Everyone Should Interview at Stripe: A Software Engineer’s Perspective

“Everyone should interview at Stripe” declares Muhammed A. a software engineer, in his LinkedIn article. He shares his personal experience interviewing at Stripe, highlighting the company’s unique interview process and the valuable insights he gained from it.

Acing the Phone Screen

The journey begins with a phone screen interview with a Principal Software Engineer. This round involves a multi-stage coding challenge designed to assess problem-solving skills and code clarity Muhammed emphasizes the importance of writing clean code and understanding the trade-offs between refactoring and passing on repeated code.

Bug Bash Embracing the Challenge

The next stage is the “Bug Bash” where candidates are presented with a codebase containing bugs and tasked with identifying and fixing them. This round tests debugging abilities and the ability to follow a systematic approach to problem-solving.

System Design: Showcasing Architectural Prowess

The system design round is an opportunity to showcase architectural skills and understanding of distributed systems Muhammed describes his experience designing an Observability system and engaging in an in-depth discussion about its components and building blocks

Integration: Putting the Pieces Together

The integration round focuses on API calls and data manipulation. Muhammed emphasizes the importance of understanding the overall system architecture and being able to explain the rationale behind design decisions.

Leadership and Behavioral: Showcasing Soft Skills

The final round is a leadership and behavioral interview with two engineering leaders. This round is a chance to show off your “soft skills,” like your ability to communicate, work with others, and solve problems.

Beyond the Interview: A Valuable Experience

Although Muhammed didn’t get an offer at the end of his time at Stripe, he thinks the whole experience was very valuable. He talks about the good things about the interview process, like how helpful and interesting the interviewers were and how the candidate could learn from more experienced engineers and get a sense of Stripe’s culture and values.

Key Takeaways

Muhammed’s article offers several key takeaways for aspiring software engineers:

  • Practice writing clean code.
  • Develop strong debugging skills.
  • Understand distributed systems and system design principles.
  • Be prepared to explain your design decisions.
  • Focus on soft skills, including communication and collaboration.
  • Treat the interview as a learning experience, regardless of the outcome.

Muhammed’s article serves as an inspiration for those considering a career at Stripe. His detailed account of the interview process provides valuable insights and guidance for aspiring software engineers. The article also highlights the importance of approaching interviews with a growth mindset, focusing on learning and self-improvement regardless of the outcome.

Step 2: Technical Phone Screen

Stripe’s technical phone screen lasts about an hour. You can use either your own IDE and share your screen or you can just use CoderPad. They leave it up to you; whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Expect the unexpected here i. e. , they won’t ask standard LeetCode-style questions. “Types of Interview Questions to Expect at Stripe” below will talk about what we know about how they ask questions.

Stripe’s hiring managers are told to share all good candidates with other teams. This means that even if you’re not a good fit for their team, they might be able to help you find another one.

Step 3: Second Recruiter Call

This is an informational call to help prepare you for the onsite.

At this point, candidates split into different loops depending on the role they are interviewing for e. g. , ML, frontend, backend etc. On-site interview loops are also a little different depending on the job and level of seniority, but here’s what you can expect:

  • Coding (1 hour). You can have the interview in either your own IDE with screen-share or in CoderPad. Your choice. Read the Coding section below to learn more about the types of questions you can expect.
  • System design (1 hour). We will talk about this interview in either your own drawing tool with screen-share or in Whimsical. Your choice. Read the section below on System Design to learn more about the types of questions you can expect.
  • Bug bash (1 hour). You will be given some code and asked to find any bugs in it. Most of the time, they choose something they’ve seen before, so it will be a generic version of a real Stripe bug. In this round, they want you to think about how to solve the problem and try out different methods instead of just rushing in and hitting a wall.
  • [For roles below Staff] Integrations (1 hour). Here, you will be asked to use the Stripe API. It will be based on integrations that Stripe has seen their merchant customers make in the real world. You won’t get this round if you interview with the Integrations organization.
  • [For Staff roles and above] Presentation (1 hour). You have to write a one-pager about a project you worked on in the past and show it to an engineer on staff and a younger engineer who will take notes. The panel will look at how well you can communicate both in writing and in front of a live technical audience after you explain it. They want to see how well you can explain what you did in terms of business context and how well you can defend technical choices. They might also ask you what you’d do if the rules changed at the last minute. They will look at how big the project is and see if you used “soft power” to get it done. This interview is very important for leveling; if candidates can’t clearly explain how their work affects the business, for example, they may be demoted.
  • Behavioral (1 hour). The hiring manager or a “Leveler” (someone who interviews people at many levels and tries to keep the bar high, like an Amazon “Bar Raiser”) will be in charge of this interview. Read the section below on behavior to learn more about the kinds of questions you can expect.

Ace the Stripe Software Engineering Interview | What to Expect


How to prepare for a Stripe interview?

We recommend practicing coding questions on your own so you are prepared either way. What are Stripe coding interviewers looking for? Aim to end with working code running without errors. Stripe cares less about having the most efficient problem and more about production-level code.

Is Stripe interview difficult?

Stripe Interviews FAQs Is it hard to get hired at Stripe? Glassdoor users rated their interview experience at Stripe as 44.6% positive with a difficulty rating score of 3.08 out of 5 (where 5 is the highest level of difficulty).

Does Stripe ask for LeetCode?

Stripe’s technical phone screen lasts about an hour. You can use either your own IDE and share your screen or you can just use CoderPad. They leave it up to you; whatever you’re most comfortable with. Expect the unexpected here i.e., they won’t ask standard LeetCode-style questions.

What is the interview process for Stripe backend engineer?

15 min call with the recruiter, 1h live coding interview and virtual onsite (5 rounds). The virtual onsite consists of coding, system design, integration, bug bash and chat with hiring manager.

What is the interview process like at stripe?

I interviewed at Stripe Overall, the interview process was extremely long and strenuous. First round: recruiter screening, second round: hiring manager call, third round: take home assignment (took me ~30 hours), onsite: 5 separate interviews (2 behavioral, 1 SQL, 1 product analytics, 1 presentation).

How do I prepare for a stripe interview?

Be genuine in expressing your enthusiasm for being part of the Stripe team. Remember to tailor your preparation to the specific role you’re interviewing for and practice consistently to build confidence in your skills and responses. Here are the top 30 Stripe interview questions, along with a sample answer for each question.

What kind of questions should you ask on a stripe interview?

This will consist of leadership-oriented and behavioral-type questions. Stripe has a high bar in terms of fit, so anticipate questions which are both experiential (eg. tell me about a time) and situational (eg. how would you handle a scenario) in nature.

How long was the interview at stripe?

I interviewed at Stripe Initial interview with HR followed by a 30 minute interview with the hiring manager about my background. I had to select an interview slot with the hiring manager. Those slots were either very late +9pm or at the weekend. The hiring manager was 10 minutes late to my interview and did not apologise.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

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