Industry Insights & Trends

The Best Places to Work in 2024 and What They're Asking in Interviews

From the SpaceX hiring process to Netflix interview questions, we've got you all the details on how to get a job at one of the best places to work in 2024.
May 9, 2023
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Understanding what big names like Google or Apple look for in interviews is crucial for job seekers. It's more than just getting through tough interviews; it's about grasping what they really value, like innovation, problem-solving, or teamwork. For instance, a Tallo 2021 survey of over 29,000 Gen Z high school and college students showed that these young professionals are actively working to tailor their skills and experiences to meet the specific needs and culture of these elite companies. 

The tech industry overall had the most allure: more than 76% say they want to work in tech. Tech is a highly desirable industry but is notorious for its competitive application and interview processes. If you’re applying in tech you must be thoroughly prepared. To nail these interviews, it's key to gear up and get ready for the challenge.  

Criteria for the Best Places to Work in 2024

What makes a top workplace? The criteria go beyond traditional metrics like salary and job security and delve into aspects that reflect the evolving priorities of the modern workforce. Company culture, employee benefits, and innovation levels are key in drawing and keeping talent. 

These criteria reflect the evolving expectations of the 2024 workforce, particularly among younger generations who value purpose, personal growth, work-life harmony, and, of course, financial compensation.

The SpaceX Hiring Process

SpaceX looks for candidates who are not just technically skilled but also align with their culture of innovation, resilience, and ambition. A strong educational background in relevant fields is a plus, but what truly sets candidates apart is a demonstrated passion for space exploration and a track record of exceptional achievement.  

The SpaceX Interview Process 

SpaceX interview questions are intense and multifaceted, designed to test a candidate's technical capabilities and alignment with the company's groundbreaking mission.  

As one employee recalled “The interview process was rigorous, testing my technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork aptitude. I faced a panel of experienced engineers who challenged me with complex scenarios and asked me to propose innovative solutions.” 

SpaceX's interview process is a comprehensive journey, taking candidates through multiple stages to assess their fit for the role. Here's a breakdown:

  • Pre-Screening: 2 to 4 interviews via phone or Zoom, varying by position.
  • Round 1: A recruiter interview focusing on skills and experience, lasting about 1 hour.
  • Round 2: An in-depth interview with the hiring manager, delving into technical skills.
  • Technical Roles: Two extra interviews in Rounds 3 and 4, focusing on technical expertise and practical application.
  • Final Round: Onsite interviews at SpaceX locations (California, Texas, Washington, Florida), split into behavioral and technical assessments.
  • Case Studies: For engineering or software roles, candidates may face specific case study tasks.

Overall, SpaceX's thorough interview process, lasting around eight weeks, ensures they select candidates well-suited for their innovative and challenging roles.

SpaceX Interview Questions

SpaceX interview questions are known for their rigor and diversity, tailored to assess a wide range of skills and qualities essential for the demanding and innovative environment of the aerospace industry. The company seeks to evaluate candidates' technical proficiency, cultural fit, and problem-solving capabilities:

Overall, the interview process at SpaceX is  designed to select individuals who are not only technically proficient but also fit well within the company's culture and are committed to its ambitious goals in space exploration.

The Netflix Hiring Process

Netflix's interview process reflects its high standards and the importance it places on team and culture fit. The company is known for seeking candidates with significant experience, typically preferring those with at least three years in their field. As a result, fresh graduates might find it more challenging to secure a position. 

The Netflix Interview Process  

Netflix's interview process is lengthy and designed to assess candidates' fit with the company's values and technical proficiency.  

Initial Phone Screen:

  • Contact Timeline: Expect a call from a Netflix recruiter within a week after applying.
  • Core Values: Study the Netflix Core Values shared by the recruiter.
  • Duration: Around 30 minutes.
  • Content: Questions about work history, past projects, the applied position, behavioral aspects, and reasons for wanting to work at Netflix.

Technical Screen:

  • Scheduling: Set a few days after the initial screen.
  • Interviewers: Conducted by hiring or engineering managers.
  • Duration: 45-60 minutes.
  • Content: Technical questions, behavioral/culture questions, and a coding exercise or take-home assignment.

On-Site Interview Round:

Format: Split into two main parts, possibly conducted virtually.

Round 1:

  • Length: Consists of 5 individual interviews (4 technical, 1 HR).
  • Technical Interviews: Include coding exercises, whiteboarding, data structures & algorithms, system design, and occasionally brain teasers/estimation questions.
  • HR Interview: Focuses entirely on behavioral and culture fit questions.

Round 2:

  • Interviewers: A member of HR, hiring manager, and another engineering manager.
  • Focus: Less technical but highly crucial for assessing cultural fit.

Hiring Decision:

  • Notification Timeline: 1-2 weeks post-interview.
  • Reapplication Opportunity: Candidates can reapply after 6-12 months if not selected.
  • Offer Stage: Successful candidates negotiate salary and other details.

Although  technical prowess is crucial, particularly in the technical and coding interviews, the HR and culture fit interviews play a pivotal role in the final hiring decision. Candidates should prepare thoroughly for both the technical challenges and the behavioral aspects to align with Netflix's unique work culture.

Netflix Interview Questions

Netflix interview questions are diverse and tailored to assess candidates for roles ranging from technical to cultural fit. The interview process is structured yet focuses on specific criteria, aligning with the company's cultural memo.

During the pre-screening with a recruiter, candidates can expect questions about their past work experience and Netflix's culture. Technical roles may include basic technical questions in this round.

The phone screening with a hiring manager dives deeper into technical problems, especially for roles requiring coding expertise. Candidates might face coding tasks using a shared editor or take-home projects.

On-site interviews consist of seven rounds, focusing on technical questions or brain-teasers for problem-solving. The second half emphasizes cultural fit, where discussing the culture memo is essential. Interviews may be conducted in various formats, including 1:1 or 2:1, involving company directors.

Common interview questions at Netflix vary but generally include discussions around the culture memo, how to improve Netflix, team collaboration, handling mistakes, and feedback reception. Technical questions, for relevant roles, assess expertise and creativity in problem-solving.

The company’s structured yet varied approach in interviews reflects Netflix's commitment to hiring candidates who not only possess the necessary technical skills but also align well with the company's unique culture and values.

The Apple Hiring Process

Apple's hiring process is designed to identify candidates who are not only technically proficient but also align with the company's culture and values. Candidates often face multiple rounds of interviews and assessments, and Apple places a strong emphasis on finding individuals who demonstrate creativity, adaptability, and a deep understanding of their products and user experience.  

The Apple Interview Process

Apple's interview process is characterized by its variability across different teams. Here's a brief overview:

  • Initial Step: It's advised to ask your recruiter about what to expect in the upcoming steps as the process can differ significantly between teams.
  • Technical Phone Interview: The format and questions can vary widely. These interviews, lasting 30 minutes to an hour, may involve coding exercises in a shared environment, assessing your knowledge of data structures and algorithms. Tools like CoderPad may be used, depending on the team.
  • Take-home Assignment: Some teams assign a take-home task, typically decided by the hiring manager and given around the time of the phone screen.
  • Onsite Interviews: Involving six to eight rounds, each with team members you'd potentially work with. Each team's onsite loop differs from others.

Each step in Apple's interview process is designed to evaluate different aspects of a candidate's skills and fit within the team.

Apple Interview Questions

Apple interview questions resembls what you might encounter at a startup rather than a typical large corporation. This similarity extends across various aspects, including the assignment of interview questions, the training of interviewers, and the approach to making hiring decisions.

Consequently, Apple's approach to hiring focuses more on understanding a candidate's motivation rather than solely their results or methods. They prioritize understanding the 'Why' behind actions over the 'What' or 'How.' Therefore, behavioral interviews are given more importance than technical ones like coding. Additionally, the concept of privacy is deeply ingrained in Apple's culture, not just as a marketing strategy but as a core principle, as affirmed by their employees.

However, as one Apple interviewer stated, “One thing not enough candidates know about is this: there’s no such thing as an Apple interview. You apply for a team. Not the company. When people ask me “How to prepare for an Apple interview?” I say ask the recruiter. Because they usually know what types of questions are asked.”

What the Best Places to Work Value

Apple, Netflix, and SpaceX are not just looking for skilled professionals; they are seeking individuals who embody a blend of technical expertise, innovative thinking, and cultural alignment. The qualities and skills these top companies value reflect broader industry trends that prioritize a holistic approach to talent acquisition.

The table succinctly captures the core values and skills sought by Apple, Netflix, and SpaceX, reflecting their unique industry positions and the broader trends of 2024 in the tech sector. 

Insights into Future Workplace Preferences  

In a dynamic job market where candidates' values and expectations are evolving, understanding and aligning with the trends and preferences of potential workplaces are vital. The insights provided by Tallo's survey, along with the detailed analysis of what leading companies like Apple, Netflix, and SpaceX value, offer a comprehensive guide for aspiring professionals. Understanding this knowledge is not just about securing a position in these esteemed organizations; it’s about finding a fulfilling career path in a world where innovation, cultural fit, and personal growth are increasingly valued.

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