Balancing Job Applications vs. Interview-Prep?

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Data Engineer at Financial Company6 months ago

In applying for jobs, how do I strike the right balance between prepping for the few interviews that I have, while also trying to get more interviews? There is a temptation to go heavy prepping for the interviews I have with mocks and leetcode so that I can ace them. However, if I only prep for my 1 or 2 interviews, if I end up getting them, I won't have as much leverage as I would have by having 5+ offers like Rahul and others got. I know that that's the ideal. I know that there are unique circumstances for everyone in terms of how many interviews people can get from a bunch of applications based on where they are in their career and how well they've done. Still, I don't think I'm managing my time properly and I'm focusing too much on prep right now and don't have enough simultaneous interviews.

Part of it is that I'm focusing too much on getting referrals rather than just applying, while part of it is that job apps are often more than just uploading a resume and submitting. Often, they want you to answer some questions about why you think you're a good fit for the role and what made you interested in the company and other such questions. Even if they don't ask these questions, the mere process of applying to multiple roles on the same site can take a few minutes of filling out the same checkboxes and text fields for each position.

I feel like I should just sit down on a Sunday and pound through the ~80 Big Tech companies on my list, and then this will be a moot point. Prob the solution right there.

Lastly, I know this is a terrible time to apply to Big Tech, so I know that is a factor in getting interviews.

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  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    6 months ago

    I feel like I should just sit down on a Sunday and pound through the ~80 Big Tech companies on my list, and then this will be a moot point. Prob the solution right there.

    This sounds like a good idea, hehe. Just turn a weekend into a massive focus block where you get into an application flow state to get it all out of the way in 1 go!

    In terms of the balance between getting more interviews and prepping for existing interviews, my logic is pretty much this:

    1. If you're not doing great in interviews due to lack of preparation, then reduce the volume (apply less)
    2. If you're doing fine in interviews (i.e. you're able to usually leave interviews fairly confident that you didn't embarrass yourself), then keep the volume as is (assuming you have a steady flow)

    In terms of what a steady flow is, I consider it 2-3 per week. If you're doing 1 interview per week or less, than you should probably try to increase volume. You generally want concurrent interviews to maximize the chances of getting multiple offers for negotiation anyways.

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