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Interviews at Wise
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I applied online. I interviewed at Wise (London, England, England)
There was initial HR interview that was pretty standard and then a "Pair programming" interview which wasn't really pair programming but you writing code with another person giving some top level advice.
- I was asked to write and algorithm for a board game.
I applied online. The process took 4 days. I interviewed at Wise (London, England, England) in Feb 2020
There was an initial 30 minute call to go into more detail about my CV and the role. That was followed by a 90 minute video call where I went into more detail on my past experiences. First, I described the projects that I had worked on previously from a technical perspective, and elaborated on my contributions. I also had to give examples and describe how I reacted to challenging situations such as how I reacted to having caused an issue in a production environment. That was followed by a technical exercise. We spent about 30 minutes on it. The exercise was to implement a blog system similar to TransferWise's technical blog. It was unclear if it was a system design exercise or a coding exercise; I approached it as a system design exercise, collecting requirements and describing the system, but they also wanted me to code. I gave a high-level overview how the system would work, what services and applications would be used, what features it would have, how the user would interact with the system, etc. They seemed satisfied with that approach but also wanted me to implement a solution. Code-wise I started defining some of the data structures and describing how they would support the solution but didn't implement anything else. A few days later I was told that I had been rejected. They said they had candidates that were a better fit for the role, and that I did poorly on the coding exercise. In my opinion, the format of the technical interview was just not good. They tried to accomplish too much within a very short amount of time (learning about my work experience, my behaviour in the workplace, my system design skills and my programming skills). It was also not well structured, because they didn't clearly separate the different parts of the interview, which resulted in having less time for the coding exercise. I think the worst problem though is the coding exercise. I was asked to develop a system with multiple components and a lot of complexity and then told to implement it in a HackerRank-style online editor. I was given little instructions besides here's the problem, solve it, also here's a text editor. Was it a system design exercise? Was it a coding exercise? What was I supposed to implement, exactly? The frontend application? The multiple backend services that I defined? Or a dumbed-down version as a Java application? And I had to do it in under half an hour. I could have easily showed my skills in either frontend or backend development, but I didn't really have an opportunity to do so due to the type of interview that was conducted. Ultimately, I can understand why they used this interview format. It's much quicker than having several interviews, which with its dedicated purpose and enough time to actually do them properly. Given the company profile and the amount of interest that they get from applicants, they can afford to filter out a lot of them at an early stage by doing so. I will say, though, that it makes for a terrible interview experience and likely a bad recruitment process as well, because a lot of great candidates might just not understand the interview format or not have enough time to display their skills properly.
- How would you implement a technical blog system?
I applied online. I interviewed at Wise (London, England, England)
I had a phone screening, followed by a HackerRank challenge, which contains around 25 questions, from which 3 were coding exercises. The next step was an on-site interview with 2 engineers, which was quite disappointing. I don't think I was asked enough questions to have an accurate sense of my strengths and knowledge. One of the interviewers was respectful and polite, but the other one was the opposite. He was rough, unwelcome and he provided "his right" answers before I could re-think, evaluate and formulate my solution.
- Classic data structures/algorithms questions.
I applied online. I interviewed at Wise (Tallinn) in Aug 2017
I applied online and my CV was selected. The interview process consist of five rounds : 1. Technical Recruiter’s Interview The recruiter mainly discussed my experience and motivation. Then he also explained how this interview process will proceed. This round was conducted via Hangout. 2. HackerRank code test 3. Technical Interview via Hangout. Interviewer asked me my experience. I was asked to share some of my previous challenging project and how I solved it. It also have coding chalanges that I had to solve in a normal code share platform without auto completion. 4. Product Interview. This is really a unique experience. The purpose of this round is to evaluate whether I’m capable of designing any product. How I relate big picture into my day to day role and tasks. One need to be a product thinker to clear this round. 5. Interview with VP of Engineering and Senior Product Manager. It was really a great experience to talk to their VP of Engineering. He mainly discussed my motivation, like why I want to join TransferWise. We also discussed few basic technical fundamental topics. I did really bad in some of the questions. During this entire time their Recuiter from Tallinn and their Global Receuitment Lead was coordinating with me. They were really helpful. And finally when I finally got the offer, I didn’t hesitate to accept.
- Why you want to join TransferWise
I applied online. I interviewed at Wise (London, England, England)
Average. But they then send you a "technical test to solve in a third party website, mainly in a development language you don't have experience with. After all they say you don't have the skills as per the test? Also they didn't give any reason why the test failed but after chasing several times. Horrible experience.
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Wise (Tallinn) in May 2017
Interview process was nice. It was programming exercise given for one week to complete. If the exercise is completed successfully, you invited to an interview. Interview starts with the questions about your experience, why you choose this company and the other half of the interview is about the knowledge of programming skills and data structures.
- The difference between array list and linked list, their time complexity when do add/remove operations
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Wise (London, England, England) in Mar 2017
I completed an online HackerRank test, and then I was rejected at the first interview. The test is fairly easy, and I believe anyone can crack it provided s/he gets some practice on the platform beforehand. In all honesty, I think I did pretty horribly during the interview and I would have rejected me in their shoes, but I can still produce some useful piece of advice for those who want to apply. The whole interview (via Hangouts) was a bit weird. I was asked to design a system (won't go into the details as I believe companies deserve the right to re-ask their questions to other candidates) and was sent a link to an online notebook where one of the interviewers wrote some sketchy (pseudo?)code I was supposed to build my solution upon. I tried to engage a discussion about the assumptions, requirements, and challenges of the problem, and most importantly search for a suitable algorithm and data structure. I think a whiteboard and being there in person would have helped quite a lot. I didn't have a way to sketch my ideas (and no, designing a system with a keyboard is not the way to go), and I don't think the interviewers actually followed me in my (lengthy) reasoning, and in fact they ended up distracted, working on their laptops with me struggling to regain their attention. That was my ultimate defeat and when that happened I knew it was over! :) This doesn't mean I couldn't have done better, and here's the thing: these people are not interested in you floundering about the details you so much care about, they won't take it as a sign of focus on detail, but rather lack of overall vision, and need of direction. They'll get bored. They'll get bored real quick. Even if the solution is not perfect, just quickly verbalize it, swiftly code it, and fix it later (maybe, or maybe not - I am not even sure it is required at that stage). I think that's also the company culture on the job, not just during interviews.
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Wise in Apr 2016
The process consists in 4 steps: 1- Preliminar telephone call with the internal recruiter, 2- Hackerrank tests 3- Face to face interview with Technical Leads and Product Manager 4- Manager interview The first step is the usual first telephone call with a recruiter, asking about salary expectation and checking your basic motivation. The Hackerrank test was good, but not so easy and a was a little bit short in time. Anyway, after a chat with my recruiter, she add me some minutes more to finish one of my questions. The quiz was composed by 3 coding exercises and several questions. In a few days, I received the invitation for a face to face interview with 2 technical people (A Technical Lead and a Software Engineer) and the Product Manager. The first technical part was fine, the guys were cool and smart, and showed me their way to work and to interact each others. Moreover, they asked me a lot of motivational questions, probing even my ethic point of view. The Product Manager interview was... strange. A lot of question around the product, and how would I build this and that, how to understand if an idea is successfull or not, if we should invest here or there, if I ever spoke with a real customer during my actual job, etc. The conversation was fluent, interesting and fine to me, even if I didn't feel comfortable inventing too much stuff (no, unfortunately I never had a billion dollar idea, otherwise I would never apply for this job!). After 3 days I received the positive feedback from the Technical Lead, but a negative feedback from the Product Manager, and so the process for me is finished. To be honest, I don't really understand what's the scope of such a specific questions, and I feel like I performed good even in this part interview... but of course doing these things and answering those questions is not part of my everyday job. I have never done a Business Plan or driven a Marketing Analysis yet, I will work on that to improve my skills so. Anyway, that's it for me. Good luck for the next!
I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Wise in Jul 2015
The process starts with a phone call with the recruiter who ask a few questions about background, skills, projects and usual motivational questions. After the first call there is a coding challenge composed of 3 coding problems and something like 20 questions, everything to solve in 90 minutes. The coding challenges were quite interesting but not very difficult, the other 20 questions were about back-end and front-end environments (a lot of java focused questions, html, css, caching..). After the online coding challenge I had a skype interview with the engineering lead and another developer. In this call they were walking me through a designing challenge and they were asking motivational questions. No technical questions asked, but I guess this is because they already had no intention of proceeding with my application. Before starting the process with transferwise make sure you have a strong interest in moving money around the world and a strong passion for what they are doing, they are really fixed on these motivations!!
- Model the solar system.
I applied through an employee referral The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Wise (London, England, England) in Jun 2015
First, they ask you to complete a coding challenge on HackerRank. Nothing to difficult, a few web technical questions and two coding problems. Then, you get an answer from them in the following days and an invitation to a interview on site. I got 3 interviews on site with different people from TransferWise: lead developer, developer, product marketing, VP of engineering. It was really friendly and was almost only quick discussions about technologies I used at work or on my projects, or how I would design an API for a product that does <insert something>. Also, they asked what would I change/add/delete in their product. Finally, I got a interview with the CEO which is part of their process when recruiting full-time employee. Again, it was 30minutes chat about some projects I did, why I wanted to join TransferWise and what I would change in their product.
- Describe a high level overview of the API of a product like tumblr. How would you architect the API?