Which company’s interviews are more difficult: Facebook, Google, Apple or Dropbox?

So you have passed out of an engineering college or have done a software certification course! Great! Next what? Most of the engineers and programmers will naturally think about taking a job in the top tech companies  while a few of them will be bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.

Out of 100 software engineers who pass out, only 1 percent go on to open a startup, while 99 percent of them go on to join some tech firm. This post is for those 99 percent. After they have decided to take up a job in a tech company like Facebook, Google, Apple or Dropbox, the only obstacle between them and a lucrative career is the interview.

What do the HR guys from these top tech firms ask in an interview? Quora users tried to answer that so it could benefit the future crop of software engineers who try their hand at getting a job at Facebook, Google, Apple or Dropbox. Which interview is the most difficult of them all?

Shankar Joshi a Cloud Engineer at PYPL tries to solve this query. He has been an experienced campaigner so he knows what he is talking about. Here is his answer :

I ll try answering it in a different way. The difficulty is a measure that depends on the experience and expertise of the candidate. So let us focus on the overall experience of the interview sessions.

I have interviewed twice with Dropbox. I wouldn’t say it was difficult. But definitely better than any other interviews so far. Because I was clearly able to solve the questions (though with an added time limit) but you need a little more than good practice to get ideas for such questions. Really interesting if you are big fan of topcoder and the likes. Engineers at DBX are really clear on what they are looking for. You will be able to surely decide if the interview went well or bad even before they get back to you.

Facebook was surprisingly interesting as in the answers to most of the questions were pretty obvious. I personally wasn’t expecting such standards but the onsite totally depends on the team. My experience and few of my friends’ were totally different.

Google. Let’s see. Where do I start ? Do not get surprised if you are going to do great and end up getting no response from them like ever. You can read tons of such bad experiences online. You either end up getting a strange interviewer who doesn’t understand what you say or the other way. I myself encountered three people who had such experiences despite being fantastic coders. All such beautiful things aside, the questions were pretty easy. Onsite and phone.

To sum it up, compared over experiences – Dropbox > Facebook > Google.

Another Quora user, Jessica Shu who is an intern at Google Chrome says that :

I’ve interviewed with all three, and I would agree with most people that for coding question difficulty Dropbox >>> Google > Facebook.

However I did get a Dropbox offer despite missing a concurrency question. They also gave me a really complicated NP problem, which I didn’t realize was NP but managed a working solution while secretly freaking out about why I couldn’t optimize it. Honestly I almost said “fuck it I give up” halfway through that question but I’m glad I didn’t, I think they value persistence and ability to stay cool under pressure.

I also got a Google offer but did not get an offer from Facebook even though I answered the interview questions correctly, so I’m sure there are other factors at play with Facebook’s hiring process.

Lucy Geo, another intern, confirms what the above two have said.

By far Dropbox. They have one of the best engineering teams in the Valley.

I’ve heard on average Facebook has harder interviews than Google, but for me personally, Google gave me much more interesting questions.

Dropbox >>>>> Google == Facebook > Apple

So there you have it, Dropbox interviews are hardest to crack for the wannabe job seekers.

Here is a glimpse of the questions that are asked in these interviews so it can help you prepare for your D-day mentally. The answer is from Quora courtesy Amit Kumar, a professional HR guy.

Question 1:

Interviewer: have a cup of sugarless tea adding a teaspoonful of sugar.

Candidate: Initially he got bemused and thought for a few seconds, and added a teaspoonful of sugar into the tea cup and stirred well.

Secondly, he took one more teaspoonful of sugar and ate it to sweeten his mouth.

After sweetening his mouth, he started drinking the cup of tea which made the tea SUGARLESS.

As we all know, we feel sugarless to tea/coffee after consuming sweets.

Question 2:

Interviewer : There is one scooter which has 2 tyres and one stepney/spare (meaning 3 tyres). Each tyre can run up to max 5 km. How long will the scooter run till?

Candidate: Confused, one thought struck my mind that 5 kms obviously as scooter can’t run with one tyre. But if that would be the answer then the question shouldn’t be asked in that way. Thought for a while, did some calculations, then gave the answer as 7.5 kms.

Interviewer : How?

Candidate:

First run 2.5 km and change the 1st tyre with stepney. Now kms remains in 1st tyre: 2.5 km, 2nd tyre: 2.5 km, Stepney : 5 km
Again run for 2.5 km and this time change 2nd tyre with 1st tyre: Now kms remains 1st tyre: 2.5 km, 2nd tyre :0 km ,stepney : 2.5 km.
Now run 2.5 km with remaining 1st tyre and stepney .
Total: 2.5+2.5+2.5=7.5

Best of luck!