Interviewing @ Twitter
I feel like we all have to confess our twitter story. I I showed up to my interview on the wrong day. Oh my God wade the interview that day. No they told me Ma'am your interviews. Tomorrow I showed up the day before the day before it was the day before. But I guess that's shows just how eager lying how much you wanted to Joe Julie Spin. Yeah Crooner Hi there. Welcome to build and characters by twitter. You an inside view into launching a career in tag and how to have fun along the way. I'm your host Julia. Romeo and a University of recruiter here at twitter today. We'll be talking about interviewing. It's highly likely you'll be as the question. Why do you want to work at twitter as my guests? Who told me the worst answers? They've gone to this question. Here's my co host Don Julich. I think a pretty bad answer is like oh I just went to work at a big Tech Company. Oh well I mean you can work at Google to their bigger than we are. Macrae told me help you interview somewhere else then. Definitely not a good answer. I think that the worst answer. This is a net as senior software engineer. Here at twitter. You could possibly give is oh I wanNA censor so and so or not. I hear that solicited as well. Hey Do you have a question for me? Use the HASHTAG building characters on twitter. And don't forget to follow us at twitter you okay. Let's talk about the technical interview what it looks like what it feels like and how to get ready. If you're interested in a non engineering role hold on tight will get to you in a moment and you might learn a thing or two from the section. Now let's welcome our guests for this episode. My name is Susan and I am a software engineer. Twitter I work in an area called client configuration Katie Hawks. I'm in the Program Manager for Twitter University. Which IS EDUCATION FOR ENGINEERS? So we deal with on boarding engineers when they first start in. The ongoing technical trainings. My name is Louis and I am on the engineering recruiting team. I know the also do something really fun. You also with a little bit out there right. I am one of the CO chairs of twitter. Ls here on the West Coast. Okay when I see technical interview going on here twitter. I will often see students. Interacting with their interviewer writing code on a wide board. That honestly looks like hieroglyphs to me so wanted to hear from Susan. What is actually happening in there? It will be structured part explaining something you already know about. We WanNa hear you communicate your technical knowledge and also part show us your ability to write some code so you'll be asked to write a little bit of code for us and we will then walk through what it is. You wrote that we can understand your intentions and understand your ability to analyze what you just provided. Okay so the first interview the first five minutes what what's supposed to happen than the next forty five minutes and lastly the forty-five minutes behavioral interview here at Twitter. We actually let you either type on a laptop or if you're having a video conference interview you'll be asked to connect to a web browser and we'll send you a link and what we will do is watch you take your answers to technical coating question. He was example. Coding question like a ballpark like what's a coding question. Like it's fine to practice with something. Simple like swap two variables. I know that sounds super easy and something that you probably have already mastered. But it's nerve wracking to open up a web browser knowing that somebody is going to watch every keystroke that you make if you say. Hey I know Java make sure that you got some basics you have some algorithms down where you can just type them out cold through your fingers like swapping two variables a good thing to look up before you come to a technical interview. In my opinion is something known as insertion sort insertion sort is a really common algorithm that as an engineer. I have used professionally. Probably almost every single company I've ever worked at look up. Insertion SORT and in your favourite language code up insertion sort and practice that until it just flows from your fingers. That's solid advice. Right there review your data structures review your simple algorithms such as the searches in sorts. Take a look at your data. Structures like lists linked lists Hash tables and understand simple operations and the run. Time OR BIG O. Costs of those operations as well as the runtime and big. Oh cost of those algorithms and yes. It's great if you right perfect code but let me tell you a secret. There is no software engineer. That always writes perfect code straight. This is shocking. If you're Kotas no bugs in it. I doubt you wrote it. Inclusion lives a twitter. We host interactive onsite events for historically underrepresented students and computer science. Learn more at T. DOT com slash diversity matters? That's T- that CO SLASH DIVERSITY MATTERS. Alright Future tweets interns. Do you know what the best interviewees having common don't feel stumped feel ready if you feel challenged by the question candidates that strongly embraced the challenge and Feel Eager. Even they can admit. Wow I'm a little afraid of this question but if still dive right in and give it a shot that's going to show a resiliency and positive attitude so you landon interview with twitter when you nervous and then you make a mistake then. What here are some tips hint? It's okay to make mistake. If you catch yourself making an error. Our job is to make sure you understand in a collaborative environment. Making the stakes is okay. If you see your problem please go ahead and fix it. You've got plenty time because it's beautiful to see someone catch themselves and then given the opportunity to correct their mistake as the interviewee you're sitting in a room for a few hours and people are coming and going and talking to you so it's kind of like it's your office and putting yourself in the head space of like this. Is My office like that. Helps me feel confident. And when people come in stand up I shake their hand. I greet them if I need a break. I asked for on say hey can I have five minutes like in some water kind of switches that power dynamic in a way that makes you feel less like you're on trial and everybody is here to see if you're going to get something wrong but instead of having a conversation these people are coming to speak with you and you're asking them questions as well. It's okay to be excited. You should be excited. We cannot wait to meet you but please be mindful. Body language matters. It's okay to be excited. I would be mindful of the ways that physically manifest so things like rocking in your chair. Tapping the table. I'm somebody who fidgets little bit when I have that. Nervous energy or excitement. So whenever I'm interviewing I always put a pen in my hand. Usually because I'm taking notes while I'm being interviewed but it helps me to. Just keep my hands still and not fidget. Okay future troops and turns if you're nervous during the interview. Try this. It's magic I don't know if you watch family feud but you always have that one person that buzzes the Buzzer to early and gives an answer. That's completely different from the question was asking. That happens in real life as well right. You're so eager to respond that mentally. You're not even listening to it's being asked. Silence is not a bad thing in an interview. Take the question in. Ask clarifying questions at least here at Twitter. We have paired interviews for example. And that's for reason we WANNA simulate that collaborative environment. We want to really show you what it would be like to work here so known ever feel like you're there on your own responding to an interview bring your interviews with you. Bring them along for the journey. Show them how you're thinking and if you're nervous don't feel bad saying that you are nervous right. Show them again that vulnerability interviewing it's not an easy thing and I think we all understand that so when I noticed that the candidate seems to be in this excitable state the first question I asked him is. Are you nervous and you know? They're like nervous excited all that I asked them to put a number on it and then I say okay. Imagine that coming down and as I say these things I tell them look. I'm here to seek out a collaborator and a team mate. I WanNa see the best in you. I as your interviewer. I'm rooting for you. I want you to do your absolute finest work here. Because I'd like to see what it's like for us to see each other every day. Hey we want to hear from you doing the Combo by tweeting at US using HASHTAG building characters and follow. Us atwitter you. I think one thing that a lot of people do they prepare is work solo on things. They think okay. I need to understand this programming language and these problems so they just you know heads down do it at their laptop but that isn't the environment you will be in in an interview. So if you're short on time or preparing for any interview I say. Trying like simulate the environment of the interview. If it's going to be a phone interview ask a friend. Call you and ask you those questions. I would add a couple of things here one. We're not saving lives at twitter so obviously it depends on your situation but if someone tells you that you need to come in the next day for an interview feel free to push feel free to explain why that's not ideal for you how you're not being set up for success and I think it gives you an indicator again of ultimately the company culture and what we're really after. I think you have to be your size advocate for ultimately your success and the second thing I would say is leverage recruiters. Were here for a reason and really rely on them to to give you the preparation. You need for interviewers. We've learned so much today. From what a technical interview looks like to actual coating tips. Now it's time to hear our recruiters questions so I think my favorite question happens during the behavioral portion of the interview. And it's really on some reflection and self awareness. How would your manager describe your biggest areas of improvement? And how would your manager described your biggest weaknesses changing that question? From how would you describe it to Howard? Your manager describe that helps bring that other perspective outside perspective and show whether or not that candidate has us off awareness and understands how they can continue to grow in their deductible or whether they don't and I think that's a really big indicator for success at twitter and really it's a big indicator for being able to succeed in an accelerator career. I like to ask questions that. Give me an indicator of what the person values and what drives them so. I ask things like what's an accomplishment. You're really proud of sometimes. I can really interesting stories out of it. And I didn't know that they were like a national champion in some kind of sport but I find that out in that moment and I also like to ask what what gets your bed in the morning. What lights you up. And then conversely. What's the kind of things you avoid a little bit? And that gives me an insight into what does person will enjoy working on and if that aligns with what the what the work. I will be giving them on the team. I always usually ask what their long and short term goals are. Is this next step in your career working with me. Is that GonNa get you closer to your goal like if goals to be master. Not You probably shouldn't do this job like this is probably not a great job for you to make sure that. I'm hiring them for the right role and this is going to help them get to their long term goals. Create your own hired this amazing once again. It's time for my favorite part of the podcast today. We're talking to someone who smashed their interview and got an internship. Here is the turn of date. My name is Brennan Bar and the town experience intern this summer. He's actually my my minty Alyssa's GonNa say so. Tell me anything funding. You did hear twitter this summer. Tons of fun stuff mateen. The town experienced team is kind of the people who really innovate what it means to recruit new talent here at twitter Really audited are processes. We've had just so many cool projects over the summer. I can't really talk about too much. Because it's mostly some internal hiring things but it really has been a pleasure to be able to. Kinda like just brag about all the cool stuff from my team gets to do. Brennan was working on some internal comms stuff for me and he wrote some stuff that one of the higher up exact sent out so we thought that was pretty cool. He ghost wrote something for someone really high up. Ooh email from some really high that ask so I thought it was pretty cool. So tell me now. What's your favorite snack twitter? Oh I have to say the dried mangos have won my heart this summer to know anything that you learn here twitter. They GonNa take with you for the rest of your life. Well to take a page of John's book his Macho. This summer has been without data. Everyone's an expert so hungry somebody but It really is make sure you have dated a backup everything you say that you can even more confident when you're presenting to people. I want to thank Oliver Gas for being here today. And being part of this amazing conversation see you next time. Hey do you WanNa know when we're going to be on campus? Let's stay connected sign up for a newsletter at t co slash connect. That's T- that co slash connect building characters is a production of pod people for at twitter. You this episode was hosted by me. Do Romero and John Julich. Our executive producer is Rachel. King this episode was produced by Tony. Gannon and Elisa Lambert with production support by Luis. Gil Please subscribe to the show on Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. Right as I review it would really help us and follow us on twitter. You for tips and tricks from our recruiting teams. You can also follow me at its limiter and DM me with all your burning recruiting questions. Thanks for listening.