10-Step Guide for Literally ANYONE to Land a 6-Figure FAANG Job (Part 4 - Final)
Level 3 - DeFi Virgin Analyst
Home Stretch! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and here is the final.
If you are autistic, here is a near exhaustive list of over 200+ behavioral questions. This includes a few diversity questions you should think about so you are not caught completely off-guard.
Here are some common ones:
Why do you want this job?
What's a tough problem you've solved?
Biggest challenges faced?
Best/worst designs seen?
Ideas for improving an existing product
How do you work best, as an individual and as part of a team?
Which of your skills or experiences would be assets in the role and why?
What did you most enjoy at [job x / project y]?
What was the biggest challenge you faced at [job x / project y]?
What was the hardest bug you faced at [job x / project y]?
What did you learn at [job x / project y]?
What would you have done better at [job x / project y]?
If you are coming from a different field, you must be careful if they ask you why you became interested in software. You should not talk about money or eventually wanting to jump to a startup or Blockchain/Crypto/Web3 company. You want the interviewer to think that you are committed.
A good answer should focus on a passion for software and an increasingly technological world. You want to emphasize that you are interested in learning as a non-computer science person to learn the skills required to have the potential to impact the group. You can also mention that you want to work with intelligent and high-achieving people, and want to push yourself. The goal is to come off as a positive, ambitious person without being too arrogant.
Here is an adaptation of a WSO answer:
I do not regret majoring in art history. That said, my interests have evolved towards more analytically challenging pursuits. This past year, I’ve taken more computer science and math classes, and believe that software engineering is an exciting challenge that marries my interests in critical thinking and quantitative analysis.
Specifically, software engineering interests me because it presents an opportunity to develop substantive analytical skills, while developing a close network of colleagues. While working long hours is scary to some, to me, it is in a strange way exciting. I have a very strong work ethic, and I am excited to be involved in work that helps companies scale their technology.
Obviously do not be this fake, but notice how this person frames their liberal arts background as a positive. You may also consider mentioning various transferable skills that you learned such as analytical writing. Do not just say “writing” because it is far too vague. The more specific, the better.
Questions You Can Ask
You must always have at least one or two questions for the interviewer. Personally, I use the Q&A period to have a conversation with the interviewer and build rapport.
Here are some example questions I found online, but I suggest coming up with your own:
Have you ever had someone from my background? If yes, how did they compare to someone with a computer science background?
What attracted you to the company and what made you stay?
What would I be working on in the first few months here?
How large is your team?
What does your dev cycle look like? Do you do waterfall/sprints/agile?
Are rushes to deadlines common? Or is there flexibility?
How are decisions made in your team?
How many meetings do you have per week?
Do you feel your work environment helps you concentrate?
What are you working on?
What do you enjoy about it?
First, watch YouTube videos of people doing practice interviews:
Then, apply to low-paying, no-name companies that you would never join in order to practice. Or just apply to random startups. If you are a student, you can also go to your career center and do a practice interview as frequently as you want with different people.
For behavioral practice specifically, you can apply to roles or industries that you have no interest in joining, such as data analytics or consulting, but it may be harder if you are unable to get past the initial screening.
For technical interviews specifically, use Pramp. Phenomenal resource. You may also ask the people that you are networking with to do practice with you, but try to be a bit more prepared for these so you avoid embarrassing yourself or ruining a referral.
There are also many online communities that can help. Search and ask around in the tech blogs I mentioned in the networking section. Or try one of these Discord servers:
10. The Offer
Offers have 1–4 week deadlines for your decision. You can usually ask for an extension.
If you get rejected, do not be resentful. Thank the interviewer and ask them when you may reapply. You may have just had a bad day. Interviewers will sometimes reach out to give you a second chance if they liked you, or they will expedite your next application based on prior performance.
If you decline an offer, be extremely polite. You may want to work for the company or hiring manager in a few years, or they can become business clients of yours.
When you evaluate a compensation package, ensure you take all of these into account:
Cost of Living
Equity via stock options and grants. Remember vesting period
Insurance such as health and dental
Think about the long-term value as well. In other words:
Company in growth or in decline
Management opportunities (if applicable)
Is it a place you like?
Could you find a job nearby if you left the company?
What you are working on
Who you are working with
How much you are working
FAANG companies will always lowball you, and it is difficult to get them to budge. Google is notorious for this because they sell prestige, similar to Goldman Sachs. Having multiple offers helps. Always let them share their rate first and never share your previous compensation because it will act as a ceiling rather than a floor. Additionally, the better you do during the interview, the more they are willing to budge on TC.
Patrick McKenzie has, by far, the best software engineering salary negotiation article that I’ve read. HackerNews also has great posts on negotiation. Read them and do your best. No shame in avoiding negotiation for entry-level positions.
Sly Fox Tip: If you are an entry-level employee, I would not try too hard on salary negotiation because you just want to break-in to the industry first. If you want to do a little nudge, simply say something along the lines of:
“I’m incredibly grateful for this offer and would love to work here. I only hesitate because of the compensation. I’m the primary breadwinner for my entire family, and I have massive student loans that are stressful. I have another offer from (company) (optional: mention they are offering $X higher salary). Is there any way you might be able to do better than the current offer? It would make this decision much easier.”
This is a bit supplicating, but minimizes the risk of the hiring manager getting offended and rescinding the offer. Note: One-time perks such as signing bonus are easier to negotiate than salary.
Congrats! That’s it! You will need to know more on how to perform on-the-job, but that will be for another time. Best of luck and feel free to leave your questions below
There you have it! Follow BowtiedFox on Twitter and check out his stubstack for more info on Tech please leave your comments here and we can see if there is interest in this industry!
Disclaimer: None of this is to be deemed legal or financial advice of any kind. These are *opinions* written by an anonymous group of Ex-Wall Street Tech Bankers who moved into affiliate marketing and e-commerce. BowTiedFox is an anon tech industry individual.
FAANG companies require vax so no dice home slice
Great series. Quite similar to how I broke into FAANG 10 years ago. What I would do differently
* More breadth on algos, was light on dynamic programming. Fox put together a great list, far less tedious than the canonical textbooks.
* More time practicing coding. LeetCode did not exist
* Obtain higher comp by timing competing offers and jumping companies every 2-3 years
Overall happy but was declined by Tier 0 firms. Big difference IMO is typical peers who went Tier 0 think far bigger and more aggressively when it comes to hard work and career.
FAANG culture was foreign and it took me a while to see merits of "work-life balance". Although more aggressive East Coast vibe would have been more compatible with BTB philosophy of making it first before enjoying life. Still working on making it.