Anyone here work at a prestigious company but couldn't pass the interview before trying again?

Amazon fICL14
Dec 6, 2017 95 Comments

I work at a non-prestigious company and it's been my dream to work at Goog/FB/Airbnb, but I failed the first round interviews at each of them. I didn't think I was stupid, but I don't know. I'm wondering if there's anyone here who can provide advice/motivational stories/reality check on whether or not someone with average intelligence could pass these interviews (or at least get past the first round) with studying. If I had gotten past the first round, I wouldn't have felt as bad, but I didn't. Alternatively, if it's not possible for an average intelligence person to pass the first round by studying please let me know.

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TOP 95 Comments
  • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
    For a lot of people, Amazon is prestigious, and the folks I know at Google and Facebook are pretty damn respectful of Amazon. They probably wouldn’t join it, though 😂
    Dec 6, 2017 9
    • Facebook Fbc9D2
      Amazon above Microsoft for sure
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Facebook newgrad
      agreed
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
      This is kind of a silly discussion, though still interesting. These are all great companies, most people would be thrilled to work at one of them. Your life and career are what you make of then don’t intertwine too much of your identity with your job or employer, etc etc etc, cliche cliche cliche. Still. It’s true. If you’re working at one of these places, you’ve done well and are well-positioned to do even better.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Google Linkedin
      Amazon is good when you’re a customer, but not employee. And Microsoft is a great employer.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon Broda
      I like amazon so far, opportunities are great and people here are talented! Is my bar lower?
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Amazon gdSe61
    OP, you’ve been asking the same question multiple times since the past few months. I think you should find a psychiatrist. Moreover, please get the F out of amazon. If you need help with that, please share your details.
    Dec 6, 2017 4
    • Microsoft Koka
      Op is applying LP rigorously. Insights of highest standards
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      I wouldn't keep asking if someone gave a reasonable answer instead of armchair psychology. The fact is people want to work at good places and there's nothing wrong with that.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Reddit snoob
      ^^ found Amazon HR
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon kwvsnsown
      Hey Reddit buddy, love your site, but it's a fucking time sink/black hole. Just wanted to say that.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Microsoft / Eng
    MP3

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Troll living under the I-5 overpass
    MP3more
    Just like math is all about practice, so is programming. Sure, some can be more mathematically inclined and have better problem solving skills, but that doesn’t mean it is not possible to catch up to them.

    You already got into Amazon, so the problem here is probably insufficient practice in problem solving, communication skills. And that is an easy problem to solve :).
    Dec 6, 2017 4
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Amazons interview process was a joke, ask anyone who got in as a new grad. Also, the problem is definitely problem solving. Can that be improved if you're of average intelligence, or is it purely determined by iq?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng
      MP3

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Troll living under the I-5 overpass
      MP3more
      IQ is a bullshit metric, look it up. And even if it did mean something, what’s the point? In good sales job you’d be much better off with great communication skills than higher IQ, for example. My average GPA coming out of college was 2.5, and yet I had no problem interviewing. I find my communication skills matter more than programming anyway. It is all about practice.

      If you were to give me the same problems I had to do when I had my interview for current job, I doubt I’d be able to solve them now (without practice), which should be surprising considering I have a few years of real world experience.

      I helped a lot of people get into big companies, and the only ones who did not get in were ones who did not sufficiently practice. Interestingly enough, it was the smartest people who didn’t get in - because they thought they knew everything and therefore didn’t study. And many those who I’d consider to be less intelligent than me already have management positions, so maybe I was the dumb one? :)

      I’d recommend you work on ways to find confidence and stop relying on bullshit metrics, intelligence, prestige, and all that garbage. It is meaningless. Your unique skill set is extremely valuable when you know how to apply it, and no one has the same unique skillset/experience you do, so the whole idea of average/above average intelligence is a dumb thing anyway. I know plenty of people who are much more talented and smarter than me, however I’m very good at noticing patterns and thinking outside the box. I’ve delivered better results in 8 hours of writing a script than others did in months designing and developing a complicated project to solve the same problem. It is all relative, my friend :).
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Well I think many smart people do get in though. And iq isn't a bullshit metric, completely. But if it's possible for someone with average intelligence to get in with studying, then why am I not improving? Why is it that anyone who works at those companies is a genius and not an average joe from the street?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng
      MP3

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Troll living under the I-5 overpass
      MP3more
      @flCL14:
      I assure you that they are a lot more average than you think. Sure they may have went to top schools, have better stock options or whatever, but who cares? Thinking about that will give you zero benefit but demotivation and grief. Why do you think about it when it works against you? How is thinking about how much less intelligent you are compared to some imaginary image you created based on no meaningful real world data gonna help you?

      I’ve met plenty of very dumb people and extremely smart people where I work. And guess what? Intelligence alone is not a good metric.

      You’re not improving because
      1) you may not be studying enough or studying the right stuff
      2) maybe it is not the programming skills, but communication is where you’re failing?
      3) your mindset about smart/not smart is sabotaging you and you don’t even realize it
      4)????
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Amazon genkee
    I wonder if it’s the same person who keeps posting about “prestigious companies”
    Dec 6, 2017 1
  • Amazon Qlch60
    You have an insecurity complex and a serious one. Your work does not define you. You think you've average intelligence and you hope that a prestigious company will define you.
    Dec 6, 2017 12
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      It would change a lot if you said 130, because that just means you were smart enough to prfit from studying. I just want to know if a regular iq guy can become good at these problems and pass these interviews.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Oath thewho
      A guy with so low self confidence is just pathetic. Get yourself together, study and win! Does it matter at all if people say you’re not smart enough in this forum?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Yeah it matters. If I'm 5'6 and wanted to play in the NBA, would you tell me that I should just practice? I need to know if it's possible. So can a person with an average iq who failed on the first round despite practice practice and get past these interviews. So for fucks sake please just answer my question instead of trying to diagnose me.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Ever heard of a fellow named Muggsy Bogues? At 5'3" and 135lbs, he was the smallest NBA player ever and was pretty decent too. He was even able to dunk! Although only two handed dunks since his hands were too small for one handed dunks.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggsy_Bogues
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Oath thewho
      To answer your question: no, it’s not possible for you
      Dec 19, 2017
  • Oracle
    w5yfszcgjy

    Oracle

    PRE
    Oracle
    w5yfszcgjymore
    practice leetcode, try again
    Dec 6, 2017 7
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      I usually can't find a brute force solution unless it's obvious
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Weight Watchers elqR15
      How many leetcode problems did you do? When I started practicing a few months ago I had a really hard time seeing the brute force solution right aways and it would take me a looong time to nail the optimal solution. It improves with practice though. These days can usually do medium level problems within an hour, unless there’s some “trick” I haven’t seen before. I’m about 80 questions in and I’d like to get to 200+ questions and solve medium questions in under 30 minutes before going for FANG...
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      What's your iq? I practice and didn't improve
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng trippyt
      IQ doesn't mean shit.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Coming from the high iq guy.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Amazon bluecoin
    Just apply once a year like clockwork. It's 50% skill 50% luck anyway. Depends a lot on who interviews you.
    Dec 6, 2017 0
  • Google / Eng junipers
    I tried and failed twice before getting into Google.
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Did you fail on the first round?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Google / Eng junipers
      For the first time, yes, I didn't even get an interview.
      Dec 7, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Then the first time doesn't even count. What about the second time? Did you fail on the phone interview?
      Dec 7, 2017
  • Microsoft kmuD53
    How old are you
    Dec 6, 2017 1
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      14, answer my question.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Amazon / Eng trippyt
    Dude if you're obsessing this much over IQ, you might be actually retarded.
    Dec 6, 2017 2
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      I might be retarded because my PRI is shit and I couldn't get past the first round of google or Facebook.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon theZon206
      @tippyt - agreed.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Microsoft TheCurate
    1. You are probably not of average intelligence. Just working in a tech/STEM field makes it highly likely that you are above average.

    2. Imagine that in order to make it onto an NBA team, you had to hit a ton of free throws. That’s it - just free throws. No ball handling, defense, passing, etc. That’s the coding interview: free throws (leetcode, etc) as proxy for being a well rounded player.

    3. So you are a decent player but rusty on free throws, what do you do? Practice (do + understand sample problems). Introspect: look at your psychology, read books on performance coaching, maybe hire a performance coach for a few hours yourself.

    4. Commit yourself to taking as long as it takes to improve this skill and build your confidence.

    5. Do “warm ups” : do lots of interviews at other companies while you build up to interviews at your target company.

    6. You are more than capable of doing this. Google and Facebook are not comprised of only geniuses. Some people were naturally good at free throws and others practiced their asses off to get good at them.
    Dec 6, 2017 8
    • Cisco genesiz
      @Amazon almost everyone at "prestigious" tech companies failed a lot and practiced leetcode a lot.

      Take 6 months, do it, if that's what you really really want. If there are other things you prioritize in your life, I'd advice you to stop obsessing over this so called prestige
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Ok, newgrad didn't answer my question, but can someone with normal iq pass the interviews with practice? I practiced and I failed on the first round of the interviews.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Oath
      look4work

      Oath

      PRE
      Verizon
      look4workmore
      Yes. Someone with average intelligence can pass with practice. If you're not passing then you must have below average intelligence because someone with below average IQ definitely cannot pass. That's the whole point of the interview process, to filter out all of those who have below average IQ.
      Dec 7, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      My iq is 126 but my PRI is 105, but in either case it's still at least average. I don't think they are filtering out by below average.
      Dec 7, 2017
    • Oath
      look4work

      Oath

      PRE
      Verizon
      look4workmore
      You must have been lucky on your iq test because you obviously can't get past the interview stage... A sure sign of a low iq person.
      Dec 8, 2017
  • Yelp coder90
    I know someone that didn't clear interviews at any of the companies you mentioned. Prepared for 6 months, did all the questions on leetcode twice and from some books too. They're now working at one of those three.
    Dec 6, 2017 5
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Did they get past the first round? I could get past the first round :(
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Facebook newgrad
      It doesn't matter if its first round or not, all the similar coding questions, but if you failed all of them in the first round, you should definitely practice more and find some kind of pattern of those algorithms/data structures.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      It does matter. If you fail on the first round you're an idiot. If you fail on the onsite you just got unlucky. So it's important to know if someone with average intelligence can pass the first round with studying.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Yelp coder90
      I agree, I don't think it matters what round because the level of difficulty is the same. And to answer your question yes it was the first round. You can be a genius and practice for a few days or you can be average and work very hard, either way it's not impossible and I've seen both situations happen
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Did your friend have a high iq? How much did he study before his first interview?
      Dec 7, 2017
  • CareerBuilder hdTI13
    Worked at Google (granted it was quite a while ago now) and they are not all geniuses, I assure you. Don't tie your self worth to working at a few specific consumer companies. That's stupid.
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      It's easy to say that once you've already been at the top of your field
      Dec 6, 2017
    • CareerBuilder hdTI13
      I would not say I've been at the top of my field. FAANG is fine but not a utopia. There's a reason I'm not still there.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Again, that's all well and fine to say once you're at the top of your field. Every company has problems, but there are still a select few companies that have brand value.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • LinkedIn Samza
    How does one quantify “prestigious?”
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      High technical bar for interviews, asking coding problems, etc. linkedin is prestigious.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon theZon206
      LinkedIn is prestigious, but Amazon is not? Really? GTFOH. Lol
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Ask anybody that doesn't work at Amazon and isn't above 50. Linkedin actually asks coding questions that require thought, like leetcode-esque Amazon asks you to rate the best option out of 4 when you have to deploy a new feature but have a conference coming up. One interview is clearly harder lol.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Google googly432
    Most people end up failing FB and Google interviews. You are not an anomaly, you are the norm.
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Only real failures fail on the first round though. In your opinion though do you think practice could help an idiot like me make it through the interviews, or at least past the first round?
      Dec 7, 2017
    • Amazon genkee
      Yes
      Dec 7, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      I asked @googly, not you.
      Dec 7, 2017
  • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
    Dude, you need to chill out. You’re basically assaulting people with your low self-esteem and hoping they can give you an insight to “fix” yourself. I realize that Amazon is where overachievers go to feel badly about themselves, but holy hell man. Enough.

    Nobody can say why you didn’t get into one of the more “prestigious” companies. It’s not their responsibility to figure that out and explain it to you.

    I can tell you this: if you bring this sort of attitude to an interview, your intelligence and abilities will be shadowed by it. You might need to examine your behaviors and attitudes, not solely your algorithm application knowledge.
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      First, obviously interviewers aren't seeing an attitude over a coding problem, so I'd appreciate better advice. Secondly, as I've mentioned multiple times in this post, I'm asking a simple yes/no question. I don't want to constantly divulge into nonsense arguments that are irrelevant to the point at hand. I'm not even asking how to get better at the problems, I'm literally asking if it's possible for an average iq person who failed the first round of prestigious companies to get past the first round with studying.

      And it's not anyone's responsibility to say fucking anything. Just like it's your right to post retarded "advice", it's my right to post questions. But if someone actually answered it instead of focusing on nonsensical bullshit, I wouldn't have to ask the same question 20 times.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon genkee
      YES OKAY THE ANSWER IS YES. It’s possible. Literally anything is possible.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      "Literally anything is possible" is not the answer I'm looking for. It's possible a meteor would hit tomorrow, that doesn't mean it's likely. I'm asking for a realistic answer to a realistic question.
      Dec 7, 2017
  • Microsoft Ayhw13
    Try to understand what “failed “ you in the first round - is it technical knowledge or personality questions. Try to get feedback from interviewers whenever possible

    Companies look for skill fit first - make sure you are applying to the correct levels.

    Network with people in the company that interests you most

    Keep at it until you get in. Also , Since you already have a job, I am assuming it’s in the same field as what you are aspiring for in the company you like to work for, try to get good projects and learn on the job. Learning on the job is the best way to learn!

    Also it’s resilience that makes people successful and not necessarily intelligence. I know a lot of people who are very intelligent, but not necessarily have the top jobs or rocking careers.
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      My problem is the coding interviews not communication. Many questions I just have no idea how to do despite understanding data structures and algorithms. I just have trouble applying those things to new situations.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • I would say maybe you should revisit communication since you are not listening to anything anyone here is telling you. Could be that you do the same thing in interviews without knowing it.
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Ironically no one here is listening to a single thing I've been saying. They've been so quick to demonize me va answering my question. Also, try to use some reason and think about in a coding interview where my "attitude" come across. Do you think l talk to my interviewer and say "hey mr.interviewer, I tried hanging myself when my buddy got an offer from your company" during the call?
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Google king_op
    Google/FB people will flock over there had Amazon have better perks and comp. I also failed my phone interview with Google at first. You need to calm down and put in some serious preps to get in
    Dec 6, 2017 3
    • eBay whitman
      I did miserably on my first Google phone interview about 10 years ago. Google has never contacted me after that. Is that because of the feedback left by the interviewer at that time?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      You failed the first round? How did you improve? Are you high iq?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Also I would calm down if I knew it was possible, but whenever I ask this people love reprioritizing my goals instead of answering my question. All I want is a simple yes or no that's proof based. I wouldn't be asking these questions if I didn't care. Recently a guy from college posted on Facebook that he got an internship at Dropbox, and I tried hanging myself cause I couldn't understand why I was so inferior. So I care a lot about this, and just want a simple answer.
      Dec 6, 2017
  • Facebook / Eng Elpm80
    Just keep trying. I failed multiple attempts at Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Uber, and lots of small companies as well. Take what you can get and focus on rising to the top of wherever you are so you can make the strongest case for your next attempt.
    Dec 6, 2017 2
    • eBay whitman
      How did you prepare for Facebook?
      Dec 6, 2017
    • Amazon fICL14
      OP
      Did you fail on the first round? I failed on the first round :(
      Dec 6, 2017

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