How to start preparation for MAANG companies?
Do you dream about Microsoft? Do you think usually about Google? Do you talk Netflix? Are you a huge fan of Apple? And, Are you a Software Engineer? Then you must have once thought of attempting FAANG interviews or as we now call MAANGMULA… i.e. Meta, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb. Then this article is for you on how to start the preparation for MAANG tech interviews.
Why read this article?
The MAANG interview process is not an easy-to-go task, and to crack it, you need to be prepared really well with all the required tech or non-tech skills. There is a lot of content available online. But all that content is talking more about the preparation of the tech interviews, important questions, and interview experiences. But what to do on the very first day of preparation? What should be your planning behind the interview preparation and how to follow it? This article is written so that you won’t fall into the preparation chaos without any roadmap and guidance.
Do In-Depth Research About the Company and Targeted Job Profile
Even if the company is in the MAANG group, it is not necessary to have the same work-culture, interview pattern, salary range, and career growth opportunities. Do proper research before selecting the company as your target company for interview preparation. Following are the few things which I believe must do before starting the preparation:
- Read company work-culture reviews for your desired role on GlassDoor.com.Do not fall for fancy videos of company tours. Try to read all negative comments about the company.
- Connect to current employees on LinkedIn. Make sure that you connect to the right employee i.e. a person with around 3+ years in that even particular company.
- Connect to ex-employees on LinkedIn. Ask them important questions about work culture, salary, appraisals, career growth opportunities, and what made them leave that particular company.
- Read company interview experiences. It is a best practice to read about interview experiences and make notes of asked questions. Once you do that you will realize the pattern in the asked questions.
This research will help you to prioritize your dream companies and make your planning more focused.
Start Granular Level Planning
Creating a detailed roadmap is a must for any interview preparation. Now the question arises is how to make this roadmap and what to include. Following are a few things which suppose to be must-have in the roadmap of FAANG interview preparation:
- Understanding Primitive Data Structures like integers, char, double(float), boolean, byte.
- Understanding Non-Primitive Linear Data Structures like arrays, stacks, queues
- Implementation of Data Structures like maths operations, incrementing/decrementing, searching an array, and creating stacks and queues from an array.
- Understanding Non-Primitive Non-Linear Data Structures like graphs and trees.
- Implementation of Non-Primitive Non-Linear Data Structures like trees traversal, finding loops in the graph.
- Time and Space Complexities of each data structure.
- Try to learn one programming language in-depth. FAANG companies do not ask for a particular programming language but be sure to learn a single programming language in-depth so that you won’t waste your time in syntax errors.
- Understanding basic algorithms like searching and sorting
- Understanding advanced algorithms like backtracking, knapsack, and traveling salesman.
- Practice previously asked questions
- Design Patterns
- Clean code and SOLID principles
- System Design of simple products
- Low-level Design (LLD)
- Computer Network basics
- Operating System basics
- DBMS Types and Comparison
- DBMS queries
- System Designs of complex scalable products
- High-level Design (HLD)
- Resumé Creation and Review from Recruiter Friend and Recruitment Portals
- Research Behavioral and Culture-fit interview round
- Practice coding with mock interviews
- Practice system design with mock interviews
- Practice Behavioral round with mock interviews
Make sure to keep yourself calm and relaxed in the complete journey as it is surely lengthy but very fruitful. A few ways to keep yourself relaxed are;
- Take care of your health in the process. Do continuous exercise and yoga.
- Understand that there are many candidates like you who are also in the same struggle.
- Keep updating your roadmap as with time you will explore what is working and what is not.
- Keep measuring your progress and try to be on track with your roadmap.
- Practice mock interviews with people who can give very honest feedback.
Biggest mistakes to avoid while preparing for the MAANG interview
MAANG interview preparation is a long journey and thus can be full of mistakes. The only way to reduce these mistakes is to learn from others and avoid common mistakes. Following are a few which I have also committed:
- Not giving enough time to learn the concepts. It is always a rush to practice more and more questions, especially with the trend of competitive programming. Instead of solving more questions, I found learning a concept and then practicing questions on that concept more fruitful. For example — instead of solving 20 questions of trees, learn tree traversal techniques and learn their implementation before jumping in competitive programming (CP)
- Not time-boxing the questions. It may happen that while solving the interview practice problems you get many difficult questions. Not being able to solve such questions in the very first go is quite common. Don’t underestimate yourself at such times. Also, don’t spend more than the required time on such questions. Time box each question depending on your interview preparation time and then try solving it in that duration only. If not able to solve then see the solution, check forums, and discuss this question with your friends. Just focus on understanding the solution approach afterward and notice what you were missing while solving the such question.
- Getting influenced by negativity. There will be many people in your surrounding who will not discourage you from time to time from preparing for tech giants. Try to stay away from such negativity and focus on your roadmap. Everything is achievable if you are on track with the plan.
Best Practices of Tech Interview Preparation
There are some things that work like magic in tech interview preparation. I am a very big fan of using proven concepts and thus vouch for these magic salts:
- Discuss with Experts and clear your doubts properly. If it is possible, don’t wait too long before asking questions to experts so that you can focus more on learning concepts and practicing.
- Focus on the concepts. Interviews for tech giants are not very straightforward. It is the combination of tech skills, thinking approach, and communications. Thus it is very important that you are clear with the basics of data structures and their implementations. Strengthen your basics about systems by understanding each concept around the network and designing. Try to explain your learning to a naive software developer and see if you can explain them properly. Also, this will give you the opportunity to face many unexpected questions.
- Practice lots of mock interviews. This will help you in facing the main interview as an easy-peasy task. You would be in the interview grind so many times that facing one more interview will be nothing for you. Make sure to work on each mock interview feedback.
Lastly, I know that interview preparation is lengthy work and a bit tiring journey. But if you have a clear path on how to prepare, your journey will be more productive.
Let me know if you want a mock interview of your preparation for MAANG companies. You can find me at TheThrivingCareer.Com