Under the hood: PayMongo's Software Engineer Interview

illustration c/o undraw.co

Engineering interviews vary from one company to another. The common ones are giving applicants some theoretical written/oral exams or coding exams. It varies depending on the objectives of searching for the next software engineer of the team.

At PayMongo, we’re looking for software engineers who are:

  • Problem solvers — We don’t assess if you memorized the documentation of a certain language but rather if you can understand a given problem and provide the best solution. Our software engineers do not just care about “how” to solve the problem but also “why” are we solving it.
  • Team-player — “If you want to go fast go alone. if you want to go far, go together”— African Proverb. We evaluate an applicant if he/she cares about their colleagues and has no tendency to be a lone wolf.
  • Writes clean code — We write straightforward and readable code. A good software engineer is someone who writes code that cares about others.
  • Good communicator — Being a software engineer in the company means you can explain your work to either technical or non-technical people.

Curious about how we assess these criteria? Let’s break down the interview process.

THE STEPS

Initial interview — Getting to know

This is a straightforward getting to know each other stage. The goal is to assess the EQ (Emotional Quotient) and AQ (Adversity Quotient) of the applicant from their past experiences.

Interviews should be a two-way street. We ask questions and we encourage the applicants to ask questions too.

Common questions we would ask:

  • Finding out why do they think the job post is the right opportunity for them.
  • Their motivation for joining the company.
  • Some situational and behavioral questions.

Skills Exam — Understanding someone’s technical capability and how they communicate

We ask an applicant to answer a coding problem for a week. Think of it as a dry run working in the company. They can use the programming language that they are comfortable using. They also have to present their work and the rationale behind the solution to the problem.

The goal is to assess if the applicant understands the problem and provide the best solution they can think of. This means that asking questions is highly recommended.

Culture Fit — Understanding someone’s perspective about the company and team’s culture.

Culture is very important in our company. Even if the applicant passed the 1st and 2nd stages, we will still evaluate if the applicant will fit the company’s core values and culture. To know more about our team’s culture, you can check it here.

I wrote this article as a guide for aspiring software engineers who want to join our company. I believe that we have a pool of talented engineers in the country and we want to work with these people. If you’re interested in joining our company, here’s the link to the job post.

We are an RoR + React dev house but we’re willing to give you training if you are willing to learn a new language or framework.

I also handle other roles such as Product Managers, UX and QA. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

Join us and let’s build the future of payments.

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Co-founder, CTO - PayMongo

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Jaime Hing III

Jaime Hing III

Co-founder, CTO - PayMongo

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