AMA - How I got multiple offers from FAANG and Tier 1 companies

Jan 13, 2019 130 Comments

I see a lot of folks asking about interview preparation and topics to study for the SWE roles at FAANG. Here's a list of topics that I studied and managed to get offers from Facebook, Apple, Lyft, Linkedin, and Amazon. If you study these topics and once you develop a knack of identifying patterns and algorithms, you'd do great.

I solved ~150 LC questions and most of the companies asked me LC mediums. I did not study any advanced data-structures like Disjoint Sets, K Dimensional, n-array tree etc. as nobody asked them in any of my interviews including FAANG, Uber, Linkedin, Lyft, Airbnb, Snap, Dropbox, Pinterest and many more.

I gave myself a couple of months to prepare and I'd study at least a couple of hours every day and more on weekends. I got LC premium for 35$ and bought 90$ System Groking, did not have any mockup interviews as I initially scheduled interviews at companies that I could use as mocks likes of Walmart Labs, Snap etc.

TC: 240K, YOE: 7

Data Structures
- Hash-Based DS: Set, HashMap, LinkedHashMap
- Lists
- Trie
- Min, Max Heap
- Matrix
- Graph
- Trees
- Stack/Queue
- Priority Queue
- Bit manipulation

Algorithms
- BFS & DFS
- Sorting & Searching
- Recursion (Bottom Up & Top Down)
- Backtracking
- Intervals, meeting rooms etc.
- Island problems
- Two pointer approach, three sum
- Window sliding
- Dynamic programming (Tushar Roy)
- Word ladder, word break, word split
- LRU, MFU Cache

Conceptual Topics
- Threads, executor services, futures, semaphores
- Generics
- BlockingQueue
- Memory leak, Garbage collection
- Basic Sql operations and queries

System Designs
- System Design Primer (Github)
- White paper on DynamoDB and Kafka
- Design common services like Instagram, facebook, google docs, WhatsApp, uber etc.
- Read articles on REDIS, Memcached, Cassandra
- Grokking the system design

Behavioral questions
- Read through CTCI section, leetcode explore section and leadership principles
- Make a few cases based on STAR format

AMA if you have any questions, would love to help fellow blinders to get offers from their dream companies.

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TOP 130 Comments
  • LinkedIn Lolllllll
    Share the offers?
    Jan 13, 2019 14
    • Rakuten iuUh62
      Thanks for the negotiations link. Did you go back and forth with Apple, FB, and Lyft before arriving at your final numbers? What was the difference between their initial and final offers?
      Jan 13, 2019
    • Google ktmb15
      That looks like either a good E4 FB offer or a really low E5 offer (basically the lowest possible)
      Aug 15, 2019
  • Uber / Eng tfh
    Which companies rejected you and do you know why?
    Jan 13, 2019 8
    • MathWorks / Eng ∞ ^ 2
      Congrats OP!!! Which team are you joining?
      Jan 16, 2019
    • Cisco HR-Angel1
      Yeah at Apple it’s terrible wlb all around and they are secretive in what you’ll be working on so have no idea if this is even a real post
      Mar 17, 2019
  • HPE TimB
    First time I saw a useful post in Blind. Thank you..
    Jan 13, 2019 1
    • Autodesk vCLg47
      OP
      ✌️
      Jan 13, 2019
  • Amazon xAQu84
    Was there any topic you studied that you felt like you could get away with not studying? Could you rank the topics based off how often they were asked in your interviews? (I know your sample size isn’t huge)
    Jan 13, 2019 5
    • VMware / Eng andor
      What is the island prob? LC question 200?
      Jan 13, 2019
    • Amazon xAQu84
      I’m gonna guess the count number of islands, size of islands, bfs/dfs on adjacency matrix type questions.
      Jan 13, 2019
  • VMware / Eng andor
    Did you interview at G? If yes, how was it compared to Fb and Uber? And how did you get a call from Apple? I applied there many times in the past 2 months but no one calls.
    Jan 13, 2019 5
    • VMware / Eng andor
      Thanks. How was Uber?
      Jan 13, 2019
    • Microsoft / Eng SwitchJobs
      2M or 1E + 1H in 45 mins is what you said for FB. How about G and Uber expectations?
      Jan 13, 2019
  • How did you get calls from Lyft & Pinterest without Referrals? Did you apply online or a recruiter made the first contact?
    Jan 13, 2019 5
    • New JthG36
      Ballpark SO score?
      Jan 13, 2019
    • Autodesk vCLg47
      OP
      The score doesn't really matter, it's how many questions have you answered.

      My score is around ~5k but I've answered ~350 questions over the last 2 years which is not that great but still better for the interviewer to gauge your skills.
      Jan 13, 2019
  • Facebook public2
    Which offer did you take?
    Jan 13, 2019 2
    • Autodesk vCLg47
      OP
      I took Apple as they gave me the best numbers and I'm excited about the team and product I'll be working on.
      Jan 13, 2019
    • Facebook public2
      Nice, congrats!
      Jan 13, 2019
  • Microsoft Vgj(5;)
    Has anyone asked Bit Manipulation questions? Is it really needed?
    Jan 13, 2019 3
    • Microsoft exM
      Yes G asked
      Jan 13, 2019
    • C Spire Wireless SXvh05
      I bought CTCI this week just for this
      Jan 14, 2019
  • New begin
    Great writeup. How did you get referrals?
    Jan 13, 2019 1
    • Autodesk vCLg47
      OP
      I did not, fortunately, my experience, skills and background helped me get the most of recruiters reached out to me and a couple of recruiters called up after I applied on their company site.

      My background is is Distributed systems and back end engineering.
      Jan 13, 2019
  • PayPal unionfind
    Experiencing burnout rn, have multiple interviews scheduled for the week. What should i do?
    Jan 13, 2019 1
    • Autodesk vCLg47
      OP
      Try to cover as many LC mediums as possible sorted by frequency if you have them scheduled in next 2 weeks.
      Jan 13, 2019

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