Harsh Job hunt story - 11/11 Rejections

OSIsoft
Igg

OSIsoft

PRE
OSIsoft
Iggmore
Dec 4, 2018 40 Comments

Sometimes it gets so tough.

I have a friend of mine who is looking for job as a masters new grad international student with 2 yoe outside US before masters. She also has an offer from the company where she interned. And to tell things in perspective- she was the first one to get the internship offer. That was her first interview, she cracked that. But the story changed entirely when she applied for full time jobs.

The companies that she went onsite for-
Audible Airbnb Pinterest Cruise Amazon Confluent

Rejections from phone screens (1 or 2)
Bloomberg, Appfolio, Google, Facebook, Coursera

She was rejected in all of the above. Now both of us worried. Key points-
1. She always solved most of the problems correctly. She has practiced over 400 LC so it should be true.
2. Every time she had 75% of interviews to be very well. How often do we need interviews to go 100% exceptionally well!
3. Now she has no idea what goes wrong Everytime.
4. I believe the problem might be with communication. But it's just her way of communicating and how much should that be emphasized?

Now my questions are-
1. How should she take this? With every Rejection she gets devastated.
2. What should she work on?
3. I also think that most of these companies are tier 1 and known for high bar. That might be an issue too. What do you think?
4. Can you please suggest some Bay area companies that might be easier to crack, sponsor h1b and that are hiring (/hiring new grads)?

It's such a tough time for her. Fortunately enough she has one internship company offer.

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TOP 40 Comments
  • Robert Half HFUt57
    no matter how much you leetcode your inexperience gets exposed in interviews. look for entry level se positions. 2 yrs of experience outside US which I'm assuming in India means nothing.
    Dec 4, 2018 2
    • OSIsoft
      Igg

      OSIsoft

      PRE
      OSIsoft
      Iggmore
      OP
      All were entry level positions.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Cisco / Other Exogenous
      This.
      Dec 4, 2018
  • Microsoft do_needful
    She's definitely not good. I can't imagine being rejected after a phone interview in so many companies being a recent grad where expectations are so low. Memorizing 400 LC and writing the exact solution she memorized without even figuring out what her interviewer wants might be her issue.
    Dec 4, 2018 6
    • Wayfair addA30
      This isn't math exam. It's a job interview. You have to prove that you know what you're talking about AND you are an interesting person to spend time with.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Google / Eng hooli.xyz
      Yup. At Google, personality matters a lot. Part of the interview is gauging the candidate’s “Googlyness”.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Microsoft do_needful
      @hooli. Can you shed some light on "Googlyness". What do you mean?
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Wayfair addA30
      @do_needful maybe you should... Google... it.

      Hint: part of what he means is the drive to proactively seek out answers to questions that you have. So you could start there.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Microsoft do_needful
      You mean Bing it?
      Dec 4, 2018
  • LinkedIn Cjqc41
    “Her way of communicating” seems to indicate you see/hear something. What is it?
    Dec 4, 2018 4
    • OSIsoft
      Igg

      OSIsoft

      PRE
      OSIsoft
      Iggmore
      OP
      I just think that she doesn't come out as a polite person even if she is. The way she talks is without tones, ups and downs. But her in US, people talk very differently, it's more expressive.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
      Speaking monotone can definitely turn an interviewer off but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor in terms of hiring decision. Monotone can also hint at a lack of enthusiasm which can affect an offer (e.g. you clear the bar but no HM wants a candidate who is lukewarm or not excited about the position)
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Microsoft Akd71.36
      Well if your communication or personality makes you seem like someone that people don’t want to work with, a million Leetcode problems will not fix that.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Intel UGeJ58
      I wouldn't want a teammate who is monotone and without enthusiasm. If I'm giving my life to the pursuit of cash, I'll at least enjoy talking with co-workers.

      An interviewee would ideally be overjoyed and genuinely excited about the job. That shows willingness to learn and excitement about the projects.

      Over the phone, monotone is 100x worse
      Dec 4, 2018
  • Google
    NotIndian

    Google

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    Amazon
    NotIndianmore
    Isn’t this where we usually call out “asking for a friend”?
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Facebook Hegist
    I think too much practice for interviews can be harmful too. interviewers are judging/commenting on more than problem solving, even in a coding interview. You want to demonstrate excitement, the spark when solving the problem.

    Also so many interviews has probably taken a toll on her emotionally. It will be apparent in an interview, but they won't know why. I think it's worthwhile taking a significant break from interviewing. Also try to find someone in her network (friends, people in her class) who can recommend her strongly personally to their employer. That can make a difference when it's a question of personality.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Proofpoint / Eng foodtruckj
    The problem is with her and maybe not her technical ability.

    Interviewing onsite exposes the person and in many cases interviewers go off of gut feeling when something feels off and doesn't feel right. They continue with the interview but you are internally already rejected.

    I wouldn't count phone screens as interviews especially if she failed them on 1st round.

    Does she come off arrogant?
    Does she dress professionally? Casually? Some companies care and some don't.
    How is she at communication?
    Can she handle a conflict of opinion with a coworker when doing a white board coding interview?
    Does she express her thoughts clearly? Why did she you a certain way to solve the problem and not the other way?

    These questions matter.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Cruise Automation GMHonda
    Keep trying. Not everyone can hit jackpot right after college. Get in to the industry, gain some experience and then try again in top companies.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Microsoft 🌈s&🦄s
    Do a mock interview where you’re the interviewer. If she’s not cleared 11/11, there’s clearly an obvious red flag that she might not be seeing.

    Besides communication, are all other bases covered? Dressing, personal hygiene, eye contact, firm handshake, friendly conversation with natural smile, body language, asking follow-up questions.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
    The answer to boosting confidence is small achievable wins. That can be mock interviews, interviews at less prestigious firms, but she needs to get her confidence back.

    There is one thing she can do next time around with her interviews: don’t try to cram as many as you can into a short period of time. Have 2-3 per week so if you have a bad week, that’s ok. Stagger them so you only have one high pressure interview in any given week. If you do a phone call with Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Bloomberg in a week, you’ll be utterly exhausted, and may even be too stressed to do your day job (school/existing job). Job hunting is a marathon, not a sprint.

    In terms of practice that only helps you if you see a similar or identical problem and will do you a disservice if you do get the job. Stick close to be theory and you’ll find yourself reapplying it in new and different ways. I never did leetcode before any FAANG interviews and instead busted out my CS textbook and studied, just like school.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Pinterest cães
    I guess it may not happen after she does-
    1. thoroughly leetcoded
    2. Practice communicating her solutions
    3. Be ready to explain the correctness of her approach if asked.

    That been said, preparing isn’t over yet. Before an interview understand thoroughly what the expectations are for every round of the interview( including manager round). This potentially starts with gathering generally asked questions for a particular round and ask to have her mock answers evaluated by someone. When you go through this drill, it gets really easy to get an offer.
    Dec 4, 2018 4
    • Proofpoint / Eng foodtruckj
      Companies are starting to realize that hiring solely based on Leetcode isn't the right approach.

      If Quora has a high bar for engineering and hiring in general, why did they have a data breach with 100 million accounts exposed? That's nearly their entire user base.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Pinterest cães
      2 different issues. Handle it separately, proofpoint. Issue 1: how can this random person succeed in interviewing? Issue 2: you are pissed off at quora for doing a sloppy job. Preparing for interviews != preparing for a successful career. Hope your confusion is cleared.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Proofpoint / Eng foodtruckj
      Never applied there and don't intend to. There was several complaints about Quora on online forums, glassdoor, and people I know who interviewed there. Look them up yourself at your convenience
      Dec 4, 2018
    • Pinterest cães
      I meant quora doing a sloppy job leaking out personal data. Not you.
      Dec 4, 2018
  • New / Other AuntHilda
    I have learnt it that the recipe for immigrants to be successful here is going to require a mix of hard work (that she got it through leetcode), patience (that it is going to take a while), and luck because even if a company is willing to hire, there's no guarantee about H1b approval. Good luck to her.
    Dec 4, 2018 2
    • Proofpoint / Eng foodtruckj
      Its all over the news on LinkedIn and in company coworker conversation that H1b approval is about to get easier for students with advanced degrees.

      Stop scapegoating the visa situation. If the person isn't good then that's the end of story. Doing 400 LC problems has nothing to do with interview success or technical ability.
      Dec 4, 2018
    • New / Other AuntHilda
      Hey foodtruckj, you might have had success on the first instance for everything you would have touched but not everyone is born with Midas's touch so take it easy. It is okay to be rejected.

      With regards to be tougher getting the H1b, just yesterday someone shared a story that he had MS from the USA and got rejected for Visa transfer. There are many more stories like that so get your facts right.
      Dec 4, 2018
  • Microsoft DonutOs
    Clearly a problem with body language or non-technical skills.

    Do a mock interview and see if you can spot it.
    Jul 26 0
  • Procore / R&D brostructn
    What ended up happening?
    Jul 25 0
  • Insureon / Other ShipJumper
    What's her major?
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Apple BOdq08
    I think getting the first job is always harder. Once you get one, the rest will come easier
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Medallia / Eng ouie
    She shouldn’t start out in product. Go to an agency, work her butt off, get the personal and tech skills she needs, then move on to product.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • She's Indian, Female, and can Leetcode well? INTEL will be a sure thing. She won't get paid well though.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • Microsoft / Eng hush-hush1
    AFAIK, you need the interviews to go 100% well. If she fails in any one round, then that itself can eliminate her. Employers prefer not to give you the benefit of doubt.

    For phone screening, does she manage to put forward an efficient (if not the best) solution?

    When you solve something with brute force or semi-optimal way, it usually doesn't count even if you feel like you should pass.
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • New ktFx33
    Is she currently employed or at an internship? Once she is, it will be much easier as she doesn’t have to explain why she is not or make up for this bias
    Dec 4, 2018 0
  • PayPal jCOB68
    Remember you are competing with people from Hackreactor and other bootcamps too. Also my advice is carry with you some sugar candy and keep popping them between interviews. You need sugar rush. Because all the above companies I had almost 8 people interview me and enthusiasm matters as much as solving the problem. Always engage the interviewer asking for the cues to proceed/stop and any other discussions. Good luck ! Patience and persistence you are bound to crack it !! Keep at it.
    Dec 4, 2018 0