HR Issues

Should I choose Google ML over generalist interviews?

Undisclosed jwr6e2
Nov 30

I work on applied ML at a well know public company but don’t have a grad degree. Recruiter severely discouraged me from taking ML interviews because the bar is extremely high and she has seen many PhDs with 10+ yoe rejected. She said I could still match for ML teams if I go through generalist interviews, and a few people she helped with in the past month had succeeded in this route.

I saw someone say it’s difficult to match for ML teams going through the generalist process, so is what my recruiter said true? Which process do you recommend if you have been there or are familiar with it? I’m unlikely to join any non ML team

comments

Add a comment
  • Google engg1
    Ignore the recruiter, it's not that high.
    Nov 302
    • Undisclosed jwr6e2
      OP
      Can you share what type of questions are asked at ML interviews?
      Nov 30
    • Google engg1
      "How will you design a system that identifies users who should be shown x type (eg sports) of ads on YouTube"
      You are expected to give a 1 hour lecture on all ML aspects of this problem.
      Dec 1
  • Facebook UOvH13
    Don’t undersell. Also depends are you willing to let go Google coz you want to only do ML. I would not join Google at the risk of not doing ML
    Nov 303
    • Undisclosed jwr6e2
      OP
      I wouldn’t consider Google if I can’t join an ML team, unless they uplevel me or give me extremely high TC (which will never happen lol). Have you interviewed for generalist or ML? Would you recommend shooting for ML directly?
      Nov 30
    • Undisclosed jwr6e2
      OP
      I’m also interviewing for ML at FB, what questions should I expect for the ML system design interview?
      Nov 30
    • Facebook UOvH13
      I think ML at Google has 2 rounds whereas FB has one. But if you read papers from KDD you can get some idea.
      Nov 30
  • Google sVFP15
    If your perf is solid, you can switch easily to ML teams in year.
    Nov 301
    • Undisclosed jwr6e2
      OP
      Solid = CME or above? How difficult is it to match for an ML team before joining?
      Nov 30
  • Apple Watch
    Google ML interviews are not very hard. Mostly design and few basic ML questions. Fb ML is also pretty standard with 2 coding rounds 1-2 ML design with standard classification or ranking problems.
    Amazon, Apple and Microsoft do far more deep dives on ML core areas, but most likely bcoz the interviews are team specific and good ML teams will try to test on the areas they are interested in.
    Dec 14
    • Undisclosed iVX372
      Thanks for the tips. When you say ML design, do you mean implementing a classification algorithm (e.g. MLP neural net, linear SVM or something else) from scratch? Or just describing a general approach to taking such an algorithm to prod (e.g. First I featurized my data. Then I trained a random forest with scikit learn and deployed it.)
      Dec 1
    • Bloomberg iVX372
      Seems like most ML work at my company consists of training lots of different models to see which performs best, and then deploying it. Mostly people just use scikit learn. It's very rare for anyone to implement ML algorithms from scratch
      Dec 1
    • Apple Watch
      That’s true mostly what is expected that you know the end to end flow of how to provide a modeling solution to a business problem. However you generally get extra brownie points for knowing the details like derivation of the gradients from the loss, subtle pros/cons of one algorithm vs another etc.
      Dec 3
    • Bloomberg iVX372
      Good. Sounds like I have a shot at ML engineer positions without a grad degree, then (and only a bachelor's in math).
      Dec 4
  • Undisclosed iVX372
    I may soon face a similar question, as a generalist SWE who currently does ML. Curious to see what people say here.

    What is the best preparation for ML interviews? There doesn't seem to be a LeetCode equivalent for ML interviews.
    Nov 300
  • Undisclosed tjPE83
    I think usually what happens is the recruiter doesnt cover the ML team and thus if you eventually go there they wont get a bonus / smaller bonus (im just guessing). I applied to Goldman and asked for the QIS team, and the recruiter also told me the bar is extremely high lol...
    Nov 300
  • Nielsen userperson
    Not sure how your theory is but it finds its way into many ML interviews. Experience is cool but since ML requires constantly updating knowledge since it's so new, white paper type questions are common.
    Nov 300
  • Twitter hdhhj
    A recruiter called me sometime back and she said the same to me. I haven't responded but felt a bit disappointed.
    Nov 300

Download the app for more exclusive content.