Hiring & interviewing in the SRE organization

This document outlines how we approach hiring and interviewing for the SRE organization. It’s intended as guidelines for interviewees and interviewers, but does not supersede any processes or requirements set forth by the HR organization, nor does it make any promises or conditions of hiring upon completion of the interview process.

Job listings & descriptions

These are the official documents used to reference a role and its requirements and responsibilities.

Job Descriptions

Official HR-administered document outlining:

  • Primary purpose of the position (why does this role exist?)
  • Duties, responsibilities (what are the primary activities regularly performed?)
  • Physical and mental demands
  • Management responsibilities (direct reports & budget responsibilities)
  • Education & experience qualifications (minimums and preferences)
  • Skills and competencies (additional attributes necessary to perform the job)

Job descriptions are the building block for every role; a job listing MUST include the primary duties & minimum required experience listed. Updates to job descriptions should be taken up with HR.

Job Listings


Interview process

Interviewing is difficult, and everyone interviews differently. We should aim to create a welcoming and inclusive interview environment for all types of interviewers. As interviewers, we’re tasked with deciding whether or not we would want to work with someone in a very short period of time. Interviewers must go through interviewing training prior to participation in any interviews, which can be arranged with your manager and through HR.

For each interview segment, we’ll provide time estimates for the segment itself, and for the interval between segments. As we are likely interviewing multiple candidates at any given time, we’ll do our best to provide interviewers with reasonable and accurate timeframes. Lastly, we can end the interview process at any time, and completion of any step does not mean you will automatically advance to the next step.

Initial screening

This is a short (15-30 minute) video call with the direct hiring manager. The primary goal is to better understand you and why you’re interested in the position.

Some questions you might be asked:

  • What do you like/dislike about your current/former position?
  • What interests you about the organization or the open position?
  • General questions about skills listed in the description and your familiarity

Pre-technical questionnaire

A 5-question form which should take no more than 2 hours, but is not time-constrained in any way. We’re looking to better understand applicants and how they might approach problems and things they might not know.

Technical aptitude activity

A 60-90 minute remote interview with some or all of the current SRE team. You will be asked to complete an activity using your personal computer via screenshare. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, let the hiring manager know and we will arrange something else.

Again, we are more interested in understanding how you approach problems, how you work with your peers, what kinds of questions you ask, how you think critically, than in actually solving the problem.

Panel interview

This is an interview to understand how you align with our core values of:

  • Collaboration
  • Continuous improvement
  • Respect for people
  • Accountability
  • Integrity

You’ll talk with 5 current employees from throughout the organization and be asked for your real-life experiences as they relate to these core values.


April Elizabeth

Sometimes writer, always hungry.

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