Mixmax Engineering Interviews: What It’s Like, and What We Look For

Mixmax Engineering Interviews: What It’s Like, and What We Look For

We’re hiring! And if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you already knew that. We want the most gifted and talented people (like you) to join our team, and for that to happen, you’ll need to ace our interview process. If you’re looking for some answers or insights about our interviews — well, you’re in the right place.

Revamping Our Hiring Process

Picture yourself back in December 2021. What were you doing exactly one year ago? Maybe you were wrapping up a great Q4. For us, at Mixmax, we were making the final tweaks to our new interviewing process so it would be ready to meet our hiring goal for 2022: tripling the size of our engineering team in one year.

Our old interview process typically required eight live interviews and took around 89 days to get someone from zero to hire. We knew we needed to adapt and be faster. The software hiring market is highly competitive, and spending that long to hire put us at risk of losing great candidates. Today, a year later, our average time to hire is below 40 days.

The first action we took back then to improve was to replace the live-coding challenge with an offline take-home test. The second action taken was to reduce the number of live interviews from our previous eight to only four.

The First Challenge: Impress Our Recruiting Team

Who are you? What’s your story? How meaningful is your experience as an engineer? What problems have you solved? Are you a good match for Mixmax? Is Mixmax a good match for you? 

In the first interview, both you and our hiring team will work to figure out the answers to all of these questions.

During this interview, you’ll get an introduction to our company, what we do, and how we work. You’ll also have an opportunity to present yourself and have a dynamic conversation with our recruiting team, who will assess if there’s a cultural match between the two parties and if your goals are aligned with our goals.

Keep in mind that this interview goes both ways, so bring your own questions!

The Behavioral Interview

Next, let’s talk about the behavioral interview. The behavioral interview is not always the second step in the interview process. Sometimes it’s the last step. But whatever your interview order, you can use the behavioral interview to be your best advocate and convince our Hiring Managers that you can succeed at Mixmax.

How do you do this? Sell yourself! This is a chance for you to explain how much value you can bring to the team. Keep in mind that we will ask questions about your real experience, as opposed to theoretical questions. We don’t want to know how you would do it, but actually how you did it in the past.

This interview is also a great opportunity to ask any kind of technical questions that you may still have. Our interviewer will have the knowledge to answer most of them, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Want more tips? We published an article last year about this portion of the interview process.

The Coding Challenge

Of course, one of the most important parts of every hiring process for engineers is the evaluation of your coding skills. And we know how stressful this can be; we’ve all been there before. That’s why we decided to split this step into two parts.

The first part is the take-home challenge. We’ll send you an exercise to work on a real (but simplified) feature from Mixmax. No complex algorithms or complex sorting, just a real scenario you could face on a typical day of work here. And you can do it whenever you want, and from wherever you want. We’ll only ask you to send the result at most three days after you receive it. But don’t worry! It usually takes less than two hours of work.

After you’ve completed the take-home challenge, it will be reviewed by one of our engineers, and you’ll be invited to a video conference interview. During this interview, you’ll first be asked to explain your solution to the take-home exercise and discuss your design choices. Then, you’ll be asked to augment your solution by adding a specific (but small) functionality. This is your time to shine! Just make sure you’re ready to share your screen and have the challenge you worked on prepared on your IDE.

The purpose of the take-home challenge and video conference is to understand the way you work around the code, validate that we understood your approach, and see how organized you are. One last tip: keep it simple!

The Final Boss: System Design

At this point in the interview process, you’ve already shown us your coding skills. But a great engineer is much more than a reliable developer.

The system design portion of the interview process is a conversation — no coding or drawing diagrams required (unless that helps you think better). This conversation is just a brainstorming session about a feature that we would like to implement at Mixmax, but we don’t know how. We need your help to find the most efficient and reliable way to do it.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a “perfect solution.” There are endless possibilities, and many of them could be really great fits. So, we expect you to iterate over your solution: find its limitations, think about how to solve them, unblock yourself, propose a new alternative, and repeat this process until you are satisfied with the final outcome.

In the meantime, we’ll be admiring your creativity, proactiveness, thinking process, problem-solving skills, how you communicate, and attitude toward challenges. Take the lead!

The Future Belongs to the Brave. Join Us!

Now that you know what to expect, come apply to join Mixmax! Check out our open positions. We’re looking forward to hearing about you and learning how you’ll be a great addition to our team.

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