THE ADOBE INTERVIEW
Looking to land a job at Adobe but don’t know what the process looks like?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Detailed in this post is a look at the timeline of the interview process, preparation guidelines, and what’s different or unique about Adobe’s interview process as opposed to other tech companies.
(keep scrolling FOR A FULL WRITEUP with DETAILS)
THE adobe INTERVIEW explained
Adobe makes great products that have changed how we share/consume documents, how we design creatives, and how we view the customer experience. Products like these don’t come out of thin air; they come from sourcing the best engineers who have a passion for the customer. So if you’re looking to land a job at Adobe, but don’t know what the interview process looks like, then you’ve come to the right place.
Adobe has a pretty standard interview process that resembles much of the larger tech companies. However, they do have a few things that separate it from the rest of them and that comes down to their technical assessment and their on-site.
Adobe also interviews for specific teams and functions, much like Apple. This means that your interview experience can vary depending on what team you are looking to join and what type of environment you’ll be working in.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
updating your resume
Update your resume and in particular you’re LinkedIn profile; use deliverables and metrics when you can as they are concrete examples of what you’ve accomplished. Remember that anything you put on your resume is fair game, so be sure you really know what’s on it.
As a good practice, try to spend at least two minutes talking about each point on your resume and mapping your accomplishments and past experiences to their core values: genuine, exceptional, innovative, involved.
Here is our guide on how to prepare for the coding interview with a 12-week plan.
CHOOSING YOUR LANGUAGE
Adobe doesn’t require that you know one specific language for an interview, but they do place a heavy emphasis on C, Java, and C++. Whichever one you choose, make sure you stick with it and don’t change halfway through the interview.
Prescreen with recruiter
This will be a light 30-minute call. The recruiter will gauge your interest, find out what you know about Adobe and the position, and see if you’re a good fit. They’ll want to get an idea of your skills in relation to the position by asking you questions related to your resume.
Once you’ve made it through the prescreen interview, you’ll be provided a link to a technical assessment. The assessment is split into two parts: aptitude and technical/coding.
The aptitude section will consist of 45 questions where you’ll have around 45 minutes to complete. These questions will mainly be quantitative aptitude questions and logic-based questions. Here are a few examples:
When a number is divided by 13, the remainder is 11. When the same number is divided by 17, the remainder is 9. What is the number?
‘A' and 'B' complete a work assignment together in 8 days. If 'A' alone can do it in 12 days, then how many days will it take ‘B’ to complete the work?
The second part of the test is the technical/coding section. You’ll be given 15 questions which you are to complete in about two hours. The first seven questions are coding questions (i.e. reverse a linked list) and the last eight are multiple choice where you’ll be predicting the outcome of the code provided.
The differentiating factor is the speed and accuracy for which you solve the problems. This is not to say that you should rush through them, it’s more or less something you should be aware of.
If you complete the assessment and they select you to continue then you’ll have a 30-45 minute phone interview with the hiring manager. The hiring manager will dig into your resume to better gauge your leadership skills, problem-solving style, and your ability to work with a team. She/he will want to know about past projects you’ve worked on and the complexities associated with it. There will also be behavioral (refer to Adobe’s core values) and technical questions to test your domain knowledge.
If you’ve successfully navigated through the hiring manager phone interview, then you’ll be invited to come on-site. This is a full day of interviewing (around 6-8 hours) so be prepared to do a lot of talking. The on-site interview loop consists of about 5 interviews with one HR round and four technical rounds.
In the technical portion of the interview, you’ll meet with potential co-workers and manager(s) of the team for about 45-minutes to an hour each. These interviews will cover algorithms, data structures, OS, system design, and occasionally questions specific to the language you claim to be an expert in. In general, the questions will be a mix of whiteboard coding, but they will also feature questions related to problems they have recently solved so they can see how you deal with questions you aren’t necessarily prepared for.
Data structures you should know:
Arrays, Stacks, Queues, Linked lists, Trees, Graphs, Hash tables
Algorithms you should know:
Breadth first search, Depth first search, Binary search, Quicksort, Mergesort, Dynamic programming, Divide and conquer
Note that each round is an elimination round, so be sure to give your full attention from the minute you walk through the door.
The HR portion of the interview will be behavioral in nature and will last for about 45 minutes. Study up on their core values (genuine, exceptional, innovative, involved) and do your best to embody them. It’s best to prepare a few anecdotes for each of their values.
How would a co-worker describe you?
Tell me about a time you went above and beyond to fix a customer issue?
Tell me about an idea that you implemented, and what was the impact?
Tell me about a time you struggled with cross-team communication and the steps you took to resolve it?
THE OFFER / NO offer
In the event that you don’t receive an offer, you’ll most likely have to wait six months to a year to re-apply. To avoid waiting another 6-12 months, you can check out our 12-week preparation guide to answer any coding interview question.
If you do receive a job offer, you’ll discuss things like salary, start date, etc.
Adobe will give you a technical assessment that is composed of two parts: an aptitude test and a coding test. The aptitude test has 45 questions which is to be completed in 45 minutes. The coding test will have 15 questions (completed in about two hours) and is split into two parts: the first seven questions are purely coding (reverse a linked list) and the last eight are multiple choice where you’ll have to find out the outcome of the code provided.
Hiring for teams
You will interview for specific teams and will be expected to know the product or service you’re interviewing for, the challenges associated with building it, and how it works. Questions will be a mix of coding via whiteboard and problems the team is looking to solve and technical questions related to the job.
HOW TO BEST PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
In our experience, it’s best not to try to memorize specific questions. There are no silver bullets.
The questions that companies ask are always changing, because companies of this size are always trying to stay ahead of the curve and try new things. The questions you face will also depend on the team and the hiring manager.
Instead, it’s best to work your way through the fundamentals so you understand the underlying concepts and can answer even new types of interview questions with confidence.
Need help preparing for the interview?
Check out the Definitive Interview Prep Roadmap,
written and reviewed by real hiring managers.