Posted by Graham Savage on February 25, 2020 | interviewing

One of Administrate’s company values is Transparency, and with that in mind, here is a look at how we interview software engineers. Not only that, here is a guide to what you need to do to be successful at each stage.

Step zero : You apply

You apply online, sending in your CV and a cover letter. A senior member of the Engineering department reviews all applicants; no automated decision making happens. This is time consuming, but it’s important to us to know we are giving all candidates the human touch.

How to be successful

A cover letter is often really helpful, especially where your CV doesn’t align fully with our role. For example, if you live in a different city, tell us if you’re looking to commute, relocate or work remotely. It also helps us learn more about you!

Step one : Technical screen

Next up is a video call with a member of the engineering team. We want to see what it’s like to work with you and hear your opinions. We will break the ice by chatting about your favorite languages and technologies before moving on to a code review exercise.

How to be successful

You will be asked to do a code review with a sample of our Python code. We are not testing your understanding of Python – we believe that clean, maintainable code transcends languages. We will be there to answer any questions about language syntax, but you’re welcome to introduce yourself to the language ahead of time.

Step two : Final interviews

The final two interviews are a more in-depth technical interview and a values interview.

The technical interview usually lasts between an hour and ninety minutes, and will be conducted by two senior members of the engineering department. We’ll present you with some technical questions, such as iterating through lists or designing a simple database schema. As with the earlier call, we will ask you to screen share and show your workings.

We strongly believe that the technical interview should be representative of the work you’ll be doing day-to-day; we aren’t going to ask you to recite undergraduate computer theorems.

In the same interview we’ll also discuss how you build software, and how you work in a technical team.

The values interview lasts a little over an hour, and will include our EVP of Engineering and the Engineering Manager of the team you’ve been matched with. We know that Administrate is a great place to work, but that it’s not right for everyone, so we ask questions to see how your experiences and ambitions align with our company values. We want to know that we’ll make you successful if you join us, and we want to understand how you’ll strengthen our team.

How to be successful

Be yourself. Think back over your career and experiences, and refresh your memory of the interesting, challenging and fun projects you’ve worked on, and the people with whom you’ve worked. We are checking to see how your knowledge complements our existing team.