12 Nov 2018  |  Culture

How We Hire Engineers at Paddle

3 minute read

When I joined the engineering team as a Senior Software Engineer over a year ago, it took only 10 days from my initial application to a job offer. 16 months later, I’m now a Team Lead and our interview process has adapted as the needs of the company have evolved. Here is what prospective Paddle engineers can expect...

The interview process

We have an open and transparent interview process where candidates are made aware of the requirements of every stage and encouraged to ask as many questions as they’d like prior to and during the process. This involves:

  • An initial phone call with another engineer
  • A face-to-face interview with two engineers
  • A culture chat with the engineering team lead

First stage: phone screening

A 45-minute phone chat kicks off the interview process. When I interviewed, this was a phone call with Andrew, another engineer. He gave me an overview of what Paddle does, and asked some basic engineering questions, for example asking me to explain what inheritance meant and to describe some data structures to him.

Applicants are then asked to list the high-level entities of a made up web application and explain any relationships between them. It’s a great time to ask any questions you may have about the role or Paddle culture. I remember wishing I had done more research into Paddle to ask better questions!

Second stage, part 1: face-to-face interview

Stage two involves meeting with two engineers at Paddle for a face-to-face interview. When I came in to discuss the role I was a lot more prepared, having got to grips with what Paddle does and researched the company extensively. I was asked about my previous experience and the technology that I am familiar with before moving on to an interactive task.

Building upon the system modelling task from the phone call, my interviewers asked that I use a whiteboard to represent the entities and relationships. It was a surprisingly collaborative process, with the interviewers asking questions about my decisions as I went. I was then given a laptop with a project open so that I could find a simple bug. Once I’d found and fixed the bug, they asked me to write a basic new feature. Overall it took about 30 mins and I was given any help I needed along the way.

The face-to-face interview is another great opportunity to ask any questions you may have. It often surprises people to learn that Paddle uses the same interview structure for every level of candidate and, of course, every interviewee is supported in a friendly and informal environment.

Second stage, part 2: culture chat

The final stage in the process is a meeting with an engineering team lead to discuss Paddle’s unique culture and values. After my interview, I took this opportunity to ask some questions about the culture (what does ‘open and transparent’ really mean?) and learn a bit more about what other employees think of Paddle.

I really liked this part of the process. In previous interviews I’d only ever discussed what it meant to be an engineer at the company and not a part of the wider company culture and community. I really appreciated being asked about how I like to work, too, as it was very clear they wanted me to feel comfortable in order to do my best work.

What I thought of my interview experience

I found the process interesting and challenging, with tasks and questions beginning at a basic level and advancing to more difficult and detailed scenarios. This is something I’d never experienced with other companies.

There’s always room for improvement, and since I felt my interview process wasn’t well defined from the start, we’re now ensuring all candidates are informed of the interview stages and what each entails in advance. The interview process had definitely sold me on Paddle, though. The process was so unique and the staff were so enthusiastic that I knew this was the right career move for me.

We’re hiring! Check out our current engineering openings here.