How To Overcome Being Rejected After Your Interview At A Big Tech Company

You need to build something.

Build a complicated, hulking four-month deliverable that nobody else commissioned and that nobody else will care about. Make a game, or model an elevator system, or an economic phenomenon. Put it on GitHub, but don’t expect anyone to look at it.You will learn so much, but that’s not where the most value comes from.

Building something big insulates your ego.

If you have built and shipped something cool and unique on your own, nobody can deny your identity as an engineer, even if you sometimes forget how to find all the subsets of an int array that sum to k.

This is so important — if you lose confidence that you actually belong at a strong company, you are dead in the water.

I’ve been where you’re at.

Spending months and months preparing for interviews, doggedly memorizing the cookbook answers for how to rotate a matrix, find anagrams, and so on. Cracking the Code Interview is an awesome book, but also reinforces the status quo of a certain kind of uninspired, assembly-line narrowness to the interview process.

It’s really sad that a lot of companies think this is the best way to screen people. I have to believe it’s not.

I’ve failed in more final round interviews than literally everyone else I can think of, and I bust my ass and write code after work and soak myself in engineering information.

But it’s OK.

Their loss. I’ve built stuff, and so many of the people I know who can close on these positions at FB, GOOG, etc have not. They are either scared to build from the ground up, or they continually start and can never push through to ship a project.

If I hadn’t built and shipped cool, difficult projects, I wouldn’t have this sense of validation and internal strength.

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