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Interview stages
Know what to expect to better utilize preparation time
You've probably heard about five, seven, or maybe even ten interviews that candidates have to go through to get an offer from FANG. Different companies have different numbers and types of interviews. But all interviews can be grouped into 3 stages that are common everywhere.

In this article, we'll go over the interview stages and what to expect from each group of interviews. Knowing expectations for each stage will help to allocate preparation time better.
Google receives over 3 million CVs every year. Only 0.2% are hired. The interview process is a machine to narrow down the pool of candidates to the best ones in just a few stages.
Recruiters conduct the pre-screens. The main goals are to do a sanity check, see how interested the candidate is in the role, and share key details about the role to get you interested.

A few things you can prepare before the call:
  • Have your elevator pitch ready; you should summarize your key professional achievements in 2 minutes. Check here for a few examples.
  • Make sure you can provide more details for any line of your CV. Structure your answer in the STAR format.
  • If you have numbers in your CV (and you should have them), make sure that the numbers in your verbal response match the CV. For instance, if you mention in your elevator pitch that you managed a team of 7 people, it should be the same 7 in your CV. Any inconsistencies in answers make you less trustworthy.
  • Prepare answers for questions like "Why did you decide to leave your last job?", "What are you looking for next?".

If you're actively looking for a new role and are being interviewed by other companies - mention it to the recruiter. You should explain that you want to keep interview stages aligned to get all offers simultaneously. It's absolutely fine to show that you want to get the best offer, don't be arrogant.
The screening stage may have one or more interviews, home tasks, or online assessments. The key goal is to identify only those candidates with the most chances to succeed in the final interview stage. Your future teammates conduct interviews.
You don't have the right for mistakes at this stage. You have to show good or great results to move to the next stage.
For engineering positions at FANG, screening is based on algorithmic problems. I always say that theory from Cracking The Code Interview + 200-300 solved problems on Leetcode should make you comfortable during the interview.

For marketing, it varies wildly. You can get some homework to prepare, CAT online assessment, or some specific field in marketing skill-based phone interview.

We'll cover more preparation tips in the next articles.
Final stage
The final stage or on-site loop (as it used to be before COVID) is a series of 4-6 interviews. The goal is to cover all work areas: technical skills, motivation, cultural fit, and any other skills needed in your day-to-day job. Usually, they happen in one day.

Each company and role will have its own unique combination of interviews. You can easily find details online or ask the recruiter what to expect.
Additional stages
The cost of a mistake of hiring the wrong person for companies is very high. Because of that, you can get an additional interview to go over areas where interviewers had inconclusive results. Don't worry. This shows that the company wants to hire you but double checks.
Keep reading
We just scratched the surface of the interview process. Here are a few resources that helped us a lot:
Action items

1. Write down your 3 minutes elevator pitch.

2. Read through the resources provided to build an understanding of what to expect at each stage.
In the next chapter, we'll share where you can get help with the interview preparation