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

May 10, 2019 82 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 82 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 10, 2019 4
    • Amazon Aidwn
      I do not call that toixc, it is human nature and reality.
      May 10, 2019
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      New Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      I blame the vaccines for the autism we experience on blind.
      May 10, 2019
  • Salesforce loompa
    Did you specifically apply for L4 positions or did you apply for L5 but was offered L4?
    May 10, 2019 5
    • 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, 2019
    • Cirrus / Eng
      RaOne

      Cirrus Eng

      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, 2019
  • What was the starting offer from google and how did you negotiate up?

    Also did you get any system design questions?
    May 10, 2019 1
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Starting offer was a bit lower stocks, but they didn't move up that much
      May 11, 2019
  • How does it feel to have a 10” schlong?
    May 10, 2019 0
  • Oracle / Data bendy
    Congrats op! Btw what is Epi?
    May 10, 2019 6
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      New Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      Oh
      May 10, 2019
    • New / Eng
      TechLeed

      New Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      TechLeedmore
      Feel dumb because I know what both of those are but never seen the acronym before
      May 10, 2019
  • Amazon alshhsk
    How did you choose the questions (leetcode) to solve? Did you use the most liked ones or what?
    May 10, 2019 2
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • Amazon taintain
    What went wrong with the fb phone screen ?
    May 10, 2019 1
    • 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, 2019
  • Congrats!! Did you get leetcode premium?
    May 10, 2019 1
    • Google yXBC85
      OP
      Yes, felt worth it for me
      May 11, 2019
  • Thank you sir!
    Sincerely,
    A dumb guy trying to emulate even a fraction of your success
    May 10, 2019 3
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • Fullstack Academy / Eng this.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 10, 2019 2
    • 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, 2019
    • Fullstack Academy / Eng this.user
      Nice! Thanks
      May 11, 2019

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