Quick Studies

How Spotify Recruits Talent

Bring on the right people by putting potential hires through an interview process that tests their skills and cultural compatibility.

Spotify believes hiring the right developers is crucial, so they’ve created a lengthy recruitment process to make sure they bring on the best possible people. While your team may not need developers, their methodology can be adapted to bring on the right talent for your team.

How Spotify Recruits Talent

  1. General introduction and screening. First, Spotify reviews the candidate’s resume. If approved, they’ll set up a phone or Skype interview to ask about work interest, relocation, salary, and other need-to-know information.
  2. Tech trivia session. Next, Spotify will set up another Skype interview and ask questions about technical topics like memory access time, sorting algorithms, or other topics that are specific to the role. This stage is also a test of passion and drive.
  3. Tech Interview. In this final Skype interview, the candidate is tasked with solving a programming problem via EtherPad so their work can be evaluated in real time.
  4. The big on-site interview. Assuming they pass the tech interview, Spotify will bring the potential hire on-site for five intensive interviews:
    1. Whiteboard programming. The candidate solves problems on a whiteboard. Correct code doesn’t matter as much as how the candidate interacts with people conducting the interview.
    2. Another programming test. Sometimes, this is replaced with a case interview with a “real life” situation to solve.
    3. A test on system design. Here, the interviewee is asked about designing scalable systems for millions of users, storing data, login details, security, and more.
    4. Meet the team. This is the most crucial interview, and it’s a test to see how the candidate fits in with the rest of the team.
    5. Culture Interview. This is the last of the on-site interviews, in which company values, culture, and benefits are discussed. Part of this involves asking employees who met the potential hire the following questions:
      • Is the candidate technical enough for Spotify?
      • Would you want the candidate on your team?
      • Can you learn something from the candidate?
      • Is there a reason NOT to hire the candidate?

If, after this rigorous process, Spotify believes the candidate is a good fit and vice versa, they are hired and onboarding begins.


Published May 3, 2016