Application and interview tips for Engineers applying to TransferWise

If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re thinking of applying to TransferWise - which is great news! Here’s a handy guide to our application process and interview tips for Engineering roles.

Hi I’m Tony, a Tech Lead at TransferWise. What I love about working here is the fun, energetic culture and being a part of such huge growth in one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. I’m sharing my step-by-step guide and top tips for Engineers applying to join TransferWise.

General-Engineer-Hiring-Navy-V2

Step 1.Application

The first step is the application form. Here we ask you to include your CV detailing your past experience and achievements, a cover letter and a few questions related to the role.

So, how do I nail the application form?

  • Make sure your CV is easy to read and clearly lays out your personal contributions and achievements for each of your past experiences
  • In your CV, quantify the impact of your work whenever possible - improved conversion rate by 20%? Tell us and show us achievements you’re proud of!
  • In the cover letter, tell us why you want to join TransferWise and showcase your passion and curiosity in your field
  • Be sure to attach anything that shows your passion or industry involvement, anything from your GitHub portfolio to blog posts you might have published

Step 2.Initial chat

If our hiring team thinks your skills and experience might be a good fit, they’ll then schedule a short chat to introduce you to TransferWise and get to know you a bit better (you won’t need to prepare anything in advance). We’ll talk through your experience in more detail and why you’re interested in joining us. You’ll also be able to ask us any questions you might have.

What kind of info should I cover?

  • Be ready to go more in-depth into your past jobs. Think about what you’ve accomplished and learnt in past jobs and what you’re proud of
  • We want to hear about your motivations. Why TransferWise? Why FinTech? Why this role and what are your expectations?

What are we looking for?

  • You should be able to communicate your thoughts across clearly and give relevant examples of your previous experiences to showcase your skill level
  • We’re looking for engineers with a go-getter attitude - those with an ability to independently identify customer problems and solve them efficiently

Step 3.Technical take home test

If you’re successful in our initial chat, we’ll send you a HackerRank take home test with technical and reasoning exercises. This test allows you to showcase your technical skills from the comfort of your own home.

Tips for the take home test

  • Prepare by practising your coding, problem solving and algorithm and data structure skills
  • Be efficient in your answers - always think, is your solution the most efficient one?
  • Be aware of time, if you struggle with a question just move to the next one and come back to it later to ensure you complete as many questions as possible

Step 4.Technical interview

After the test, if we’re happy with the results, you’ll be invited in our office for a technical interview with two of our engineers. This interview deep-dives into who you are as a developer and your technical skills relevant to the role. We’ll give you a task to see your thought process when tackling a new task.

When coding on-the-spot:

  • Ask a lot of questions and when you think you’re ready, think how you can further improve the code
  • Speak everything out loud - we want to see your thought process
  • Think about the wider concepts of engineering - how would you test your solution?
  • Spend time on what really matters

What are we looking for?

  • Give us a glimpse of who you are as a developer. How you work and what inspires you in your work
  • We’re looking for developers who can take ownership and work independently, but you also need to be able to explain the logic behind your work

Step 5.Product interview

The reason our engineering candidates do a product interview is because they design and build software for our customers, so it's vital they understand the customer problems they're solving and how they would build something and iterate on it to get the best possible user experience. The product interview focuses on evaluating your ability to understand details of a problem and how to prioritise what to build when solving it. (Check out this detailed guide to our product interviews here.)

How to nail the product interview?

  • Show us your product mindset. Our developers don’t just build whatever they are told, they thoroughly understand our mission and customer pain-points and all their work focuses on fixing these problems using data to drive decisions

What are we looking for?

  • We’re looking for customer driven developers, you won’t just be delivering features for the sake of it, you’ll truly understand what will have the strongest impact for the customer
  • You should be able to take initiative, prioritise and justify your work and focus. The end goal is to write clean, scalable code that positively impacts the customer experience

Step 6.Final interview

In our final interview we’ll have a conversation with you to cover any outstanding questions you might have about the opportunity and make sure we’re both on the same page. You’ll meet with our CTO or one of our Lead Engineers who are shaping the technical direction at TransferWise.

Any advice?

  • You made it this far so just be yourself and ask away any questions you might have about working at TransferWise

I hope you found this guide to the Engineering application process useful! If you haven’t already, check out some of the useful links below.

*Please know that on some occasions the product interview might come before the technical test depending on interviewer availability. Your recruiter will let you know during the process.

Best of luck!
Tony