Huge difference between FB etc & Google - I

Salesforce minaj
Jun 24, 2018 26 Comments

Recently I interviewed at some of the top paying companies and I got rejected by almost all, here is my experience. I am not sad because I faced interview on my own terms and was willing to wait for another year/ goto tier-2 or so instead of compromising.
I am 15 years exp, domain expert in my domain, came to the US only 5 years back got reasonable success based on my expertise and was looking for career advancement in top company. Needless to say, very fewer folks know me as not much ex-colleague in various places nor any classmates.

FB: Recruiter and I came to the conclusion that senior level is the only for me as my current comp and bump expectation can only be matched at that level. Got direct onsite call after 2 round of levelling interview. first round by top manager but she came 10 mints late in 30 mints interview and could not prove much. She passed to the top engineer, who seems too smart young (<10 yrs and less the 3 years in my domain) guy, trying to understand the gravity of my work. Needless to say, he was not having that much expertise to understand work other. The conclusion they were confused but based on recruiters effort allowed me for domain expertise path. Onsite aced all interview ( 3code in 45 minutes) 2 code in (next 45 minute) a dumb design question( I think irrespective of level these are common) and then domain expertise system design was piece of cake and the interviewer immediately reflected his positive feedback. One more levelling round, the super smart engineer (6 years of exp post PhD) -- has 45 minutes to understand me, could not understand the gravity of my project work (in 5 minutes ) asked 12 more culture fit questions and eventually after 8 days recruiter came back to me saying we are passing on you, feedback great problem solving, design round but all the 3 levelling round - came to conclusion that you are not at that level.

My analysis: I am definitely not the great salesman of my skills else I would have convinced them. Having said that it also reflects a lot about FB work culture. Do the top-rated engineer they have, getting exposure to understand / design/ develop things from scratch. How many people really understand what it takes to design and develop the complex piece.
Can I expect a company like FB to come up with its own databases(not smart wrappers and indexes in a loosely clustered manner on top of existing core products) or can they design and develop any large-scale product from scratch? Isn't it the entire engineering culture is more based on smartness/swiftness rather than innovation.

Is it a waste of talent by paying them huge money and asking them to do relatively mediocre work in a super fast manner? My understanding is what you learn makes you long-term successful engineer not where you work. Remember companies like Cisco oracle etc were super paying and successful during 2000.

LinkedIn --> 3 design round -- 2 fairly experienced guys but standard questions - both of them gave positive feedback immediately after the interview. The third came. a super smart guy (based on his growth in the company) asked me an open-ended question with defined SLA.
My issue was that, he was not having enough understanding to appreciate my design. I realize that I should have provided basic design and he would have been super happy.
For example, tons of high performing threads work on pre-allocated memory to avoid uncertainty in performance during frequent memory allocation and deallocation. But how do you expect the interviewer to appreciate it if his understanding of the system is from using it and doing surrounding development?

So my suggestion - do not leave quality work for 20% - 25% extra money -- eventually after taxes it becomes 10-12% and much less in actual savings. This is true in younger age up to 5-6 years of exp. Join these companies only for work which they specialize in not for easy money, they are successful hence they can give you money (mostly shares).

I will continue in a different post -- google was a pleasant surprise

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TOP 26 Comments
  • Microsoft / Eng crbear
    Dude, no offense but you sound a bit too full of yourself. If nobody other than you can "understand the gravity" of your work/design, maybe the problem is in your design ?
    Jun 24, 2018 5
    • New ypVM03
      My thoughts exactly.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Apple Leo Messi:
      ^This
      Jun 24, 2018
    • New / Eng
      AppleOrang

      New Eng

      PRE
      500 Startups
      AppleOrangmore
      It could be due to communication issue. Afaik, FANG companies asked great questions. Some non-FANG asked surface questions cuz they don’t have deep understanding. I failed with these but it’s good not to join those teams
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Salesforce minaj
      OP
      it could be communication issue .. note my topic of discussion is not why my failure but about these top employees. Are these top talents really doing top quality work or rather decent work at rapid pace.


      Also, I never said no body understand my design, I just said the interviewer did not understand. The FB domain expert seemed very happy wirh my approach. He also told me that he has told no more interns in his team because they spend entire time just to understand the new component.
      I just felt there were very few folks like him. I talked to almost 6 engineer and my question to them was few lines about one of the most challenging work you did here.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • New ypVM03
      > I talked to almost 6 engineer

      So... 5? Btw Facebook panels typically only involve "3 engineer." Other interviews are cross functional.

      Methinks you're exaggerating quite a few points.
      Jun 24, 2018
  • you write like a new grad; probably why you failed
    Jun 24, 2018 1
    • Salesforce minaj
      OP
      i know ... i need to improve on my communication both written n oral. but its not about me .. its just my observations.
      Jun 24, 2018
  • Google / Eng eYtS65
    Penis
    Jun 24, 2018 4
    • Nielsen / Eng pm_me_tc
      Wow
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Sirius XM Fy9hJ3
      OP said Google was a pleasant surprise...
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Salesforce minaj
      OP
      ya sure, the level of question suggested that they understand how to build systems.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Sirius XM Fy9hJ3
      Whoosh
      Jun 24, 2018
  • Facebook / Eng
    mrballz

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    mrballzmore
    Facebook does build complex systems level tech and those people know their stuff. Majority of the engineers just build on top of that so they won't understand the intricacies. We wouldn't be able to make this amount of money if everyone just did systems level programming, because more people appreciate cat videos and memes than resource scheduling algorithms.

    One thing that will absolutely make you fail an FB interview is being haughty. They are looking for people who are always ready to learn new things, not ones who think they already know it all.
    Jun 24, 2018 0
  • Google okstopnow
    I don't see your TC anywhere in your post. Care to explain why?
    Jun 24, 2018 4
    • Salesforce minaj
      OP
      oh only because that was not my point. My point was to share my experience and observations. trust me I make at par or better than what FB can pay E5. I am too old also then average E5.
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Google okstopnow
      TC
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Google okstopnow
      or
      Jun 24, 2018
    • Google okstopnow
      GTFO
      Jun 24, 2018
  • Tango Health / Eng rawblonde
    On the contrary, inspite of your poor interviewing experience with FB, had they offered you a position, would you have turned it down - for the reason you suggested - "much less in actual savings"?

    Sometimes the grapes are sour too?
    Jun 24, 2018 1
    • Salesforce minaj
      OP
      I would have taken, otherwise wont have applied but thats because I have spend decades to learn stuff and its ok to spend few years to apply that knowledge to build solution.
      Jun 24, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng yanC07
    TLDR you applied for two jobs where you felt that the interviewer didn’t understand you. Felt that it was their fault both times.

    Maybe this was a coincidence, but there’s likely a more obvious explanation. You were the common factor in both of these. You need to hire someone to help you learn to communicate better. You’re looking at jobs worth 300k+. Drop a couple of grand on this. You’d be an idiot not to
    Jun 25, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Eng vizio
    TC or GTFO
    Jun 24, 2018 0
  • New GWXHY
    Too much bragging going on. TLDR;
    Jun 24, 2018 0
  • New / Eng
    AppleOrang

    New Eng

    PRE
    500 Startups
    AppleOrangmore
    Apparently inexperienced interviewers couldn’t tell if you’re good. I have similar experience interviewing with non-FANG companies. Got rejected by most and got an offer from FANG
    Jun 24, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Wintel2
    MSFT
    Jun 24, 2018 0