Interview questions for ECE engineers

Thread Starter

goutham1995

Joined Feb 18, 2018
99
Hi,

I have admits for graduate school programs in electrical and computer engineering in the US and would like to know how the interview process at FAANG companies will be. I know that CS folks would have to grind leetcode and all. Do we as electrical and computer engineers too need to learn DSA and stuff if we want to get into embedded systems/digital signal processing related fields? I want to make the most of the time I have right now before I begin my Masters. Thanks
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
2,351
I suggest that you decide what you really want to work at and then concentrate on what you need to know. Obviously if you are interested in digital signal processing related fields, you will need to learn about digital signal processing but make sure that you have a good understanding of all of the basic electronic subjects. You will need those for what ever specialization you decide on.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
18,409
I've never worried about interview questions. If my background and experience are valuable the questions won't matter. If they are not, why waste time in an interview.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
Hi,

I have admits for graduate school programs in electrical and computer engineering in the US and would like to know how the interview process at FAANG companies will be. I know that CS folks would have to grind leetcode and all. Do we as electrical and computer engineers too need to learn DSA and stuff if we want to get into embedded systems/digital signal processing related fields? I want to make the most of the time I have right now before I begin my Masters. Thanks
Gayle McDowell does the research and updates her book every year. She has one for developers, product managers and project managers at the FAANG companies. Everyone else reads the book before the interview so don't let other people tell you you can't prepare or don't need to prepare - you are now expected to prepare and considered lazy if you haven't read this book before interviewing at a FAANG company. FASNG interviewers don't cater to people who read the book but the book definitely tells you what to expect when going through the process.
https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Cod...t=&hvlocphy=9006283&hvtargid=pla-388890317700
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
18,409
Gayle McDowell does the research and updates her book every year. She has one for developers, product managers and project managers at the FAANG companies. Everyone else reads the book before the interview so don't let other people tell you you can't prepare or don't need to prepare - you are now expected to prepare and considered lazy if you haven't read this book before interviewing at a FAANG company. FASNG interviewers don't cater to people who read the book but the book definitely tells you what to expect when going through the process.
https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Cod...t=&hvlocphy=9006283&hvtargid=pla-388890317700
I guess I could never have worked for one of those companies because the effort exceeds what I would be willing to invest. I don't think I have missed much.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
I guess I could never have worked for one of those companies because the effort exceeds what I would be willing to invest. I don't think I have missed much.
Yeah, reading a book is not really worth the $300k annual compensation after the first year (salary, bonus, equity). Even the $130k starting salary makes reading a book tough to justify vs other options.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
18,409
Yeah, reading a book is not really worth the $300k annual compensation after the first year (salary, bonus, equity). Even the $130k starting salary makes reading a book tough to justify vs other options.
I'm making more now in retirement than I ever made while I was working, so I still haven't missed much.
 

Thread Starter

goutham1995

Joined Feb 18, 2018
99
Gayle McDowell does the research and updates her book every year. She has one for developers, product managers and project managers at the FAANG companies. Everyone else reads the book before the interview so don't let other people tell you you can't prepare or don't need to prepare - you are now expected to prepare and considered lazy if you haven't read this book before interviewing at a FAANG company. FASNG interviewers don't cater to people who read the book but the book definitely tells you what to expect when going through the process.
https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Cod...t=&hvlocphy=9006283&hvtargid=pla-388890317700
Thanks. But are these interview questions asked for even roles such as embedded systems/ digital signal processing etc? It seems that it is mostly for software development. What sort of questions are asked for electrical and computer engineers at FAANG?
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
Thanks. But are these interview questions asked for even roles such as embedded systems/ digital signal processing etc? It seems that it is mostly for software development. What sort of questions are asked for electrical and computer engineers at FAANG?
Well, most computer engineers hired by FAANG companies are not doing embedded systems.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
2,351
Why are you limiting your choice of employment to just 5 companies? They are all bottom line driven companies that cater to their shareholders, They are not among the best US hi-tech companies to work for. They are not the best paying companies and have a relatively high employee turn over. Their status is only measured by their profitability.
I advise you to spend a few minutes on-line to find the best US companies to work for.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
Why are you limiting your choice of employment to just 5 companies? They are all bottom line driven companies that cater to their shareholders, They are not among the best US hi-tech companies to work for. They are not the best paying companies and have a relatively high employee turn over. Their status is only measured by their profitability.
I advise you to spend a few minutes on-line to find the best US companies to work for.
These companies are the best filtering, best hiring process and having one of those companies listed on your resume gets you into companies that pay. Those high paying companies are listed as "highest salaries" because they poach top performers from FAANG companies. Get into a FAANG company if you can, get two promotions, step into a company that pays top dollar. Google is giving quarterly retention bonuses to some employees and driving their annual salary above $500k to write code.
Now, just because someone wants to work for a FAANG company doesn't mean they'll get in. Social Fit is a big part of the process.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
18,409
These companies are the best filtering, best hiring process and having one of those companies listed on your resume gets you into companies that pay. Those high paying companies are listed as "highest salaries" because they poach top performers from FAANG companies. Get into a FAANG company if you can, get two promotions, step into a company that pays top dollar. Google is giving quarterly retention bonuses to some employees and driving their annual salary above $500k to write code.
Now, just because someone wants to work for a FAANG company doesn't mean they'll get in. Social Fit is a big part of the process.
Not to mention the stress of trying to work in that environment. No thank you.
 

tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
876
First congratulations on getting accepted into a US graduate program - I'm curious which program. For embedded systems in FAANG I’d be studying a good mixture of analog and digital topics.

Hardware:
first and second order circuits - time and laplace domain
Basic opamp circuits
pcb manufacturing
basic non-linear circuits (diodes, transistors, etc.)
power supplies switching and linear
serial communication (hardware layer)

Firmware:
spoj.com <- I'd spend time here coding in C, Python, and asm
algorithms
multithreaded applications
Real-time operating systems
computer architectures
differences between different types of memory (cache, heap, stack, registers, etc.)
serial communication (software layer)

DSP:
FFT
Kalman Filters
State-Space Control Systems

I have found that first-semester graduate students, particularly international students, are generally stuck on finding the 'right' answer. Graduate school is about teaching that there are not 'right' answers and to think for yourself to make good decisions for the embedded system... not just learn how to code. If you keep that in mind while you go through your classes - (I.E. always think about how each class can be used to make a good embedded system) - then you will be setup for success.
 

Thread Starter

goutham1995

Joined Feb 18, 2018
99
First congratulations on getting accepted into a US graduate program - I'm curious which program. For embedded systems in FAANG I’d be studying a good mixture of analog and digital topics.

Hardware:
first and second order circuits - time and laplace domain
Basic opamp circuits
pcb manufacturing
basic non-linear circuits (diodes, transistors, etc.)
power supplies switching and linear
serial communication (hardware layer)

Firmware:
spoj.com <- I'd spend time here coding in C, Python, and asm
algorithms
multithreaded applications
Real-time operating systems
computer architectures
differences between different types of memory (cache, heap, stack, registers, etc.)
serial communication (software layer)

DSP:
FFT
Kalman Filters
State-Space Control Systems

I have found that first-semester graduate students, particularly international students, are generally stuck on finding the 'right' answer. Graduate school is about teaching that there are not 'right' answers and to think for yourself to make good decisions for the embedded system... not just learn how to code. If you keep that in mind while you go through your classes - (I.E. always think about how each class can be used to make a good embedded system) - then you will be setup for success.
Thank you. This will surely be of help to me! I have been accepted for graduate programs in Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, Stony Brook University and North Carolina State University.
 

tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
876
I don't know Stony Brook - not to say anything bad - rather, I cannot offer any opinion.
NCState is a good school and I'm sure has a good program.
VTech is a world class school with a well-respected Engineering program.

I would ask each of these schools what companies recruit heavily from them. See if their answer aligns with your desire to work at FAANG.

Note that Computer Engineering != Embedded Engineering... there are some things that are applicable to both disciplines, but Embedded is embedded because it is a fusion of hardware, software, and computer engineering. Most embedded engineers do not truly master any of these disciplines, but they know enough about them to design a system that utilizes each of them to achieve a goal.
 

Thread Starter

goutham1995

Joined Feb 18, 2018
99
I don't know Stony Brook - not to say anything bad - rather, I cannot offer any opinion.
NCState is a good school and I'm sure has a good program.
VTech is a world class school with a well-respected Engineering program.

I would ask each of these schools what companies recruit heavily from them. See if their answer aligns with your desire to work at FAANG.

Note that Computer Engineering != Embedded Engineering... there are some things that are applicable to both disciplines, but Embedded is embedded because it is a fusion of hardware, software, and computer engineering. Most embedded engineers do not truly master any of these disciplines, but they know enough about them to design a system that utilizes each of them to achieve a goal.
Thanks. I was going to choose Virginia Tech itself! It's good to hear good opinions about it. Yeah, I'm mostly an embedded engineer for now. I'm a jack of all trades but not an expert in anything. Am excited to delve deeper into the world of ECE
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
8,707
I have found that first-semester graduate students, particularly international students, are generally stuck on finding the 'right' answer. Graduate school is about teaching that there are not 'right' answers and to think for yourself to make good decisions for the embedded system... not just learn how to code. If you keep that in mind while you go through your classes - (I.E. always think about how each class can be used to make a good embedded system) - then you will be setup for success.
@tindel makes an excellent point - now that you have been through many of the basics and have shown that you can memorize methods and answers, what becomes important if you intend to advance is to analyze and make up your own answers so that you can progress beyond what you learned in school. It is amazing how hard it is (or was when I was hiring years ago) to find young engineers who can think on their feet rather than refer back to standard formulas and methods. Depending upon the kind of work you want to do, the ability to analyze and make up your own process for finding an answer may be your most important skill.
 
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