The onsite is typically the last stage with a company in the interviewing process. If you do well here you should expect to receive the offer. You should expect to spend between 4-7 hours at the office. You will meet a lot of people and be asked a lot of questions. There are several types of interviews you will encounter that day:
- Algorithm: Similar format and difficulty as the technical screen. See the section on Algorithm Interview
- UI: For front-end/UI engineers. Also similar format and difficulty as the technical screen. See the section on Algorithm Interview
- System Design: This interview is especially important for leveling. It's crucial you clarify the objective for this interview. See the section on System Design
- Experience: This interview is also used for leveling. See the section on Experience Interview
- Hiring Manager: In this interview you will hopefully meet your prospective manager. In some places the hiring manager interview will be identical to the experience interview. In any case, make sure your answers convey signal and scope for your target level. This is also your opportunity to get a feel for your manager. Evaluate whether they would be a good fit for you.
- Wrap-up: Your last interviews for the day will most likely be a wrap-up and walk-out with the recruiter. They will usually ask you how it went. Feel free to be honest but always maintain a positive attitude. Make sure to inquire about next steps, this communicates your interest in getting the offer.
Having a positive attitude throughout the day is essential. You want to come in radiating confidence and warmth. Not only will interviewers evaluate your technical ability, they will also evaluate whether they want to work with you. If you find yourself faltering during an interview, keep pushing forward. Never give up. Always maintain a can-do attitude if the interview goes poorly. Stay upbeat. Do not bring self-doubt or negativity into the next interview. One stellar performance can make up for a poor interview. Always be on, be confident, and be positive.
After the onsite, update your external status and internal progress documents. Similar to the screen stage, identify what went well and what you can do better. Incorporate these learning into your next onsites. If you find yourself performing very poorly reschedule your later onsites. You want to be confident by the time you do your onsites with your top companies.
Timing-wise, we recommend you batch all your onsites over a two to three week period. You should start your onsites after you've completed all your screens. Two to three onsites per week is a good cadence. If confident, feel free to go up to four a week. Beware of burnout though -- onsites take a lot of energy. You want to ensure you are upbeat and energetic for each one. If possible, try to have at least one day in-between onsites to rest and reflect.
After you've completed all your onsites it's onto choosing where you want to work and ultimately negotiating the right package!