Our basic interview process consists of three stages:

  1. An initial interview
  2. A pairing test
  3. A final competency question based interview

The ordering and timing may vary a lot, depending on your availability and preferences.

We are currently interviews by Google Hangouts and CodeBunk but we can be flexible if those solutions don’t work for you.

Initial interview

This will involve an introduction to the company, a few light technical questions and for more senior or specialised roles a few questions about your experience in different areas.

Generally these questions will be a fixed set rather than ones tailored to your CV or background. We may also ask you to talk about any projects you have worked on previously and the problems you may have encountered implementing them.

Pairing test

This is the key technical test. We use an extended version of the Guardian’s pairing tests, you can see the problems we will use in Github.

  • You will be able to choose your language for the test
  • You will be expected to come up with a solution or approach to the problem
  • You are allowed to access the internet during the test
  • You can ask your pair for help or advice on the code
  • The challenges in the test can generally be solved with most languages standard libraries but you are free to make use of external dependencies if you wish

During this test we are looking at how you solve problems and communicate your approach as much as your technical code ability. Therefore while you can practice the tests before the interview but you will be asked to start from the beginning so you can take your interviewer through the journey of solving the problem.

Compentency-based interview

This is a more formal interview and will generally be with at least two members of the development team.

You will be asked to provide specific examples of how you have demonstrated certain abilities or competencies in the past.

The questions will vary with the role you are applying for. In general, the more senior the role, the more questions.

You do not have to answer all the questions and it would be better to acknowledge that you don’t have experience in a particular area than to make up an answer.

If you are unfamiliar with the competency-based questions it is probably researching the format online, such as this simple overiew of compentency-based interviews.

Specialised tests

If you are interviewing for a more specialised role there may be a different or additional technical test based around the skills needed by the role you are applying for. We do not yet have enough examples of these tests to publish them.

Follow up interviews

For some senior roles we will ask you to have a follow up conversation with key stakeholders outside the technical team. These are generally not structured interviews and are meant to be two-way with you having the opportunity to learn about other parts of the business.

Dress code

The POP office is casual dress so there’s no need to dress up in a suit or other formal attire unless you’d like to. This applies to video interviews as well.

Feedback

We will always try to provide you with feedback with five working days of your interview. If you are successful the interview feedback will generally focus on what performance we will expect from you in your probation period and any issues we’d like to try and address. This will mesh into the general career progression discussions you will part of.

If unsuccessful we will try and highlight they key issues for us. In some cases we may want to get back in touch with you if your circumstances change or ours. As a growing business sometimes our answer may simply be a “not now” instead of “no”.