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How to tackle behavioral interview questions for Staff level at FAANG?

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Staff Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

How do they differentiate between senior and Staff in the interview process. What areas of STAR I should focus on while answering these questions and how to prepare for this round?

I see some companies have the first round where they decide on this

Any pointers on existing recording would help too.



  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    Develop a very strong understanding of what an L6 looks like and work backwards to craft your narrative. Here are some resources to help there:

    From an L6, I would expect the following:

    • Experience leading multiple teams (at least 2 teams, ideally 3+) with a scope of 15+ engineers
    • Track record creating scope out of thin air and convincing many stakeholders (including management up to Director level) to put it on the roadmap
    • Long-term vision, operating on the 1 year+ time-scale with huge projects
    • Able to solve extremely complex technical problems (more on the infra-side, things that can't be Googled-through at all)

    If you don't have any stories that match those criteria, that's perfectly fine as Big Tech L5 still pays extremely well, usually more than Staff at non-Big Tech companies. I really don't recommend making up a story in this case, because if you have never operated equivalent to a Big Tech L6 before, you will likely get PIP-ed immediately if you were to get in as L6 somehow (especially given the current climate).

    Here's some more specific resources:

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a month ago

    This is not about behavioral interviews, but this blog post from Evan King about Staff-level system design interviews has some transferable knowledge: Standing Out in Staff Level System Design Interviews

    In particular, the section about "Beauty in Simplicity"