How we hire in engineering

Posted by on November 1, 2022

Applying for a new job can be daunting, especially when you’re not sure what the recruitment process is. At FreeAgent we try to be as open as possible about how we hire and make sure there are no surprises, so that you can be well prepared.

Application ✍ 

Our application process is simple: just upload your CV and cover letter, and answer a few questions about why you are interested in the opportunity. We want to know why you’re interested in working for us, what you can bring to the role, and about your relevant experience. CVs are anonymised and are reviewed by at least two people to ensure we are being fair from the outset.

Tip💡 Feel free to explore our website, this blog and FreeAgent itself (sign up for a free trial) and let us know in your application what stood out to you.

Phone interview 📞

Our selection process for all roles begins with a phone interview with our Talent Team. During this 20-30 minute call, weʼll explore your motivations for joining FreeAgent, as well as your reasons for moving on from your current situation. Weʼll also ask some questions to find out what drives you, and what sort of work environment you thrive in.

Tip💡 This is a good time to ask us any burning questions, whether about the team, company or our benefits. Remember that you want to ensure we’re a good fit for you too!

Technical test 🧑‍💻

We want to see your skills in action! So for most roles, we send out a technical test at this stage. Any work we ask you to do will be historical or something unrelated to FreeAgent. Our engineering principles might give you a helpful steer on how we work and what we care about. These are the types of tests you can expect, depending on which team you’re applying to join:

  • Full stack engineering: Ruby code test for most roles 
  • Front end: HTML, CSS and Stimulus (JavaScript) specific test
  • Mobile: iOS (Swift) and Android (Kotlin) specific tests 
  • Ops Engineering: a couple of exercises to carry out in a test server 
  • Analytics: analysis and report of a data set 
  • Salesforce: exercise as part of the final interview
  • Data Science: analysis and report or Python machine learning test
  • Data Platform: data cleansing and transformation in Python  

For many of our manager roles, we ask applicants to also do the technical test. Our engineering teams are fairly small and we expect managers to have a good understanding of the work their teams are doing.

Whether you’re applying for an individual contributor role or a management role, we don’t expect perfection. We’re as interested in your approach to the test as the final product, and appreciate that it can be challenging to write code in a language that you’re unfamiliar with. 

We understand that some people might have limited free time outside of work to complete a test. If you can only complete part of it then it would still be great to see your submission along with your reasoning behind why you took the approach that you did. It could be a great opportunity to show how you prioritise work when time is limited.

Tip💡 If you’re applying for a Ruby role, and are new to the language, check out the Odin project. We also have a Ruby style guide.

First interview ☕ 

This one-hour video interview is with two team members who have reviewed your submission. There is likely to be some follow-up discussion of the test as well as some questions about key aspects of the role. Now is the time for you to ask any questions about the role, the team and anything else that might influence your interest in the opportunity.

Tip💡 Review your submission prior to the interview and bring ideas of what you’d like to improve or change.

Final interview 🚀 

This stage includes two video interviews, one focusing more on behaviours and interpersonal skills, and another to showcase your technical skills and knowledge relevant to the role. For most technical interviews we ask you to talk through an application or system you’re familiar with and answer questions about it. We also ask some more general technical questions.

During the final interviews, you’ll get to meet a number of people you might be working for or with, so we always leave time at the end of the interviews for you to ask us anything you’d like to know. 

Tip💡 In the behavioural interview, we want to hear about specific examples, so have a think in advance about things you’ve done that demonstrate things like how you work in a team, your communication skills and ownership/leadership skills.

Feedback and follow-up ✍️

We hire some roles on a rolling basis, so we’ll be able to provide feedback quite quickly. Where there is a shortlisting process, we’ll wait for all applicants to go through each stage before considering who to progress. We try to give constructive and timely feedback, but please feel free to contact the Talent Team for more information or a general update if you need one.

Check out more posts about careers at FreeAgent, and visit our main careers page to view our latest opportunities and apply. Good luck!

About the author…

Carly joined FreeAgent in November 2021 and is Group Engineering Manager for the Accounting and Growth group.

See all posts by Carly

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *