Application and Interview Tips for Engineering Managers - TransferWise

Riho Taba

If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re thinking of applying or have already applied to TransferWise - which is great news! Here’s a handy guide to our application process and interview tips for Engineering Manager roles.

Application process

Step 1. Application

The first step is the application form. Here we ask you to include your CV detailing your past experience and achievements, a cover letter and a few questions related to the role.

So, how can I make sure my application stands out?

  • Make sure your CV is easy to read and clearly lays out your personal contributions and achievements for each of your past experiences
  • Tell us about your leadership experience - your approaches to coaching, building and developing teams and times when you’ve worked closely with leadership teams
  • It’s also good to include what tech stacks you’ve worked with before
  • In the cover letter, tell us why you want to join TransferWise and showcase your passion and curiosity in your field
  • Be sure to attach anything that shows your passion or industry involvement, anything from your GitHub portfolio to blog posts you might have published

Step 2.Initial chat with recruiter

If our hiring team thinks your skills and experience might be a good fit, they’ll then schedule a short chat to introduce you to TransferWise and our engineering philosophy and tech stack. We’ll get to know you a bit better (you won’t need to prepare anything in advance). We’ll talk through your experience in more detail and why you’re interested in joining us. You’ll also be able to ask us any questions you might have.

What kind of info should I cover?

  • Be ready to go more in-depth into your past jobs. Think about what you’ve accomplished and learnt in past jobs and what you’re proud of
  • We want to hear about your motivations. Why TransferWise? Why FinTech? Why this role and what are your expectations?

What are we looking for?

  • You should be able to communicate your thoughts across clearly and give relevant examples of your previous experiences to showcase your skill level
  • We’re looking for leaders who are interested in mentoring and developing fellow engineers

Step 3. Coffee & Informal Chat with Engineering Lead

You’ll be invited in our office for an informal chat over coffee with one of our Engineering Leads in one of our offices (if not, we’ll catch up on a video call). We’ll give you more information about the tech environment at TransferWise and get to know you in person. This is a chance for us to get to know more about your leadership style and projects.

How to prepare?

Step 4. System Design Task & Product Interview

After we’ve gotten to know each other a bit more, you’ll be invited to take part in the System Design Task, followed by our Product Interview. First, you’ll meet with some of our Engineering Leads and we’ll be looking to explore how you approach things from architectural perspective. We’re looking to understand your approach on high-level design choices, documentation and how you ensure best practice through a system design task.

On the same day, you’ll also have our Product Interview. The reason our engineering candidates do a Product Interview is because they design and build software for our customers, so it's vital they understand the customer problems they're solving and how they’d build something and iterate on it to get the best possible user experience. The product interview focuses on evaluating your ability to understand details of a problem and how to prioritise what to build when solving it. (Check out this detailed guide to our product interviews here.)

How to prepare for the System Design Task?

  • As with the previous tech interview, we’ll be keen to explore how you take initiative, prioritise and justify your work and focus.

How to nail the product interview?

  • Show us your product mindset. Our teams don’t just build whatever they’re told, they thoroughly understand our mission and customer pain-points and all work focuses on fixing these problems using data to drive decisions

What are we looking for?

  • We’re looking for customer driven leaders, your team won’t just be delivering features for the sake of it, you’ll truly understand what will have the strongest impact for the customer
  • Collaboration and teamwork skills are critical for this role as you’ll be coordinating closely with various different teams and parts of the company
  • You should be able to give direction to your teams on scaling up new products and taking existing products into new markets and new customer categories

Step 5. Case study and Final Interview

The last step of the process will be an on-site case study following with the final interview with our Engineering VP. You’ll receive the case study a few days prior to the day to allow you to prepare. On the day, you’ll do a 30-minute presentation to a team of engineers followed by an hour of discussion and Q&A. We don’t expect you to use more than 4-5 hours on preparing your presentation.

In the final interview, you’ll meet with our VP of Engineering and we’ll have a conversation with you to cover any outstanding questions you might have about the opportunity and make sure we’re both on the same page.

Any advice?

  • Make sure to pay attention to not only the content and analysis of the problem, but also the feasibility of your proposed solution
  • In the case study, be prepared to not just talk about your findings, but also show your decision-making process, while considering other alternative solutions
  • In the final interview just be yourself and ask away any questions you might have about working at TransferWise

Hopefully, you’ve found all this useful, but if you’re looking for more info, we’d highly suggest reading over the following links:

How TransferWise works: Your step-by-step guide
Read about the TransferWise Mission
From 2 founders to 1000 employees - how we grew into a global community

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location