What's the right way to balance interviewing for FAANG roles when you have a full-time job? I've heard of people carving out their morning for an interview or interview prep, so dedicating 2-3 hours. Is this reasonable? What's a minimum amount of time I should spend on interview prep or interview every day?
This question assumes I don't have trouble getting interviews and have a few lined up. The prep I have in mind is the classic DSA/Leetcode, systems design, behavioural, mock interviews, etc.
What has helped me is to put simply is have a routine, that's it. I know this isnt something you asked, but to be honest it boils down to this. Sure, personal life differs and not all can have this “luxury” per se. I will share what I have been doing since start of this year. Not getting any calls, neither have any scheduled. But, to be honest I am not focusing on them as I am still preparing; I would like to focus on the grind before committing to interviews.
Now, since that is addressed here is what I do on a weekdays:
Come weekend, you guessed it, do all of that but try to spend more time think 4+ hours (following my pomodoro). And, this repeats. I try not to mix my work times with preparation times, yes i know its very difficult, some are early birds, but i realized i am a night owl 🤷♂️.
Tl;dr time: It's ok if you solve 1 easy, its ok if you dont solve anything: Point is, when i come home either tired or amped up, I bloody make sure my motivation doesn't die to open the laptop and take that extra mile to open leetcode, i at the very least read a blog post of folks who “made it”, that keeps me going.
Hope this helps. Sorry if I went on a tangent in answering your query. Happy to chat/answer more.
Please note I haven’t mentioned about behavior/system design, as i am too early in my prep. Sorry for not seeing that
At a high-level, I strongly recommend doing whatever it takes to meet expectations at your current job and then routing most of your remaining energy (on weekdays) into interview prep.
To add more color to this, here was my strategy back when I was on the interview grind:
I cover all this more in this video: [Masterclass] How To Ace Your Big Tech Interview - Data Structures And Algorithms
Here's some good resources on maximizing your productivity on the job to hit the expectations bar: