Big Tech is having a bit of a bad time at the moment. Referring to the most dominant––and biggest––companies in the information technology sphere, tech’s giants include Alphabet , Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft.
What do these companies have in common? Apart from being behemoths with global reach and enormous revenues in the tens of billions, each of them, except Apple, has announced layoffs over the past number of months.
Alphabet has laid off 12,000 employees globally; Amazon has shed 18,000 roles and Meta’s cull amounts to 11,000 workers. Microsoft rounds out the numbers at around 11,000 laid off. Taken as a single figure from each firm, these numbers look scary, but there’s more nuance when you look at the wider picture.
For example, Meta had a headcount of around 58,000 in 2019. The company’s pandemic hiring spree increased its headcount to 87,000 by the third quarter of 2022. Layoffs amount to around 13 per cent of Meta’s global workforce, and represent what is being called, in some quarters, a “right-sizing” exercise to correct over-hiring during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” said Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai in a memo to staff on 20th January. Pichai also stated that layoffs “cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.”
While some workers will be let go, often across functions that include recruitment, marketing and sales, other roles, for example those identified as strategic or essential for growth, are still available. So, if you do have an interview for a big tech company, how should you approach it?
Firstly, know that the process will be long. You can expect to commit to anything from four to seven interviews as people all across the company meet you, set technical tests and assignments, and evaluate whether you’re a culture fit or not. After all that, you may be required to come to a physical location to meet with various team members, including managers, engineers, and designers for example.
While the hiring process at big tech companies can be competitive and lengthy, it also gives you the chance to showcase your skills and demonstrate your fit for the role.
With that in mind, approach every interview fully prepared. Research the company, the role, and the industry. Brush up your technical skills and familiarise yourself with common interview questions, such as “tell me about yourself”. Prepare plenty of examples to back up technical or performance questions, as this shows that you are an achiever and can get results.
It’s important to think about, and structure your answers properly. Take a moment and start with the problem, explain your solution, and end with your result or impact. Keep your answers concise and to the point, avoiding rambling or going off-topic. If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification.
Enthusiasm, too, can’t be underestimated. Show that you’re excited about the opportunity and the company’s mission, explain what you can do for them. This will help create a positive impression and demonstrate your interest in the role.
Lastly, prepare a set of questions you would like to ask: enquire about what the first 100 days look like, ask to understand current challenges and then explain how you can help. This shows forward planning on your part and helps the interviewer “see” you in the job.
It’s also true that these are great things to master no matter what job you’re going for. If you’re looking to apply now, there are three open roles to discover below, plus plenty more on The London Economic Job Board.
Analyst I, Financial Crime Compliance, Checkout.com, London
Checkout.com is looking for an Analyst, Compliance Data who will analyse, assess, investigate and report on transaction monitoring globally. You will have demonstrable experience in data management, as well as the ability to communicate data in a consumable, sustainable and presentable format. Interested? Find out more about this role here.
SharePoint Specialist, Bauer Media Group, London
Bauer is looking for a SharePoint Specialist to take responsibility for all aspects of the design, architecture, development, deployment, operations, administration, training, and support of key SharePoint infrastructure and business solutions. You’ll need proven experience and a deep understanding of Microsoft SharePoint Development, including knowledge of architecture and infrastructure with SharePoint. Apply for this job now.
International Tax Senior Manager, Deliveroo, London
This is an exciting opportunity to join Deliveroo as an International Tax Senior Manager. A dynamic, fast growing, technology business, you’ll be supporting the expansion of its operation and activities. This position will play a critical role in ensuring the group’s UK tax considerations are accurately and proactively managed, operational opportunities are identified and evaluated. You’ll need previous experience of an in-house role, can operate in an entrepreneurial operation undergoing tremendous growth, and meet the challenges in a positive and efficient manner. Find the full job description here.