Getting job at your dream companies

A student wrote to me: “I graduate in Computer Science and would like to work for Google or Facebook. Is it possible to get a job with these companies? Please advise.

Answer: You did not mention where you are graduating from so it is difficult for me to give you advice. Assume that you are graduating from a U.S. university then you can apply to these companies directly. If you are graduating from a university outside of the U.S. then it would be difficult unless these companies are hiring in your country.

To get a job at any technology company you must apply first and get an interview. If you pass the interview, then you will get the job. Both Google and Facebook require strong programming skills in widely used languages such as Java, C++, Python, and JavaScript. Every interview starts with the evaluation of the programming skills where they will ask you to code a number of things.

If you do well in these programming evaluations, then they will test your skills in solving problems using data structures and algorithms where you have to solve several problems within a time-limited. If you do well in these evaluations then the next step will focus mostly on design questions within a specific domain to determine where would you fit to work in their company.

The last part of the interview mostly focuses on your personality, your communication skills, and your attitude to see whether you “fit” with the “Cultural aspect” of the company. If you can communicate clearly, show your passion to work there and appear confident and respectful, you will get the job. Based on my students who work there, problem-solving is the most important aspect of the interview as well as the “soft-skills” interview because some graduates who did well in the technical interviews often fail due to their lack of soft skills and may appear arrogant in the interview.

Sources

  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University

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