Job Search in the USA: “Silicon Valley”

I decided to summarize my more than ten years of experience in finding a job in the USA in the IT market. One way or another, the issue is quite topical and often discussed in Russian abroad.

For a person unprepared for the realities of competition in the US market, many considerations may seem quite exotic, but, nevertheless, it is better to know than to remain in ignorance.

Basic requirements

Before you decide to look for work in the USA, it makes sense to get acquainted with the requirements for emigration and the right to work in the USA. It is also advisable to have a solid idea of ​​how to write a resume, to be a pro in your field, and as they say today in the youth environment, “fluent Albanian” aka English is a huge help in finding a job. In our particular case, we will leave the basic requirements beyond the discussion in this article.


A recruiter is the front-line of any job posting in the United States. The recruiter acts as the first contact from the employer company.

You should distinguish between two types of recruiters - an internal company recruiter who is hired and works for the employer company on an ongoing basis. This is the best scenario if your ad placed on one of the sites in the USA (for example ) is called by internal company recruiters. First of all, it means that the resume is made up correctly and you are in the general technological trend that is currently in demand in the labor market.

The second type of recruiter is a recruiter from a recruiting company that makes money by reselling you to companies to employers. In the current jargon, such companies are called "nipples." The main task in contact with the “pacifier” is to find out the existence of a real position and the existence of an exclusive agreement between the “pacifier” and the employer, the term established in English is “primary vendor”.

For the sake of laughter, it is worth noting that many of our compatriots fell into a situation when, upon entering a new place of work, they found that they work through two / three “nipples” for their new employer.


Typically, an interview for a position in IT consists of several stages: A

call from a recruiter where usually within 15-30 minutes all the basic requirements for a position are clarified, both technical and payment, and as I already mentioned, legal aspects with the right to work and as mentioned higher relationships between companies.

Technical telephone interview - pre-screen “screen”. Usually lasts from 30 minutes to one hour. The purpose of a technical telephone interview is to find out how professional a candidate is for an open position in the company. Often, a candidate is asked to write a code during an interview so that it makes sense to see in advance how this works so as not to hesitate. I had to use Google Docs or for example

Interview in the company of the employer. It is usually assumed here that you will spend several hours getting acquainted with the company itself, its product, manager and the team in which it is supposed to work. In large companies, it is entirely possible that interviews will be conducted by “specially trained” people with whom you will not have to work in the future.

Further there may be various options. It is possible that you will be called again for an interview or for some reason the hiring team will reject you, but recommends you to the other team as a good candidate.

Interview format

Each interview usually involves the following format: The

introductory part begins with a presentation of the interviewees and a brief description of the position being discussed.
Questions to the candidate. Here it is advisable to give a detailed answer to each question unless specifically agreed, which can be shortly. It is welcome to put the question in your own words, ask leading questions and make sure that you correctly understood the essence of the question. It is highly not recommended in this section to ask the question itself is it against the rules and format of the interview. For your questions you will be given time, which is usually assumed.
Questions of the candidate. Good manners presuppose that you are well acquainted with the company’s product; therefore, proceed and ask questions. Usually questions are prepared in advance even at home after studying the company's website and describing the position itself.

Your goals for each stage of the interview


At each stage of the interview, you must clearly understand the sequence of your actions.

I’ll try to explain. In the order that the interview participants arrived from a conversation with a recruiter, you should clearly take out several things:
  • the amount of remuneration meets your expectations
  • the recruiter has an exclusive contract to schedule an interview with your employer
  • if all the preceding conditions suit you to get an appointment

At a technical telephone interview, you should understand how interesting the project is for you and by the level of questions to understand what technologies are supposed to be used at a new workplace. It is also worth noting that you can easily prepare for technical issues by reading reviews of interviews and technical issues on the Internet at sites such as Glassdoor, careercup, and more.

In the main interview there, act according to the circumstances, the format may be different. According to the rules of good manners, I would highly recommend asking for a list of interview participants with their positions and schedule of the interview. Sometimes, according to the aggregate factors of the list, it is enough to refuse to further consider the position.

What to expect from technical issues using Java as an example

Questions can be divided into three main blocks:
  • Basic Java questions taken from Java certification books
  • Technology and Framework Questions
  • Algorithms

You also need to understand that often many interviewers try to put the candidate in an awkward position by carrying out a kind of question pressure, figuring out how the candidate behaves in conditions close to “fighting”. This should apply normally you can neighing together ... in general, everyone can screw up.

New job search time


Based on practice, the situation is as follows:
The first week is spent on telephone interviews with recruiters and technical “screens”. It may well turn out two / three every day. As a result of these efforts for the second week you may already be called to the employer in the office for an interview. If you continue in the same spirit and work full time in search of a new job, then by the end of the third week you may well get from three to five interviews with employers.

It should be noted that we are talking about the "Silicon Valley" in California during the "hot" market in IT. It’s difficult to talk about other states since the hiring process there is somewhat slower than in Dolina.

Oops! - flogged!


Well, here is finally the first job offer (in the future we will use tracing paper from the English “offer”).

Rule number one - do not rush. Try to evaluate all the important points in the “offer” except that the work should be interesting and you will have the opportunity to learn new technologies; you should also evaluate the entire compensation package which usually includes:
  • health insurance
  • vacation (usually three weeks in the USA in IT)
  • bonus for signing the "offer"
  • annual bonus based on company performance
  • 401K retirement benefit plan
  • stock options

Try to collect as much information as possible about the company using completely legal methods, starting with comments and reviews about the company on GlassDoor and ending with the US Securities and Exchange Commission .

The main thing is still at this stage if you are lucky to wait for the second “offer”. Then you have a unique opportunity to dictate your requirements to the hiring company. You can put forward your thoughts on what conditions you sign the “offer”.

It is clear that you can put forward your conditions in the presence of one “offer”, but alas, this is usually counterproductive and the company most often withdraws its “offer” if you refuse to sign it in its original form.


I would like to share another important consideration about going through a telephone interview. Feel free to use a second computer or wall mounted tips. It is logical to invite as many people as possible if something useful is what people will write right on the board - you just have to read. Actually, you can start drinking beer before the start of the interview; try to get as many positive emotions from your job search as possible.


Have a successful hunt in search of work!

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