Acing your interview with Snowplow

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We know interviewing can be tricky, we’ve all been there, so we thought it would be great to put together a useful guide outlining some of the key things we’ll be looking for when we speak to you.

Pre-screen

This stage will be an initial 30-40 minute call with our Talent Acquisition Manager and is a chance for you to learn more about Snowplow, and for us to get a clearer understanding of what you’re ideally looking for. You should:

  1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the role and the specific attributes you can bring to Snowplow.
  2. Show us that you’ve done your research, you understand what we do and that you would like to work with us specifically, not just any company.
  3. Illustrate that you’re driven, smart and excited about what you do. Passion is contagious and we love what we do here so don’t be afraid to let us know just how interested you are in a certain topic.
  4. Ask questions – we love people who are inquisitive!
  5. Be yourself. We’re a unique bunch and the culture fit is as important to us as your technical skill set.

Technical test (if applicable)

the dreaded technical test

We don’t just hire for technical roles, nor is technical ability the only thing we look for. However, if you’re interviewing for a role that will require you to have a certain level of understanding about a language or framework, we’ll send you a test to do in between your telephone and onsite/video interview. Do:

  1. Try your best. This is a chance for you to showcase your skills and while we understand that having to do a technical test (sometimes multiple for different companies) can be challenging to fit around your usual schedule, it’s a really important part of the process and will form part of your onsite/video interview.
  2. Explain your thinking. While your solution might not have been the one we were looking for, understanding your problem solving process can often be as telling (if not more so) of your level of ability. We deal with complex, sophisticated technology and demonstrating the ability to learn is important.

It may not be completely right but if we can understand what you were trying to do or where you may have gone slightly off-course then we can chat about this in the interview. Mistakes are welcome here, that’s how we learn!

Onsite/video interview

A huge part of our culture here at Snowplow is flexibility. We give you the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world and currently have employees in Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, USA and in the UK.

This part of the interview process therefore can either be an onsite interview or a video call (we don’t expect you to travel halfway across the planet if you’re going to be working remotely!). Whichever way we decide to conduct the interview however, this part will take around two hours and will be split into a technical/role specific interview and a culture fit segment.

Executive Interview (Onsite/Video/Telephone)

This interview will be conducted by one of our Co-Founders (Alex or Yali depending on the team you’ll be joining) and will last between 30-40 minutes. The format can change but this is an important part of the process and gives you a chance to hear the vision of Snowplow from a founder. They’ll be looking at your overall fit for the team/company. The most important thing is to demonstrate that you’re smart, driven and excited about adding real value.

A few things about coming in to see us

Practical interviewing tips

ace your interviews

How should you prepare for an interview with a tech or software company when you’re in a non-technical role?

Preparing for an interview for a non-technical role at a software company can be really daunting (believe me, I’ve been there!). The most important thing is to do lots of research, even before your first interview with the company. Make sure you understand whether the company’s ever gone through any funding rounds, when it was founded, who the founders are and what it is that the company actually does (this can be harder to figure out than people think but just do your best!). It’s also important to remember that your interviewers know you’re not from a technical background so they’re not about to ask you to sit down and code a line of Java. Be yourself, be passionate and show that you’re excited about the prospect of learning about all the interesting tech the company has to offer.

How important is company culture when researching a new role? Does it factor in differently for startups?

Choosing the right company culture for you is absolutely crucial in ensuring your continued success and happiness with an organisation, and I think it does factor in differently for startups. While all companies (small or large) have their own values and ways of working, startups tend to have more unique cultures that are defined by far fewer people, so picking the culture that suits you becomes even more important. As an example, I have two colleagues who are equally as driven and passionate as each other but one flourishes in a clearly-defined, stable environment whereas the other thrives in an ambiguous, ever-changing role. One is neither better or worse, they’re just different, and it’s vital that they end up in environments that encourage their individual ways of working.

My tips for picking the right company culture for you are:

I’ve never been on a technical interview before, how should I prepare?

Before going to a
ny interview, technical or otherwise, one thing I will always suggest is to read the job description more than once. I know this may seem obvious but really make sure that you understand what it is the company’s looking for, both in terms of experience and soft skills. Some tips specifically for prepping for a tech interview are:

Are there any good tips for brainstorming questions to ask my interviewer?

I think a good place to start is with yourself and what it is that’s really important to you in a new role/company. Do you value transparency? A sense of ownership? Flexibility? An innovative tech stack? Progression opportunities? Start there, and then ask your interviewer to demonstrate how the company incorporates those things. If they are unable to think of examples or the answers they give don’t seem genuine, then you know that this may not be right place for you. Remember that you only have a limited amount of time with this person before choosing to spend Monday-Friday with them for potentially years to come so make that time count!

What makes interviewing at Snowplow unique?

You get to interview with me. Just kidding! There are a few things that make interviewing with Snowplow very unique, here are a few:

How do I join Snowplow?

Take a look at our Careers page to see the roles we’re currently looking to fill and apply if one of them ignites your passion or you think would be a good fit! If you don’t see any openings that align with your skills, we’re always on the lookout for smart people to join our team so contact us to get a conversation started.

interview success

Good luck and we look forward to meeting you!

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