At Indeed, we know interviewing for a job can be a stressful process. If you’re a Software Engineer looking for a job, preparing for interviews or just researching the market and interested to join our team, give this blog a read! Here, we cover characteristics we look out for in candidates, the interview process, and tips to score and prepare for interviews at Indeed.

The overall process

Typically, a Software Engineer interview at Indeed will cover both technical and behavioral aspects. Here’s the general interview process:

Before the interview

To get noticed by our recruiters and hiring managers, we recommend to craft your profile and share relevant achievements and skills, especially on your online professional network profile. 

Sebastian Tschan, a Senior Software Engineering Manager based in Tokyo shares that any example that shows the candidate can solve complex technical problems, ideally in collaboration with others, will help us recognize the right talent for the role. 

“Those can be descriptions of work accomplished at previous employers, contributions to open source projects, research publications, or blog posts,” he explains.

Along with end-to-end ownership and skill sets that match the position, such as Full Stack, Backend/ Frontend, Domain expertise (Adsystems, Payments, etc), Sashidhar Jeevanigi, Senior Software Engineering Manager based in Hyderabad echoes that highlighting the candidate’s skills, such as links to open source projects and blog posts is an added advantage.

“In addition to technical knowledge and skills, passion for our mission is something we look out for as well. Inclusiveness, enthusiasm for learning new experiences, and having a positive influence on others are things that stand out for me.” Jonathan Wanagel, Software Engineering Director based in Washington adds.

At every stage of the interview, our recruiters and interviewers are here to help. 

“We want to ensure that candidates understand what’s expected, and know how and what to prepare for the interview. We’re here to help them have the best possible experience and results throughout the process. Even if at times in the end, they may not be the right fit for the current role they’ve interviewed for, we want them to know that we will keep them in mind for suitable roles in future,” Clement Chidiac, Technical Recruiter based in Tokyo explains.

DeShawn Madison, Senior Technical Recruiter based in Maryland adds that the team provides solid information about the interview process, tools and materials that can be used to study via a recruiter prep call. 

Aside from questions related to job openings, structure of teams and products, Clement found that candidates often ask about working from home. 

“At Indeed we are very supportive of this and all Software Engineers are allowed to work remotely from home. We also offer a ‘flex’ option which allows them to come to the office a few days a week if they choose. This is a popular choice for engineers in Tokyo as the Tokyo Tamachi office is a really nice place to work,” he adds.

We encourage anyone interviewing for a role at Indeed to ask questions so they have the right information to be able to put their best self forward during interviews and to make an informed decision about the role and joining Indeed.

During the interview

You will find that each company may have a slightly different variation on the interview process. At Indeed, our hiring process includes whiteboard coding interviews, data structures and algorithms. We asked our recruiters and hiring managers why candidates are assessed on this.

“It is hard to have a perfect work simulation in an interview setting. People who are successful in studying and passing the coding interviews which are common across the industry do tend to be successful in the typical day-to-day work, so it is one of the best success prediction methods we have available. ” Jonathan says.

Sebastian also adds that whiteboard performance alone is not a the only thing we consider when making a hiring decision. 

“That being said, we focus on understanding engineering principles, which includes knowing which typical data structures are best suited for certain problems, as well as which problem solving approaches (algorithms) could lead to an efficient solution. It is more important to be able to explain the concepts than to write perfect code,” he says.

Lin also adds that data structures and algorithms are the fundamentals of software development. “Just like many technical companies, we use them to assess a candidate’s basic knowledge of software development. They are also a good way to test a candidate’s analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills” she mentions.

What to expect when you join us

Once you accept the offer, you’ll learn from industry experts and our team is always open to share knowledge and learn from one another. 

We find out from our hiring managers what their leadership styles are so you know what to look forward to when you join us.

Sebastian shares his leadership style as pragmatic. “I rely a lot on my team members and am aware of the limits of my own knowledge. I focus on providing opportunities and high-level direction, being there when needed for advice or guidance, but otherwise I let individual team members take ownership.”

I also try my best to ensure that everyone around me is motivated in the long-term, not just the engineers and engineering managers that I’m responsible for.”

Sashidhar believes in leading by example. “I believe in leading the team by serving the team, as well as maximizing the team’s productivity – making the team more than the sum of its parts,” he explains

Jonathan adds that he strives for the team to have both a big impact and also career highlight experiences. 

“I like providing transparency and empowerment to people. I like helping them with continuous growth, thinking about what more they can become great at next. ” he points out.

We have diverse people and teams at Indeed – we share a common mission of helping people get jobs and believe that empowerment is key to successful teams.

Tips and advice

Finally, here are some interview tips and advice that will come in handy even beyond interviewing for a job at Indeed. 

To start, we recommend doing research about the company you’re interviewing with, and to reach out to employees who are currently working at the company.

“There’s no better way to hear about us than asking Indeed employees about their experience,  join tech talks or simply to reach out to the Talent Acquisition team. We also have various resources available on our engineering blog” Clement shares.

“Hiring managers look for engineers who are great problem solvers, not just coders. Engineering starts with understanding the business problem, designing a solution, and finally implementing the solution i.e coding. As you notice, coding is important, but is only one of the pieces of a three-part skill,” Sashidhar explains.

He also advises not to pigeon hole yourself to a front end, backend, or to a specific language or tech. “Establish yourself as a Full Stack Engineer who can solve problems and is open to any tech stack that solves the problem,” he adds.

“I have been in the industry a long time, and currently Indeed is one of the top options, so the timing is great to join the company. It is a large company, so there are many different teams and roles you can work in,” Jonathan advises. 

A general rule is to also always have an open mind and be yourself.

Resources and guides 

There are various resources candidates can dive into to prepare for interviews. “Utilize tools such as the book “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell along with working through coding exercises via Leetcode and Hackerank to study and prepare for the coding portions of the interview,” DeShawn shares.

Sebastian recommends books that have helped his understanding: 

Watch this video and hear what it’s like working in our Software Engineering team at Indeed:

We have various positions available across the globe in our Software Engineering teams. Please visit our careers site to search for open roles, and we look forward to seeing you #insideindeed!