Types of interviews

The below information is intended to help our candidates prepare for each step of the interview. Please note that the example questions are examples only and may not be the exact questions asked in the actual interview process.

The interview process

Our hiring managers work with their assigned recruiter to create an optimal interview plan for their role. Below is an example. All steps in bold are strongly encouraged.

All role-specific interview processes are documented at the end of each job description. We strive for consistency across all interviews.

  • Recruiter Screen
  • Hiring Manager Screen
  • Resume Deep Dive
  • Assignment, if applicable
  • Team Interview stage:
    • Assignment review/working session, if applicable
    • Technical Interview, if applicable
    • Cross-functional Team Collaboration Interview
    • Peer Interview
  • Final Interview stage:
    • Values Interview
    • Leadership Interview
  • Reference checks / offer

Structured interview questions

We ask structured questions for all interviews, meaning that all candidates are asked the same questions in an effort to reduce bias and to even the playing-field. The interview may be recorded so that we can focus on the candidate, not taking notes, and ensure that we’re delivering a great interview experience. If a candidate prefers not to be recorded during the interview, they can let us know—the structure of the interview and decision-making process will remain the same and the decision not to be recorded will have no weight on their candidacy.

Universal interviews

All departments are likely to have some or all of the below universal interview stages:

Recruiter Screen

  • Interviewer: the assigned recruiter for the role.
  • Duration: 30-minutes.
  • Details: the goal of the recruiter screen is to learn more about your background and interest in Sourcegraph. In addition to learning about you, the recruiter will also tell you about Sourcegraph, the role, compensation/benefits, the interview process, and answer any questions you have.
  • Example questions:
    • Tell me about your work experience, past to present.
    • Why are you looking for something new?
    • Why are you interested in Sourcegraph and our open position?
    • What are you looking for in your next role, and what are your career goals?
    • Do you have overlap with a specific time zone? (only applicable for roles that have time zone requirements)
    • Tell us how much exposure, if any, you have had working with teammates across time zones. How did you stay connected and up-to-date with your team?
    • What is your ideal start date?
    • Are your compensation expectations in line with our compensation range, which is XYZ?
    • What questions do you have for us?

Hiring Manager Screen

  • Interviewer: the hiring manager.
  • Duration: 30-minutes is average, but sometimes these are longer.
  • Details: during this stage in the interview process, the Hiring Manager will introduce themself, get to know you, and answer any initial questions you may have. This stage is meant to be conversational and informative for both us and the candidate.
  • Example questions:
    • What did you do to prepare for this conversation?
    • Why do you want to be a [role title]? What are your long term goals?
    • How would you explain what Sourcegraph does to a friend?

Networking Meeting

  • Interviewer: Any Sourcegraph teammate that the candidate would benefit from meeting with.
  • Duration: 30-minutes on average.
  • Details: the networking meeting is an optional step in the interview process designed to introduce passive candidates to Sourcegraph. A passive candidate is someone who is not actively seeking new job opportunities but may be open to casually meet with teammates to learn more about the company. During the meeting, introduce yourself and ask the candidate about their background, experience, career aspirations, and why they were open to a discussion. Listen intently and try to genuinely tie back why Sourcegraph’s open roles, product, mission, culture, values, etc. could be meaningful to the candidate and their career. Ultimately, the goal of the networking meeting is to establish a relationship with the candidate and answer any questions they have. If you need clarity around the context of the meeting or any questions that the candidate may ask, please reach out to the primary recruiter for the role.

Resume Deep Dive

  • Interviewer(s): the hiring manager or a peer leads the Resume deep dive, and sometimes there is another teammate who shadows the interview.
  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • Details: a resume deep dive (often referred to as a “Topgrade Interview”) is an interview style where we take a deep dive into a candidate’s background, past to present. The goal of a resume deep dive is to uncover the motivation behind a candidate’s decision making, as well as their strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments in past roles. Here is a document to help guide expectations on this stage in the interview process. This is simply an example of what to expect, and does not represent the questions we will be asking.
  • Example questions:
    • How did you find your job? Why did you choose to accept it?
    • Who hired you? What was their name? What did they hire you to do?
    • Why would your former boss say were your strengths and opportunities for growth?
    • What did you like most and least about your job?
    • What would your peers say about you?
    • What are you most proud of accomplishing while in your job?
    • Why did you leave?

Peer Interview

  • Interviewer(s): the other members of the team for which you’re interviewing.
  • Duration: 30–45 minutes.
  • Details: during the peer interview, your potential future colleagues will assess if you will be a value-add to the team, take and give constructive criticism, and be an overall supportive team member. This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions directed to your potential future peers.
  • Example questions:
    • Tell us about the best team you’ve ever been a part of.
    • Tell us about a time when you had to put your team’s interests above your own.

Cross-functional Team Collaboration Interview

  • Interviewer(s): people outside of your respective department who you would cross-collaborate with regularly.
  • Duration: 30–60 minutes.
  • Details: during this stage of the interview process, you will meet with members of another team with whom you would partner regularly. The goal of this interview is to understand how you communicate and collaborate with cross-functional partners within Sourcegraph.
  • Example questions:
    • Tell us about a recent project you worked on where you collaborate with people outside of your department
    • Tell me about a project where you or your team had a disagreement with someone in another function

Leadership Interview

  • Interviewer: a co-founder or member of the executive team.
  • Duration: 30–45 minutes.
  • Details: during this stage in the interview process, a co-founder or member of the exec team will ask questions to gain more insight into the following areas: your background, your motivation for looking for new opportunities, a project that you’re proud of, your coding proficiency, your long term career aspirations, and areas in which you would like to grow. They will evaluate your grit, curiosity, passion, technical aptitude, growth mindset, intelligence, and values. At the end of the interview, whey will answer any questions you may have!

Values Interview

Read more about our values interview here.

  • Interviewers: two teammates outside of the department for which you’re interviewing.
  • Duration: 30-minutes.
  • Details: this interview is focused entirely on our values and how a candidate’s views and experiences align with them. Our values are key to our success as individuals and as a company. You can read more about them here.
  • We will ask behavioral-based, open-ended questions directly related to our values. For example:
    • Tell us about a problem that you identified and then took the initiative to solve, even if it wasn’t within your scope of work.
    • Tell us about a time where you proactively provided candid feedback to a colleague, manager or direct report.

Department specific interviews

In addition to the above interviews, some departments have department-specific interviews.

Administrative

Executive Business Partner working session scenario

  • Interviewer(s) Greg Bastis, VP of Sales

  • Duration: 60-minutes.

  • Details: The goal of this working session is to give us all a sense of what it would be like to work together. Below is a hypothetical situation that we would like to play out during this 60-minute session.

    You are new to the role (30 days) when Greg asks you to meet and discuss organizing an in-person event for the sales/marketing teams. The idea behind this event is to build strong relationships among team members and align on goals.

    Your objective in this meeting is to:

  1. Gather all the information that you need in order to be successful at planning and executing this event.
  2. Provide recommendations, share potential ideas, and discuss solutions with Greg.

Our advice:

  • Don’t go overboard on preparation or detail.
  • Clever ideas are awesome and appreciated.
  • We are also looking for your process/framework/principles.
  • If you need to take notes, we usually use Google Docs!

Some background info:

A few pointers:

  • Ask identifying questions about existing gaps on the team
  • Be ready to identify immediate solutions
  • Be prepared to have a dynamic conversation to uncover nuances about the teams you will be working with

BizOps: Director of Data & Analytics take-home project

  • It’s 2021, and Sourcegraph is growing at a rapid pace. With the launch of Sourcegraph cloud and significant growth in sales of the existing self-hosted deployment option, the VP of Operations is asking you to prepare a plan for upgrading our data infrastructure to be prepared for the next several years of growth.
  • We have a complex user journey that can touch a number of websites, apps, and integrations:
    • Data sources:
      • Websites
        • About.sourcegraph.com: Sourcegraph’s marketing website (pages include: a splash homepage, our blog, about us, contact us, press, careers, terms of service, etc.)
        • Docs.sourcegraph.com (documentation)
        • Custom SEO landing pages
        • And more…
    • Core products:
      • Sourcegraph.com: The cloud product, used for searching across the universe of open source code and users’ private repositories. Can be used as an actual product destination or simply as a demo as needed.
      • Self-hosted Sourcegraph instances: Self-hosted webapps, using the same codebase as Sourcegraph.com, but deployed on-premises or in our customers’ private clouds. An example would be Uber’s private Sourcegraph instance—only accessible to Uber employees and contractors, and only containing Uber’s code. It would be accessible to Uber devs on an internal-only domain, like sourcegraph.uber.com.
    • Integrations:
      • Sourcegraph browser extensions: Chrome, Safari, and Firefox extensions that add Sourcegraph features to other websites where users view code (e.g. enhanced code views on sites like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and more).
      • Sourcegraph editor extensions: downloadable plugins for desktop code editors, such as VS Code, Atom, and Vim, that add some Sourcegraph features locally.
  • Key notes:
    • The expectation for privacy is much higher for our downloaded products and self-hosted Sourcegraph instances. E.g. the customers who opt to host Sourcegraph themselves expect us not to track their users’ actions. Instead, we only collect aggregated telemetry from self-hosted Sourcegraph instances, with no individual user-level details.
    • Consumers of this user journey data include nearly every part of the company, from product (core app engagement and product usage data), engineering (application performance data), marketing and sales (top of funnel data and user engagement data for outreach), customer success (customer health and engagement), and more.
    • Our current traffic is ~100k monthly website visitors and cloud product users and ~40k monthly self-hosted instance users.
  • Deliverables:
    • Please design a high-level, conceptual data pipeline that would serve our business’s needs. Please name specific recommended tools (or options) to serve at each step of the pipeline. No need to write descriptions of every step, but please be prepared to answer questions about them.
    • Please describe the basic structure of data at the beginning(s) and the end(s) of the pipeline, and be prepared to discuss the data transformations that take place along the way.
    • Finally, please draw or describe (no real data required) the dashboards or reports that you would recommend providing to the CEO, the head of Product, and the head of Marketing each month.
  • We recommend that you spend approximately 2 hours on this case study. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!

BizOps: Product Analyst take-home project

This exercise should take 2–3 hours to complete; please don’t take more than that!

  • Getting setup: You’ll be using Mode Analytics public datasets to complete this take-home project. Here are the steps to getting into the SQL workspace: _ 1.Create an account if you don’t already have one _ 2.Click the green+in the top right (‘Create report’)to access the workspace * 3.We’ll be using the following Mode Public Warehousetables to complete the exercise:tutorials.playbook_users,tutorials.playbook_events,tutorials.playbook_experiments,tutorials.playbook_emails
  • Prompt: For each of the following questions please create charts and/or tables (within Mode or by exporting to a spreadsheet tool if that’s easier) to show your findings. We’re not expecting a slide deck or document to explain your findings, but quick summaries of charts, if needed, are just fine. Keep in mind that in most cases there are no “right” or “wrong” answers; we’re more interested in your approach and thought processes. _ 1. What company is most engaged with the product? _ 2. We ran an A/B test (experiment) to increase ‘like_message’ actions users are taking. Which variant would you recommend going forward with, if any?
  • When you’ve completed the project, share your results via static run links along with some availability you have over the next week to review the project with a BizOps team member. When reviewing, you can expect questions about your approach in getting to know the data, the process you took to find the results, results themselves, and how you decided to communicate your findings.

The goal of the assignment is to give you a chance to demonstrate how you think, write, and negotiate while tackling issues that are top of mind for Sourcegraph and our customers.

  • Please see the attached MSA redlines (we will provide this to you if you get to this stage in the process) from our prospective customer, a CA-based tech company. Deal summary:
    • On-premise instance
    • 100K USD ACV
  • Will you respond to the redlines and include comments to the customer explaining your reasoning for any redlines that you reject or modify? Please accept any redlines that you suggest that we agree to with a brief comment explaining why.
  • In addition, please draft a short, casual note with your assessment that you would send to the account executive. Include a short issues list, with the prioritization of issues made clear.

TechOps: Tech Ops IT Engineer take-home project / Technical Interview

The technical interview should be approximately:

  • 25 min for questions from Manager and VP
  • 10 min questions from you to us
  • 10 min to discuss a short take-home project (3 min presentation and 7 min discussion)

Project:

  • We have a fully remote team. Tech Ops wants to ensure that our Team Members are appropriately protected from security threats. As part of the onboarding process we want to provide all new hires with a Security Checklist. What would you put on this checklist?
  • Please be prepared to present this recommendation on a detailed level in 3 minutes.

Technical Success

Support Engineering (Leadership)

Technical Interview

As a leader for a technical team, we’ll get a sense of how you approach technical problems and challenges as well as your working knowledge of the developer ecosystem.

Leadership & Team Management with 2 IC team members

You’ll meet with two individual contributors on the team to learn about how you build relationships within a team and how you lead, mentor, and develop others.

Customer Engineering (Individual Contributor)

Live Panel Demo and Q&A

Goal: Assess presentation skills and technical understanding

What we’re measuring

  • Ability to lead a compelling product demonstration
    • Ability to use the notes given
    • Focusing on value and not just features
  • Ability to perform discovery, and both manage and engage participants
  • Ability to write code and illustrate developer empathy

Interview structure

  • 20-30 minute live demo for a prospect based on notes from account team
  • 5-10 minute Q&A from interviewer on technical topics
  • 10 minute open Q&A from the candidate

20-30 minute live demo scenario prompt

You have been tasked with designing and presenting a 20-30 minute discovery & demo session for a prospect.

For the demo, use sourcegraph.com - it’s our free open source version of our product with millions of open source repositories on it from GitHub & GitLab. Below are some raw notes from the AE & SDR’s first call. You are encouraged to do additional discovery during the session.

Raw notes

Team Size:

  • Planet Express is a shipping logistics tech company with 1000 developers
  • 250 engineers came from a recent acquisition

Tech Stack:

  • Most of their code is in GitLab
    • They also have code in GitHub from an acquisition
  • Mostly run on microservices but have a legacy app that is a large monorepo
  • Languages used:
    • “Just about everything” including Python, Java, Go, Javascript, etc

Developer Productivity:

  • Since the acquisition there has been a deep focus on code reuse practices
    • new developers are currently “reinventing the wheel”
  • Slowed down hiring => focus on developer productivity / do more with less
  • Due to the acquisition and migration projects, their devops team has spent a lot of time making small changes across many different configurations

Compliance:

  • Write a script that can be run monthly which will create a list of users in the Sourcegraph instance, ordered by the number of search activities that they have performed. This will be used for auditing purposes to watch for abnormal usage spikes

Security:

  • After the acquisition, they need to go through and audit third party libraries to make sure they meet compliance requirements
  • Leadership is committed to security practices. “need to up level tooling”

Management Initiatives:

  • Migrate all code to GitLab from GitHub
  • Improve code security practices
  • Increase productivity by reusing code

Demo Tips

Customer Engineering (Leadership)

Leadership & Team Management with 2 IC CEs

You’ll meet with two individual contributors on the CE team to learn about how you build relationships within a team and how you lead, mentor, and develop others.

Customer Engineering Leadership Working Session

For this interview round, you will have a 45-min long working session with the Customer Engineering leadership team. This working session is intended to give us a sense of what it’d be like to work together and help us understand what impact you’d make on the organization right away and get a sense of what new ideas you have for improving our team. The format of this working session is very laid back; bring any notes, prepared talking points, or visual cues that you feel are useful, and be prepared to discuss your ideas with interviewers. Of course feel free to ask questions during the session, too! Plan to spend roughly 30 minutes on the topic in an open, collaborative manner, and leave 15 minutes at the end for you to ask questions of the team.

Topic: your near-term impact and priorities to elevate the CE team

Hopefully by this point, you’ve learned quite a bit from the individuals you’ve talked to about the team, company, and product. Additionally, we’ve provided more information in this prompt about the CE team, sales process, org operating cadences, and current metrics. Using all of the information you’ve learned so far, we’d like you to brainstorm where you’d start and what impact you’d expect to make on the team right away. For the purpose of this exercise, assume you’re past the 30 day mark of being in-seat and you’re up-to-speed on the team.

Some questions to guide your brainstorming and the working session:

  1. What are your ideas and plans for improving the team and our ability to positively impact the business and our prospective and current customers?
  2. What gaps exist in our current process? What are the greatest opportunities for improvement? How might you address those?
  3. What would you need from your direct peer, Gronk (CE RD EMEA), your team leads, Alex and Dan, and your cross-functional peers in Sales, Support, Post-Sales, and Engineering?

Background information

Below is some background information and context about the journey and current state of the team to help aid you in your preparation and proposed plan.

CE team structure context

In November, the organization split into dedicated pre- and post-sales, with CEs paired 1:3 with AEs based on region. Previously CEs were pre- and post-sales paired stably 1:1 with an AE. We have one individual in APAC, 4 individuals based in US-West (including 1 dual IC / team lead), 3 individuals based in US-East (including 1 dual IC / team lead), a CE RD in EMEA, and two individuals in EMEA reporting into that CE RD.

Sourcegraph sales process context

CEs attend any / every pre-sales call with prospective customers, as early as Stage 0 - prospecting. Often CEs will do product demos in introductory meetings, and subsequent meetings as well. A key part of our sales cycle is the trial. As the majority of our customers use our self-hosted on-premise deployment option, before a trial can begin the CE must help the customer deploy and configure an instance. Our trials typically run 30 days. During trials, CEs tend to lead 4 training sessions. Trial success is mostly measured based on user surveys.

CEs are also involved in PLG-led cloud prospects, separate from our sales-led motion. We perform outreach and nurture prospects to try and help them activate their cloud trial, answering any technical or product questions along the way. These may or may not advance as a PQL into our standard sales process.

Organizational operating cadences

Today, we operate on the following cadences:

  • Weekly
    • Deal technical risk and status inspection (Tech Win Mgmt )
    • Sales forecast
    • Forecast debrief / roll-up
    • 1:1s
  • Bi-Weekly
    • Technical Success leadership sync
    • CE regional team meetings
  • Monthly
    • CE Global team meeting
  • Quarterly
    • Internal Revenue QBRs
    • Quarterly Kick-offs
    • Technical Success departmental meeting

Asynchronous team norms

Current team metrics and actuals

Technical Closure of Trials

  • Goal: 80%
  • Actual: 77%

Time in Stage 4 (Trial)

  • Goal: 30 days
  • Actual: 49 days

Enterprise Technical Advisor

Leadership Panel Interview

The final formal interview step is an hour-long panel interview with leadership and a senior member of the team. This is a working session-style interview panel intended to help us understand how you’ll approach customer scenarios and demonstrate how you have handled those situations in the past.

The prompt and instructions below will help you prepare for this session. The interview itself will run for 60 mins: 50 mins for the interview content (agenda driven by you) with 10 mins of general Q&A at the very end. Each prompt should last approximately 12 mins. The agenda of the meeting will run as follows:

  • 0-2 mins: Intros
  • 2-14 mins: Prompt 1
  • mins: Prompt 2
  • 26-38 mins: Prompt 3
  • 38-50 mins: Prompt 4
  • 50-60 mins: Feedback and Q&A

Note: Keeping the timing of the interview is your responsibility. If you’re running out of time on a prompt, it is better to wrap up the most salient points, and move on to the next prompt. It is important that 10 minutes be left at the end for feedback. Visual aids are recommended, but not required, to help keep the conversation on track.

Interview Prompts

A summary of the 4 prompts are provided below:

  1. Champion Building: A key part of the Technical Advisor (Customer Success) role is identifying, building, and nurturing champions. What types of strategies have you, or would you, employ to build and nurture champions? What would you do - what actions would you take - if your existing champion left? How would you strategize with your AE to nurture your champion relationships; what would you expect your AE to do vs what would you do? Please provide practical examples of how you have built champions like this in the past.
  2. Account Corrective Actions: While we intend to be as proactive as possible, monitoring and inspecting accounts is a reality of our role. What would your approach be to various kinds of corrective actions that you identify? For example, what if use has declined over the past 3 months? What if our points of contact no longer want to talk or meet with us on a regular basis? What if you’re seeing that your customer has had an influx of support tickets? Please provide practical examples of times when you have been able to put these strategies into action.
  3. QBRs: As the team responsible for ensuring we’re delivering value and positive outcomes to our customers we expect to utilize regular business reviews with our champion stakeholders. Talk us through your expected agenda and what other internal stakeholders from Sourcegraph might you want to include in these, and why. Please provide practical examples of how your QBR’s have gone in the past.
  4. Identifying Expansion Opportunities: A significant part of responsibility for this role will be identifying expansion opportunities based on uncovering new needs within our existing customers. What strategies would you employ personally to uncover and identify potential opportunity areas where we can solve new and additional problems for our customers? When thinking about qualifying a lead or opportunities what criteria would you personally use to assess the potential? Please provide practical examples of times you have been able to identify these situations that led to a successful customer expansion.

Technical Advisor (Leadership)

Leadership & Team Management with 2 ICs

You’ll meet with two individual contributors on the TA team to learn about how you build relationships within a team and how you lead, mentor, and develop others.

Engineering

Marketing

Content working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • Details: during this stage in the interview process, we try to get a sense of your approach and thought process when reviewing writing drafts submitted by team members. You will be given a blog post draft to review for the first 30-minutes of the session, after which you and the hiring manager go through how you approached the piece and talk about the changes you made and why.

Technical Content working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • Details: during this stage in the interview process, we try to get a sense of how you think about content. You will be given (2) pieces of content to read through for the first 30 minutes of the session, after which, you and the hiring manager will take the last 30 minutes to go through what you liked, disliked, and what you would change about each piece and why.

Senior Digital Marketing Manager working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • The Goal: The purpose of this working session is to give us all a sense of what it’d be like to work together and make sure we have a shared understanding of the role and goals. This is not meant to be stressful or require a lot of preparation. Part 1: Methodology & Planning (20 Minutes)
  • Coming out of our conversations we’ve taken an action item to better understand your campaign planning and activation methodology. - What are your ideas for a long-term, evergreen brand activation across the various digital channels? - What would a successful campaign look like? - How would you monitor and share results? Part 2: Creativity & Collaboration (20 Minutes)
  • We’ve just wrapped up our H2 off site where the brand team led a brainstorm about big ideas for a second half awareness campaign focused on quick wins targeting developers.
  • Top 3 creative ideas to fuel digital marketing campaigns directed at a DevOps Audience. These creative ideas can be part of the long-term brand awareness plays, or quarterly campaigns
  • Include your timeline for concept-to-execution
  • What would your goals be for these quick win campaigns?
  • What are some key deliverables you’d expect to see from these campaigns?
  • Who will you collaborate with and why?
  • How would you approach bridging these awareness activities with contact acquisition/product sign-ups?
  • NOTE: Please don’t go overboard on preparation, plans, or detail. A Google Doc outline is how we’d do this kind of thing internally, so that’s best. Doesn’t have to be pretty. If you prefer slides, that’s fine. This will be a casual back and forth conversation; not a formal presentation.

Program Manager, Demand Gen Campaigns working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • Part 1: Creativity & Collaboration (20 Minutes)
    • Coming out of our conversations we’ve taken an action item to better understand your creative campaign planning and activation methodology.
    • Problem: We need a meeting maker campaign to support sales pipeline goals. Instead of using traditional activation methods, we want this to be a product-led initiative.
      • Task: Create 3 product-led meeting maker campaigns to drive meetings to Sales
      • Audience: Developer Team leads, leaders, and senior leadership
    • Please include:
      • Your create ideas and what inspired them
      • Include your rough timeline for concept-to-execution
      • What channels will you use to activate?
      • Who will you collaborate with?
      • Do you have any out-of-the-box ways to get these in-market?
  • Part 2: Data-Driven (20 Minutes)
    • Your meeting maker program is in-market and showing early signs that it’s going to be successful. The team is asking for data to understand how we’re measuring and planning to expand if it is successful.
      • Choose one of your meeting makers and consider the following:
      • What would a successful campaign look like?
      • When will it be time to change strategies?
      • How would you monitor and share results?
      • Which metrics are most important and why?
      • What are some key deliverables you’d expect to see?
  • Part 3: Q&A

Developer Educator working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • During this stage in the interview process, we try to get a sense of your approach and thought process about curriculum and writing. You will be given a curriculum and short tutorial draft to review for the first 30 minutes of the session, after which you and Lisa will take the last 30 minutes to go through your thoughts about that approach and talk about your feedback and what you would add.

Manager of Internal Communications working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • The goal of the working session is to give us all a sense of what it’d be like to work together and make sure we have a shared understanding of the role and goals. This is not meant to be stressful or require a lot of preparation.
  • First, we’d like to cover some general stuff:
    • Your 20-second Sourcegraph pitch: Imagine a senior eng at your current company asked you what Sourcegraph is. We don’t expect this to be super polished or even 100% correct - we want to hear your spin on what we’re selling and the value proposition.
    • What do you need to be successful? (tools, resources/special budget for anything, specific commitments from other teams, anything from me, etc.)
  • Then we’d like to hear, at a high level, how you would approach putting together Sourcegraph’s 60–90 minute kickoff this February.
  • company kickoff
  • This of course takes hours of planning, but we’re just looking for a 60 minute conversation total (including the general stuff above). You don’t need to put together a full plan!
  • Some (hypothetical) updates to account for:
    • We missed our revenue target and are slightly under for the fiscal year, but current pipeline has us on track to hit goals
    • We’re updating the company travel policy from one individual trip per year anywhere in the world to collaborate with a coworker, to a regional meetup trip (west coast NA, east coast NA, EMEA)
  • Please don’t go overboard on preparation, plans, or detail. Clever ideas are awesome, but we’re looking for your process/framework/principles. A Google Doc outline is how we’d start off content planning. Doesn’t have to be pretty. If you prefer slides, that’s fine. This will be a casual back and forth conversation; not a formal presentation.
  • Feel free to reach out to Amie (amie.rotherham@sourcegraph.com) with any questions.

Developer Relations Working Session

Context

Sourcegraph’s mission is to make it so everyone codes. Sourcegraph is a code AI platform with two primary products Cody and Code Search.

  • Cody: Code AI that writes code and answers questions for you by reading your entire codebase and the code graph.
  • Code Search: Code search, plus features such as batch changes, code insights, and code monitoring.

As a Sourcegraph Developer Advocate, you’re the link between Sourcegraph and developers worldwide. You’ll champion Cody and Code Search, collect feedback, and cultivate relationships, with the ultimate goal of driving wider adoption of Cody and Code Search.

Presentation

Present your game plan for your contribution to the Sourcegraph 5.0 launch in a 20-25 minute presentation. The game plan should include:

Strategy:

  • What type of content would you produce (blog post, video, talk, tweet thread, livestream, sample app, etc.) and why.

Content Blueprint:

  • If you would create multiple types of content, choose one and create the concrete message for that content. This should contain the actual copy of what you would say.
  • If a blog post, it’s the first paragraph(s) that get across the hook and main idea plus an outline of the rest of the post.
  • If a video, it’s the first 15-30 seconds of monologue or dialog plus an outline of the rest of the video.

Impact:

  • How would you promote this content to the developer audience for maximum impact?
  • What is the desired outcome of this content (engagement, activation, awareness, etc.)

Performance Metrics:

  • Which KPIs would you track to validate success, and what would be your goal for that KPI?

You can reference the 5.0 release post or any other material you find online. Feel free to be creative and original—the best presentations often are.

Additional Resources

Here are a couple of additional resources to help you.

People Operations

Senior People Partner working session

  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • Our working session is designed to give us more insight into how you’d think about and approach typical scenarios you might be called on to provide support to managers on. We’ve detailed three scenarios for you to walk us through the way you’d think and respond to each scenario. For each scenario please walk us through:
    • How would you approach this situation and why? What risks or concerns does each scenario present?
    • Who would you involve, why and how?
    • What feedback would you give the manager concerned?
    • What, if anything, might be changed internally based on this situation arising?
  • We will provide the detailed scenarios via email 24 hours before your scheduled interview.
  • Note: you don’t need to submit anything (in writing or presentation) ahead of the interview - just structure your thoughts and talk us through it! We’ll ask questions as they come up.

Senior People Operations Generalist working session

Working Session Agenda (45m):

  • Prompt 1 (15m)
  • Prompt 2 (15m)
  • Q&A (15m)

Purpose of this exercise

As our new Senior People Ops Generalist, you will be building processes and programs, and supporting our business objectives through key people initiatives. Our culture is built on transparency, and our handbook is the pilar to providing all teammates access to the who, what, why, and how as it relates to People resources and processes. We want you to poke holes in our handbook and help us make it better (because we know we still have room to grow and improve!)

Prompt 1:

  1. Choose one of the following handbook pages to review: Impact Reviews or Onboarding
  2. Come up with ideas on how you would improve this page and/or process for our teammates. Things to consider:
    1. Does the content set clear expectations on what to expect?
    2. Have we accounted for common questions teammates may have? If not, what’s missing? Is the answer located elsewhere in the handbook?
    3. What could be better from a process perspective?
    4. What people data or analytics would you incorporate as part of your recommendation to improve this process?
  3. Deliverable: Put together a brief sample of content (4-5 sentences) that relates to one of the improvements you would suggest and add to this handbook page on day 1! (Please send this via email prior to the live working session)
  4. Working Session: During the live working session, we expect you to share your feedback and recommendations in any format that you chose. This is a collaborative exercise where you can come in with your perspectives and any questions you have for us regarding the handbook page you chose!

Prompt 2:

  1. Review the Resources for Teammates Section in the handbook. (you can consider this the source of truth for all resources the people team has compiled to best support our teammates)
  2. During the working session, we expect you to provide us with your feedback on how it could be better. Things to consider:
    1. Are you able to easily find an answer to common ‘people’ related questions? If not, what’s missing?
    2. Is there a “coming soon” section or missing HR pillar that you would prioritize adding to the handbook?
  3. Deliverable: If you had the ability to re-organize this section in any way you wanted, what would your ideal Table of Contents look like? Share your idea with us in any format you chose prior to the working session!
  4. Working Session: During the live working session, we expect you to walk us through why you chose the structure that you did and also share your overall feedback on how to improve our “source of truth”.

Product

Product Manager

Async writing project

  • Interviewer(s): NA—this is a take home assignment. Two members from the Product team will review your PR-FAQ and discuss it with you in the next round of interviews.
  • Duration: ~1 hour
  • Details: This is a take home writing assignment to see how you communicate and think about product problems.

What we want to measure

Will the candidate be successful in our all-remote environment in which the majority of communication happens in written form (Slack messages, GitHub issues, pull request and commit messages).

  • Is the candidate able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way?
  • Does the PR-FAQ communicate the product vision and explain why this is an important problem to solve?
  • Does the PR-FAQ have clear writing with correct spelling and grammar? That means: short and non-convoluted sentences, simple words instead of jargon when possible, no mixture of past and present tense, etc.
  • Does it demonstrate empathy with the reader and anticipate what the reader might not know?

Key competencies:

  • Communication
  • Strategic thinking/visioning

Note that this exercise is intended more to result in an early-stage PR-FAQ that focuses primarily on communicating the product vision and why it’s an important problem to solve. Should the candidate move forward to the followup product call, the focus will be on what collaboration would look like, how they would talk about the PR-FAQ, and how they’d work through getting it implemented.

Prompt

Candidates are sent the following prompt after they pass the intro call:

We are excited to move you to the next step in the interview process! The next step of our interview process is to have you complete a take home writing exercise.

Please write a PR-FAQ in a Google Doc for a Sourcegraph AI coding assistant powered by large language models (LLMs).

It should include:

  • A press release section
  • A success criteria section that defines what success looks like for this project
  • A FAQ section that includes:
    • Answers to these 3 pre-defined questions:
    • What’s the MVP of this project?
    • What metrics would you measure?
    • How can this feature differentiate from GitHub Copilot?
  • And the top 3 questions you think are the most important for the project (and answers)

We expect this to take you ~1 hour. What’s important is that the writing is clear and easy to understand. It should show us that you care about your writing by making conscious decisions of what to leave in or out, paying attention to grammar and spelling, and phrasing things in an understandable way.

Please send link to your Google doc using the link below when you are finished.

Product Manager overview of past projects

Please bring an overview of one or two past project(s) we can use to dig deep in to understand your thought process. This overview can be any format (PDF, Google Slides, written document with screenshots, etc) which helps you clearly outline the project. Ideally, this project…

  • is something that you played a key role in from inception to delivery
  • had a number of iterations to get to the outcome
  • leverages data to make decisions along the way

This interview will include a PM and designer from our team. They will use the hour to dig into the project info you prepared to understand how you think about running projects.

Product interview

  • Interviewer(s): Product Manager and a Product Designer who were the reviewers of the PR-FAQ.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Details: In this interview, you will review your RFC and deep dive on how you work as a product manager. Be prepared to discuss the actual proposal, what happened and what you could have done differently. We will be looking for how you use data to drive decisions and get buy-in from collaborators. How you have created solutions for customers, representing their voice across the organization. We will talk about product development prioritization, and how you balance priorities of what our customers want with Engineering resources.

Engineering collaboration

  • Interviewer(s): Engineering Manager.
  • Duration: 30 min
  • Details: In this interview, you will meet with the Engineering Manager from the team you’re interviewing for, your counterpart in the PM-EM responsibilities. We will be evaluating how you collaborate and work within a team, specifically how you partner with Engineering to drive the product vision of your team. We will focus on your technical background, as you will need to be able to discuss the technical aspects of our product with customers and communicate feedback and technical insight to the team. It is important that you demonstrate enthusiasm and understanding for the product and problem space, identifying and communicating the pain that Sourcegraph solves for developers.

Product Marketing

Product Marketing Working Session

The goal of the working session is to give us all a sense of what it’d be like to work together and make sure we have a shared understanding of the PMM role and goals. This is not meant to be stressful or require excessive preparation.

For this session, we will walk through the process of planning a product launch together. In advance of this session, we ask that you:

  • Consider the product launch prompt and gather ideas for how you would plan this launch.
  • Bring a document with those ideas for launch activities. We will use this as a working document throughout the session.

The Product

Today, Sourcegraph offers 2 products, each with separate SKUs:

  • Code Search, a tool for finding and fixing code across an enterprise-scale codebase.
  • Cody, a powerful AI coding assistant to help engineers write & fix code quickly.

Today, one barrier to user adoption for the Code Search product is it’s query language, which can be difficult to learn. Next quarter, Sourcegraph will release a new feature as part of the Code Search product: natural language search. This will allow users to search their codebase with human language queries (e.g. “Where is log4j v2.0 used across my codebase?”).

Pricing is still being determined for this new feature. It is possible it will be an upsell for existing Code Search buyers, but we’re also open to including it as part of the base Code Search SKU at no charge.

Launch preparation

Imagine you’re the PMM supporting the natural language search. What would your launch plan look like and what would you need to be successful? Please prepare a document with:

  1. A proposal for messaging to use for this launch (a short 2-3 sentence elevator pitch for the feature is ideal).
  2. A list of launch activities you would like to plan for this launch.
  3. Your general plan for sales enablement to make this launch successful.
  4. Thoughts on anything else you will need to be successful in this launch.

Some things to consider:

  • What, if any, top-of-funnel activities would you prioritize to reach the dev community?
  • What, if any, activities would you plan to reach existing customers?
  • How might sales enablement look different depending on whether this feature is free or not?
  • What other resources, cross-collaboration, tools, etc. do you need to be successful?

As a reference point, we recently had a product launch in June (Sourcegraph 5.1). The launch included updates to both Code Search and Cody. Here are some materials from that launch:

Please don’t go overboard on preparation, plans, or detail. A simple Google Doc outline is ideal, and we will use that to go through your ideas together. We intend this to be a casual back and forth conversation, not a formal presentation. Also, feel free to make any assumptions about the hypothetical product and include them in your document.

Design

Product Designer

Portfolio review

  • Interviewer(s): Two Product Designers.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Details: In this interview, we will be looking for you to give some real insight into a problem you were solving as part of a project you’ve worked on. We would like you to lead us through this problem or case study in detail. We’ll look to understand the size and structure of the team you were a part of, the goals of the project, your low-fidelity design work, your high-fidelity design skills, how you approached research, how you synthesized research data to inform design decisions, what design standards and guidelines you worked within, and how you collaborated with a wider team. We are particularly interested in your process for the project, the outcomes, the challenges you encountered, and tradeoffs you made.

Design working session

  • Interviewer(s): Product Manager, Product Designers, and a Frontend engineer.
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Details: The interview simulates a real-life design collaboration as closely as possible. We’ll brief you on a project we’ve already completed and then you’ll lead us in some early ideation. Finally, we’ll discuss how you would proceed with the project if it were a real effort. Our goal is to give you an introduction to the types of problems you’ll be solving and the people you’ll be working with. On our end, we’d like to understand how you think about design in practice. Please come prepared to work in your favorite design tool for wireframes and low-fidelity mockups. You can read more about the session here.

Product Design Intern

Portfolio Review

  • Interviewer(s): Two Product Designers.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Details: In this interview, we will be looking for you to give some insight into a problem you were solving as part of a project you’ve worked on. You can present a real-life project or an exercise project you’ve created for your portfolio. We would like you to lead us through this problem and case study in detail. We’ll look to understand the goals of the project, your low-fidelity design work, your high-fidelity design skills, how you approached research, how you synthesized research data to inform design decisions, what design standards and guidelines you worked within, and how you collaborated with a wider team (if applicable). We are particularly interested in your process for the project, the outcomes, the challenges you encountered, and tradeoffs you made.

User Researcher

Research RFC Project

  • Interviewer(s): NA—this is a take home assignment. Two members from the Product team will review your RFC and discuss it with you in the next round of interviews.
  • Duration: ~1 hour
  • Details: This is a take home writing assignment to learn more about research you have conducted for a real user/problem you helped identify, plan and facilitate that led a product update. We would like to see how you frame and communicate your research approach, how you measure and think about potential impact it may have to the product, and your “why” behind decisions made. We will look to understand the problem or question your research is addressing, your research approach, how you analyze and synthesize your data, and ultimately how you communicate those outcomes to stakeholders. We are particularly interested in learning about tangible metrics, indicators of success, or insights that you came away with from your research.

Research Interview

  • Interviewer(s): Product Manager and a Product Designer who were the reviewers of the RFC.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Details: In this interview, you will review your RFC and deep dive on how you work as a User Researcher. Be prepared to do a walkthrough of your assignment, your decision making behind the “why” of your approach, how you collaborated with others during the process, how you presented your insights to stakeholders in a meaningful and clear way, and what happened and what you could have done differently. We are particularly interested in how you were able to collaborate with product, design, and engineering throughout the process. We will also be looking for how you used insights you gathered to make next-step recommendations to stakeholders.

Research: Cross-functional Team Collaboration Interview

  • Interviewer(s): Engineering Manager and a Business Analyst
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Details: During this stage of the interview process, you will meet with members of another team with whom you would partner regularly. The goal of this interview is to understand how you communicate and collaborate with cross-functional partners within Sourcegraph. We are particularly interested in how you educate others regarding research practices. We are also interested in understanding how you collaborate with Business Analysts to ensure quality of analysis, particularly around quantitative research.

Sales

Read more about our sales interview processes here.

Sales Development Representative:

SDR writing assignment

  • Interviewer(s): NA—this is a take home assignment.
  • Duration: we expect this to take no more than 1 hour.
  • Details: Specifically, you will be crafting a “cold call” email to a prospective customer, with the goal of securing a meeting. You can assume that this is the first time this person has ever heard of Sourcegraph.
  • Step 1: Pick a new customer (not on our site/case studies, etc.).
  • Step 2: Identify someone you would like to prospect into. Why did you choose
  • Step 3: Create a “cold call” email to the person identified in step 2. Your goal is to secure a meeting with our team.
  • Step 4: Submit your assignment within 24 hours by clicking “reply all” to this email.
  • What to include in your assignment submission: Email Subject Line, Email Body & Explanation of your process: 1) Why did you choose this company? 2) Who are you targeting? (Insert LinkedIn Profile link). Why did you choose this person? 3) Explain your approach. Why did you choose to craft the email this way?

SDR mock cold call

As part of the interview process we would like to do a ‘mock cold-call’. Don’t worry! We are not expecting you to be an expert (you will be after joining us, that’s the fun part).

The important part is diving right in and having fun. At the end we will ask you how you think it went and provide some feedback as well. For who you are calling: feel free to select anyone, a good suggestion would be the prospect you wrote your cold email to (most people do this).

For structure:

  • Permission based opener- get permission to continue the call
  • Problem Statement- pique curiosity
  • Closing- ask for the meeting

A great resource on structure (including some great walkthrough videos) from Belal Batrawy are on this doc.

Enterprise Account Executive

Enterprise AE sales presentation

  • Interviewer(s): Hiring Manager + Account Executive(s)
  • Duration: 45-minutes.
  • Purpose: during the sales presentation, you will 1) walk the panel through a brief introduction/bio of yourself, 2) deep-dive into an enterprise deal you have led, and 3) present a pipeline generation plan (including 10 top target accounts you would pursue based on your understanding of Sourcegraph’s value proposition, your personal relationships, and relevant information about the prospect companies that you believe lead to a high probability of engagement). The goal of this interview is for us to understand: 1) your past experience and skill set (via your intro), 2) whether you can command a sales process (via the deep-dive), and 3) your understanding of our value proposition and approach towards territory development.
  • Very important: please use this template for your presentation and please check out the speaker notes - they have a lot of detail on what we are looking for! If you have any issues accessing the presentation, please email recruiting@sourcegraph.com.

Enterprise AE team collaboration with Customer Engineering

  • Interviewer(s): Two individual contributor Customer Engineers
  • Duration: 30-minutes
  • Details: the purpose of this stage in the interview process is to evaluate your technical depth and aptitude for learning about the products you sell, as well as your ability to work effectively as a team with our Customer Engineers. Please come prepared to explain the technical underpinnings of the product(s) you sell today, how you work with Customer Engineers to learn more, and translate that into value to customers and prospects.

Regional Sales Director

RSD sales presentation

  • Interviewer(s): Hiring Manager + Account Executive(s).
  • Duration: 60-minutes.
  • Details: You will prepare a 60-minute presentation to be shared with the Hiring Manager and Account Executive(s) on the team. Please use this presentation as a guide for the conversation. The goal of the presentation is to help us get to know you better as a person and as a professional. Primary themes include your bio/work history, how you approach building and process, and the types of customers with whom you’ve worked in the past. ** If you have any issues accessing the above presentation, please email recruiting@sourcegraph.com and we will help you!

RSD team collaboration with Sales Development

  • Interviewer(s): Head of Sales Development.
  • Duration: 30–45 minutes.
  • Details: during this stage in the interview process, you meet with our Head of SDR to discuss your approach to prospecting & pipe gen, and your experience partnering with the SDR team. Our team may share current strategies and challenges to understand how your past experience can help the team achieve success.

Talent

Recruiter assignment

  • Interviewer(s): NA—this is a take home assignment.
  • Duration: we expect this to take no more than 1 hour.
  • Details: we want to ensure we understand your approach to proactively reaching out to and engaging with passive talent. Instructions:
  • Step 1. You are the newly assigned recruiter for the [pick a job on our website] role. As a first step, you’ll want to have an intake meeting with the Hiring Manager. What questions do you plan to ask to gain a full understanding of the role?
  • Step 2. We have posted the job and have received zero applicants, so we need to go out and recruit the right person. Please identify 5 target candidates and explain 1) how you found them (what search string(s) did you use) and 2) why are you targeting them specifically?
  • Step 3. As we know, rarely do we hear back from a candidate after our 1st message or call. Pick one of the above profiles and please describe your outreach “campaign.” What steps will you take to engage with this candidate? Please 1) include example inmails, emails, voicemails etc, and 2) please explain your approach and why you chose to craft your outreach campaign in this way. Your ultimate goal is to secure a call with the candidate.
  • Step 4. Good news! The candidate you messaged in step 3 is interested in having an exploratory conversation. How do you describe/sell Sourcegraph to them?