Revving up for FAANG design applications

Capital One / Design 472bez
Feb 19 8 Comments

Getting ready to apply to FAANG for Product Design roles. We hear a lot on here on how a SWE should prep — curious to hear if the design community has any tips to succeed?

Here’s my current list of to dos:
- Read through “Solving Product Design Exercises” + lookup and read any design exercise articles already out there
- Spruce up portfolio to highlight best 2-3 projects and highlight any management experience if possible (know my stories by heart)
- Ask current network at FANG for referrals
- Go through 2-3 rounds of non-FANG interviews for practice
- Line up in person interviews within same month, so if I get offers I get them at the same time and can use them as leverage to get best TC

Anything else I’m missing? Any tips on how to do well during in-person? I’ve previously interviewed with MS twice in-person for intern positions when I was in college but didn’t get in.

YoE 4
TC: $130k


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TOP 8 Comments
  • Netflix / Design wkVk72
    At Netflix you will do best if you bring clear examples of what you’ve done and are able to articulate the impact it has had (with clear and defensible success metrics).

    Take the lead in the white board exercise, don’t be passive. Be ready to interview with an eng and a few PM’s. Be ready to negotiate about what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, what you will do next, and how your solution solves for the original hypothesis.
    Feb 20 3
    • Netflix / Design wkVk72
      That said, design at nflx is awful right now, and I’d avoid it. Steve Johnson is a horrible VP.
      Feb 20
    • Oracle / Design MiddleWest
      What’s the worst part of design there? The output has been good, and apparently effective it seems.
      Feb 20
    • Netflix / Design wkVk72
      There’s a ton of churn on the team, confused priorities from a VP who doesn’t really know how to lead a team of high performers. It’s becoming a place where all the best people are leaving and those who are there are just yes-people who don’t want to give up their high salaries. The directors are not great and have lost squandered what used to be good relationships with the product management team. It’s become heavily micromanage-y when it used to be about freedom and responsibility.
      Feb 21
  • New noE
    Prepare to have 3 round of white boarding during the on site interview if you could go that far.
    Might take you 4months total from application to final offer
    Feb 20 0
  • Microsoft
    Educate yourself on what the team does and ask questions about how the experiences they are creating support the company mission. All things being relatively equal I usually make the offer to the person most intellectually curious. I also like to see failures and what you learned from it.
    Feb 19 0
  • Oracle / Design MiddleWest
    Define “spruce up” portfolio. This above all is probably most important, because it’s your chance to show how you frame problems, how effectively you tell a story, how you worked with PMs and SDMs to get things built with acceptable trade-offs and the like. I think a lot of people fall into the trope of showing incomprehensible sketches, eye-chart flows, and a series of mocks that don’t resolve anything. Don’t just check boxes! Make it really clear what the impact was.

    You can try to leverage for the best TC, but I’d advise going for the team you feel best about first. You’re a designer, the money isn’t gonna be everything. There are, for instance, former FAANG designers at Oracle getting paid inordinately well and feeling sad about their circumstances.
    Feb 19 0
  • Oracle / Design MiddleWest
    Not even Google takes four months, and they’re open about how deliberate their process is. Only way it would take that long is if you spend a lot of time on the design exercise.
    Feb 20 0


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