Google offer | Thank you Blind | AMA

New / Eng going2g
Apr 26 425 Comments

I started heavily using Blind about 3 months ago when I started preparing for my job search.

Today I received an offer from Google and I owe Blind a huge thank you for my success, from preparing for the interview to negotiating the offer, I probably wouldn't have done as well without this platform. So I wanted to give back to the community what little I could by sharing my experience.

Background:

BS in CS from a no name public university, 3 YoE at a midsized tech company, Current TC 150k

Preparation:

1) Elements of Programming Interviews in Java - I wouldn't have even heard about this book without seeing it mentioned on Blind. I read the subject matter and did the questions recommended by the authors in their 1 month "Term Project" plan.

2) LeetCode: I don't think I would have done as much LC as I did if it wasn't stressed so much on Blind. Some might say I still didn't do enough! I completed 130 questions, with a 30/50/20 easy/medium/hard split. I mainly stuck to the 100 most liked questions list. For each question, I first have it my best try. Sometimes I was able to come up with an acceptable solution, other times I wasn't. Either way, I went to the discussion tab and spent time understanding the approach behind the top voted answers. By the end, I could do most mediums on my own in 20 minutes.

Leveling:

I found a lot people on Blind finding out their interview loop was for a lower level than they expected after the fact. Having 3YoE at a non-FAANG, I was afraid of being interviewed for L3, so I ensured multiple times with my recruiter that the interview loop would be for an L4. Had I not done this, I may not have ended up with the offer I did. I suggest everyone do this to avoid a nasty surprise.

Interviews:

I had 6 interviews total, 45 minutes each. 1 phone screen and 5 onsite. One of the onsite interviews was a behavioural one. Nothing much to say about that one. "Tell me about a time where..." type questions. This type of interview is very new at Google for SWE roles. Source: my interviewer.

The rest of my interviews were coding. No design interview (I was surprised too!). Practice really paid off and I aced all of the technical rounds. On a couple, I needed a bit of a push from my interviewer, but managed to get the optimal solution. I'm not sure if this is because the bar is lowering as people have mentioned, or because I was well prepared.

Negotiation & Compensation:

I received 3 competing offers of about 250k, but thanks to Bind I knew Google could pay more and I knew I had to negotiate hard to get it. I felt I deserved it after my interview performance. Ideally, I would have loved to be at the top of the L4 band with TC of over 300, but I wasn't able to pull that off. I ended up with an offer that broke down as:

150k base, 15% bonus, 380k RSUs, 40k sign on

TC: 277k

So thank you again friends. Your time spent contributing to this platform is appreciated. And sorry about the long post.

Edit: All but one of the 15+ technical onsite interviewers allowed me to use a laptop instead of the whiteboard. Please do yourself a favour and USE THIS OPTION unless you have a really strong case not to. Coding on a laptop is much more natural and efficient. For some cases, you'll want to let your recruiter know in advance you want to code on a laptop, in others, you'll be asked beforehand, or on the day of the interview. For Amazon, they didn't have a laptop for me but they let me use my own. For the Google interview, I opted to use the laptop and my interviewers were pleasantly surprised. They said they rarely interviewed someone who used a laptop, and actually preferred it as it's easier for them to read.

The whiteboard will still always be there and is great for illustrating your solution before implementing it.

Edit 2: Negotiation Strategy.

Since I knew I wasn't going to get a competing offer that matched the TC I wanted, I tried the strategy of giving the initial number and told the recruiter I was expecting TC around 330k. I justified this by citing my interview performance, which was stellar. The recruiter told me all the feedback was awesome as well. This didn't prove effective at all... Initial offer from G was 230k :/ I probably shot myself in the foot by giving a number that's too high.

Strategy 2 was to use my competing offers. As mentioned, highest one was 250k, but I suspected G would just match this and not go higher. So I quoted my competing offer to be 270k (higher than it actually was but not too high that it wasn't believable). My recruiter did try ask me for proof, but I said it was verbal only, and we moved on without an issue. As expected, Google just matched it (actually, was slightly lower). From there, I had to be persistent, insisting that G had to beat the offer for me to accept, and inch the TC up slowly until it eventually got to 277k.

Edit 3: More on Preparation

I was working full time while studying, and studied after work and around social and family commitments. This usually ended up being about 2 hours late at night, which was enough time to deep dive into 2 or 3 LC questions per day. I did this for about 2.5 months in total.

Edit 4: Interview Scheduling

For my phone screens, I used the time difference to my advantage. I'm on the East Coast and all the companies I was interviewing with are on the West. All my phone screens were around 6PM ET.

For my onsites, I scheduled them all (4) during a week long "vacation" from work. This way I gave my employer no reason to be suspicious. Some people say scheduling multiple interviews back to back can lead to burnout. I didn't really have that problem. Woke up around 8, interviewed from ~ 10-4, then went back to my hotel room to relax for the rest of the day. Might not be for everyone, but it worked for me.

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TOP 425 Comments
  • Facebook
    Instagrаm

    Facebook

    PRE
    Google, Microsoft
    Instagrаmmore
    “Ideally, I would have loved to be at the top of the L4 band with TC of over 300”.

    Indeed. Why wouldn’t G pay you the top of L4 with your amazing 3 yoe? There’s a ton of folks with 6+ yoe at L4 getting less, but who cares, you’ve been leetcoding for 3 months, hell yeah!
    Apr 28 6
    • Lol don’t be salty bruh. I have 10 YOE but love seeing the youngun’s getting money.
      Apr 28
    • Microsoft RcFm02
      Truth 😊
      Apr 28
    • Google / Eng
      rQsc13

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Qualcomm
      rQsc13more
      Let the guy have ambition. other people's actions and decisions are not OPs fault. Equality of opportunity ~
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      OP here. Just want to add that I'm not saying I deserve the TC I get. That's for the market to decide. And if the market is willing to pay me 300k why shouldn't I go for it?
      Apr 28
    • Ignore the haters and do what’s best for you OP. Get that money.
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      Thank you good sir.
      Apr 28
  • Amazon / Eng ddddddd1
    Congrats, but doesn't this also prove that the whole interviews of the FANGs can easily be cheated by preparing well with LC etc? I kinda wonder if the tech companies are really able to check for a certain bar. The day I launch my own company I will only hire candidates with a proven and strong open source contribution background.
    Apr 28 14
    • Amazon / Eng ddddddd1
      @y0y0y0... My idea is asking for reference work links that demonstrate the candidates contributions which are reviewed by 2-3 engineers prior to the onsite. During onsite the engineers will do a deep dive on the references given with the candidate. Managers will check behavioral questions and architecture skills. No LC cheating required.
      Apr 28
    • New GTzb16
      Leetcoding takes lot of time. The posts you see are only success stories. I know lot more people who tried it and failed. Even though you don’t leetcode in actual work it’s really good to judge someone’s speed, thought process , problem solving capabilities. open source contribution is lot more easier and hard to judge someone than this.
      Apr 28
    • Amazon / Eng ddddddd1
      I disagree. Strong contributions take a lot more effort than practicing LC and recalling the same during an interview. I'm talking about contributions that are in real software used by many. This requires a lot of passion, technical interest and skill to be achieved. I'm not talking about someone publishing random GitHub repos that nobody bothers about. But proven commits in Linux kernel, well known open source tools etc. You can easily separate the skillful from the wannabes by using this bar. There's also secondary evidence in mailinglist discussions or bugtracking systems that can be used as a reference. I know for sure that this path used to be very successful during the 2000s when companies were looking for real programmer personalities, that not only cared about TC but also about technology.
      Apr 28
    • New GTzb16
      Well if you need that level of software engineering skills it’s hard to find. we need lot more engineers than 2000. So the idea may not be successful for FAng.If it’s a startup may be you can find someone if you can beat TCs of Fang.
      Apr 28
    • Apple / Eng xUEdsjT
      @dddddd1 First, the number of programmers who contribute meaningfully to the linux kernel (or similar scale projects) are incredibly low. Not to mention most are not on the job market, or don't have the right skills you need for a team. You can certainly start your initial team with only top open source contributors, but when growing your startup, say 5x in a year, how will you do that?

      You will have to turn to "random Github repos that nobody bothers about" and the glaring problem with that is it's much easier to game than LC. Copying code/design, wiping out commit history, these are simple tricks that desperate people can use to game.

      No matter how you look at it, LC is very hard to game as it's ultimately an IQ/pattern matching test and not a simple step-by-step guide to getting hired.

      But you are absolutely right, if I was going to start the next Google I would initially hire all the top contributors I could get (and outbid the other offers they surely have).
      Apr 28
    • dddddd1 has some good points but it’s sadly not the world we live in anymore.

      Now you just jack off to LC hards and get into FAANG. Of course you need to know enough English to explain your rationale, which is about an 8th grade level. No creativity required whatsoever.
      Apr 28
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      I agree. Looking for engineers with strong open source contributions is easy. Hiring them is hard, and getting enough of them to build a company is even harder. This seems like some next level trolling to me, TBH, because it’s so far off reality. I’ve worked with tons of good engineers with a total of ZERO commits in the Linux kernel or other high profile open source projects.
      Apr 28
    • Microsoft doubleup
      good luck, I would no bank my company on that, 1st it does not guarantee quality programmers, second, well that is simple, just not enough people at the pay ranges a new company can afford
      Apr 28
    • OceanX Offermore
      First of all, practicing on LC is not cheating, there is nothing stopping the companies from asking newer questions (which actually they do). However if you practice the generic questions in sites like LC, you are way more likely to think and come up with optimal solution for new questions.

      Second thing, the open source contribution and reviewing their previous work approach... is also not fool proof either. This is actually less fool proof.
      Apr 29
    • Intel eKPG80
      Cheating through practicing leetcode? Why don't you do it and go to google instead of work for amzn then?
      May 7
  • Intel VANDERPUMP
    $150tc -> $277tc.. congrats and well done. Exceptional!
    Apr 26 7
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Thank you! Although the increase in TC will be less dramatic since I'm moving from Boston where the state tax and CoL aren't as high. Still super happy though. Working at Google is a dream.
      Apr 26
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      Though Boston is not cheap either. It's more expensive than Seattle
      Apr 26
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      True, but comparing Boston to MTV, state tax is about 3-4% more, rent for a modern 2br increases from 3k to 4k, and since I can't solely rely on public transit, I'll now need 1 or 2 cars. From my initial estimation, these are the substantial increases in costs.
      Apr 26
    • Indeed / Eng indoodle
      Why would ANYONE need 2 cars? Do you have a spouse?
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      OP here. Yes indeed a second car for the spouse.
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng rksh
      How do you have two accounts on blind? Did blind give you another account coz you got a job at Google and high TC? 😜
      Apr 28
    • United Airlines / IT
      jky

      United Airlines IT

      PRE
      Weatherford International
      jkymore
      Blind lets you change your name once a day. Helps with anonymity.
      Apr 28
  • Facebook Guto
    How do you feel about lying about your competing offer? Is it just a white lie to you? Does it bother you that you get more money because of a lie?
    Apr 30 8
    • Apple Tim_Pin
      Wow, coming this from Facebook 👏
      Apr 30
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Tbh I didn't feel comfortable doing it, but I don't regret it.

      I didn't decide the rules to the negotiation game. Ideally, in my world, Google would offer me what they think I'm worth. But that didn't happen, their initial offer was ~230k, even though their final offer proves they think I'm worth (at least) ~280k.

      It actually slightly irritated me that I told them I was looking for 300k+, and they only offered 230k... And looking back it irritated me a bit more that they were willing to pay closer to my expectation but didn't initially offer that.

      At the end of the day, they're doing their best for them, and I'm doing my best for me.

      By "them" I'm referring to the compensation team who I believe make the decisions on offer numbers.

      I also want to point out that this isn't my mentality at all as an engineer working on a team, and I detest negotiating, and I detest the fact that negotiating can result in a 20%+ difference in your TC!

      I also want to add that I'm not trying to sound ungrateful, or bash anyone. I'm just annoyed at the system and using this comment as a space to rant.
      Apr 30
    • Facebook Guto
      Makes sense. I just wanted to know how Blind app ppl think about stuff like this and using sick leave for interviewing etc.
      Apr 30
    • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
      Agree 100%, their initial offer was shit. Wasn’t even close to what you asked even though they were fine with that.

      You did what you had to do and then they increased is 27% - that’s not a small number. It’s just a damn game, that’s why I negotiate hard. This is also one reason I really respect Netflix, they just give right what you’re worth.
      Apr 30
    • Indeed / Eng .pdf
      I thought Google asks for proof of offer letter?
      Apr 30
    • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
      Did they ask for proof of offer? Thought they are doing that now
      May 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I added that part to my post. They did ask for any documentation of the offer, but I said it was verbal only, and they seemed to be okay with that.
      May 1
    • Agree, you better tell what you want to get and then negotiate to make sure you get no less or at least really close. Obviously before you tell your “expectations”, it’s best to know what market pays for your skills and experience. If you have offers to prove that, even better.
      May 8
  • Google / Eng EIFY
    A few months of work saved years of downleveling pain! Congrats!
    Apr 26 0
  • Google JqBx48
    What did it cost you?
    Apr 28 3
    • Amazon munk
      Everything
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      I don't follow.
      Apr 28
    • eBay / Eng 3ojazq
      hint: THANOS
      May 6
  • Intuit / Eng Calculus
    Congrats!
    Apr 26 0
  • New
    martinr

    New

    PRE
    Google
    martinrmore
    When you are at Google, just check internal pay sheets, your offer is super rare for L4. Additionally lately people from companies like Microsoft are still getting L3, not L4. I was in Microsoft almost 4 years and did well on my onsite, got L3. Now when I’m at G I see hundreds of people like me. Also my competing offers were rejected, they won’t care about not-FAANG companies. I just don’t want to people think that this is easy and standard, nope, seeing pay sheets you can easily notice that this TC is some super high percentile almost nobody gets.
    Apr 29 9
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      What are internal pay sheets?
      Apr 30
    • New
      martinr

      New

      PRE
      Google
      martinrmore
      Open pay project by some Googlers, salaries in Google aren’t under nda, so some of Google employees share their tc, bonus, equity etc
      Apr 30
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Thanks! I'll be sure to check it out.
      Apr 30
    • Facebook Guto
      I have 2.5 yoe and told my recruiter that I want to interview for L4 and expect 250k depending on competing offers. Blind tells me I lowballed myself. I guess your saying 250k would be on the higher end if I got it?
      Apr 30
    • New
      martinr

      New

      PRE
      Google
      martinrmore
      Short answer: yes, that’s the higher end, but I honestly doubt that 2.5y is enough for L4.
      Apr 30
    • Facebook Guto
      They already agreed to interview me for an L4 position. Basically they gave me the choice between L3 and L4 and I chose L4.
      Apr 30
    • New
      martinr

      New

      PRE
      Google
      martinrmore
      It was the same for me :) I had the design and infra round and I in my opinion I aced it, and I had couple of years of experience, that doesn’t matter sometimes.
      May 1
    • New
      martinr

      New

      PRE
      Google
      martinrmore
      But my intentions are not to demotivate you, just learn as much as you can and show them your A game! It’s totally possible to get L4, but remember to ace the design and leadership tasks, they are probably the most important for L4. If you’d choose L3 interview, you won’t even get system design round. I had those and they say it was hard to decide but as my design wasn’t L4 for them, they gave me L3. In my previous company I designed and scaled a big ass system by myself, but it wasn’t enough for them ;)
      May 1
    • Amazon damned
      What's the difficulty difference in l4 vs l3 interview? Are the coding rounds pretty much the same with the exception of fewer of them?
      May 2
  • Shapeways gifted-bob
    That is a marvelous and genuine write up. Thank you for taking your time to do this. Congrats. You hard work paid off. Now I am inspired to go back and improve myself.
    Apr 28 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Thank you, and good luck to you!
      Apr 29
  • Intel Hunting
    While prepping for sometime I realized why FANG goes for basic computer science questions, and if someone preps using leetcode, why its actually good when they can crack the interview.
    By doing the above way, Fang guys are sure the interviewee can actually solve propblems thrown at them. Sometimes many of us are not aware what we dont know, and hence we wont be googling for that.
    If I have a broad idea of any problem can be solved using the myriad of DS, I am pretty much set even if I dont know any specific programming language.
    Many companies ask API level stuff from specific languages. While thats a good approach, but it does not get close to how I might be able to solve a problem, in any other language.
    Apr 28 0
  • VMware ItsAlrite
    Hearty congrats.. this is what makes blind worth visiting
    Apr 27 0
  • Intel / Eng KuYM20
    Congratulations and thanks for the post!
    Did you work out examples and come up an algorithm on a whiteboard and then went to the laptop for coding?
    Apr 28 2
    • New / Eng hi2
      Hey OP here. That's exactly what happened.

      The whiteboard is the perfect place to discuss and design your solution. The laptop the perfect place to implement it!
      Apr 28
    • Intel / Eng KuYM20
      Thanks much!
      Apr 28
  • Salesforce curious03
    Did u code in an IDE or a plain text editor ?
    Apr 28 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      It was an in house IDE I think, didn't have many features. Might as well have been a plain text editor.
      Apr 29
  • Splunk stats dc
    Woot!!!! inspiration
    Apr 26 0
  • Oracle not_larry
    Congratulations. Location? Team?
    Apr 26 4
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I'll be in MTV. Slightly concerned that disclosing my team may risk my anonymity.
      Apr 26
    • Google nooglerx
      Cloud or not?
      Apr 28
    • New / Product
      B0ngzilla

      New Product

      PRE
      Pegasystems, Robert Half
      BIO
      I’m Canadian, but then I got better.
      B0ngzillamore
      Isn’t Cloud in Sunnyvale?
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      OP here. Not Cloud.
      Apr 28
  • Salesforce curious03
    Did u have system design round as well ?
    Apr 28 2
    • New / Eng hi2
      Nope
      Apr 28
    • Wish jeano
      How come L4 doesn’t require design?? Are you FE dev?
      Apr 28
  • IBM UOKj64
    You give me hope 😊 thanks for sharing.
    Apr 28 0
  • Can someone plz explain to me how TC became 277k with: 150k base + 15% bonus + 380k RSUs + 40k sign on? Should it be waaay more? Or am I missing something really dumb??
    Apr 28 12
    • New
      TimAppple

      New

      PRE
      Yahoo
      BIO
      full0 metal0 alchemist0
      TimAppplemore
      *** 267.5 (above) + 40/4 ( sign on over 4 yrs) = ~277k
      Apr 28
    • OFI Global / Product ZZZ999
      what’s standard for RSU’s - that they will see no money until they stay with Google for 4 years? and if he accepts an offer elsewhere after 3 years the RSU money is gone?
      Apr 28
    • New
      TimAppple

      New

      PRE
      Yahoo
      BIO
      full0 metal0 alchemist0
      TimAppplemore
      @Zzz999 RSU's vest over 4 years. For example, every year completed means 25% is yours. The term of 4 years is seen a lot & vesting % varies by companies.
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      I split the sign on over 4 years for my calculation
      Apr 28
    • Amazon TTTPPMM
      You don’t split sign on, it comes Year 1
      Apr 28
    • New
      TimAppple

      New

      PRE
      Yahoo
      BIO
      full0 metal0 alchemist0
      TimAppplemore
      AFAIK, total money you get averaged over 4 years makes TC. If there was joining bonus or first/second year bonus like Amazon does, even that gets added.
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      Yeah I used the definition of TC described by Tim Apple so I could compare offers from different companies objectively.
      Apr 28
    • Aahhhh! Thank u guys! I assume this is in Cali right? There's no way this is anywhere else....277k is crazy for tc elsewhere
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      Yup, specifically the Bay Area.
      Apr 28
    • Apple maybeAAPL
      @OP you’ll get refreshers each year so there’s no point averaging it out. TC is what you make that year, that’s as objective as it gets (also because different companies have different refresher policies so you can factor that in for your second/third/fourth year calculations if you wanna plan ahead)
      Apr 28
  • Edmunds.com / Data enghza
    Thanks for the tips! For EPI did you just do everything listed in the one month plan? Did you do any of the variants?
    Apr 27 6
    • MathWorks vwtidobecn
      Could you please tell me what's a 'one month term project plan' mentioned in the post? I have EPI but the c++ one although I would have purchased the java one if I had known that existed :P. I didn't find any one month term plan in that edition. Is it on their website? Thanks!
      Apr 28
    • Edmunds.com / Data enghza
      I don’t know about the c++ one but in the first or second chapter, where they go over studying and interview strategies, there is a table that lists questions the reader should study based on the amount of time they have to prepare.
      I would imagine it’s in all versions of the book.
      Apr 28
    • MathWorks vwtidobecn
      Awesome. Just found! I remember only skimming through the initial prep part as I thought it might be similar to ctci. Thank you so much!!
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      OP here. I stuck to the one month plan and transitioned to LeetCode. I didn't work on any of the variants, although I did read through them and think about how I would solve them.
      Apr 28
    • United Airlines / IT
      jky

      United Airlines IT

      PRE
      Weatherford International
      jkymore
      Dumb question(s): what is EPI and what is the “one month plan?”
      Apr 28
    • MathWorks vwtidobecn
      Elements of programming interview (a bit more extensive and deep than cracking the coding interview). The initial chapters of 'interview strategy' lists certain problems per timeline.
      Apr 28
  • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
    Congrats!

    What language(s) did you choose for your Google interviews, and your LeetCode prep? I see that you studied EPI in Java

    Also curious about your Amazon TC breakdown
    Apr 26 5
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I did all my interviews and prep in Java. Made the most sense to me.

      Amazon offer looked like:
      160 base. 80+60 sign on. 90 units of stock.
      Apr 26
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Also thanks for reminding me about one other piece of advice I forgot to mention. Will add to my post.
      Apr 26
    • Cisco / Product U there
      Is Amazon offer in Seattle
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      OP here. Yes, Amazon in Seattle.
      Apr 28
    • Amazon / Eng idk_
      Was the 277k offer in the Bay Area? If so you’d be better off with the Amazon offer. Can’t complain about the google offer though
      Jun 8
  • OpenText / Other 11nks15
    Did you have any referrals? Did you list anyone when they asked who do you know at Google?
    Apr 26 5
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      No referrals for any of my applications.
      Apr 26
    • OpenText / Other 11nks15
      Ok good to know. I am in similar situation. Waiting for result from my phone interview
      Apr 26
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Good luck! I think referrals only help getting the first call. Once you're interviewing, everyone is on the same playing field. Or at least that's what I would hope.
      Apr 26
    • OpenText / Other 11nks15
      I sure hope so. But I don’t know the criteria used by HC hence my Q
      Apr 26
    • Google / Product LdJm16
      OP is right, interview performance is key. Referral can only help you get that first phone screen.
      Apr 26
  • VMware /Medusa
    You mentioned that apart from daily job, you on an average spent 2hrs daily to study. How much time did you put on weekends on an average.
    Apr 28 4
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      The first couple of weekends, I spent about 4-5 hours on Saturdays, and a couple of hours on Sunday. After that, I spent the same amount of time on the weekends as the weekdays. WLB is important.
      Apr 29
    • Chase / Eng (o´・_・)っ
      What is wlb?
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Work life balance
      Apr 29
    • VMware /Medusa
      wlb: Work life balance
      Apr 29
  • New / Eng WalmartLab
    Congratulations! I'm in the same experience bracket and interviewing soon. Will use your tips. BTW, how did you calculate to the 277k TC? 150*1.15+?
    Apr 30 3
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      150*1.15 + 380/4 + 40/4 = 277.5

      Stocks vest over 4 years, so divide by 4.

      Bonus is a tricky one, as you only get it on your 1st year. Some people count the whole thing towards their TC, some people ignore it completely. I think it makes most sense to split it over 4 years, same as the RSUs.
      Apr 30
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      I ignore it, because I’m not getting a sign on bonus my second year. I am getting stock grants.
      Apr 30
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      That's one way to think about it. I include it because it gives me one number to compare multiple offers.

      Ignoring the sign on bonus isn't fair, for example, to an offer that offers 100k less in RSUs but 100k more in sign on. This offer is at least equal, and arguably better as you get the 100k immediately rather than over 4 years.
      Apr 30
  • New arhR58
    Ama - *never replies*...
    Apr 28 2
    • New / Eng hi2
      Trying to get there. Posted this on Friday but all the questions came in Sunday night.
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      Alright, should be done now. Hope you're happy.
      Apr 28
  • Salesforce Liu Kang
    Congrats OP, this is inspiring. I guess I’m out of touch with G’s updates to interview formats. Didn’t know they now have a behavioral round and they allow coding on laptops. Wasn’t the case when I interviewed 2 years ago.
    Apr 29 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Yup both seem pretty new, thanks!
      Apr 29
  • Cisco / Eng confusedme
    How important is it to study graphs, dynamic programming, red black trees, weight algo problems?
    Apr 28 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      From my research on Blind I learnt that Google has an affinity towards graphs during interviews.

      DP questions are rare, so you probably won't get one, but better safe than sorry!
      Apr 29
  • VMware eMMQ62
    Is the interview difficulty different for L3 and L4
    Apr 29 6
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      No idea, since I've never interviewed at Google for L3. I would imagine it should be, otherwise what would be the purpose of the levels. Perhaps the questions might be the same but the expectation lower? Not sure.
      Apr 29
    • VMware eMMQ62
      Thank you. Did you ask the recruiter to keep the interview levels set for L4. Did they agree to that?
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Yes exactly.
      Apr 29
    • VMware eMMQ62
      But doesn’t that set your level even before the interview? You might end up at a level lower than you might have got?
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I don't think I'm gonna get L5 with 3YoE no matter how good my interview performance.
      Apr 29
    • VMware eMMQ62
      Thanks.
      Apr 29
  • Bloomberg buzdd
    Congrats! Very inspiring post.

    Were any of the questions asked found in LC? And were there all Hard or were you asked any Medium as well?
    Apr 29 4
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I didn't find any on LC. If I were to rank them though, 3 were medium and 1 was hard.
      Apr 29
    • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
      What were the questions, if you don't mind sharing? At least the hard one
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Sorry, not able to discuss the questions
      Apr 29
    • Amazon damned
      Not even a variant of one of those questions exists on LC? For non design coding questions doesn't that seem odd?
      May 2
  • VMware theuser01
    Congratulations and Thanks for giving back! How was your DS/Algo knowledge before starting your prep? Well versed or newbie?
    Apr 30 3
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I have an undergrad degree in CS so I had learnt all of the material I needed for my interviews, it was just a matter of refreshing my knowledge since I don't use a lot of different data structures day to day. I hope that makes sense.
      Apr 30
    • VMware theuser01
      Thanks! Great work answering all the questions patiently. All the best to you.
      Apr 30
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Thanks! Yup trying my best to answer everyone!
      Apr 30
  • New Duh1
    EPI does not have an associated IDE (leetcode style) where you can right away code and check solution. How do you circumvent this ? By searching at LC/elsewhere for the problem ?
    Apr 27 3
  • Cavium JqFrjV1n
    Thanks OP! This is what makes Blind worthy

    I have few questions:
    1. What is the duration of your preparation? How time did you spend daily?

    2. Did you use competing offers to negotiate? If i don't have competing offers, what strategies can I use for negotiations?
    Apr 28 2
    • New / Eng hi2
      Hey, OP here!

      I spent as much time as I could after work and social/family commitments. I would say about 2 hours a day.

      I added my negotiation strategy to my post. If you don't have a competing offer, you can try telling your recruiter your expectation. This didn't work for me, maybe because my number was too high.
      Apr 28
    • Cavium JqFrjV1n
      Thanks OP
      Apr 29
  • LinkedIn ex-fb
    Congratulations!
    Would you mind elaborating on your negotiation strategies?
    Apr 28 2
    • New / Eng hi2
      OP here. I added this to my post.
      Apr 28
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      Thanks
      Apr 28
  • Google Awlj82
    Bonus is usually better than 15%. FYI even though they say that.
    Apr 29 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Hadn't heard that, thanks!
      Apr 29
  • Facebook xrZ8Uq
    OP, any negotiation resources you'd recommend reading?
    Apr 29 1
  • Internet Brands Honolulu
    Whenever this topic bumps up, I wanna dig into LC.
    Apr 30 0
  • New / R&D zipzap1
    Hey no problem. You’re welcome. Feel free to send me some money for helping 🙂
    Apr 30 0
  • New / Sales LadyCloser
    One of the best posts on Blind. Love how you are specific. Rock on!
    Apr 29 0
  • Prodapt spdt123
    Thanks for writing an inspiring post. Hope you like your new job.
    Apr 29 0
  • Fuck yeah. Great work OP.
    Apr 28 0
  • Salesforce ilaqokrv
    Thank you for sharing! Even though I’m not an engineer but I’m really happy for you. Congrats
    Apr 26 0
  • New / Eng FAANG_
    Can anyone else confirm if can use laptop in all of my onsite interviews in FAANG? I prepared for interviews and I will get many on-sites in next month . I am not comfortable with whiteboard till now and I want to keep practice on laptop instead in whiteboard.
    Apr 29 6
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I can confirm that you can use a laptop at Google and Amazon. Not sure about the rest.
      Apr 29
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      You can use a laptop at Yelp! ...not that anyone asked. :P
      Apr 29
    • Daimler ForkBomb
      That's awesome, I didn't know that but it makes things so much easier I think 💪
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng FAANG_
      What are the other companies you interviewed with and you use laptops? Thanks for your time and for sharing your experience.
      Apr 29
    • Amazon Cducs
      Since when can you use a laptop at amazon? I haven’t interviewed people for about a year but I would have heard if this was an option now.
      May 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      @FAANG_ sorry, I can't name any other companies.

      @Cducs, idk what to tell you. I interviewed last month and they let me use a laptop (although I had to pull out my own laptop). The interviewer created a code pair session and sent a link to my email.
      May 1
  • Microsoft torment
    Hey OP, can you share the questions as well please?
    Apr 28 5
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Sorry can't share that!
      Apr 29
    • Microsoft torment
      Not the actual questions, but hint about the ds and strategy
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      From what I could tell from the interviewers, they each come up with their own question independently so you should be ready for anything. Each of my 5 technical rounds (including phone screen) involved a different data structure.
      Apr 29
    • Salesforce / Eng AlER64
      But what type of questions were you asked? Was it mainly graphs and tress or maths?

      Btw thanks for sharing such a detailed post :)
      Apr 30
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      There were no tricky math problems to solve (thankfully!)

      Like I said, each interview involved using a different data structure and algorithm, so there was no one main area of focus. Leetcode type questions, but not ones that I found on Leetcode.
      Apr 30
  • Facebook Guto
    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I also have $155k TC with 2.5 yoe and have a google interview in just over a than a than a month.

    Unfortunately I told my recruiter I expect around $250k TC. I hope that doesn’t limit me.
    Apr 28 4
    • Facebook / Eng
      alterego2

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BIO
      nice eng
      alterego2more
      155k TC Doesn't sound a normal compensation for Facebook in US?
      Apr 28
    • Facebook Guto
      I’m an enterprise engineer. We get significantly less rsu.
      Apr 28
    • Casually mention to G recruiter you’re also interviewing with other top enterprise companies like XYZ
      Apr 28
    • New / Eng hi2
      Good luck! You can definitely recover despite low balling yourself. Competing offers are key.
      Apr 28
  • @op, how would you consider yourself as a software engineer, before n after preparation... do you think you were good earlier but just needed to go thru entire leetcode/interview prep drill to crack G interview or you had to undergo a lot of change technically in this entire preparation time.

    I m asking bcoz i consider myself as very avg dev just able to complete my day to day ofc work, but somewhere inside , I dream to go to top tier tech companies....hoping that practising for interview properly could help me achieve my dream
    Apr 29 3
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I think I'm good at problem solving, and that helps a lot with interviews. It's just about becoming familiar with the tools to solve problems (ie data structures and algorithms). I actually have fun working on LC/EPI problems.

      I don't know how I would rate myself as an engineer. I think I'm above average compared to the engineers I work with, but I haven't worked at a FAANG before.

      Even if you consider yourself average, I think with hard work and a bit of luck you can crack any interview. Work on Leetcode until you're comfortable solving mediums on your own in ~30 minutes.
      Apr 29
    • Thank You.
      Apr 29
    • New HJkW70
      Hi OP, thanks for sharing! How did you become good at problem solving prior to getting familiar with the specific tools? Did you do maths (e.g. olympiads)?
      May 9
  • Splunk aintblind
    Congratulations! 🎉 well deserved.

    Could you share a lil bit more about 4 coding interview experience? duration, number of questions, etc.

    And apart from Java, what all language you are comfortable coding in?
    Apr 28 3
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      They were all 45 minutes long, and all were just a single question. Some of them had a follow ups that were just conceptual not requiring coding, eg what would you change to optimize for speed over memory, etc.

      I'm comfortable in JavaScript and Python as well, but I exclusively practiced and interviewed in Java.
      Apr 29
    • Thrive Market / Eng Cdhq45
      Why Java?
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Mainly because of the data structures provided by standard libraries in Java.
      Apr 30
  • Bloomberg / Eng
    Fork()

    Bloomberg Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    Fork()more
    How many Ninja problems did you do in EPI? I take it you probably spent an average of 1-2 hours a day knocking out s few problems?

    Just going to say, it's legitimately my childhood dream to work for Google.
    Apr 28 3
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Same hear about Google being my dream.

      I didn't do any of the ninja problems actually. And yes, about 2 hours a day working on problems.
      Apr 29
    • Bloomberg / Eng
      Fork()

      Bloomberg Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Fork()more
      2 hours a day isn't unreasonable. It's like a long gym session
      Apr 29
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      Yup exactly. Now I can start going back to the gym.
      Apr 29
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Salesforce Liu Kang
      Yes, I agree. Very true.
      Apr 29
    • Facebook exFOB
      Well said!
      Apr 29
  • Groupon noped
    Great stuff! Any tips for leetcode prep? Also how long did you prepare for?
    Apr 26 2
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I mainly did the 100 most liked questions list. For every question, I went to the discussion tab and took time to understand the idea behind the approach. Then I implemented it myself.
      Apr 26
    • Groupon noped
      Nice!
      Apr 26
  • New
    millermjhg

    New

    PRE
    Google
    BIO
    I write code for google search
    millermjhgmore
    Is leetcode premium useful ?
    Apr 29 1
    • New / Eng going2g
      OP
      I didn't buy LeetCode premium. So cannot comment.

      My reasoning was that if I could get familiar enough with the popular algorithms/data structures, I could pass any interview.
      Apr 29
  • Amazon / IT
    i_watevr_i

    Amazon IT

    PRE
    Blackberry
    i_watevr_imore
    Congrats. I am also preparing for Google. Could you tell me

    1: were you working full time when you were preparing for the interview?

    2: how much time did you spend each day for preparation

    3: how important is it to find an "optimal solution" than a brute Force ? Does it affect leveling or job offer.

    4: how did you prepare for design interview and how many questions were there related to design interview
    Apr 28 1
    • New / Eng hi2
      Hey, I added answers to 1 & 2 to my post. For 4, I didn't have a design question.

      For 3, I'm not sure, maybe Googlers here who conduct interviews would be able to tell you. From what I can tell, finding the optimal solution really boosts your chances.
      Apr 28