Remote hiring for Software Engineers at Findmypast

This, we hope, is a friendly guide to the Findmypast Software Engineering interview process. With Coronavirus significantly impacting everyone in the UK (and the world), we’re very fortunate at Findmypast because we’ve been able to continue working from home throughout the crisis. We’re used to having video meetings and working with colleagues across Scotland, England, Ireland and the United States. We understand that interviews over a video call may not be as natural as a face-to-face interview, however as we are working remotely now, we thought it was worthwhile writing a guide to help prospective employees know what to expect when interviewing with Findmypast for a Software Engineering position.

The first interview stage for Software Engineers is a video call with a couple of members from the engineering team. This is an opportunity for us to ask you about your experience in building software and what you’re looking for in your next position. We chat about the processes involved in the software delivery lifecycle and how you personally like to deliver software. We’re big believers in extreme programming (XP) and try to cover the various aspects involved in that. To finish up, we do an algorithm communication question to see how you communicate technical concepts to others. We do a lot of paired programming at Findmypast, so this skill is essential.

If you’re successful with the first stage, the second stage is a 2-3 hour interview, which is also a video call with a few more members of the team. We begin with around 90 minutes of paired programming using our pairing repository which has a little application that mocks up a search results page like you might find on the Findmypast website. Our goal is to gain an understanding of what it would be like to work with one another by collaborating on some simple problems by extending the application’s feature set. This is an opportunity for you to show us how you work and how you approach problem solving. Don’t forget to write tests! We’ll have a break of 10 minutes then reconvene. After the paired programming, we’ll sometimes do a short software design exercise. Finally we’ll give you a break and try to give you an overview of what it’s like to work at Findmypast and be one of our Software Engineers. We’ll finish up with some general questions from the group that align with our company values and behaviours and we’ll leave time for you to ask your questions as well.

Our goal is to make the interview as relaxed as possible and give you the best chance to show your skills. Interviewing is a two-way process and we’re able to give feedback to you on your interview performance and, should you have any for us, then please pass this on too.
Find out more about our culture, values and open positions here.

Source: Findmypast