Microsoft, Google and Facebook Interviews

Cadence CubicleDog
Jul 26 24 Comments

I interviewed last week at Google Cloud, Facebook Oculus and Microsoft Azure. G and FB in the Bay Area with independent interview loops and MSFT was a hiring event in Redmond.

Just received an email from Microsoft that they're extending an offer. Google recruiter has let me know that my packet has been forwarded to HC. Got a reject from Facebook.

YOE: 6 (Pre-OS firmware and Linux kernel, I code in C.)
Current TC: 150K

Preparation:
Coding - Leetcode, Interviewing.io
System Design - Grokking the system design interview. Read whitepapers on Google BigTable, Chubby, Ceph and Kafka. Watched a few Youtube videos on Distributed key-value stores and ride sharing apps.

Google:
My performance was pretty average. Managed to code up solutions in the coding rounds, stumbling and haltering here and there. Was asked problems on minimum spanning trees, array product, and an API design problem. I'd consider the problems leetcode medium.

System design wasn't great. As someone doing low-level firmware work at my current company, I literally have zero hands-on experience building large scale distributed systems. Despite all the reading and whitepapers, the lack of experience in working through areas like concurrency and scalability clearly showed.

Recruiter called and said my feedback, although mixed, is positive enough to push my packet to the hiring committee. I'm really praying I get this. I would kill to get some real-world distributed systems and cloud experience using modern C++.

Facebook:
I got out of my Facebook interview feeling pretty good about my performance. Mostly LC easy, one medium - A string edit distance question, a question that involved bit manipulations (this was Oculus platform team, so the emphasis on bit manips), a design round that I thought was decent enough.

The loop members were great and I really thought I cracked it. But the recruiter came back stating my technical depth and breadth didn't suffice.

Microsoft:
This was a hiring event for the Azure cosine team in Redmond. The bar wasn't very high - mostly leetcode easy and one medium. Object oriented design instead of system architecture design. Interview was Friday and they had their decision on Monday!

I've read disappointing reviews on Azure cosine here on Blind. Although that's a bummer, I'm not letting that discourage me. Considering the brain-dead shit I work on at my current place and the money I make here, I'm willing to bet Microsoft would be a game changer for my career prospects.

I'm not counting on Google coming through, so it pretty much looks like Microsoft would be my next employer. I'm maintaining cautious optimism here. So all you disgruntled, disillusioned FAANG veterans, please don't dampen the spirits of this starry eyed n00b! :)

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TOP 24 Comments
  • Google burnItDown
    Congratulations OP :)

    Microsoft is a good company to work for, and it will open many doors for you. Google, Facebook and the bunch of other companies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I’d just relax if I were you, and prepare to kick ass and learn everything you missed out on, once you’re at msft.

    It’s easy to move teams within Microsoft if you don’t like Cosine. I think you’d have to stay in a team for a year at the min. Just make sure you get at least median rating.
    Jul 26 2
    • NVIDIA / Eng denvCoder9
      It is not easy to switch teams in MS. But cosine group is a good reputable group so a good decision either ways.
      Jul 26
    • Cadence CubicleDog
      OP
      Thanks, @burnItDown! I had been trying for more than a year to infiltrate a FAANG. Took me three bombed interviews to realize whiteboard coding in 'C' won't get me anywhere. Spent a couple intense months picking up C++. That made a huge difference.

      I really wanted to get my foot in the door at one of the top-tier companies and start rebuilding/rewriting my resume. I'm really positive that Microsoft will be the beginning of good things.
      Jul 26
  • Amazon cn227fh2m
    Congrats on the offer from Microsoft! Honestly, that company would be my top choice to work at. I wish their recruiters would stop ghosting me 😭
    Jul 26 2
    • Apple / Eng cho Chang
      Why is msft ur top choice?
      Aug 13
    • Amazon w72f7ebw
      Great wlb and perks
      Aug 14
  • Facebook hyper
    Congrats. Might see you at FB maybe few years down the line. Good job in getting other offers though
    Jul 26 0
  • Microsoft !|
    Congrats
    Jul 26 0
  • Symantec Anykze
    How do you get into interviewing.io
    Jul 26 5
    • Cadence CubicleDog
      OP
      Create an account and check it out!

      For those that haven't had a phone screen in a while, I highly recommend interviewing.io. Great way to get some real phone-screen practice coding under pressure while being watched by another person.

      It's a platform where you can book for free (3 times!) to have engineers interview you. The site says that you can land an onsite if you do well on the phone screen, but I don't know about that.

      Also, check out the 'Showcase' section while you're there. Recorded playbacks of real people having their phone screens.
      Jul 26
    • Symantec Anykze
      Wait for me it says they are in closed beta
      Jul 26
    • Symantec Anykze
      Aha never mind, if I lie and say I'm not a student I get access. Thanks so much!
      Jul 26
    • Cadence aaa1
      Eveeytime i tried, i got message they were closed in beta mode.
      Jul 26
    • Cadence aaa1
      @symantec which option you had to pick to get login? Did you need a different email?
      Jul 26
  • Microsoft KvzJ87
    You have 6 YOE. You are a boss, not noob. Congrats 🍾
    Jul 26 2
    • Cadence CubicleDog
      OP
      Thanks! I'm a n00b as far as FAANG and FAANG-like companies are concerned.
      Jul 26
    • Microsoft Krololo
      Screw them 👊
      Jul 26
  • ConocoPhillips fisshy
    What levels were you interviewing for?
    Jul 26 2
    • Cadence CubicleDog
      OP
      I don't know. Isn't leveling something that happens post-offer? With my YOE, I'm thinking L63?
      Jul 26
    • ConocoPhillips fisshy
      My Google recruiter told me after I interviewed.

      I would guess L4 for you
      Jul 26
  • VMware fYEL08
    @OP, I also got offer from Microsoft cosine team. Made it to onsite for Amazon and Apple. Got phone screen reject for Google and FB Oculus. And just like you my background is in C and I spent some time learning cpp and then did some leetcode. Hope you will make it to Google otherwise see you at MS.
    Jul 26 1
    • Cadence CubicleDog
      OP
      Congrats, fY! How do you feel about your MS offer? Did you accept yet?
      Jul 26
  • Microsoft cgroup
    Congrats
    Aug 14 0
  • Honestly I want an interview at Microsoft it’s been a long standing company with its footprint in many places and seems like a chill place to work. But they won’t even interview me :/
    Fb/amazon onsites coming up
    Jul 27 0