The SQL Interview Questions Asked by the FAANG Companies
FAANG is an acronym for the five most famous tech companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. Why would you specially prepare for the questions asked by those companies, except being in awe of the possibility of working for them? They might seem or even be attractive, but that is not the main reason why you would pay special attention if you want to work at those companies. The main reason is their SQL interview questions are a bit different. As tech companies, their business heavily relies on data. And where there is data, there is SQL which the FAANG companies often use. Hence they want to be absolutely certain that their employees know SQL in depth. You will always get SQL interview questions with a little twist. The twist being their questions are more practical and concerning a case study with real problems and data a certain company is facing in their everyday business. These are arguably the next level of the Open Ended SQL Interview Questions that we saw earlier.
Have a look at this example from Google:
Find the email activity rank for each user. Email activity rank is defined by the total number of emails sent. The user with the highest number of emails sent will have a rank of 1, and so on. Output the user, total emails, and their activity rank. Order records by the total emails in descending order. Sort users with the same number of emails in alphabetical order. In your rankings, return a unique value (i.e., a unique rank) even if multiple users have the same number of emails.Table : google_gmail_emails
Solution: To answer this question, youâll need to use the google_gmail_emails table.
As you can see, this SQL interview question tests your aggregate functions and window functions knowledge, along with the GROUP BY and ORDER BY clauses. But they also do that on real-life problems youâll probably have to work on if you get a job.
Here is another example of such question, this time from Netflix:
Find the nominee who has won the most Oscars. Output the nominees name alongside the result.Table : oscar_nominees
Solution: To answer this question, you will need to use the oscar_nominees table.
Again, this SQL interview question tests some usual concepts. But the problem set is something that you expect to work on a daily basis. If you work at Netflix on an SQL job, you will for sure analyze some data that contains some Oscar nominations and winners.
How to Organize your SQL Data Science Interview Solution?
Being good at SQL is the prerequisite to do well at the job interview. However, it is not the only skill. Questions can be tricky, designed to put you off or doubt your knowledge by being seemingly too complicated or too simple. Thatâs why itâs important to have a clear strategy on what to do in certain situations.
Make Sure you Understand What is Required
If you donât understand what the question is and what is expected from you, you will likely get the wrong answer. To avoid that, make sure you understand what is asked of you. Repeat the requirements out loud and ask the interviewer to confirm you understood the question correctly. Donât be afraid to do that. The interviewers are people too. They can also unintentionally be unclear, make a mistake, or forget to give you enough details for you to answer correctly.
Before you start answering, especially if you are writing SQL code, outlay your approach. That way, you will be able to find the solution faster and or find the holes in the code you intended to write. You should do that to allow the interviewer to lead you through in case you missed the point of the question. It is always better to be corrected before presenting the final solution.