Confessions of a FAANG hiring manager

Apple xyz5678
Mar 8 195 Comments

I’ve read a lot of posts recently about confounding or failed interviews at top tech firms. As someone who regularly serves as an HM (direct and indirect) at one of the most selective, I’ve also been bogged down by a flood of them in the past 2 Qs. I want to shed some light from the other side.

First of all, because our brand stamp is so strong (for now), HR is a wasteland, nowhere more so than Recruiting (I’ve known exceptions but this is the rule). The standard at which they work is incomprehensibly low. In fact, on my team, doing 95% of the job ourselves is the only way to make the process run smoother and faster. This includes fixing the 5% they inevitably fuck up.

Contrast that with most other teams’ needlessly high performance standards and top down expectations. We are the poster child for getting a rocket scientist to do data entry (this is a real case, not a metaphor). And instead of a headhunter, an intern sourced him for us (again, recounting a real situation here). Now do you get a sense of why hiring is the way it is here?

This also contributes to why employee experience varies so wildly from team to team, geo to geo. Finding a good fit is critical and effortful, but the payoff is well worth it if you do (in terms of both money and personal growth). If you’re qualified and determined enough, it’s not as hard or complicated to ace the interview as people seem to think.

Best advice I’ve seen thus far is simple: “Each interview is learning experience, just focus at learning, results are byproduct.”

That’s it. That’s the mindset you need to have before, during, and after each interview. I glaze over when people describe how “pro-active,” “a team player,” or even “results-oriented” they are (and definitely don’t drone on about how you want to “add value”). All of that can mean a million things, which makes it meaningless.

What does get my attention is someone who’s 100% present in the conversation or on the task at hand. I’m not looking for timed monologues, I’m looking for someone who listens to the question being asked and understands what specific thing I’m trying to evaluate. It isn’t hard, but it requires focus and clarity in your thinking and communication.

For example, if I say, “Success in this role requires x and y. Can you share a past experience that demonstrates your capacity for x and y?” Address exactly that. If you don’t understand, ask me to clarify or provide an example. Don’t launch into a speech about something else, even tangential, or answer in a way that requires me to guess which part is supposed to demonstrate x and y.

For cases, I don’t care about the answer or outcome itself (unless it’s preposterous). Mistakes are overlooked if you can recognize where you went wrong and fix it. Again, being present is key because I’m coaching you the whole way. If nerves take hold—pause, deep breath and pay attention to where I’m directing you. Concentrate on solving only the problem posed but be prepared to mentally pivot and sanity check along the way.

It’s astounding how many people fail interviews not because they’re unqualified but because they miss every opportunity the HM gives them to shine. If I invite you to interview, I’ve already determined that you have the raw talents to work here (e.g., education, IQ, experience, etc.). All I’m assessing is if you’re the right fit for my team and how easy you are to manage/lead.

Trust me, I want you to pass with flying colors too and will set you up for that. Interviews are time consuming, and no one wants to spend hours (sometimes months) repeating the same routine with unprepared, disconnected candidates (who, in theory, should more than qualify). But on the other hand, it’s very hard for a major MNC to get rid of duds and no one has HC to waste/risk.

Thus, we do our due diligence when filling FT positions. There can be a staggering series of interviews to complete. Based on ones that go well, you might be considered for various roles. Even the role itself may be reconsidered based on how much potential you demonstrate.

And remember, if you find the process utterly exhausting, then that’s a red flag. The company culture, or that particular team, may be the wrong fit. We’re both putting our best foot forward here, so if I feel drained afterwards, can you imagine what 40+ hours together under pressure would be like?

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TOP 195 Comments
  • LinkedIn tendies
    How much does diversity and inclusion play into your hiring choices? What about ageism and lookism? Are you trained to acknowledge and handle biases such as those? Does anyone take that seriously?
    Mar 815
    • Apple shnndyhsh
      Malakai77 I think what you are missing is the meaning of unconscious bias. That’s the insidiousness of it all: biases can influence choices, actions, and outcomes, without us even being aware that they are happening.

      For example if we had the following four candidates interviewing for a role, and I was HM:

      56 yo black woman
      24 yo white woman
      30 yo white man
      43 y.o. Hispanic man.

      I would have to really be aware of what was happening in how I speak to, address, orient towards, and interact with the candidates. There’s a lot of potential drivers for bias in there. And no matter what I say about my general beliefs and stance on equal opportunity and providing a level playing field, I will be influenced by my cumulative lifetime of experience.
      Mar 8
    • Tesla Sbrk33
      I want a diverse team for purely selfish reasons: casting a wide recruiting net means I get the best of the best working for me. Getting their broad perspectives and experiences means my team has problem solving tools it wouldn't otherwise have and I have an advantage over other tech managers who limit themselves to the b.s. meritocracy rhetoric we often hear on the Valley.
      Mar 8
    • Amazon USSW74
      As a hiring manager I believe the greatest unchallenged bias in tech is ageism. This isnt a flat discrimination against all people over 40, but there is a persistent meme that if somebody hasnt advanced beyond a certain level by a certain age that there's something wrong with them.
      Mar 8
    • Microsoft wyba qnbab
      You folks should read, slow and fast thinking. Our unconscious bias kicks before we ever realize. It’s just like when ur driving and you avoid an accident, you do that before your true senses even realize. That’s why some companies are anonymizing interviews so you don’t know age or race
      Mar 8
    • Lyft swetool
      @tesla meritocracy is bs and diversity for its own sake is good. Got it. You will go far here.
      Mar 8
    • New tooQ10
      @USSW74 (is that your birth year?) - totally agreed on ageism. I thought I was staying ahead of the game by going to grad school in the evenings and taking coding courses online. Turns out that nothing can make up for aging without promotion or salary bumps. You're considered to be second class.
      Mar 8
    • Tableau MOVSD
      In all our loops, I ask our recruiter to cast as wide a net as possible, source from places other than LinkedIn, and I always try have a diverse hiring loop. As a result, my team has a much higher diversity, in many measures, than the industry, and we have benefitted greatly from it. Never once did I tell anyone I didn’t want to hire the most qualified individual, although we do evaluate team fit quite rigorously.

      The diverse hiring loop is incredibly important, since it does two things, it’s a good advertisement that we’re diverse, and it’s very useful in picking out the folks who would not fit in well. I’ve had a loop where the guy was a superstar coder, and we no-hired him because he was incapable of not being condescending to the women on the loop.
      Mar 8
    • Tesla Sbrk33
      @MOVSD Well said!
      @swetool Already have! Thanks!
      Mar 8
    • Microsoft huiii
      For me, this is one of the most valuable posts on blind. Thanks to the OP.

      I would have needed this information some time ago. I had many interviews but I didn’t nailed the jobs. The reason was that my answers weren’t to the point enough. I was nervous, had a challenging discussion about things that I’ve never done (why else should I pick this role), in English which is not my native language, have been under stress, etc. You don’t want to look like a fool but exactly this happens when you think about this while interviewing.

      I was actually surprised how HM’s in the US are looking for the exact answer, even though it’s not the best way to address Problem A or B.

      What I really missed in that process were I learned this painfully are two things: A clear feedback and an understanding of my culture. Got always told I have everything for the role but it‘s all about this or that.
      When I reached out to HR I got their real written feedback. Only this helped me to get better, not the BS that I got told. Regarding culture I would have wished a better understanding of how things may work in other geographies on this planet. In Europe Interviews run completely different i.e. And I guess this is also the case in Asia or other parts of the world. So sometimes (as in my case) people are used to their interviewing style in their home countries. For someone who nailed every interview in his origin country this kind of experience is quite painful.

      We spend a lot of efforts on diversity. But no one really think about how to interview a foreign worker appropriately so that he/she feels comfortable and can reach his/her full potential during the interview. I would bet we leave a lot of talents behind us due to that missing piece of diversity. It would have helped me a lot to show my full potential. And of course open and true feedback. It was a 2-3 year journey of painful learning. And i‘m still learning.

      Only persistence and self reflection helped me to overcome frustration and land my new role, before leaving the company that i‘m actually being proud to work for.
      Mar 9
    • Microsoft HtIB24
      @MOVSD
      >Source from places other than LinkedIn.
      Such as...? On the employee side of the table, I get bombarded by low quality recruiters to the point of frustration. The noise to signal ratio on the inbox and voicemail I have hooked up to my resume makes it barely worth to even looking at. LinkedIn avoids this problem (mostly). Where else should I be to get good signal recruiters?
      Mar 9
  • FactSet r/TIFU
    Such a refreshing take on the other side of the table for the hiring process. Thanks for this post. It really alleviates a lot of concern and uncertainty about interviewing. This definitely is going to instill a new mindset in me personally when interviewing, and I hope others take away valuable insight from this post as well.
    Mar 80
  • Google GnaSkItSlf
    Interesting about Recruiting comment. I got approached a couple of times from Apple "recruiters" and it ended up so disastrous that I removed Apple from my potential employers forever. Once I asked a recruiter about details of job description he approached me for and he set a call with a HM so I can ask my questions. In the call, I wasn't getting any chance at all to ask any questions and I realized halfway through that I'm in a phone interview without knowing. I told the HM that I have not even made my mind if I want to apply for this job let alone do an interview without any preparation... A couple of other times, the recruiters just ghosted me in the middle of scheduling.
    Mar 811
    • Facebook kevgill
      Lol after that call went so terribly with the hm they def blacklisted you.
      Mar 8
    • Google GnaSkItSlf
      Good!
      Mar 8
    • Facebook kevgill
      Totally good. You don't want to work for a hardware company focused on serving the top ten percent of people that can afford their products. Fuck tim cook
      Mar 8
    • Eventbrite vDPK25
      You’re right kevgill, it’s so much better to work for a social network that sells data to foreign intelligence operatives.
      Mar 8
    • Lyft swetool
      Fuck Zuckerberg, def fuck fb
      Mar 8
    • Amazon cayde
      Lol. Tech workers: always slamming the evil companies they don't work for. If you wanted to work at a perfect company, you'll be out of a job.
      Mar 8
    • H&R Block Uwvf45
      I work for an outfit that has its very own PAC. 🤣
      Mar 8
    • Amazon cayde
      Yeah, John Oliver did a number on you guys a while back, haha.
      Mar 8
    • H&R Block Uwvf45
      TBH it kinda creeped me out a bit when I learned about it.
      Mar 8
    • American Express D.BCooper
      I applied twice to Apple and got picked up for both positions through the basic web applications.

      One recruiter was incredibly rude, like you'd think she was a third party headhunter with under 3 months experience. She never would respond, then just finally ghosted me. I'm thinking, you guys get like 500 apps per job here, clearly it isn't a fluke I made it twice? I had to look back and realized where I messed up. I gave salary expectations day 1 and my career aspirations to move up. Should've just said I wanted to be a low paid monkey with no aspirations.

      Facebook was fantastic. They were very honest with my skillset and said I'd be a great fit elsewhere in more of a pure data engineering role instead of data science. I declined because it wasn't really the move, but everyone was on time, recruiters were great, etc. Recruiter said to keep in touch and let me know if I want to apply to something else. That's what candidates remember.
      Mar 11
  • Lyft 0xabc0de
    Counter point: your post comes across as arrogant in a world where corporates treat employees as replaceable cogs and employees treat jobs as stepping stones up the TC ladder.
    And this is certainly a sellers market so cut back those expectations.
    Tbh the whole thing isn't such a big deal. Treat people like people, keep the dead weight off the path of the few actually doing work, and show genuine appreciation of work well done with money and growth opportunities.
    Mar 83
    • eBay petta
      Hire me 0xabc0de..
      Mar 8
    • Lyft lyftwhaat
      Me too.. ! Wish other managers at lyft and elsewhere thought like that.. pity..
      Mar 9
    • IBM uhYq11
      I want to know where you work so I never work there. 1000x rather work for the OP than you.
      Mar 10
  • Amazon QUfT36
    tl dr
    Mar 86
    • LinkedIn howd
      Unsolicited insult: That's why your company is fuxed up!!
      Mar 8
    • Amazon QUfT36
      other than your statement its not an insult though, just stating a fact
      Mar 8
    • LinkedIn howd
      Come to LinkedIn, we have an ex-amazonians assistance group
      Mar 8
    • Amazon QUfT36
      do you hand out badges? like "i managed to go 10days without being open to anyone"?
      Mar 8
    • Amazon miner49er
      May help some, but post was too preachy and entitied.
      Mar 8
    • Lyft Lyft0123
      Lol we have a support for ex-Teslans
      Mar 8
  • LinkedIn howd
    You've "read a lot of posts" and no TC???
    Mar 80
  • eBay petta
    Nice.. Tim Apple should be proud of you OP
    Mar 81
  • Microsoft shared_ptr
    This is for non-eng or eng? Cause I miss the part where you ask candidates Leetcode Hard questions...
    Mar 80
  • Groupon grpbye
    I have interviewed at FB, apple and amzn and can say confidently that apple is a complete shitshow. FB and Amazon have great recruitment teams and processes. I would give apple a wide berth, if you can't get recruitment right your company is doomed, hope Tim Apple is paying attention.

    Edit - add Microsoft to the shit show list as well
    Mar 83
    • Amazon cayde
      Hahahaha!! That was too funny. Can't wait for him to call out "Jeff Amazon" for not paying "internet taxes" the next time he wants to distract everyone.

      Sorry my comment was unrelated to the actual content of your comment.
      Mar 8
    • Groupon grpbye
      LoL good one
      Mar 8
    • Amazon y67bert1pz
      After having worked for Microsoft and interviewed with Apple I had a revelation. The doors were the same. The desks were the same. The coffee machine was the same. Both were founded around 1975 by founders who were at worst frenemies. Company culture is exactly like human personality: It's generational. The differences between Microsoft and Apple are largely superficial. Otherwise they are extremely similar companies with hyper kool aide dystopian rank and yank cultures that are riding on fumes of past success.
      Mar 9
  • Microsoft mhhI43
    Tech interviews are inherently broken. I know so many people who get in with flying colors and the code they write is garbage, they are bad team mates and just an overall bad hire.
    But each company goes around pretending their tech interview process is great.
    Mar 89
    • if I had a penny for every 5xMBA, 2xIve League, perfect fit 'genius' trying to push a cube through a circle shape on their first assignment...
      Mar 8
    • Cornerstone Isap82q
      At Microsoft
      Mar 8
    • Intel Telus
      What is the best 3 industries superior to tech IYO. I'd love to know!
      Mar 8
    • New LGwK11
      I can't imagine the bar is that high at EA considering all the garbage you produce.
      Mar 8
    • Oh, no, the classic EA hater. Am I supposed to feel offended? What brilliant company do you work for?
      Mar 8
    • New LGwK11
      You brought that upon yourself. Your company has a shit reputation for a reason.
      Mar 8
    • New LGwK11
      Do you not ever think 'hmm my company is universally hated, maybe I shouldn't continue to help them be assholes?' or do you only care about TC?
      Mar 8
    • dude, how old are you, 15? let me break it down to you because I see you're lost: your hater group, given a very vocal group on forums and all, is a couple of hundred Ks strong. EA's unique monthly active users (people that play our 'garbage') is in the hundreds of millions. So yeah, I'm ok, don't worry about me or my ethics ;)
      Mar 8
    • I'm sure your company saves elephants in Africa and is loved worldwide :))
      Mar 8
  • Couldn't agree more that interviews are a learning experience. However, in my experience (pun intended) this is problematic, as very rarely is any feedback beyond the standard "we've decided not to move forward" is given.

    I take notes and write up post-interview summaries in order to suss out what went well and what didn't, but it's MY impression of how things went, and what sort of an impression I made, which is often very different from the other side's. I've had interviews I thought went great fizzle out to a "thank you for coming in, don't call us" and others I thought were a disaster result in offer letters.

    Bottom line is, I believe HR refrains from providing actual feedback in an attempt to minimize the risk of litigation, which makes it extremely difficult for the interview process to double as a learning process.

    If I don't know what I should improve, how can I?
    Mar 83
    • Google LeeJaeDong
      You shouldn’t need feedback. If you don’t know what to improve, that means you must be perfect in every possible way and you should have no problem winning the next leetcode contest or architecting S3.
      Mar 9
    • Amazon dqJw06
      Have seen the S3 architecture. It’s a massive clusterfck.
      Mar 9
    • Magic Leap Leaper17
      Ask for feedback from the recruiter and ask for a 10 minute feedback call. Recruiters are there to help, so try for a fri afternoon or after hours call. Also, think about where you would like more info. ie. was it an optimization issues, timing, communication, edge cases, etc?
      Mar 9
  • Veritas nonzeroed
    This has to be the most condescending garbage I’ve seen on Blind in a long time. The laugh-out-loud bit is someone who appears to use the word “effortful” in all sincerity while criticizing people who want to “add value.” It’s a big wonder why the quality of Apple products has been in the decline. If idiots like this decide who gets into Apple, it’s no wonder why the products suck these days.
    Mar 82
    • Match ulcM52
      As they say on the internet ^^this^^
      Mar 8
    • Intel Telus
      Apple envy. Lol. Please write your version of what this HM should have confessed.
      Mar 8
  • eBay JavaHater
    Tech hiring is the worst. Entire process is full of hodgepodge techniques, and unproven methods.

    Tech companies are full of inexperienced and untrained so called Hiring Managers. Most of them became managers when company wanted to reward them for being good at coding, or when they decided that they do not want to code anymore.

    They are looking for a needle in haystack, instead of hiring an average joe, and than mentor and grow that worker, they want someone who can work with years old code, without documentation or someone to explain it. So called, "hit the ground running".
    Mar 86
    • Juniper iamsamsam
      Always looking for the unicorn
      Mar 8
    • New LGwK11
      What do you think about Hacker rank?
      Mar 8
    • eBay JavaHater
      Why not bring onsite, give a programming exercise that can be done in 3-4 hours, build a music player playlist, build a restful service, build a car showroom API ... and let the candidate setup the dev env etc., till completion and than look at his/her code, ask questions and see how thy goes ...!?
      Mar 8
    • Conduent Mile
      You're not wrong.
      Mar 8
    • Oath donkster
      And getting hired there is overrated, oversold. They may be a few hundred such companies, but the vast majority of devs work elsewhere in hundreds of thousands of other companies and do just fine, thank you very much. So I question if, all said and done, it's really worth all the trouble. Any thoughts?
      Mar 9
    • Honeywell that1guy
      The 3-4 hour coding exercise would most likely be a cookie cutter exercise in which people can study and train for even if they don’t know good API naming techniques, or high availability, etc. just enough memorization for what the interviewer is looking for.

      That’s why it always needs to be different challenges.
      Mar 9
  • PayPal da anomaly
    +1 for the "please answer my direct question directly." The #1 reason - by far - I reject candidates after the first phone conversation is their inability to answer a question. Not that they struggle communicating - that's fine - just be able to answer the question.
    Mar 82
    • New 0xBD
      What are your 10 weaknesses?
      Mar 8
    • New fckfb
      Your inability to articulate question is the problem.
      Mar 9
  • Amazon N0tSure
    Hire for attitude and train for skill. You can train someone how to code and the majority of the internal tools and systems are proprietary, so there is no way an external hire could claim to be a self starter or a perfect fit. Even industry veterans start from square one with a new company.

    If someone has a strong work ethic and is willing to put in the time to learn then it shouldn’t matter if they missed a few technical questions. Surrounding yourself with good people improves team moral and productivity even when there is a skills deficit.
    Mar 82
    • eBay petta
      Well said. We just lost an engineer just because he refused to apologise for a mistake. Ppl didn't feel comfortable working with him and had to let him go.
      Mar 8
    • Microsoft mhhI43
      +1. Attitude to learn, grow, solve problems, team work and intellectual capacity to do so is the key to hire a great talent.
      Mar 9
  • Google pAIf08
    Is what happened at YouTube (recruiter was asked to only schedule interview for 'diverse' candidates) prevalent in rest of FAANG?
    Mar 84
    • New TC++
      Tell me more
      Mar 8
    • New LGwK11
      100% yes. I'm a recruiter and ive seen it over and over again. And every time I do, I call out the BS. It has cost me my job before, but I'm not gonna let that shit slide.
      Mar 8
    • Google pAIf08
      TC++ - There's a court case filed. Do a Google search
      Mar 8
    • Microsoft IEjP42
      Yes at MSFT
      Mar 9
  • Procore Sbgu62
    Nobody gives a shit about apple interviews. Frankly, they are a second tier employer at best.

    And everything you describe absolutely does not apply for the 2 FAANGs I have experience with, FB and Google.
    Mar 81
    • Capital One TXrR83
      You must be fun at parties
      Mar 8
  • Netflix enjoylyfe
    +1000 to the answer questions directly. I've rejected candidates that couldn't come to the point even after ten minutes of droning. At senior level, I expect their answers to be crisp and deep. They'd be working with other senior folks and launching into one hour long discourses is bad..... very bad.
    Mar 80
  • Disney zrbt65
    This a wonderful write up and thanks for putting it together to share with us. I have been in HM role in my current job for few years and we also have similar approach on our side. Hiring process is time consuming, we want candidates to succeed and appreciate candidates being themselves in the interview and be present.

    However, when I started looking for a new job and got interested in FAANG companies, there is so much BS outside. In fact there are coaches and experts making living by selling that BS, I am a victim of paying to such asshead!

    While problem solving and frameworks help in giving effective answers, being natural yourself is the key.

    This post has helped me reset my approach! It’s a learning experience and I am up for it. Thanks
    Mar 80
  • Amazon cayde
    Interesting read!
    I've seen people balk at the process, but whatever your reaction, it doesn't change the reality. Cracking the Coding Interview is such a good book for it.

    Interview prep is super annoying, but that's how the game is played. Just failed a Google interview (for the level I wanted). If I had done maybe 100 LC questions for a few months prior instead of 15 a for a few weeks prior, I probably could have had it. Oh well, now I know for next time. Either leetcode, or get on a project that explicitly uses trees and graphs a lot, haha.
    Mar 80
  • Microsoft joyfill
    Sounds like interview for non software engineers. My experience tells me it is strictly about whether I provided optimized solution or not. Interviewers think they know who are giving memorized answers etc but I pass all of the interviews which I got a question I solved before. It was not like this till 7 years ago but nowadays 2 years out of college interview 10 years experienced engineers. They think they know better when they see senior candidate struggle to solve coding quiz. Looking at my friends, it is clear whoever solved more collect more offers. Thought process and communication skills don’t matter. Coding expectation is too high that 90% of the time, that decides the fate of candidate. You can blame software engineers being dumb probably. I wonder why the interviewers are junior engineers not the managers. It was cool when Google focussed on such things. It is not cool when every company hires in the same way and coding quiz determines the hiring in most of the cases.
    Mar 82
    • That’s what I thought 💭 when I read this post. Apple isn’t the most coveted either. It’s a company that works people to death.
      Mar 8
    • Netflix enjoylyfe
      Hahaha got interviewed by a one yoe guy in appdynamics and didn't pass even phone screen coz he was looking for a particular answer and wouldn't accept any others. And I cracked all of FANG and others!
      Mar 8
  • Amazon fHsj42
    As a candidate SDE, my goal is NOT to please the hiring manager or so. I am looking at whether the conversations are inspirational and whether the collaborative problem solving is exciting. Whether I am able to answer HM’s question to his/her expectation is completely depend on the questions and what HM is looking for. For behavioral questions, I will be myself and say my real insight as a seasoned engineer instead of being “correct”.
    Mar 85
    • Google learner
      Lol you seem to think you are interviewing the HM, who is begging you to join his team
      Mar 8
    • Luxoft ThisOneGuy
      Well, it’s mutual to some extent, isn’t it?
      Mar 8
    • Amazon fHsj42
      Point is find a place where you can be yourself and enjoy the work and hopefully people, not a place where you have to please manager that is judgmental and dictating.
      Mar 8
    • Nvidia Kgfh
      Totally agree. The OP is like a pretentious person on a dating site, complaining how he/she cannot find the right partner, while treating candidates like live stock: if the teeth are straight, were they grass fed, if their trot looks pleasant.
      Mar 11
    • Intel baobao1
      @fHsj42 : agree!!
      Mar 14
  • New YjYE37
    Stop, I am gonna throw up. I’m never interviewing at Apple. This guy doesn’t look at interviewee as a peer. It is a disaster right from the start. Disconnected from reality.
    Mar 85
    • New plasma
      You are being evaluated. You are not in a position of power during an interview, you are being guided so as to expose your skillset. And if you think you are entitled to people's trust of your knowledge of anything, just by walking through a door you are completely out of this realm.
      Mar 8
    • New YjYE37
      Asking for a peer way of evaluation helps bring out skill set better, not otherwise. I am a HM myself. I have myself struggled with finding good talent. But never has that made me feel I’m anyway superior to the other person, even if they don’t answer the question. You are in an easier spot, the least you can do is exercise some patience. Giving them the space they need has led to very sincere and honest conversations. You have to help the other person feel comfortable. You have to realize the display of power is completely unnecessary. Your power is needed when you are protecting your team from higher ups. Which is also something that lacks in such orgs. Managing up is done well, but lacks the other way
      Mar 8
    • New plasma
      Define "peer way of evaluation" and how it differs so radically from the OPs perspective then. Am a hiring manager too.
      Mar 8
    • New plasma
      I read your updated answer above. I think we read a different post because in no way did the OP, in my opinion, mention that he or she is superior. It is even mentioned that the interviewer is rooting for the candidate to succeed.. Of course it isn't an audience with a king. It's an evaluation of skills.
      Mar 8
    • New YjYE37
      “For example, if I say, “Success in this role requires x and y. Can you share a past experience that demonstrates your capacity for x and y?” Address exactly that” - clearly OP lacks the patience. Sometimes skills are not directly related. More often than not I have seen a better fit when the person is sincere and thoughtful, even when they have not demonstrated a specific skill. When you go with an attitude of “address exactly that”, you are taking away that space. You have the alternative of nudging people in the right direction, you may run out of time, or they’ll eventually get there, but dictating with such attitude is counterproductive.
      Mar 9
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft ttyl
      HMs having bias towards their own ethnicity is rampant.
      Mar 9
    • Microsoft ttyl
      Thats pretty smart. Good for Google
      Mar 9
  • Microsoft zkeydb4
    Interesting take OP and one that I share wholeheartedly. Generally, the phone screens, tech screens help me understand if the skills are present. However, one bad hire can destroy the culture in a team much less make it very disruptive. If you are like me, i am very careful whom I hire and where. For example, in the U.S., it is an at will country for hiring and firing. But, you would be amazed at just how hard it is to remove a bad hire. Unless they have done something illegal or blatantly against company policy, it is a minimum of 12-18 months from the point you want to let them go.

    In other countries that have employment contracts it is even worse. While I look for A candidates, it sometimes takes some B+ candidates to make a well rounded team. In a day where employers are very worried about lawsuits for discrimination whether real or implied, it makes hiring managers like myself very careful whom I hire.
    Mar 84
    • New EMVH32
      You might consider that some teams need their culture destroyed.
      Mar 12
    • New EMVH32
      And you might might also consider that after five years on a team, the culture a person gets brainwashed into might exclude them from jobs outside the company.
      Mar 12
    • Oracle HURDles
      You sound like you’ve worked at Oracle, @EMVH32
      Mar 13
    • New EMVH32
      I was never South Asian enough or male enough to qualify for Oracle. But I’ll take that as a compliment.

      Amazon and Microsoft are on my resume.
      Mar 13
  • Uber lolololo6
    Thanks for the feedback but Neflix is a shit show and how they treat their candidates is terrible. I made it to the final round and got a automated response from Hr saying i didnt get selected . Not even a phone call
    Mar 83
    • Symantec pbel87
      +1
      Mar 8
    • Symantec pbel87
      Happened to me for an Uber interview as well lol, no feedback after phone interview other than standard HR email
      Mar 8
    • Uber lolololo6
      Uber’s hiring process is a shit show too lol
      Mar 8
  • Match ulcM52
    Fix your crappy keyboard and add a real escape key back and we'll talk :)
    Mar 81
    • New sn23km
      Lolll. But for real, why is the new mbp keyboard so much louder than the older one?
      Mar 8
  • My wife had 2 interviews with FAANG, one at Apple and one at Google. She passed HR then failed the next stage which for both was with team members, not HM. I think it's really stupid that individual contributors have so much power in the recruiting process, i.e they can pass or fail someone, especially at the beginning. I think at most they can provide feedback to the HM, the person who is actually trained to interview people.
    Mar 83
    • Intel Telus
      What is a better superior industry for pristine hiring in your opinion? I am in tech and while not perfect, better than 3 other industry experiences.
      Mar 8
    • New helloK
      Individual contributors have a huge impact on hiring as they are often the first screening process in every tech company.
      Mar 8
    • Capital One Fht’nAgiDv
      I like it. If the team is full of crazies, lazies, or jerks I just terminate my application.
      Mar 9
  • Capital One Fht’nAgiDv
    I have to admit though, even in my interview today, when you ask a question like “tell me about a time when you demonstrated experience with x and y”.... it requires people to interpret what you mean by x and y and come up with real solutions which don’t always exist. (I’ve straight up made shit up in an interview on the spot to answer these questions...for the win) It would be more helpful if you gave me a situation where I need to use my experience with x and y to give you a solution.

    Even if it’s complicated, giving you a solution rather than a back story is what you’re after anyways.
    Mar 82
    • Adobe jjjx12
      I like your style and think you are on point.

      I don't have a real life example of every behavioural situation (even the classic ones) people can ask about. If I have to make up some BS, I will, especially since I'm mostly not leading the interactions in question at this stage of my career.

      I need to sound impressive, not accurate at relaying the facts. Leave that for the historians.

      Basically, I will say what the situation was and perhaps my (private) reaction, but what if the authority in the room didn't generate a good result given the context? I can't just say "well, the manager didn't fix it". I would probably just go with what I would do as the manager and what I wish had reasonably happened.
      Mar 9
    • Microsoft HtIB24
      That's kind of the problem about these questions. You can't say "I've never been in that situation before." Every time I've tried it, it ended up being a black mark for the interview. +1 for the "what would you do in <this> situation" instead.
      Mar 9
  • Match ulcM52
    Hmmm about those apple hr recruiters. I recently interviewed at apple and the hr recruiter made me buy my own coffee before the interview. She was generally rude and seemed to be bothered I was in her presence. Loved the hiring manager who would have been my boss but the rest of the team was insecure and not that great. Some bad attitudes. I'm glad they rejected me because working with that team would have been hell. Is something wrong with apple culture? It seems you can cut the politics with a knife.
    Mar 81
    • Cisco ABGslayer
      A handful of the Apple employees I talked to have ego problems
      Mar 8
  • Comcast ah-
    After interviewing recently I’ve found that a hodgepodge of crap

    1. Go for the cheaper labor. Usually H1B
    2. Asked why I’d want to work for sum Corp when it’s such a vague question only the interviewer knows the answer
    3. Interviewer has already made up their mind from reading the resume, just going through the motion
    4. Anyone who’s been in tech for more then five years knows there’s hundreds of ways to solve the same problem now are neither right or wrong if there efficient and effective but they are not what their interviewer assumes as correct
    5. Blind ain’t so blind
    6. Some are threatened if the candidate is intelligent
    7. Honesty is only appreciated if it’s in line with the interviewers values
    8 HR is only there to protect the company. Not to hire valuable employees
    9 Most hiring processes are designed to eliminate not discover value

    I could go on but why bother. It’s mostly a joke. A good bullshitter can get further then an honest candidate. If you write bull shit on your resume your more likely to get in the door Anyone can be good as studying but talent is aptitude to deal and solve problems. Most hiring process doesn’t even consider talent
    Mar 105
    • New plasma
      What you deem bullshitting, somebody else calls social engineering. You have to be good at that too if you aspire to succeed (and yes maybe more easily than someone that doesn't have that; that in and of it's own is not "unfair"). It's not only about solving leetcode coding questions. It's about cracking the code behind people. That's a skill. The person that has both fits in any group.
      Mar 10
    • Comcast ah-
      You just proved my point
      Mar 10
    • New plasma
      So you think it's unfair or wrong for people to exercise that skill. Don't get me wrong. The proper interviewer will spot a fact warping, point missing candidate from a mile away. I'm just saying communication is an important skill. Coding, though important, isnt and shouldn't be everything.
      Mar 10
    • T-Mobile just add
      Ah- you got one foot into absolutely every company. For the other foot to come in, you need to play nice. Even if it means smiling back when you're getting punched in the face. People smiling back with no teeth is a cute sight right?
      Mar 11
    • New plasma
      Being adept socially and obedient/pathetic are two very different things. I'll give an example of a social skill applied to work: knowing your audience and modifying the technical level of a presentation to resonate as deeply as possible with them.
      Mar 11
  • New plasma
    I just want to say how strongly this echoes with me. Everyone here says do 200 LC hard pushups a day to pass the FAANG interview. I interviewed recently for a FAANG position and I did 0 LC challenges. Frankly, I thought I wasn't going to get the position and my mentality going in was that I'm doing this purely for the experience, fully applying myself and my accumulated knowledge thus far. I've sat accross the hiring table as a hiring manager before and everything mentioned in the original post is so true.
    I was just myself. I didn't try to sound smart or went of into monologues. I listened to the questions carefully and with full concentration, I applied myself in solving them, with the occasional hiccup, but always describing my train of thought and justifying the directions I chose to explore, as well as my overview of the overarching problem. I was asked to design architectures on the whiteboard that would solve a problem and was told that I managed to derive already published ones with logical thinking. My interviewer didn't penalize me for not being directly aware of them, rather he awarded me for putting in the effort to figure out a viable answer. I got an offer and I'm starting soon this month. Honestly, being yourself, using critical and logical thinking and the tools you have in front of you, is what is expected to be seen.
    Mar 82
  • Microsoft shared_ptr
    More like this:

    10:00 - 11:00 am:(Whiteboard)
    11:00 - 12:00 pm:(Whiteboard)
    12:00 - 12:45 pm:(Lunch)
    12:45 - 2:30 pm:(Whiteboard)
    2:30 - 3:30 pm:(Whiteboard)
    3:30 - 4:30 pm: (Whiteboard
    Mar 82
  • Capital One TXrR83
    Two things:
    1) Seriously, anybody who's worried about interviews, take an improv class. It's the best way to feel confident when you tell the truth and also avoid making shit up because you're reaching.
    2) Interviews are like dating - if they're not interested, move on and live your life. It's on them, but also it's on you to be able to expose your best self - see point 1.
    Mar 81
    • New LGwK11
      How many SDEs do you really think will take an improv class lmao. They'd rather code in comic sans. Why not just have interviews (screens) with recruiters and treat them like real interviews. They are more likely to give you feedback anyway.
      Mar 8
  • Microsoft RandomInt
    Thank you for this excellent clear write up.
    I have a lot of interview experience over the years, but FAANG seems to have developed its own mythos and I've been a little nervous about trying to go into that arena.
    This post has made me re-evaluate that, it sounds very much like what I've been used to in the past.
    Mar 80
  • Microsoft datasc
    There’s a lot of good stuff in this thread.

    In my experience too, recruiting teams are beyond terrible in output and completely uninterested in effort; ftes do most of the sourcing and outreach themselves. Many other posters have also remarked on the incompetence of the recruiters; you may have a better chance contacting employees directly on LinkedIn or through your personal network.

    In an interview I’m trying my best to help the candidate (most interviewers on my team would do this). I amplify and extend the candidates answers, offer alternative ideas, and in the worst case give clear examples of what I was looking for if the candidate is unable to get there.

    The more self aware candidates notice when I’m doing most of the heavy lifting, and understand they haven’t done well. Much better than shaming a candidate for not knowing something or being unable to solve something. I’ve often been asked by such candidates, right at the end of the interview, on how they can improve themselves or do better in subsequent interviews (asking for feedback in an interview is not a bad idea btw, however it may have gone). Of course, I get the occasional oblivious candidate who thinks the interview has gone swimmingly because the conversation was pleasant.

    For me, major red flags are a) not attempting the question asked but going off into something you’re good at instead, 2) not listening and course correcting when I offer hints and suggestions, 3) being unwilling to try if you can’t yet see your way to an answer, 4) cutting me down, or arguing, when I’m correcting their error.
    (The last one is tricky and subjective; it’s not about ego or superiority, it’s about being willing to consider you may have made a mistake or have something to learn from the discussion. Even if the interviewer actually doesn’t know what they’re talking about, you can take what they say and move it into some interesting related direction. In general, both the interviewer and interviewee should be positive, open, and collegial.).
    Mar 82
    • Microsoft mhhI43
      Read your reply as if someone else wrote it. What you are really testing is on the spot thinking and communication. What kind of work do they do once they are hired?
      Mar 9
    • Microsoft datasc
      Not exactly. This is for machine learning roles, involving a good bit of mathematics, formulation, comparative analysis, open-ended business modeling, etc. the evaluation is entirely technical but communication is necessary.

      That said I don’t see how this wouldn’t apply to software design and architecture or even some multiparter coding/ leetcode questions.
      Mar 9
  • New tRem0lo
    While there are some meaningful points mentioned in the post, there can be also lots of potentially wrong assumptions.

    First of all, Apple's hiring process has a lot of personal bias as there are no hiring standards or values defined at the corporate level and integrated into the company's culture (shared with and understood by everyone). The same is true for many other companies as well.

    So, if one hiring manager assesses you as OP and expects some particular behavior, the other interviewers, even on the same team, can evaluate you differently. And your job as a candidate is to try reading every interviewer and come up with a different and more successful strategy for every interview. And it would be not super smart just to rely on one person's opinion with regard to approaching interviews.

    Also, as a candidate, you evaluate the company/team/interviewers as much as they evaluate you. So, one thing worth mentioning here is that it might be not a good sign if a hiring manager is trying to understand whether you are going to follow direct orders (expecting you to act in a very specific way during the interview, and trying to figure out whether you are easily managed and led). It can be taken as if this team is not interested in listening to different opinions, not capable of solving conflicts, not going to encourage any innovation.
    Mar 101
  • eBay JavaHater
    9:00 - 10:00 pm:(Code Review)
    10:00 - 11:00 am:(Choices)
    11:00 - 12:00 pm:(Whiteboard)
    12:00 - 12:45 pm:(Lunch)
    12:45 - 2:30 pm:(ProgEx)
    2:30 - 3:30 pm:(Architecture)
    3:30 - 4:30 pm: (Resume Deep Dive)
    4:30 - 5:00 pm:(Close)

    Jeez!!!!!!!

    Who does this to their candidates...

    In the end we all fix stupid bugs!
    Mar 80
  • Cisco Kool aid
    Thanks for the post !!
    Mar 80
  • New sn23km
    You say you’ve already determined we have the talent to work there. Does that mean we’ve already passed the grueling technical interview or you can tell by our resume / experience and phone screen alone that we have what it takes? In other words, when does the scenario you’re describing take place?
    Mar 80
  • Amazon jNeo42
    Sounds like a great idea for a reality series!
    Mar 80
  • Adobe xeJM81
    I like it. Recently I interviewed a under qualified candidate who clearly demonstrated a desire to learn in our interview. The pannel was so impressed we created a position for her. It won't be long before she IS qualified for the job we were interviewing her for originally. She didn't have the right answer for most of our questions, but she clearly showed a desire to have the right answer if she was ever asked that question again. That same passion shows in everything she does and she's teaching me as much as I am teaching her. I may end up working for her in a few years. Passion for learning is key.
    Mar 94
    • eBay JavaHater
      Meh., sounds like some kind of bias ...
      Mar 9
    • Anthem bonog
      You mean diversity? @ebay
      Mar 9
    • Uber Thumper
      😂😂😂🌲🐐
      Mar 10
    • Adobe VFne54
      Oh god
      Mar 22
  • Yes! I’ve been browsing here and as a 5 year startup founder/exec with decades of mgt consulting and engineering behind me, I enjoy providing mentorship and support all the brilliant people in this community. But something is broken when people expecting to earn $200-$400k/year are missing basic awareness skills and seem to miss the bigger picture. they are among the most fortunate people In the world to even have an opportunity to interview for these positions, no less work for the company
    Mar 312
    • Amazon AWSer
      Well said
      Mar 31
    • Salesforce pqlolbatz
      That attitude extends to “you’re lucky you even have a job” and is the reason unions were created.
      Mar 31
  • Oracle otLQ15
    Hey, I don’t need you to coach me, I can probably coach you instead. People coming to interview to find good match and new experience, not a master to follow
    Mar 90
  • Salesforce hypeforce
    lol, what a tool.
    Mar 80
  • New gxeo54
    Wonderfully put. It would be really refreshing to be interviewed by someone with a thought process like this. Thank you for the honesty
    Mar 80
  • Oracle jePv37
    Great writeup, but sometimes after providing good coding solution, good design solution and covering all aspect, we get reject. By that, candidate doesnt know where exactly he went wrong and how to improve. I think hc should provide some feedback on that.
    Mar 80
  • This is one of the best posts I’ve seen on Blind. Thanks for a thoughtful perspective that’s useful for people interviewing!
    Mar 90
  • eBay JavaHater
    We, the SDE, are cannibals, eating our own kind...
    Mar 80
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