Here's what it's like to interview at the 5 biggest companies in tech, according to current employees

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It’s not impossible to land your dream job at one of the nation’s biggest tech companies – but be prepared for a long and rigorous process.

To gain insight into the interview experience at some of tech’s most important companies, the career-data site Comparably surveyed 6,463 current employees at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

Comparably found that the process varies considerably from company to company. At Apple, candidates should “expect to be turned away a few times” and know that it might take “a few years” to land a job, while at Facebook, engineers can show up for an interview in “whatever is most comfortable,” including a T-shirt and jeans.

Here’s how current employees rated the interview process at five of the biggest tech companies in the world.


Employees rated Apple and Microsoft as having the best interview processes overall.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesA visitor at Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Employees gave Apple and Microsoft the highest ratings when it comes to the overall interview process.

Apple – 90 out of 100

Microsoft – 90 out of 100

Google – 88 out of 100

Amazon – 87 out of 100

Facebook – 83 out of 100


Google employees said their interview process was “difficult.”

Most Google employees surveyed found the interview process to be difficult or very difficult. In contrast, 30% of Amazon employees described the process as easy or very easy.

Amazon

Very difficult – 17%

Difficult – 24%

Average – 29%

Easy – 17%

Very easy – 13%

Apple

Very difficult – 12%

Difficult – 36%

Average – 32%

Easy – 12%

Very easy – 8%

Facebook

Very difficult – 16%

Difficult – 26%

Average – 37%

Easy – 5%

Very easy – 16%

Google

Very difficult – 19%

Difficult – 30%

Average – 25%

Easy – 18%

Very easy – 8%

Microsoft

Very difficult – 11%

Difficult – 36%

Average – 48%

Easy – 5%

Very easy – 0%


Many employees ended up getting the job after simply applying online.

Courtesy of Brittany StantonAn employee at Amazon’s headquarters.

Overall, most current employees at the companies said they landed a job interview by applying online, except at Google and Microsoft. And Facebook, for example, had the highest percentage among the companies of employees who said they got an interview by networking.

Amazon

Applied online – 39%

Referral – 14%

Recruiter – 32%

Other – 12%

Networking – 3%

Apple

Applied online – 34%

Referral – 29%

Recruiter – 10%

Other – 17%

Networking – 10%

Facebook

Applied online – 29%

Referral – 24%

Recruiter – 19%

Other – 9%

Networking – 19%

Google

Applied online – 23%

Referral – 18%

Recruiter – 39%

Other – 11%

Networking – 9%

Microsoft

Applied online – 17%

Referral – 26%

Recruiter – 30%

Other – 13%

Networking – 14%


Microsoft has the quickest average response time after an interview.

Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesA Microsoft employee at the company’s headquarters.

Expect Google to take a few weeks to get back to you after your interview. At Microsoft, however, you might hear back the same day.

Amazon

Same day – 12%

Within a week – 47%

One or two weeks – 22%

Two to four weeks – 10%

Four or more weeks – 9%

Apple

Same day – 11%

Within a week – 42%

One or two weeks – 31%

Two to four weeks – 4%

Four or more weeks – 12%

Facebook

Same day – 15%

Within a week – 42%

One or two weeks – 16%

Two to four weeks – 11%

Four or more weeks – 16%

Google

Same day – 11%

Within a week – 5%

One or two weeks – 35%

Two to four weeks – 30%

Four or more weeks – 19%

Microsoft

Same day – 23%

Within a week – 55%

One or two weeks – 10%

Two to four weeks – 10%

Four or more weeks – 2%


Employees at Facebook and Google go through the most interviews before being offered a job.

FacebookFacebook employees in the company’s offices in Hyderabad, India.

At Google, candidates may have to go through five or more interviews before getting a job offer. At Amazon, however, potential employees may have to do only one or two interviews.

Amazon

One or two interviews – 61%

Three or four interviews – 11%

Five or more interviews – 28%

Apple

One or two interviews – 53%

Three or four interviews – 30%

Five or more interviews – 17%

Facebook

One or two interviews – 40%

Three or four interviews – 36%

Five or more interviews – 24%

Google

One or two interviews – 34%

Three or four interviews – 27%

Five or more interviews – 39%

Microsoft

One or two interviews – 49%

Three or four interviews – 19%

Five or more interviews – 32%


Employees at Facebook and Google overwhelmingly said the interview process gave them a good idea of the company culture.

While 85% of Facebook employees said they got a good sense of the company culture, Apple employees were more split.

Amazon – 67% say yes, 33% say no

Apple – 46% say yes, 54% say no

Facebook – 85% say yes, 15% say no

Google – 79% say yes, 21% say no

Microsoft – 70% say yes, 30% say no

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