Eric got an offer as a Senior software engineer at Meta

Headshot of Eric
Name Eric H
New Position Senior software engineer at Meta
Location Remote
Date of Offer December 2021
Coaching Sessions 4

What most excites you about your new job?

Improving software used by millions of users.

Where were you previously?

Social Fabriq, Inc.

What was your preparation strategy?

I spent about 100 hours preparing, spread unevenly over 10 weeks. For coding: I started with random Leetcode problems to get a ballpark of my current level. Using a stopwatch to see how many medium-level problems I could solve in 20 minutes, I realized I needed to practice nearly every study area as my current speed wouldn't get me through a single real interview. I captured the list of the 12+ styles of questions that could be asked. I then practiced/studied a couple hours before or after the workday and on weekends. Any question that took me over 30 minutes to solve I would mark down to reattempt in later weeks. After I got more familiar with approaches, I would skip actually coding the answers when a problem used a near similar approach I already solved. After my self-study was completed, I completed the Grokking the Coding interview course, and then scheduled a practice coding interview to validate that I was ready and could perform against pressure. The result of that interview had me adjust my final studies to better understand a long list of core data structures so I could deal with verbal questions as I was coding. For system design: I watched videos, completed grokking the system (and advanced variant) design interview course, and practice interviews until I was able to pass while attempting to answer problems I had not studied. For behavioral: I had some practice sessions with non-technical people who had interviewing experience. I booked a coach to walk through my experience and help organize and practice my stories.

What was the hardest part of the whole interview process?

Gaining the confidence to step into the real interviews knowing I was fully ready for whatever came at me. There is no substitute for sitting in front of a non-friend technical expert who can judge and provide objective feedback on all parts of your interview performance.

Was there a question from any of the interviews that stood out?

Through all my interviews, everything I was asked was something I had not practiced or seen exactly before. Yet it was close enough to what I did prepare against that I could bring the approaches I had studied to the table with confidence and speed. I was not asked any trick or unexpected questions, but there were still novel and challenging to get through, even with all the preparation.

What advice would you give to other candidates?

Plan out your timeline, be efficient with your mock interviews. Plan to complete your self-study followed by a mock interview to validate your preparations. Make sure you have at least a week left to complete any follow-up studies needed following the mock interview.

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