How to switch to top product-based companies?

Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet Kaur

Table of Contents

Stepping into an IT career is a courageous vision. You dream to contribute your knowledge and skills to the lives of people. To get started, IT aspirants have two options –  joining Service based company or a product-based company. 

Both are prestigious in themselves but service-based companies are the easy entrance to secure jobs. Yet, developers find their job in service-based companies as monotonous with fewer growth aspects as well as low pay scale.  While Product based companies give an opportunity to enhance skills with a good learning curve.

The reason lies in the recruitment process. Service-based companies run mass recruitment campaigns. Offer ideal job roles for the graduates as well as for the professionals who wish to switch from non-technical jobs. 

While Product based companies work selectively and prefer quality candidates. So, they offer high salary packages. Their recruitment mechanism is multi-level and difficult to crack without the right preparation.

If you’re the one who wishes to join a product-based company but does not have an idea on how to get started and crack the interview process, then you’re on the right page. This blog will give you a detailed guide to getting your dream job.

Let’s dive into the concept of service-based and product-based companies and understand the difference between them.

Service based companies

Service-based companies offer their services to other organizations. Offer intangible services in the form of skills and expertise. The most common services are Software development, Maintenance, consultations, business, and operational management.

The hiring process is comparably easy to crack including an aptitude test, basic coding, and an interview stage.

The selected candidate works on the assigned support projects with a pay package of 3-5 lakhs per annum.

Product based companies

Product-based companies offer their own product to large markets. A company can have a single product or multiple products in a specific domain.

Companies like Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Adobe, Oracle have their own product, hire IT specialists to create and maintain their product performance.

The selection stages are difficult to crack. Includes online coding assessment, behavioral and technical interviews. The selected developers work on the latest technologies, create new applications and improve/upgrade their performance.

The pay scale is 4-5 times higher than service-based companies. Provide flexible office hours because employees’ concern is to offer quality work.

3 step guide to switch to Product based companies

Product-based companies require a more comprehensive skill set. So it is not easy to switch from service-based to product-based companies. The following points will help you with planning your preparations.

  1. Strategize the switching: Switching your job from a Service company to Product based company is not an overnight process. The job roles are more technical in Product based companies. It demands highly skilled candidates who are responsible and determined to complete the task with efficiency.

You need to put in extra hardwork and perseverance to prepare for the job in product-based companies. However, with the right approach and strategy, you can do that in a short span. 

Prioritize to learn the skills needed for the job. Gain specialization in the skills that are most demanding. With work from home culture, it is convenient to invest your time in preparation for your current job as well. Be thorough and practical with the concepts you’re learning and implement them simultaneously. 

  1. Acquire the right skill set: Product-based companies are known for providing ownership of work to their employees. So, they test a candidate at a 360 perspective from technical to soft skills. 

They analyze a candidate’s proficiency on the basis of two core abilities- Programming and Problem-Solving.

You must have your hands on coding skills and the latest development tools and technologies. You must be a great coder because the recruitment process involves multiple coding rounds. 

While preparing the emphasis must be on learning Object oriented programming and Data Structure and Algorithms(DSA). Get acquitted with the latest technologies used by full-stack developers.

Besides coding, recruiters also look for problem-solving skills with problem statements given to test the candidate’s capabilities to solve problems with their programming skills without any bugs.

Aspirants must understand the requirements and invest the time efficiently and prioritize the skills.

  1. Build a strong portfolio: Top product-based companies prefer candidates from tier 1  institutions like IIT and NITs through campus recruitment. It is difficult for graduates from not-so-well-known universities or working professionals to get considered for the job.

However, with the right approach, you can receive the interview call as well. Working on creating a strong portfolio will prove to be fruitful. For that, get yourself enrolled in the courses and bootcamps to create a solid knowledge base. Consider taking online courses from authentic sites and mentors.

Be practical with your learnings by implementing them on projects. Take on small projects, participate in the competitions by Github, Topcoder, Codechef, Hackerrank, and so on. Gather some problem statements and solve them or work on clone projects. 

These projects will highlight your experience in the portfolio/resume and will influence recruiters to qualify you for the next level. Connect with the professionals working in companies to guide you on your portfolio and secure your chances to get hired in product-based companies.

  1. Prepare for interview

Most product-based companies have a 5 stage recruitment process for developers. At each level, you’ve to be loud with your thoughts, knowledge, and skills.

No matter how talented or knowledgeable you’re, if you’re not able to express yourself when needed, all goes in vain.

Let’s look at each stage in detail and how you can brew yourself for each level and crack the interviews of top companies.

  • Resume Shortlisting: For any job opening, companies receive 1000s of applications. Out of them, 80% gets rejected at this stage, surely known as an elimination round.

Recruiters glance at each resume for 15-20 seconds. You’ve to catch their attention in just 5 seconds by showing your values and best projects.

Present yourself in such a manner that recruiters find a reason to know more about you in the interview. 

An ideal resume includes A mini introduction showing why you’re the right fit, Education, Technical skills, Courses, Projects done, Achievements & Honour, and testimonials if you have.

As discussed earlier, work very hard to make your resume strong. Connect with the community on LinkedIn and network with professionals to identify what kind of talent companies are looking for. 

Here, you’ve to showcase your technical skills with a practical approach with confidence. 

  • Exploratory call: The shortlisted candidates who successfully grab the attention of recruiters will receive a call from the hiring team.

This call is more of a two-way conversation where recruiters get to know the candidate in person. Their goal is to gather information about their past experience, future vision, and their expectations from the job and the company. In return, aspirants get to know more about the company and its working environment. 

To end this call with satisfaction, you need to do a thorough study about the company and the role you’ve opted for.

Analyze yourself and your career goals with a detailed understanding of technical concepts as you’ve mentioned in your resume because the interviewer must have your resume in front while talking to you.

At last, to make it a two-way communication, prepare a set of questions to ask the interviewer. Have some logical questions that you’re curious to know about the company and have not been able to find from other sources. 

  • Technical round

The technical round revolves around the candidate’s programming and problem-solving skills under great pressure. Recruiters test if they are the right fit for the job roles under different conditions. 

This round includes three levels:

  1. Online coding assessment: This is the first step to check the competency of the candidates. Assessment includes a series of coding tasks including computer fundamentals, Data Structure and Algorithms, machine coding, and low-level design skills. Many candidates are eliminated at this stage.

To crack assessment, gain mastery in the most important programming languages, DSA Data Structure and Algorithms, basic design skills in a particular time.

Keep practicing them and take your hands at a good speed. 

  1. Personal Interview: This is a very structured and long interview covering technical as well as personal aspects.

A  detailed face-to-face discussion to analyze a candidate’s technical knowledge and personality. 

The interviewer can assign a real-time task with a problem statement for the interviewee to solve. This gives them an idea about your logic and how you approach any question without rushing to solve it. 

Here, recruitment intends to analyze the interviewee’s problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, coding, and communication skills.

As a part of the preparation, you should conceptually understand the Data structures and Algorithms (DSA). Try to break down the problem into smaller tasks to solve it efficiently.

Make a habit of learning every concept with a practical approach and this can be done with regular practice.

  1. Design Interview: This interview is for specific positions, mainly includes design patterns and principles, Low-level design, Object-Oriented programming (OOPs), System architecture, and its components. These are used to transform abstract statements into practical software design and run them in real-life scenarios.

  • Behavioral/HR Interview: Behavioral Interview is designed to evaluate the candidate at a deeper level. Their knowledge and programming skills are already testified. Now, there is a need to know their vision, values, belief, behavior and career goals.

This conversation is to unify candidates’ goals with the company. Analyzing strengths and weaknesses with solutions to overcome them and acquiring the candidate with the company’s work ethics.

The main focus is on soft skills that are an integral part of maintaining the decorum of workspace and coordination between employees and department.

To make this round easy going, you are suggested to research about the company, know your inner instinct and form some curious questions that you’re genuinely interested to know in person.

These are the step-by-step guides to make yourself ready to apply in product-based companies. With the right approach and guidance, you can crack the typical interviews and open tons of opportunities in your career. Invest your time with good courses giving you the best learning of the most demanded programming languages. Enroll yourself with institutions helping candidates to prepare and crack the interviews of top companies like FAANG. Learn each concept in detail and implement them practically. 

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