Interviewing at Monzo: an overview of our interview process

Interviewing for a new role can be an intimidating process, especially when these processes can vary from company to company. Not knowing what to expect during the interview process can make things even more stressful than they need to be.

At Monzo, we aim to default to transparency, meaning we are open both internally with each other and externally with our customers, board members, investors, etc. This includes our prospective hires! Our interview process is no exception: at Monzo, we hire for strengths and our interview process is designed to learn about those strengths. That means we want you to do well in your interviews! Doing well in your interviews helps answer two questions:

  1. Are you a good fit for our team and the role?

  2. Is working at Monzo a good fit for you?

While we test for different subjects for the various roles, our interview process for all roles basically consists of the same 5 steps:

  1. Recruiter call - 30 minutes

  2. Initial call - 30 minutes to 1 hour

  3. Practical task or project walkthrough - varies (no more than 4 hours)

  4. Technical or systems design interview - 1 hour

  5. Behavioral interview - 1 hour

Recruiter call 📞

Our hiring process typically starts with a 30-minute recruiter call to help guide you through the interview process. This is generally to provide a bit of background about Monzo and our mission, and to make sure the role you’re applying for is the right fit for you.

Initial call 💬

This is typically with someone on our team deeply involved with product development, like our Head of Engineering or Head of Product. Think of this as your elevator pitch but in a more casual and conversational setting: we want to learn about you!

We may ask some general questions but ultimately we’d love to hear about specific projects you’ve done recently. We want to know how they were implemented, things that went well or things that didn’t, and if you would have done anything differently. This helps us understand your approach to problems, and there are no right or wrong answers. This call is normally between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Practical task or project walkthrough 📚

The task and time to complete will vary depending on the role, though not every role will have this step. This step may involve either a take-home task and a follow-up review session, a real-time coding interview, or a project walkthrough presentation.

For non-engineering roles, this task may be a case study of a real-life problem we solved (or need to solve) at Monzo, or a portfolio review of a recent project that demonstrates your end-to-end process and results. Having a take-home task allows you to think through your problem solving process at your own pace and without the pressure of being in a live interview. While we may allow up to a week to complete the take-home task, we generally timebox no more than 4 hours (usually less for most roles) to complete it. We want to be respectful of your time instead of having you spend your free time pursuing a perfect solution.

For engineering roles, this task involves a pair coding exercise where you will pair with an engineer or two using a programming language like Go, Java, Python, or C# to implement functions to satisfy an interface. You’ll be sharing your screen and driving the implementation, so we can see firsthand your understanding of your chosen programming language and data structures.

Regardless of which kind of task your role requires, these should not be considered speed tests or tests needing to be resolved with perfect solutions. The goal is to better understand your approach to problems and your thought process, even if it means having to make trade-offs, rather than a test of your technical knowledge.

Technical or systems design interview 💭

This 1-hour interview will again vary depending on the role but still focuses on your approach to solving problems. 

For engineers, this will be a systems design based on a hypothetical problem using a virtual whiteboard. Like the take-home or pair coding tasks, our goal is to understand your reasoning for the choices you make about the design, including any trade-offs, rather than finding the perfect design or solution.

Behavioral interview 😀

At Monzo, we’re building a strong team focused on achieving our shared mission to make money work for everyone. As we collaborate with each other regularly, we want to make sure you’re comfortable working as part of a team while still being an independent self-starter. You may have noticed a recurring theme by now: we want to hear about your specific projects and what you personally contributed rather than what your team or colleagues did. You can also think of this interview step as a 1-hour trial of working with a couple of your potential teammates!

For details about interviewing for specific roles, check out these blog posts:

Remember that interviewing is a two-way street: this process is not just for us to interview you to find out if you’re a good fit for Monzo. It’s also a chance for you to interview us to see if Monzo is a good fit for you!

Be sure to get your tech ready for interviewing. Most or all of these interviews will be via Internet calls, so check your Internet connection ahead of time to make sure it is fast enough and reliable. We recommend using a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and to set up in a quiet area for the best audio and minimal distractions.

We also recommend approaching questions using the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Talk about a specific situation with any background details, describe your task or responsibility, explain the actions you took, and share the results of your actions.

Most importantly, get excited! Come ready to tell us your story and come prepared with questions to uncover ours. We look forward to getting to know you!

At Monzo, we’re on a mission to make money work for everyone. We are currently hiring Backend Engineers, Financial Crime Analysts, iOS Engineers, and Android Engineers to join our team!