What It Is Really Like To Interview In The Most Competitive Job Market In Silicon Valley

High degrees of competition make the hiring process more important

Companies have built up a system for vetting their candidates from the phone interview stage to what they expect to hear from you after the interview (usually through a personalized “thank you” email after the interview), to the technical interview stage. For the average person, these interviews can be quite tiring. And what you should expect is a great deal of discussion and mental testing that you might not have had before.

What the process is like

While most job interviews have you interviewing with one, maybe two of your colleagues that you’ll work with, technology jobs often have you interview with 5-8 people. Each one of these discussions lasted about 30 minutes in length each. They’re back to back as well, and take up at least half of your day in total. That’s a lot of time spent having someone ask you questions regarding your experience, your process, the way you work, why you like the company and much more. It can be quite stressful.

Technical interviews are more intense

You may have to sit down with another engineer and whiteboard out equations or solutions to problems that the employed engineer is asking you about. This can feel quite stressful because you are being asked to perform in real-time and you are doing so against a whiteboard versus your computer.

Paired-programming sessions is another way this technical aptitude test happens as part of the interview process. This is when an engineer sits down with you and your screen is shared with them. And together you go through a technical problem that you are being asked to solve. The other engineer then gets to see how you work. Meaning they can understand what types of questions you ask to get a better sense of what you’re building. And they can see how you navigate application structures to get started or if you write tests against your code to confirm the functionality.

Preparation truly is king

In your interview sessions you will tested against these things:

  • Your knowledge of the company
  • Your communication skills
  • Your experience in the role you are applying for
  • Your experience working with agile technology companies
  • Your experience working with teams similar to theirs
  • Your personal career goals

Expect a slightly confusing day but have confidence in your preparation

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