People from Google, Facebook and Amazon. How do you decide what level do you give a new hire?

Microsoft / Eng munra
Dec 17, 2017 20 Comments

I have read that the most important thing is interview performance. However, I have also read that interview loops are different for different levels. That suggests that there is a substantial influence coming from what's in the CV, right?

I am especially interested in what it takes to be T6(Google),E6(Facebook) and L7(Amazon). Levels at which the compensation begins to be ridiculously higher than the equivalent in Microsoft (L65-L66).

Would you ever give someone at L63 at Microsoft a loop for those levels? No way, right? Therefore no matter if the candidate kills the interview, would not get a shot at something higher than T5,E5,L6. Is this right?

So, what determines the maximum level you can aspire to (assuming you do as good as possible in the interview).

Your current level / Title? Does it matter what company?. FANG, apple/Microsoft/nvidia, unicorn, smaller/less prestigious company us company, Chinese company, non-tech company, other foreign company, small startup. How do you map levels for anything other than the biggest companies?

Your current compensation? (Just try you for the level that has closer to the TC you have)

What you have on your CV (milestones , academic/education credentials)

What internal references say?

I believe that understanding what comes in to play to grow when switching (the fastest way to grow) can be an important factor in making career choices.

If truly only the interview matters, please describe how you determine the level from the interview alone.

For convenience, I included a poll. You can choose multiple options. Please describe your thoughts too.

115 VOTES ALLOW MULTIPLE SELECTIONS
VOTE VIEW RESULT

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TOP 20 Comments
  • Google Linkedin
    Most likely you’ll get Google T4 and FB E5 if you apply as MS 63.
    Dec 17, 2017 14
    • Facebook / Eng John Doe
      Do you think you're underleveled by FB considering you have 10 years of experience and Google gave you L5, which is usually E6 at FB?
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Microsoft Knicker
      No of years shouldn’t determine levels, it’s about past scope of work and responsibilities.

      I have no inside knowledge of FB and Google levels, but compensation wise FB offered me more $$ than Google plus a $70k sign on. So, I would like to think L5=E5.

      I don’t think I was under leveled. If I was, then I should outperform peers and get promoted to E6 soon. I hear FB promotes quickly.

      Personally I picked FB, because I think FB is more fun place while Google is transitioning to a mature company (read Microsoft).
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng John Doe
      Nice, welcome to FB!
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Microsoft Knicker
      Thank you! 😊
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon lonestarTX
      ^^^ +1
      @knicker - can you share how you prepared for system design and papers you read?
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Microsoft Knicker
      I read the following multiple times and others:

      Spanner, DynamoDB, Thrift, Kafka, Cassandra, Gnutella (P2P), bitcoin, Paxos made simple.

      After reading these, I would design a system applying the patterns in the paper.
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      @Knicker What were the last 10 minutes of those interviews like? That must've been awkward if the interviewers didn't have anything else to ask.
      Dec 18, 2017
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      Well yeah, but 10 minutes is a long time to fill even if they have questions, and a lot of the time they don't. Maybe Kicker had some good ones.
      Dec 18, 2017
    • Microsoft Knicker
      Google interviews were finished ~10 minutes before time. G asks 1 question, and interviewers don’t give any intro. I asked questions in the end.

      FB interviewers asks 2 questions and I asked questions in the end. In one interview I recommended the interviewer that he could make the question more interesting or harder by making *few* small changes, and he could ask that as a follow up.

      I found FB questions harder than Google, but seemed predictable.

      Google interview was easier in difficulty but required some work to arrive to a solution.
      Dec 18, 2017
    • Gartner Remi
      @Knicker Can you give the references to papers on Spanner, DynamoDB, Thrift, Kafka, Cassandra, Gnutella (P2P), bitcoin? I found a good one on Paxos.
      Jul 21, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft / Eng munra
      OP
      According to levels.fyi they are. So what is the equivalent? 67? I have had friends going from 65 to l6 so I don't think it is completely unreasonable.
      My question anyway is what determines what level are you considered for?

      Reasoning is should I spend my time just doing well enough at work and leetcode like crazy and read design blogs. Should I keep moving to any company that pays me more regardless of prestige negotiating my salary until the last penny? Or do my best work and pad my CV with great achievements in my role. Counterintuitively, it seems that the latter is the least efficient way to grow.
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng munra
      OP
      Yes. I wholeheartedly agree. I have been doing things that I enjoy , but I believe that my career has suffered as a consequence.
      Perhaps there is a balance. Thanks for reminding me to keep the fun in perspective .
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon 9hfqx5
      Most Microsoft hires to FAANG will get downleveled to some degree because of title inflation at Microsoft. Way too many Senior SDEs who have just sat around Redmond for 10+ years and aren’t really hitting at the senior band elsewhere. I’ve seen plenty of 63s at Microsoft hired at L5 coming to Amazon. L7, yeah right, unless you are an extreme outlier/anomaly.
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng munra
      OP
      Amazon is considering me now for L6, but I agree. Last time I got a L5 offer from Amazon which I declined. They even had a former Microsoft employee at L65 trying to convince me that L5 maps to L65 in msft.
      Now Amazon is considering me for L6 after all, but seems like a very opaque process. I don't get what is used to determine what loop you get.
      Dec 17, 2017
    • Amazon pk5vq4
      A 65 with outdated/lacking skills could definitely get L5. Most 65s will get L6.
      Dec 17, 2017

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