
Your resume, ideally, should be one page and include such things as:
- Work experience
- Internships and externships
- Highest degree obtained
- Technical skills
- Projects (the more recent, the better)
- Achievements in tech
If your resume is lacking, you’ll never even get a FAANG interview.
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Do Your Research
You have to know about the company before you even think about applying. This isn’t just knowing a few basic tidbits.
Spend a few weeks really diving into the company so that you know about the products or services that they offer, how often they release new products or services, and what their work culture is.
Read through blogs about the company, reviews from past employees, and more.
You should be able to explain in-depth what the company is all about, including its pillars.
Further, dig into the job itself. You should know what kind of skills are required and what unique skills you have that can help to give you the leg up on the job.
Finally, explore the interview process. Find out how many rounds there are, what they will ask of you in the interview process, and how long it typically takes for them to make a job offer.
Explore Data Structures
When it comes to how long to prepare for a FAANG interview, this is where you’re likely to spend the most time. You need to have intimate knowledge about the tech, data structures, and languages that drive their company.
The tech skills are something you have to be familiar with. If you don’t hold the programming concepts that they require, you’re immediately out.
It’s not as simple as listing them on your resume. You’ll need to be able to talk intelligently about a variety of things including:
- Programming language
- Data structures
- Computer networks
- System design
Of course, all of these will depend on the specific position that you want to obtain. Your ability to show proficiency rather than simply list it is critical to your overall success in the FAANG interview process.
Take Practice Tests
While you’re likely going to be given a number of pre-employment tests, the skills assessment will be the most important. When it comes to how to prepare for FAANG interview in 3 months, spend a few weeks in this area.
You may be required to analyze an algorithm, type a certain number of words per minute, or answer questions about a programming language.
This is where your research of the hiring process for a particular company/position comes into play.
Find various skills tests online so that you can practice taking them. It will help to alleviate test stress on the day of the interview.
Conduct Mock Interviews
As you look to prepare for a FAANG interview, you have to consider mock interviews. Take turns with friends so that you can anticipate the various questions and how you’ll answer them.
Which FAANG interview is the hardest? That’s all relative – and it often comes down to the position rather than the company.
Google/Alphabet is one of the hardest companies to get into, according to Stanford analysts. Of the onsite candidates that the company has, only 18.83 percent will get offers – and only 80 percent of those will accept the offers.
Other companies that are known to be particularly tough, though not technically FAANG, include:
Do as much research as you can to see what the interviews focus on. Look at both the company and the job position itself. This will allow you to create a mock interview that is as close to the real deal as possible.
Questions to Ask in a FAANG Interview
You’re likely asking yourself at this point, how hard are FAANG interviews? The obvious answer is very. However, it goes beyond that.
It’s not just about being able to answer questions. It is also about the questions to ask in FAANG interviews. They want someone who is capable of asking hard questions. It shows that you have knowledge of the job.
It’s important that you show an interest in the tech that is used within a FAANG company. This is a chance to show that you have a thorough understanding of what they do and how they do it.
Ask questions about their algorithms or programming language. Ask why they use one over another.
Don’t forget to listen to the responses and follow up with additional questions as needed, too.
Systems can be designed in a variety of ways. Find out if they have an open-source. Ask how often the systems are updated.
Talk about your experience with a particular system design so that they can be confident that you know what you’re talking about.
Ask about some of the upcoming projects for the company. FAANG companies are known to be some of the most innovative. They should have quite a few projects coming out. Ask them how your position would be involved in them and how much input you’ll get to have on the final outcome.
You can also talk about your experience with similar projects so that they know you can handle yourself.
The goal is that you’re not only hired but that you stick around for a few years. For this to happen, you have to fit well within the work culture.
Ask about the overall environment, how collaboration happens, and who you’ll be working with.
By talking about the “fit,” the company will recognize that you are looking to find a place where you can thrive.
FAANG companies invest a lot into the work culture, so your questions will show that you understand this.
Talk about similar work cultures you’ve been a part of, too, so you can prove that you’ll be a good fit.
Pay & Benefits
Don’t be afraid to ask about pay and benefits when you’re within a job interview. Too many people assume that such discussions are off-limits.
HR wants someone who is confident. If you’re asking about pay and benefits, you’re confident enough to believe that you could actually be hired within the company.
There’s always room for negotiation. Ask about the pay scale and where you would likely fall given your education and experience. Discuss the benefits of various tech companies to see how competitive they are.
While you can prepare for a FAANG interview in three months, the process should be continuous. Just because you apply for one position with a company doesn’t mean that there won’t be others.
Remain positive, even if you never hear back following an interview.
You can choose to apply for another position or apply to another FAANG position. You never know when an opportunity will arise.
By always practicing what you will say and do during a FAANG interview, you can be ready when you get a call to interview with a top tech company.
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Founder of Eggcellentwork.com. With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.