Published on December 7th, 2022
FAANG hiring: How Top Companies Secure Capable Employees
You’re probably looking for answers on how to crack a tech interview or how to land a job in some of the most desirable workspaces like Facebook, Netflix, Google etc. Well, here’s a blog that will tell just how to do it and what you need to about FAANG hiring. But…
What is FAANG hiring? FAANG is the abbreviation arising from the five major tech companies in the global market, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, respectively. They are also referred to as the “Big Five”. They are notorious for having an extremely low rate of acceptance, while also providing some of the most lucrative packages and benefits for those who do qualify. This creates a highly competitive environment with thousands of aspiring applicants every year. To determine the most skilled applicants of the lot, FAANG interviews consist of multiple stages, each aiming to test a particular aspect of the applicant. On average, an entry-level position may require a candidate to go through around 10 - 15 rounds of testing.
The process of FAANG hiring To understand the various components of FAANG hiring let's break it down into the major categories. They are - Pre-Screening Technical Testing Interviews Pre-Screening - This refers to the stage at which the applicant’s resume is reviewed. A recruiter selects promising candidates and coordinates with them to set up the screening process. This may include an interview where some basic questions regarding the candidate and the field applied for are asked. The resume is extremely important at this stage. An up-to-date resume that has the applicant’s accomplishments, skills and work experience can make or break their chances to obtain employment.
It is also important to note that FAANG hiring has a preference for specific skill sets and certifications. These are either courses that they provide for the public or industry standard courses that are sought after by employees. These range from specific software and the technical know-how associated with it to personal skills that optimize workflow. Here’s a tip: emphasize on these when dealing with FAANG hiring to boost the chances of a successful hire. Technical Testing - The test round involves around 5 to 7 individual tests determining the candidate’s practical skill. Each test lasts around 40 mins and gauges the candidate’s ability to provide quality work under a time constraint. Coding skills are tested throughout while the candidate is given problems specifically in Data Structure Algorithms and System Design. The questions get progressively more difficult without an increase in the time allotted. Thus it would be wise to stay calm and keep a track of the time left. In the case of candidates applying for management-level jobs, tests may be added or substituted for assessing the skills pertinent to the position. These include conflict resolution, knowledge of their domain, team management, etc. Interviews - In the case of FAANG hiring they are broken down into HR and technical interviews Technical Interviews - This interview measures the candidate’s grasp of their field beyond the coding tests administered to them. A candidate may be asked their preferred coding language or how they would approach finding a solution to a hypothetical issue. A candidate who possesses a good amount of theoretical knowledge and problem-solving skills can clear this without much worry. HR Interviews - This helps the company understand the candidate's eagerness to work for them. It lets the company know how well the candidate would fit in in the work environment and how aware they are of the company’s values, goals and benefits. Domains that are a must Data Structure and Algorithms - Having an excellent grasp of data structure and algorithms is a must when it comes to FAANG hiring. A vast majority of the technical questions a candidate is asked come from this domain. Therefore an ideal candidate needs to prioritize this in their preparations. They must understand data structure and be well-versed with the terms specific to it such as stack, node, queue, trees, etc. In the case of algorithms, a good candidate must possess knowledge about their analysis, programming, sorting, searching, etc. When presented with a problem they should be able to write an algorithm that is functional and efficient at solving it. Key concepts such as dynamic programming, backtracking, and divide and conquer should be brushed up on. Coding Skills - A practical assessment of a candidate’s coding skills is a part of every FAANG hiring endeavour. A candidate’s skill at coding is what separates them from other candidates who possess the same amount of theoretical knowledge. Proficiency in coding is something that develops over time as one continues to put theoretical knowledge into practice. Therefore this is a good way for the company to gauge the candidate’s interest in their field. Candidate needs to have a measure of their skill level in coding when compared to what the industry requires as it tells them whether they are ready to apply for FAANG yet. Coding is a skill that one gets better at with practice which is why a candidate needs to apply the theoretical knowledge they possess to practical use in order to grow and prove themselves in their quest to attain employment. System Design and Database Management Systems - Questions about system design are also common in FAANG interviews. It is expected that a candidate would know how to design a system and implement it as well. It is required to be modifiable so that changes and new features can be added as seen fit and it fulfils the needs specified. An ideal candidate would also be able to address any issues that arise in this process.SQL queries and software architecture should not be an issue for the ideal candidate.
GitHub as a source of material There is a multitude of online resources available for those trying to get into a FAANG company. FAANG hiring is notorious for a low acceptance rate but this means that there are a huge population of applicants, who despite not being selected, can provide us with valuable insight into the FAANG hiring process. An excellent source of free resources available to all is GitHub. Many prior applicants have uploaded interview questions onto the site along with solutions and notes. There are also resources available for every coding language applicable, practice tests, coding challenges, etc. It also acts as a forum for those who have doubts and need clarification. As mentioned before, an individual’s skill at coding gets better with practice and GitHub provides them with theoretical knowledge as well as practice tests to hone their skills. What is the point of FAANG hiring? FAANG hiring is unique in the sense that it is a reliable way of testing a potential employee's skill without relying on what they tell you. FAANG hiring is an exhaustive process and follows multiple steps that all need to be planned out and coordinated. This can be time-consuming and strenuous but has the result that the company has a set time in which it hires individuals and can also have a potential list of candidates, who depending on the circumstances, can be referred back to. This is important as in the event of an employee leaving or being fired, their position can be taken over by another who assuredly has the same level of skill. Having a hiring period rather than hiring when the company needs employees, brings a new element into the work culture, where employees are aware of when new faces will join them and can accordingly plan sessions to get them introduced and inducted into their position. Companies can have ice-breaking sessions, orientation programs, etc and can make preparations and schedule them beforehand. This makes the post-hiring period more efficient as new employees can interact with current employees and feel more comfortable working in their new position. The importance of merit-based hiring The testing process also guarantees the merit of the employees hired, which reveals its value in the long term. Imposter syndrome is a condition in which employees feel the inability to internalize and accept their success. This is often reported by employees who are hired on their qualifications and are unable to cope with the needs and rules of their new employers. Merit-based hiring reduces the incidence of this as employees are thoroughly tested prior to their employment. Candidates are often presented with scenarios that they would face while working in the company and when they succeed in solving them their confidence in their employment rises. Therefore preventing imposter syndrome is another benefit of hiring companies the way FAANG does. What we learn from FAANG hiring By analyzing different aspects of FAANG hiring, the importance of prep work and shifting values in the job market can be understood. The thorough nature of their hiring practices shows us how the top companies in the market are testing their potential employees to ensure a capable workforce. FAANG hiring does not entirely rely on a candidate’s resume. In fact, the resume is only a part of the pre-screening process in which the shortlisting happens. The tests and interviews are where the real challenge lies, following which the company decides whether to hire the candidate or not. When compared to the norm that has existed in the job market for decades of hiring someone solely based on their education or work experience, the nature of FAANG hiring is a breath of fresh air. The tests administered to them show us that merit-based hiring or skills-first hiring is taking priority in the job market. And it makes sense. If you are at the top of the market, your employees have to be better than the companies they have worked at because otherwise why would they be there? The rigorous tests just provide them with the credibility of it. This mentality is something that more companies should adopt, as the value of their own work should be more important to them than companies that their employees have previously been employed. Another aspect, which boosts employee productivity and reduces conflicts is the HR interview. Apart from being the standard salary discussion, it also plays a vital role in categorizing candidates as those who fit the company's work culture and those who do not. This in effect helps the company in the long run, decreasing employee turnover, improving employee branding and ensuring that communication within the work environment will be more hassle-free. To conclude, FAANG hiring shows us trends that are being followed at the top of the game. It is beneficial to learn from these and learn how to hire and be hired better. Proving an employee's merit is not only beneficial for the company but for all the employees as well. Promoting a skill-based hiring practice seems to be the ideal direction for companies to venture in. The need for skill in coding is not limited to software engineer positions and with automation and technology on the rise, it is relevant to learn coding in this age. The rising trend of merit-based hiring is also notable as it reveals a changing trend in hiring practices all over the globe.
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