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Interview Tips for Software Engineers to Get FAANG Jobs

Posted on 
March 17, 2021
Team Interview Kickstart


FAANG, an acronym used for leading tech companies including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, is every software engineer’s dream job. Getting a position at one of these companies is not a cakewalk. It takes much more than just being a great software engineer. You must have a strong preparation strategy and the right set of values and skills. 

To help you ace FAANG interviews and get the high-paying job you have always wanted, we have compiled a list of software job interview tips below:

Tips to ace FAANG interviews 

  1. Practice makes perfect

You might be a great developer, but that does not necessarily mean your skills will be translated into the interview room - you need good practice. There is no better substitute for practice and persistence when it comes to cracking FAANG interviews. You must find as many coding questions as possible to learn the common coding patterns that interviewers usually ask. This will help build your confidence to handle any problem given to you during the interview. Do thorough research to determine the type of questions that the interviewer generally asks and practice well.

  1. Start early

There’s no better time to start your preparation for FAANG interviews than now. The more time you have, the more questions you can practice. As soon as you get shortlisted for the position, start utilizing your time efficiently. Do not leave out the parts that you are not so good at. Work on all the elements to ensure that you can get through the interview process and get selected as a software developer at your dream company. 

  1. Time management is key

Just knowing the correct answer isn’t going to be enough. It also matters how quickly you can come up with solutions. For this, you can try out mock tests that are timed or time yourself while preparing for the interview to know how long it takes for you to solve a problem.

  1. Learn about the company

Before interviewing at a company, read up on its background and recent achievements. The more well-aware you are of the company, the better the chances of having the employer form a picture of you working at the company. Think about what specialty you will bring to the company and what sets you apart from countless software developers that apply to FAANG. 

  1. Have a company-specific approach

Different companies value different personalities and technical qualities. You need to make sure your values align with the company. Find out commonly asked topics by the company and prepare complex questions associated with those topics. With adequate research, you can find out which questions have a higher chance of getting repeated at the interview. 

  1. Do not skim the job description

A part that you should never overlook is the job description. Reading the job description thoroughly will help you find out what exactly the company is looking for in a candidate. Try to work on the skills required for the position and showcase them in your resume. 

  1. Take up mock interviews before the final day

Do you wish to simulate the on-site technical interviews at FAANG? Schedule mock interviews with hiring managers from FAANG companies. You can also take the help of friends and family to conduct mock interviews and seek their feedback on how well you performed. This will help you identify your areas of improvement. Take as many practice tests and mock interviews that you can. 

  1. Read about various tech giants

Read tech blogs of FAANG companies regularly to find out what challenges they face and how they overcome them. Being aware of industry developments will add to your knowledge and increase your chances of getting selected. A well-read candidate is always preferred because they show a thirst for knowledge and a general curiosity about the industry’s functioning.

  1. Trust in yourself

Once you set your mind to getting the job offer, you can ace the interview. For this, you need to practice well enough and have faith in yourself. No matter how many setbacks you face, the key to success is to learn from your failures. Keep preparing and moving ahead, even if you do not immediately succeed.

It is normal to experience anxiety before the interview. With adequate preparation, you can ease off some of this pressure and be more relaxed and confident. The bottom line is to learn to trust yourself and know that you are capable of getting through once you set your mind to it.

Also read: 5 Easy Breathing Exercises to Control Interview Anxiety

  1. Get help from others

Get in touch with employees at FAANG who have faced the interview process in the past. Join online forums and communities of software engineers. This will help you learn about the pattern of the interview and the type of questions asked. You will also learn what type of specific circumstances the interviewer creates for candidates (behavioral interviews). You can learn from other’s experiences and use these lessons in your preparation strategy. 

What Topic or programming language to cover when preparing for FAANG Interviews

While preparing for coding interviews, you have to study the common interview concepts well. Practicing such questions well before the interview will help you get the confidence to ace them during the actual interview.  To do well in the interview, you need to have a stronghold over Data structure and Algo. Practice as many questions as you can find on these topics. A technical interview can only be aced if you do enough practice on the important concepts.

Some of the concepts that you need to focus on while preparing for your FAANG interview are:

  • Data Structure like array, string, linked lists, heaps, binary tree, system design problems, etc.
  • Algorithm
  • Dynamic programming
  • Design
  • Bit manipulation
  • Logic-based questions
  • Operating Systems concepts
  • Database management systems
  • Object-oriented programming concepts
  • Computer Networking

Data structure and algorithms occupy a significant portion of the technical interview questions. This is why you should pay particular emphasis on them. 

Choose the programming language for the interview based on its ease of learning, flexibility, range of implementation, and usability. You need to know dynamic programming languages, including Python, JavaScript, etc. Choose the language that you are the most familiar with and stick with it.

Expectations for the coding interview

A company’s acceptance rate can be as low as 0.2% (Google). Therefore, you need to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead of you and prepare yourself accordingly.

The qualities that any recruiter looks for in a great software engineer are:

  • How efficiently can you solve the problems
  • How optimal is your solution to problems
  • How many attempts it took you to come up with the solution
  • Your contribution to open source projects and experience in competitions
  • If you can write a clean code
  • How good are your communication skills
  • How passionate you are about coding

The answer to these questions determines if the software engineer would be an ideal fit for the organization or not. Make sure that you work on all of these areas when preparing for a FAANG interview.

Sit for as many coding interviews as you can. This will help you gain the relevant experience and skills required to do well in the interview process. You will also get better at negotiation with more interviews that you appear for. 

Specific tips for the day of the interview

So, the day is finally here. After several months of preparation, it all comes down to how well you can convey your thoughts and ideas to the interviewer. There are some specific software interview tips that you should keep in mind for doing well in the interview process.

  • Be honest in your answers. Even if you get stuck somewhere, keep your calm and convey an honest answer to the interviewer.
  • Ask questions to the interviewer. The interviewer prefers candidates that can have a back and forth conversation.
  • Let the interviewer know about your approach when solving a problem.
  • Schedule your interviews in increasing order of interest. You will learn from the mistakes in the first few interviews and get better at it with every subsequent interview that you appear for. 
  • Prepare your resume well. Modify it as per the requirements of the company that you are applying to.
  • Read up on interview questions to be well-prepared. Read interview tips for software engineers that can help you do well in the FAANG interview.
  • Give clear and price answers. It's not smart to beat around the bush during interviews.
  • Prepare well for general interview questions. Have your answers ready for basic questions, and try to be as precise as you can.
  • Choose one programming language that you are proficient in.

You also need to prepare well for behavioral interviews that test whether you are a good fit for the company’s culture. Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • How do you deal with failure?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • What are your weaknesses?

Do not overlook the non-technical interview as it also plays an important role in determining your future at the company.

Prepare with Us

The interview may appear to be nerve-wracking, given it usually has a success rate of less than 20%. This does not imply that you cannot do it. With the right resources and the assistance of experts at Interview Kickstart, you can ace the interview. Our team researches the most probable and important topics that should be a part of your preparation strategy. These resources have been developed with the help of experts who have completed their FAANG interviews. With adequate preparation and perseverance, you can get a job at the biggest tech companies easily. 

You can also test how well prepared you are with the help of Interview Kickstart. You can access the resources provided to help you in the preparation.  Our team can assist you with the interview prep by providing access to the most useful tips, resources, and assessment tools to ace your FAANG interview. You can choose Interview Kickstart to prepare the best strategy for your software engineering interview. Get in touch with Interview Kickstart if you want to secure a job at one of these tech giants.

The bottom line

Being stressed about interviews is only natural. But with adequate preparation, you can make sure that the stress is not so much that it affects your performance in the interview. By practicing properly, you can make sure that you are well-prepared and confident on the final day.

Now that you have learned about the crucial software engineer interview tips, it’s time to gear up and ace that interview for your dream job. Using the tips mentioned above, you can get access to the best job opportunities in the field. The only way one can excel is by practice. With commitment and hard work, you can get a high-paying job offer and build a reputable career for yourself.

Team Interview Kickstart
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