THE twilio INTERVIEW

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Looking to land a job at Twilio 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 Salesforce's interview process as opposed to other tech companies.

 

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THE twilio INTERVIEW explained

 

BACKGROUND

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Twilio has a pretty comparable interview to a lot of the other giant tech companies. But their onsite (virtual) process is a little different than say the likes of Google or Facebook. We'll dive into that later.

Twilio's hiring starts at IC1 for entry level software engineers and for those with 0-2 years of experience. From there, you can work your way up the ranks to a IC5 which is a principal engineer.

In the Twilio interview you will face around 5-6 interviews testing you on: problem solving/data structures/algorithms, design, behavioral, and a HackerRank challenge.

 

 

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

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update your RESUME

Make sure you’ve updated your resume and in particular your LinkedIn profile; use deliverables and metrics when you can as they are concrete examples of what you’ve accomplished. Make sure to be as specific as possible.

 

PREPARATION

Here is our guide on how to prepare for the coding interview with a 12-week plan.

 

CHOOSING YOUR LANGUAGE

Twilio does not require that you know any specific programming language before interviewing for a tech position. However, you should be familiar with the syntax of your preferred language such as Java, Python, C#, C/C++. You should also know some of the languages’ nuances, such as how memory management works, or the most commonly used collections, libraries, etc. Choose one you’re most comfortable with and stick to it.

 

 

Prescreen with recruiter 

After reviewing your resume, you’ll be paired with a recruiter who will be your guide through the interview process at Twilio. This will be a 30 minute conversation where they want to get an understanding of your skills and your interest in the company / position.

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hackerrank challenge

 

Here you will be given two problem statements and will be given a total of three hours to complete it. You can expect medium to hard LeetCode style questions. It's best to start with the easy questions first, and know that if you do submit an answer, you can go back and optimize it later if you still have time. It's common for the challenge to be the subject of one of your onsite (virtual) interviews so be prepared to explain what you did and why.

To see the 15 most common Twilio interview questions, click below:

 

ON-site (virtual) interview

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Computer Science Principles:

Here you will chat with a senior engineer about computer science principles and will more than likely be asked to demonstrate them while solving problems related to algorithms, data structures, and design.

At this point you should be well versed in the programming language of your choice. You should know the ecosystem, methods, classes, inheritance, details around memory management, and a lot more.

For more on the types of questions you may be asked, feel free to check out the link below.

System Design:

This will be more of a discussion between you and the interviewer, where you will be asked to design a system that can scale. Typical questions include:

  • Design a TinyURL

  • Design Facebook Newsfeed

  • Design Instagram

For example, here are some things you should keep in mind as you think about designing Instagram:

  • What is Instagram?

  • Requirements and Goals of the System

  • Some Design Considerations

  • Capacity Estimation and Constraints

  • High Level System Design

  • Database Schema

  • Data Size Estimation

  • Component Design

  • Reliability and Redundancy

  • Data Sharding

  • Ranking and News Feed Generation

  • News Feed Creation with Sharded Data

  • Cache and Load balancing

Live Coding Challenge:

Here you will most likely be paired with two other engineers and will be asked to solve a problem alongside them. Be sure to ask lots of questions and explain yourself clearly. You can expect this problem to be "open-book" as they want to get an idea of how you approach certain scenarios.

Bar Raiser:

This is purely a behavioral interview where they'll want to get a sense of past work, tools you're familiar with, and your overall impact on previous companies you worked for.

Twilio also has what they call the "Magic Values" which every engineer should embody. They are as follows:

How we act

  • Be an owner

  • Empower others

  • No shenanigans

How we make decisions

  • Wear the customer's shoes

  • Write it down

  • Ruthlessly prioritize

How we win

  • Be bold

  • Be inclusive

  • Draw the owl

  • Don't settle

For more practice on behavioral interviews, check out the link below:

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THE OFFER / NO offer

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From on-site to offer will take about another week or two. This is so management can either evaluate other candidates or to draft up your offer letter along with other logistics.

 

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. Don’t expect any feedback after your interview, but you can conclude that you either didn’t have enough experience or that it just wasn’t a fit culturally. 

 

If you do receive a job offer, the hiring manager will call you to discuss salary, start date, etc.

For more information on how to negotiate your salary, click below.

 

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WHAT'S DIFFERENT

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Bar raiser

Make sure you study up on the Magic Values that make up Twilio. Be sure to frame your responses to questions in terms of their values. How did you make bold decisions, what was the impact it had, etc.

 

 

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Need help preparing for the interview?

Check out the Definitive Interview Prep Roadmap,

written and reviewed by real hiring managers.