My Job Search 2024

About 4 months ago, I began serious looking for my next role. About two weeks ago, I wrapped the search with three offers of three job applications. I considered this search quite successful, although there are always room for improvement, and would like to record my 4 months journey and share some tips for those who might consider a new job in the current climate.

The three companies that I interviewed for and gave me offers are Acrisure, Apple, and AirBnb, and incidentally, in additional to that all three companies start with the letter A, the recruiters’ name all start with J(Jane, John, and Joseph). I had great interview experience for each one of these three companies and would be happy to work in any of them. After weighing my options and my preference (and really needs) to travel more around the world, I decided on accepting the AirBnb offer.

Except AirBnb (I submit a job application online), both Acrisure and Apple reached out to me via LinkedIn and emails. A recruiter named Michael from Apple reached out and asked if I’d be interested. I chatted with Michael about the team and the role and found it quite interesting. Then Michael scheduled an informal chat session with the hiring manager Shruti.

Though I should be looking right after my current company had a massive layoff last November, I did not start looking until I got the recruiter email from Apple late January. The Apple opportunity is an Engineering Manager position and the product is the Apple TV streaming services, especially the sport streaming, including MLS and Friday Night Baseball. I love sports as well as streaming systems, and gladly accepted the invitation to talk to the hiring manager as well as the follow-on virtual onsite.

Then I got an email from the AirBnb recruiter, Joseph, who handles the staff software engineer that I applied to. I chatted with two hiring managers and both are interested in me. Next step is to schedules the interview panel rounds. When the market was good and while I still worked at PlayStation, I was approached by AirBnb recruiters several times while working at PlayStation but never scheduled the interview because I could not find the time to prepare.

When I scheduled my interview, I schedule the three of them one week apart, so that I can keep the interview momentum and also respond to the offers timely.

Apple (interviewed on 4/18/24-4/19/24)

Role and Result:

  • Position: Engineering Manager (M1)
  • Result: Offer (adjusted to compete with AirBnb offer, and the final TC is very competitive and only slightly lower than that from AirBnb)


My first interview rounds were with Apple. I went through the following

  • First Recruiter screening (the talent sourcer)
  • Recruiter screening (the recruiter from the hiring team)
  • Apple Hiring manager screening
  • 4 tech interview panels (2 coding, 2 system design)
  • 2 tech experience and culture

My experience interviewing with Apple was great. Each one I’ve talked to is so kind and generous with their time. The interview questions are interesting and engaging, and nothing unreasonable. Throughout the interview, I was able to learn about the project, the team, and the org, and the interview panel was so helpful in answering all my questions.


After the interview, I felt pretty confident, but not 100% sure. But I had a gut feeling that I did well enough to expect an offer.

I did not hear back for a week, but I got an offer from Acrisure which would like to get a response quickly. I asked for an expedited response and Apple team acted quickly and came back with good news that they would like to proceed with an offer. The negotiation process was smooth but it took longer for each negotiation than the other two companies.

AirBnb (interviewed on 4/25/24 – 4/26/24)

Role and Result:

  • Position: G10 Software Engineer
  • Result: Offer (for G9 but base pay is at the maximum end of G9)

Interview Process:

  • Recruiter screening
  • AirBnb Hiring managers screening (pre-interview team match)
  • 4 tech interview panels (1 coding, 1 tech experience, 2 system design)
  • 2 core value interview panels
  • 2 team match interviews

My experience interviewing with AirBnb was also pleasant and very engaging. The only gotcha was that I was told that I can use any designing tool (such as Miro, which was what I was prepared to use) by the recruiter, but then was told by one system design interviewer that I have to use the Zoom diagramming tool. For that interview session, I was not able to draw out the design that I have in mind because I kept struggling with the Zoom tool. In the other AirBnb system design session, I was able to use Miro and did much better. But overall, everyone is kind and accommodating, and I had a blast interviewing with AirBnb team, especially the core value interviews. Throughout the interview, I learned more and more about what it is like working at AirBnb.

Post-Interview Experience

After the interview, I feel somewhat confident but felt that I could’ve done better. I did not hear back for about 10 days and I reached out after both Acrisure has extended an offer and Apple has expressed an offer intent. The recruiter reached out and explained the interview panel was slower to respond because of the AirBnb summer release launch (in May). He promised to get more feedback for me. It was a pretty hard week to wait. On that Friday, Joseph reached back and told me I passed the interview and we can move ahead to the next step: team matching.

The team matching process was quite painful (for the candidates) but I think a good idea for the hiring teams. I have done 4 team match calls in total and landed on the Insurance Platform team, and got an verbal offer the day after the team-match call. I had to thank my recruiter Joseph for working tirelessly to make this happens.

Acrisure (interviewed on 5/2/24)

Role and Result

  • Role: Staff Software Engineer, Tech Lead
  • Result: Offer extended


The interview process include:

  • Recruiter screening
  • Tech Screening (1 interview panel)
  • On-site half-day interview (3 interview panel)

The recruiter Jane reached out to me on LinkedIn and described the role and the team. I love the opportunity but hesitate on the role because it requires working on site and also at San Diego downtown. But the more I learned about Acrisure and its future and mission, I had to give it a try.

The interview process with Acrisure was at a different level of heart-warming. I don’t know how to describe it. Each interviewer that I talked to I instantly was drawn to and felt very comfortable with. They are kind, encouraging, and very witty. I especially enjoyed my session with the Acrisure VP, who showed me the new office and spent extra time with me after the interview to answer all of my questions.

Jane reached out to me the next morning and said that the team was very excited to extend me an offer and I was so happy. This is the first offer I got in 2024 and also with a company that I admire. I really appreciate the whole Acrisure team for giving me a chance to interview with them at their beautiful San Diego downtown office. Though at the end, I did not take the offer (because I love my digital nomad lifestyle too much), I really treasure the whole interview experience with Acrisure.


This is the first time that I have studied for more than 3 months and successfully passed all interviews and got offers. I have learned that one can keep growing and learn, no matter how old or at which stage of her professional life she is. I am glad that I gave myself a chance to re-invent again and to embark on new professional journey.

I plan to create more posts about interview preparation, for myself and for those who might find it helpful. My advice to those who are in tech, never stop looking for your next step. Keep learning, keep growing, staying hungry, and stay foolish 🙂


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