Sharing a lot of information from my recent interviews (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc)

Google yXBC85
May 10 77 Comments

Since I am going to delete Blind soon, thought I would share offer details to give back to the community before I left. I got some help on here about interviews, negotiations and team selection, so I hope this info is useful to someone. The information is from a few months ago.

Some background info about me:

CS undergrad from top 10 engineering school (not the top 4 though).

MS CS from another top 10 engineering school, done part time while working.

YOE: 5, all at one company, somewhat well known, medium sized.

Not a minority in any way.

Interview prep materials used:
Leetcode (most used by far)
EPI
CTCI
Lecture notes from DS&A and OS courses

Prepped 6 weeks, roughly 2 hours on weekdays and 6~7 hours on weekends.

All interviews were for SDE2 level positions (L4 at Google, L5 at Amazon, etc) except Tableau, which was just for SDE (no sde2 position).

Interviews: Google, Facebook, Bloomberg, VMWare, Microsoft, Amazon, Tableau

All cold online applications without referrals, except Google and Amazon whose recruiterd reached out to me first.

Failed Facebook phone interview, passed everything else.

Distribution of phone interview topics (some of these overlap since a question can cover multiple):
0 DP
2 array (both related to two sum)
4 tree/graph
1 linked list
1 stack/queue
1 math (median related)
2 hash table

Declined VMWare/Bloomberg onsite, went to the rest (except FB which I failed as mentioned).

Onsite interview question distribution, roughly speaking (again, some overlap):
8 hash tables
4 arrays
6 tree/graphs
1 linked list
1 dp (2d)
2 stack/queue
1 string

Onsite difficulty was all medium to hard. I would rank the difficulty from high to low as:

Google
Tableau (Big Data)
Amazon
Microsoft

Google was definitely the most difficult. Tableau was surprisingly hard, slightly less so than Google. Amazon and Microsoft were close in difficulty with Amazon being a bit more difficult, but I would say both were definitely easier than Google/Tableau.

Got offers from all four. The following is salary/stocks/sign-on, after negotiating.

Salary includes yearly target bonus if there is one (ex. 15% for Google, 0% for Amazon, etc).

Google (NYC): 180k/350k/0, TC ~ 270k

Tableau (Seattle): 154k/5000 shares (around 600k at time of offer)/0, TC ~300k

Amazon (Seattle): 150k/140 shares (around 230k at time of offer)/190k, TC ~255k

Microsoft (Seattle): 135k/50k/30k, stopped negotiating at this point because they basically said no way they can match my other offers.

Ended up taking Google's offer and am very happy with the team/company so far.

If somehow this long ass post doesn't cover everything, feel free to ask and I will try to answer as much as possible.

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TOP 77 Comments
  • Microsoft moxbill
    It's the 1% of posts like this that makes me come back to Blind. Can you share what made you want to delete Blind? Congrats btw!
    May 104
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Thanks. I only installed Blind to get interview prep info, so now that it's over, I don't really wanna spend time looking at the app.

      Also, the people on this app are really toxic on average so...
      May 10
    • Uber / Engodufj
      True that very toxic. Congrats!
      May 10
    • Amazon Aidwn
      I do not call that toixc, it is human nature and reality.
      May 10
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      NewEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      I blame the vaccines for the autism we experience on blind.
      May 10
  • IBM tvB4gd7
    What was the starting offer from google and how did you negotiate up?

    Also did you get any system design questions?
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Starting offer was a bit lower stocks, but they didn't move up that much
      May 11
  • Oracle / Databendy
    Congrats op! Btw what is Epi?
    May 106
    • Oracle / Engaham
      Elements of programming interview
      May 10
    • Oracle / Databendy
      Thanks!
      May 10
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      NewEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      What about ctci?
      May 10
    • Oracle / Engaham
      Cracking the coding interview.
      May 10
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      NewEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      Oh
      May 10
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      NewEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      Feel dumb because I know what both of those are but never seen the acronym before
      May 10
  • Salesforce loompa
    Did you specifically apply for L4 positions or did you apply for L5 but was offered L4?
    May 105
    • Salesforce loompa
      Congrats on the offer btw.
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I either applied SDE2 or they reached out to me for SDE2. I didn't think I could get SDE3 since I have absolutely no system design experience. Oh, forgot to add to the post - I only had one system design round, which was at Amazon.
      May 10
    • Salesforce loompa
      Thanks for answering. Did you feel your answers were bug free and optimal?
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I kinda bombed a round at Google and also at Amazon. For Google, I had an inefficient solution, realized a better one, then realized an even better, so I spent all the time exploring different solutions but never reached a fully coded out solution (and it was what seemed like the easiest question of the day too!). For Amazon, I couldn't understand what the interviewer was looking for in the solution until the very end, so I didn't have a fully coded working solution and had to describe some parts of it.

      Other than those two rounds, I didn't have any issues and was able to reach the optimal solution. Not bug free though, I had a bug for a different round for Google which the interviewer pointed out and I fixed, and I am sure my other rounds had minor bugs.
      May 10
    • Cirrus
      RaOne

      Cirrus

      PRE
      NVIDIA, Cirrus Logic
      RaOnemore
      First of all congrats on getting the offers.

      The thing I dont understand with FANG interview process is - you are expected to code bug free solution to hard LC question in approx 45 mins. This doesn’t take into account the skill set of person at all.

      In my opinion, now a days, coding comes quite in the end of solving a real world hard problem. Few of the first things are requirements gathering & analysis followed by solid system design. If this foundation is solid, writing code on this fairly easy.
      But FANGs seem to judge everybody based on coding skills since the first phone interview starts with coding. I find this bizzare a bit !!!

      Coding the perfect bug free solution in time crunch situation and under stress, needs one to know the problem & solution before hand. This is not true with real world problem Google claims to solve in all the IOs so far.
      May 11
  • Fullstack Academy / Engthis.user
    Congrats, good job!

    What was the process like with Google after onsite? How long it took from onsite to offer? Did you talk about other offers to speed up the process? If yes, how did you handle it? How did Google respond to it?

    Thanks in advance!
    May 102
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I had the competing offers from Amazon and Tableau to speed it up. Took close to 2 weeks after onsite to sign the offer letter
      May 11
    • Fullstack Academy / Engthis.user
      Nice! Thanks
      May 11
  • Amazon alshhsk
    How did you choose the questions (leetcode) to solve? Did you use the most liked ones or what?
    May 102
    • Amazon alshhsk
      Also, did you redo any of the questions? (Like if it was too hard that you had to look up the answer, did you try to solve it again after a few weeks?)
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Pretty much top frequency ones and maybe the "famous" ones. I did resolve problems a few weeks later, since I think repetition is helpful.
      May 11
  • Booking.com Masala
    Did you had system design interview at google?
    May 111
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Nope. I had the option but I chose to do 5 rounds all coding. I did end up having a round that touched a lot on system designish topics, but officially it was a coding round and I still coded in it.
      May 12
  • Amazon taintain
    What went wrong with the fb phone screen ?
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I did it way too early - did it with barely a week of prep, which was stupid on my part. Thus, didn't have enough practice and coding was too slow / tripping over easy code
      May 11
  • Did you ask Google to match Tableau's offer ?
    May 111
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I did, but they didn't match it.
      May 12
  • Congrats!! Did you get leetcode premium?
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Yes, felt worth it for me
      May 11
  • Oracle / Engaham
    What is your LC count?
    May 101
  • IBM tvB4gd7
    How does it feel to have a 10” schlong?
    May 100
  • Apple / EngJorge Pene
    Did you have an option to code on a chromebook during G onsite?
    May 102
    • Amazon on-call
      Usually they do allow. My recruiter asked me what I preferred
      May 11
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Yes, I coded on a chromebook at Google (and also Amazon actually)
      May 11
  • Bloomberg iVX372
    Congrats! How were you able to join the Google NYC office when all other offers are for Seattle positions?
    May 102
    • New / Enggoing2g
      From my experience, when you apply to Google's generic SWE opening, you're allowed to choose which location(s) you're interested in. The smaller the office though, the lower chance of finding a team match.
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      +1 going2g, I just chose my preference to be NYC
      May 11
  • Oracle / Engaham
    Congratulations! Very efficient in your prep. Preparing and getting offers in 6 weeks is commendable!
    May 102
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Thanks! I was actually feeling pretty burned out at the end, I don't think I could have studied much longer to be honest...
      May 10
    • Oracle / Engaham
      Tell me about it
      Faster the better.
      More you drag this process it gets worse.
      I should come up with a better plan!
      May 10
  • Edmunds.com maneef
    Did you encounter any binary / bit math questions?
    May 111
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Nope, but wouldn't have surprised me if I did
      May 12
  • Goldman Sachs pakalu
    Did you get any questions around multithreading like producer/ consumer or resolving deadlocks
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Yes, at Google and Microsoft. They were follow up questions.
      May 11
  • Amazon alshhsk
    Was there anything on EPI/CTCI that wasn't covered in Leetcode? Basically my question is: Do I need them if I practice on Leetcode?
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      EPI/CTCI have sections that talk about interviews in general, study plans, ways to tackle a problem, overview of each DS&A. I found those to be good to set the contexr before I really started solving a bunch of LC.
      May 10
  • Good job 👍
    May 101
  • ForeSee ratata$
    Congrats.Great work.Keep it up.One of the inspirational posts!
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    May 110
  • Microsoft Daydmidsh
    How many Leetcode did you solve? What was the breakdown of easy/medium/hard?
    May 105
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      150, around 25/100/25
      May 10
    • Microsoft Daydmidsh
      Were the problems directly from Leetcode?
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      One of Amazon's and two of Microsoft's were directly from Leetcode, the rest were not
      May 11
    • Microsoft vxefcdrvsw
      Variant of Leetcode problem?
      May 11
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I guess? Since any question using ds&a might as well be variant of leetcode. Google's questions felt the most different from LC (more complex/depth at a different dimension)
      May 12
  • Thank you sir!
    Sincerely,
    A dumb guy trying to emulate even a fraction of your success
    May 103
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      A few months ago, I thought I would be lucky to land one offer out of all the companies I applied to so... you can do it too man.
      May 10
    • If I had 2 weeks till onsite and I am not prepated. Which of the 3 resources should I focus on 1) EPI 2) CTCI 3) Leet?
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Depends on your level of preparation so far. If you haven't done any, CTCI. If you have done a bit, EPI. If you have done more than just a bit, LC.
      May 10
  • Northrop Grumman / Engthe_curio
    Did you finish EPI/CTCI? How did you stay consistent in your schedule? 6weeks*~24hr a week= about 144 problems done?

    Congrats!
    May 102
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I didn't finish EPI/CTCI at all, I basically didn't even directly solve the questions either. I only used them when I didn't have a computer in front of me. Never even coded solutions to problems in the books, just mentally solved them (or failed to and looked at solutions).
      May 10
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Ah missed the other part, your estimation is surprisingly accurate - solved around 150 problems on LC.
      May 10
  • Facebook ycAq13
    Wow low offers
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      I don't think Amazon offers more than 250k for SDE2 in Seattle unless it's an underlevel, and Tableau's offer was actually on the high end for SDE pay band.

      Google probably could have been higher if I had a competing offer from FB.

      I don't know wtf Microsoft is doing, because theirs was super low comparatively.
      May 10
  • Dell LUHV04
    All you were asked during the interviews is writing code ?
    May 101
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Depends on company. Google and Tableau were basically 100% only solving coding problems (with discussions obviously). Amazon had a big chunk of behavioral with LPs, at least 15~20 minutes per 1 hour round, and also had a system design round. Microsoft was 2 only coding, 2 half behavioral half technical, 1 full behavioral.
      May 10
  • eBay kkkkkkkhu
    How did you prepare for questions on multithreading/concurrency?
    May 140
  • Microsoft
    wizard1

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Taco Bell, Campbell Soup, Jack in the Box
    wizard1more
    You da real mvp
    May 100
  • Intel / EngCoryP
    What a beast...!
    May 100
  • Microsoft / Eng
    tarasenko

    MicrosoftEng

    PRE
    Microsoft, Grab
    tarasenkomore
    What was TC before?
    May 100
  • New / Enggoing2g
    Awesome, congrats! Your story is really similar to mine!
    May 100

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