Our engineering interview process

Nov 23, 2022 by

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Oliver Juhl

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Oliver Juhl

This post is dedicated to engineers considering applying for a position at Medusa and wanting to know what’s in store and how to best prepare.
Over the last couple of months, we have been building out our engineering organization and conducted hundreds of interviews. We have observed that covering process structure takes up significant and valuable time during interviews. Therefore, I’ve decided to outline our interview process here, hoping it can serve as a source of alignment prior to starting the process.
This post is dedicated to engineers considering applying for a position at Medusa and wanting to know what’s in store and how to best prepare.


Our process is straightforward, and the interviews that all engineering candidates go through do not differ wildly from the rest of the industry. Below you’ll find a diagram depicting the process; four interviews are fixed, while one depends on the role we are hiring for. The offer letter is presented during the final call and is contingent on reference calls we’ll conduct within the following week or two. We might also squeeze in calls with our team, but this varies from candidate to candidate.
This post will cover the intro, technical case, and culture fit interviews.
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The intro call

Expected outcome
The introductory call is for us to get to know each other. We introduce ourselves and talk about Medusa and your motivation for applying. At the end of the call, we dedicate time for you to ask questions about our organization, the product, and the team to ensure nothing is left unanswered when we conclude.
For all engineering positions, the intro call is with me (CTO) and lasts 30 minutes. We run introductions in a conversational format, asking questions to one another as we go along.
Preparing for the interview
We will spend time talking about our product, so I recommend reading through our website, Notion Home, and GitHub to get a high-level idea of what we build, how we differentiate, and why. The idea is to form a foundation for a good conversation.
Additionally, It is worth considering why you want to join Medusa. We are a fast-growing, early-stage startup with under 20 people in our organization. This implies more responsibility, taking ownership of tasks, and being receptive to constant change, which is not necessarily for everyone.

Technical case

Expected outcome
Our technical case might differ from what you’ve seen elsewhere. We don’t believe fizz-buzz-like coding challenges help us hire exceptional engineers, and they give you no idea about how it is to work at Medusa.
In our engineering organization, we follow an RFC approach to solution design. You will be exposed to that framework in the technical case interview as it is structured around a feature in our backlog. You will be asked to design a solution, write a (small) RFC, and document your thought process as if you were part of the team.
The purpose is to evaluate your technical competencies, product sense, and ability to communicate in a scenario similar to our daily work.
The format of the technical case comprises a take-home task and a 60-minute review call. Usually, we schedule the review call a week after you’ve received the take-home case. To be clear, we don’t expect you to spend seven days on the case, but the timing allows you to stretch the work over multiple days.
You’ll receive the task in a Product Requirements Document (PRD) format, which is almost always the input to our solution design framework. In the review call, we’ll spend the first half discussing your solution proposal and the other half talking more generally about engineering.
The interview will involve a Senior Engineer (or our CEO, Seb) and me.
Preparing for the interview
As our technical case is a feature from our backlog, you can check it out before applying. The current one in question is an extension to our Product API.
Aside from reading through the feature document, I recommend familiarising yourself with our technical stack, as we will likely relate your design proposal directly to our product and architecture.
As for the second part of the interview, we’ll discuss engineering and product learnings from your previous experience.
Some of the questions we focus on are:
  • What’s an example of an exciting problem that you’ve solved?
  • What’s an example of a problem you've had to solve quickly?
  • What’s an example of something you’ve learned that you want to bring to Medusa?
  • What’s an example of something you’ve done that had a high impact?
And we approach them from an engineering perspective.

Culture fit

Expected outcome
Engineering capabilities and product sense are two important characteristics that we value highly in a candidate, but collaboration and communication are equally important, as we will be spending most of our time together over the next many years.
The culture fit interview serves two purposes; it is for us to understand what learnings and values from your experience you will bring with you to Medusa, and an opportunity for you to gauge if our team and culture constitute a work environment you see yourself part of.
This interview is conducted by one of my co-founders and me. In the call, we ask questions about a selection of past teams you have been part of and your role in those teams.
We set aside at least 15 minutes for you to ask questions before we wrap up the interview.
Preparing for the interview
The best preparation for the culture fit interview is to reflect on your career learnings and consider the characteristics of a healthy work environment and overall team culture.
Similar to the technical discussion, we have a set of questions (for each of the selected previous employments) that are almost always covered, and those are:
  • What were you hired to do?
  • What team were you part of, and what was your role?
  • What were your most significant accomplishments?
  • What were your biggest challenges?
  • What would you bring from your time at “X” company?

Let’s chat!

We believe companies (and their success) are a product of the team they build, so we spend tremendous time fine-tuning our process to give us the best basis for making decisions. As with many other things, there’s no silver bullet, but we’ll keep improving to get as close to it as possible.
Hopefully, sharing our interview process will set us both up for success, ensure our time together will be efficient, and lead to us joining forces.
We are looking for front-end engineers and full-stack engineers to join our core commerce team. If these job listings don’t fit your profile, don’t let that stop you from reaching out. Hiring is an unpredictable process; you never know when you’ll find the perfect match.

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