What it's really like to interview at Facebook, Google, Apple, or Microsoft

According to a Comparably report, 70% of tech employees say the interview process gave them a good idea of culture at their current company.

Video: The 5 best questions to ask during a technical job interview Conducting a technical job interview can be a challenge even for skilled IT pros. TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco explains the essential questions everyone should ask when interviewing tech talent.

With unemployment at historic lows and a tech talent shortage that continues to grow, the job market currently belongs to employees, and employers must work hard to attract new talent to their ranks, according to two recent Comparably reports.

The interview is a critical part of the hiring process, as 70% of the 26,518 tech employees surveyed said the interview process gave them a good idea of culture at their company, the first report found.

Perceptions of the interview process differ among different genders and races, the report found. For example, while 90% of men said they had a positive overall experience interviewing at their current company, only 82% of women said the same. And while 90% of Caucasian employees positively rated their interview experience, just 73% of Hispanic/Latino employees did as well, according to the survey.

SEE: Interviewing guidelines policy (Tech Pro Research)

When breaking it down by department, employees in HR, administration, and IT had the best interview experiences, while those in design, product, and engineering had the worst, the report found.

Workers in business development roles were most likely to rate the interview process at their current company as "difficult" or "very difficult" (46%), followed by those in executive roles (45%). Employees in customer support were the least likely to rate the interview process as difficult.

Jobs that require strong technical skills were also ranked high in terms of interview difficulty, the report found, including those in design (36%), engineering (35%), and product (31%).

In the second report, Comparably looked at the interview process at Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook, surveying more than 6,000 employees across the five companies. Here are the top insights they uncovered for each company:

  • Apple

How people rate the interview process overall: 90 out of 100

Ranked the interview process as "difficult" or "very difficult": 48%

Most popular way of getting an interview: Applied online (34%)

Most common response time after the last interview: Within a week (42%)

Most common number of interviews before getting a job offer: 2 (33%)

Interviewing process was representative of company culture: 46% said yes

  • Google

How people rate the interview process overall: 88 out of 100

Ranked the interview process as "difficult" or "very difficult": 49%

Most popular way of getting an interview: Recruiter (39%)

Most common response time after the last interview: 1-2 weeks (35%)

Most common number of interviews before getting a job offer: 5 or more (39%)

Interviewing process was representative of company culture: 79% said yes

  • Amazon

How people rate the interview process overall: 87 out of 100

Ranked the interview process as "difficult" or "very difficult": 41%

Most popular way of getting an interview: Applied online (39%)

Most common response time after the last interview: Within a week (47%)

Most common number of interviews before getting a job offer: 1 (33%)

Interviewing process was representative of company culture: 67% said yes

  • Microsoft

How people rate the interview process overall: 90 out of 100

Ranked the interview process as "difficult" or "very difficult": 47%

Most popular way of getting an interview: Recruiter (30%)

Most common response time after the last interview: Within a week (55%)

Most common number of interviews before getting a job offer: 5 or more (32%)

Interviewing process was representative of company culture: 70% said yes

  • Facebook

How people rate the interview process overall: 83 out of 100

Ranked the interview process as "difficult" or "very difficult": 42%

Most popular way of getting an interview: Applied online (29%)

Most common response time after the last interview: Within a week (42%)

Most common number of interviews before getting a job offer: 4 / 5 or more (24% for each)

Interviewing process was representative of company culture: 85% said yes

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Image: iStockphoto/Antonio_Diaz

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.