Phone screen is hard nowadays

Jul 30, 2019 406 Comments

I got about 4 rejects from top tier fanng companies recently. All the interview questions are answered as well as follow up questions but still got reject.

Btw I have solved around 400lc, and can solve most lc medium in 10 minutes.
Few lessons:
1. Maybe the competion is too fierce, in order to secure the onsite you need to solve 2 lc questions in 30 minutes bug free plus optimal time optimal space. Too crazy hard.
2. The question itself is too simple, everyone solved it, then its a game of luck. Like give you a list remove an element inside it. Whats the fuck of this kind of questions....
3. Female interviewer intentionally setup a lot of traps and very tough in general....

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TOP 406 Comments
  • Oracle
    not_larry

    Oracle

    PRE
    Amazon
    not_larrymore
    Me thinks poor communication skills. Female judger?
    Jul 30, 2019 98
    • Amazon / IT
      Sheldon007

      Amazon IT

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Learner, pretty chill but lazy guy! Hobby: In my spare time, I develop softwares for Amazon.
      Sheldon007more
      @tlorr:

      Yeah buddy. The whole community tried to teach him one simple thing but alas.
      I doubt how he got recruited with this level of sick mentality.

      And I bet, with this sort of added frustration, he will hold double grudge towards Asians.
      Aug 2, 2019
    • VMware mejzyeben
      This google guy is such an arrogant ass. I would never want to work with this person.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Amazon hgjuyf
      I feel lot better about Amazon now..
      Even though the perks are little less, except for LP's almost no one bother about accents and silly communication issues....
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Walmart raise
      @hooli.xyz in my Google onsite, the interviewer would have failed in communication for sure. He could not understand what I was saying and he could not describe his thoughts as well. The shadow interviewer had to explain many things.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Square SQRT
      I’m just surprised that not a single googler commented on Hooli’s post. Communication should be a part of interview evaluation, no doubt. But if the rejection criteria is just thick accent, it points to some extreme cases where the communication is excellent barring the fact that the interviewer is no used to the accent.

      In that case, it does point to bias and I would be sad to see either google not explain their interview rubric clearly or google heading down this road.

      All you gotta do is make sure the candidate understands you are having a hard time with the communication and if it gets to a point where you can’t deal with it, let the interview panel know that the issue was accent. Your generic feedback about continuous poor communication gives a very misleading signal.
      Aug 4, 2019
  • TrueCar / Eng Twhh78
    Maybe the sexism doesn’t help?
    Jul 30, 2019 19
    • Verizon HelloMoon1
      How was that even remotely sexism?
      Aug 3, 2019
    • ICU Medical / Mktg
      user3.0

      ICU Medical Mktg

      BIO
      Trying my own thing but doing something for someone else. 🤷🏼‍♂️
      user3.0more
      I know right. Lmao
      Aug 3, 2019
    • TrueCar / Eng Twhh78
      He edited his original post...
      Aug 3, 2019
    • ICU Medical / Mktg
      user3.0

      ICU Medical Mktg

      BIO
      Trying my own thing but doing something for someone else. 🤷🏼‍♂️
      user3.0more
      Ohhhhh
      Aug 4, 2019
    • Verizon HelloMoon1
      That lying SOB
      Aug 5, 2019
  • Truly mean this as a compliment: look at yourself in the mirror and realize you work at Microsoft, I'd love to be in your shoes. I know maybe someone will tell me the same about IBM and I'll strongly disagree, but my point is, you have more than most and it's ok to take a step back, be grateful and try again tomorrow. Good luck with interviews, the key is consistency and perseverance.
    Jul 30, 2019 8
    • @Oracle
      Jul 30, 2019
    • Amazon 17f f.38gj
      I agree with IBM. I'm across the lake at Amazon and would love to be at Microsoft. Keep working and chasing your goals but don't forget to also appreciate what you have!
      Aug 2, 2019
    • This is Blind, always assume trolling.
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Expedia Group / Consultant
      NvSayNv

      Expedia Group Consultant

      BIO
      Layoffs? uBetcha!
      NvSayNvmore
      Larry spotted
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Reliable Software / Eng YonkoKaido
      @ibm you are so lucky to be at ibm. You have so much more than so many others.

      LOL so don't try to leetcode anymore ok? 😂 Just kidding
      Aug 2, 2019
  • Amazon 6ahr7e
    You leetcoders have made it hard for yourself, everyone prepares, bar of questions rises and more and more questions become known.
    I personally never prepared for interviews and never will. If a company is asking Leetcode questions which has nothing to do with the job, then it's a bad company to work for anyway because it's interviewing is broken.
    Jul 30, 2019 17
    • H&R Block / Eng Olve
      @iopwc. The more devs communicate the less effective they become....their title says DEV and not Communicator. Besides, the steam convos never end amd a good dev can talk your ears off with 100 ways to solve a problem....that is not needed.
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Reliable Software / Eng YonkoKaido
      But amazon also asks leetcode right?
      Aug 2, 2019
    • New / Mgmt
      griesrt1

      New Mgmt

      PRE
      Flipboard
      griesrt1more
      We hired someone because they could solve lc questions. They were not the best hire
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Airbnb
      danpok

      Airbnb

      BIO
      Slacker
      danpokmore
      Then why the heck u r in Amazon?
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Splunk / Eng ImaRainbow
      Bottom line is you’re frozen out of this industry if you don’t comply with the interviewing process that Google has spread throughout the industry. Maybe you can get a second-tier job in Raleigh-Durham without that, but good luck finding a startup or major employer willing to interview you in the tech mecca cities of SF, Santa Clara, Seattle, Portland, Austin or Boston.
      Aug 4, 2019
  • Amazon Gjdyveycc4
    I had similar experience as well. Also Asian ppl tend to hire Asian is also what I have seen
    Jul 30, 2019 11
    • HERE Oquz23
      Hmm .. not sure I agree with you guys here. So far, all the mgrs that hired me are non-Asians and I am. But I do agree sometimes it's down to luck and thinking in the same wavelength as your interviewers.
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Amazon xmmsn
      where is Here office?
      Aug 2, 2019
    • HERE Oquz23
      Quite a few places. Berlin, Chicago, Seattle, Berkeley, Amsterdam, etc ...
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Amazon xmmsn
      u get to travel to them or stuck in Seattle?
      Aug 2, 2019
    • HERE Oquz23
      Depends on what project you are on. Some of my colleagues didn't even travel once for 10 odd years, some did quite often. So, there's really no rule of thumb there.
      Aug 3, 2019
  • You could be like me, pass all my phone screens (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft, Robinhood, you name it)... and only get one offer because you’re old :(
    Aug 2, 2019 13
    • Workday / Eng Rekt_
      @Uber-fomo that's exactly what I an trying to say. Unless you know something deep in a certain tech (deep = developed new gossip Algo, more efficient neural nets etc) , your experience is not worth just being a generic dev. Cause even distributed systems is spoon fed with grokking the system design etc. which anyone can learn that with LC with 4-6 months of study.

      And as you mentioned, the labor market doesn't need 10 researchers, it needs executioners who bend their head down and codes what the researcher guides. So, statistically, there are more jobs at the executioner level than the researcher.

      So, unless you don't upscale your skills to the researcher level, you are competing with a 10x denser executioner level labor pool which obviously has more new grads and they are more favorable (lesser pay, lesser opinionated, easy to manage)
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Workday / Eng Rekt_
      @facebook-kramazov well, I am no one to recommend for your career. You make your decisions.

      All I am is just another IC putting my thoughts out loud based on what I observe.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Ageism is a serious problem in our industry and workday is justifying it on flimsy logic. Gross. Imagine if he was justifying racism in hiring by saying “white people are just better at being managed”. That’s basically what he just did!

      @facebook nothing will “solve” ageism in the short term as it is institutional and pervasive. The best you can do is be that much better than the hot shot new grads. Specialization is a double edged sword, it will not save you. My advice is to become financially independent as soon as possible. Check out /r/fire.

      When I hit 40 and my age becomes a federally protected class, if I’m still looking for work I will record my interviews and lawyer up. In discovery their dirty hiring practices will be exposed. These companies need to feel some serious financial pain so they incorporate ageism into the same bias training they do for women and minorities.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Workday / Eng Rekt_
      @Uber-MnkyDLuffy: lol. I am not justifying anything. I am on the same boat. All I am saying is ageism does exists.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • You said “new grads” are “more favorable”. I know you probably didn’t mean anything by that except you’re pointing out the truth (and it is true that companies think like that) but I think it’s also critical that ageism is called out. It’s too often ignored or just laughed at or we blame the old people. People feel ashamed to say they are victims of it, or they proudly say it didn’t happen to them as a point of pride. We should all be fighting it together, even the 20 year olds, because as @facebook said nobody is 20 forever.
      Aug 3, 2019
  • Facebook Ladee
    I feel like you just suck. I recently had a set of companies I interviewed with and wasn’t rejected at phone stage by any. I thought they’ve gotten easier actually.
    Jul 31, 2019 5
    • Ironshore arch135
      Have some empathy. TC is not going to take you anywhere . I had some interviews recently and couple of places where I did optimal and ran test cases , got rejected and couple of places where I had some bugs and missed edge cases got selected : so everyone’s mileage might vary
      Jul 31, 2019
    • Microsoft / Eng sc2
      OP
      yes i think my communication skills are not good, need to learn frpm it
      Jul 31, 2019
    • Facebook Ladee
      Practice practice practice. Find a PM that you trust or an eng that you admire that’s good at it and have them help you work on it. Leverage the people around you my dude!
      Jul 31, 2019
    • Kabbage / Data fxnM15
      And you probably come across as a dick irl too
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Moz hNvf01
      @op try joining toast Masters and maybe also hire a language coach? You already have an idea a problem you can fix and it's totally in your control. All the best.
      Aug 2, 2019
  • Amazon yioggt53
    Hmm pretty sure they were filtering out sexists. Guess it worked.
    Aug 2, 2019 16
    • Facebook / Eng lkj630
      Perhaps make broad sweeping generalisations when you've had 20 interviews with women, because currently this just sounds like sampling bias.
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Yeah, that's why I said it could be a coincidence. Hopefully other people share and there would be a better conclusion
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Facebook / Eng lkj630
      I promise you, if you add up all the rejections people have gotten, the vast majority of them are from men. Hopefully other people share and we can all see that men are biased against all of us!!
      Aug 2, 2019
    • I was not rejected by women either (I asked the recruiter).
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Facebook / Eng lkj630
      As I said, damn men! Wish we all got more women interviewers, since that seemed to work out well for you.
      Aug 2, 2019
  • Microsoft msafet
    Dude. I'm not a Rockstar, I'm a pretty average coder. I prepared for two months, I didn't solve 400 LC questions. More like 50 or so.

    And I passed on Google and Facebook. I definitely passed the phone screening with flying colors. I'm not bragging, I'm saying knowing the right solution is not the hardest part.

    Your problem is likely not on coding the right solution. Being an interviewer as well, let me give you some advice.

    If may think your solution is correct, but you're not testing it properly, and you may be leaving a ton of off by one errors everywhere. Algo is right, code is wrong.

    You may be really bad at explaining your code, or on writing clean code on the first place. Do some mock interviews with friends and try to get some feedback.

    You may be, I'm sorry, an unpleasant person. I've rejected people I don't like. They coded well, they explained their solution well, but they were dripping arrogance and self righteousness. I wouldn't want to work with them.

    In the end, my advise is focus a little bit less in getting the right answer, and do some mock interviews with friends and get some feedback.

    Best of luck!
    Aug 2, 2019 8
    • Amazon / Eng G10
      "I've rejected people I don't like."

      LOL 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️
      Aug 2, 2019
    • T-Mobile fun oh
      Getting lucky counts ..
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Facebook / Eng zuck1573
      Totally agree. I conducted ~100 interviews and never asked hard problems. However, I had to reject candidates with absolutely perfect solutions because of outright arrogance and overall why-do-you-ask-such-a-smart-me-such-a-stupid-question attitude.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • MassMutual / Eng
      NkOS62

      MassMutual Eng

      BIO
      Lead Software Engineer
      NkOS62more
      Rejected people you don't like = I don't want a jackass on my team. What's wrong with that?
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng nutboy39
      It’s more about which phone screener you get, what types of questions they ask, what they’re looking for, and whether you click. Basically, a lot of luck. For example, I’ve done ~100 phone screens and I don’t look for testing and don’t care if there are small code issues. I’m more focused on problem solving, thoughtfulness, communication, and history of exhibiting strong ownership.
      Aug 3, 2019
  • NewRelic / Eng grock
    "Female interviewer"? You mean, a woman? You sound like a fucking idiot.
    Aug 2, 2019 6
    • Facebook Callex
      Adjectives are for idiots. It's true. If you want people to respect you, only use nouns.
      Aug 2, 2019
    • Amazon sinter
      adjectives is veazel vords
      Aug 2, 2019
    • MassMutual / Eng
      NkOS62

      MassMutual Eng

      BIO
      Lead Software Engineer
      NkOS62more
      Yup. Thinking that way screams douchebag. She probably could sense that OP felt threatened. It's tough to pull off a good pokerface.
      Aug 3, 2019
    • Amazon hydfb
      "Woman interviewer"? That sounds even more idiotic
      Aug 4, 2019
    • MassMutual / Eng
      NkOS62

      MassMutual Eng

      BIO
      Lead Software Engineer
      NkOS62more
      Could have just said "woman" ... or "interviewer".

      The fact that it needs to be qualified is - if somehow it were man who interviewed- it would have been different.

      Same with women who point out that the tech jobs all go to men.

      The dept director where I work is a woman. She's inspiring, brilliant, respected, and very accomplished.

      I have no problem being led by a great person.
      Aug 4, 2019

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