Engineering

The Asana Engineering Interview Guide

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The engineering interview. A grueling trial by fire. A gauntlet from which only the strongest emerge. A ruthless interrogation in which you will be tested to the limit.

Let’s not do that.

Instead, let’s open a dialogue. Let’s solve problems together and see what we can learn in the process. Let’s have fun!

Today we want to let you in on a little secret: we’re going to tell you exactly how to beat our interview process. Inspired by other leaders of great interviewing culture–Triplebyte and Stripe are just two examples–we want to share our own Engineering Interview Guide with you. In it, we tell you what kinds of questions we ask, what we’re looking for when we ask them, and how best to prepare.

Why would we do that?

“We want every candidate who comes into an interview with us to feel prepared and confident.”

For one, we want to level the playing field. When we refer our friends, or when candidates ask what to expect, we informally share information with them. We recognize that by doing this, we may create an unfair advantage, and we want to change that: everyone should have access to the same information, not just those who ask for it. People who’ve been in the tech field for longer will have a general understanding of how engineering interviews work, and those with access to interview prep at their university will also be more likely to have practice with similar formats. Knowing what you’re going into is tremendously helpful: it not only makes you better prepared technically, but boosts confidence, too. We want every candidate who comes into an interview with us to feel prepared and confident, regardless of background or experience interviewing.

Another reason for sharing our interview process is that it resonates with our values. At Asana, we aspire to transparency, which means we value honest, direct feedback. We deliver feedback with empathy and respect, and strive to receive it with egolessness and humility because we believe the ability to learn is better than knowing it all. We spend time on mentorship, and see helping people grow as the primary role of management. And perhaps most importantly, we understand that being authentic and practicing what you preach is the difference between empty bullet points and the values that define you.

”We understand that being authentic and practicing what you preach is the difference between empty bullet points and the values that define you.”

The final reason we’re providing this guide is a simple one: we want you to succeed. A lot of companies in tech proudly proclaim themselves exclusive clubs, hiring only “the top 1%” (by some arbitrary definition). For a company like that, rejecting candidates isn’t just expected – it’s a point of pride. But at Asana, every engineer goes into an interview hoping they’ll be able to recommend a hire. Nothing is more painful than the feeling that a candidate didn’t have the opportunity to shine, or that maybe we missed something. We want our decision to be based on a clear and accurate picture of technical excellence and values alignment — on both sides. We sincerely hope this guide helps you feel like you can shine and find out more about whether Asana is the kind of community you want to be a part of.

We’d love if it you checked out our Engineering Interview Guide if you haven’t already and told us what you think, or if there’s anything more that you’d like to see us include. We’re always iterating on our interview process and this guide, as we want to ensure it’s meaningful to all of our candidates. If you’re interested in interviewing with us, head on over to our Careers page.

Special thanks to Jack Heart and Sonja Gittens-Ottley

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