The Sourcegraph Interview Process

All role-specific interview processes are documented at the end of each job description.

Standard 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.

We strive for consistency across all interviews. Read more about our interviews here

Creating a job description

The way a job description is written can plan a key role in promoting positive Diversity & Inclusion efforts. Countless studies have shown that certain demographics are less likely than others to apply if they don’t meet 100% of the outlined qualifications. To that end, Sourcegraph’s job description format focuses on the impact a candidate will make in the role versus a long list of requirements that have historically impeded underrepresented candidates from applying, resulting in a larger and more diverse candidate pool.

The goal of the job description is to focus on getting the candidate excited, while giving a clear representation on what we expect them to accomplish both in the short-term and longer-term. How will working out Sourcegraph benefit them in their career? Why is this the best job they’ll ever have?

To create a job description, please use this template.

Best practices for writing a job description

  • Be mindful of the words you use! Here is a list of commonly used words that deter underrepresented candidates from applying, as well as inclusive word replacements.
  • Use “you” and “we” statements over indirect phrases like “ideal candidate.”
  • Keep descriptions and bullets short.

Creating an interview plan

Creating a structured interview process is critical to our DEI efforts. Research shows that structured interviews are up to twice as effective at predicting job performance than unstructured ones, and ultimately help us hire faster. Structuring interviews with a standardized set of questions also allows for a more fair and impartial way of assessing candidates, which helps remove unconscious biases.

Before creating your interview plan, you may find it helpful to read about the types of interviews other hiring managers have leveraged in the past.

Q: Is creating an interview plan required for all Hiring Managers?

  • A: Yes, creating an interview plan is required for all roles. We recognize that this takes significant planning and effort up front, but it 1) ensures alignment between the Hiring Manager, the hiring team, and the Recruiter and 2) ensures that all candidates are receiving a fair and consistent interview experience. Creating a strong plan upfront is also proven to reduce time-to-fill, meaning that we will make a hire faster, on average.

Q: As a Hiring Manager, how do I create an interview plan?

  • A: To build your interview plan, please create a tab in this document. The recruiting team will then work with you to build out your plan in Greenhouse.
  • When creating the interview questions, please keep in mind:
    • All interview questions should be written in open ended format (the best way to ensure of this is to start every question with “tell me…”)
    • To ensure all questions are legal, ask yourself “does this question relate to the candidate’s ability to do this job?” … if you can’t confidently say yes, it’s better to not ask it!


We are flexible when it comes to scheduling interviews because we are all-remote and we don’t need to schedule all interviews back-to-back (unlike typical onsite interviews at other companies). Some candidates like spreading interviews out (e.g., across multiple days and/or having breaks between interviews on the same day) and others prefer to batch them as much as possible to get it over with. Ask the candidate what their ideal interview schedule looks like and then try to accommodate those preferences as much as possible (given interviewer availability).

Even if candidates prefer to batch all their interviews together, it might not be possible due to the timezones of available interviewers.

If interviews are spread over multiple days and it is clear from the initial feedback that we won’t be moving forward, we will cancel the remaining scheduled interviews to save our teammates’ and the candidate’s time.

To schedule an interview with a candidate, please work with your recruiter or Slack @hiring. You can see a list of Recruiters.

Providing interview feedback

Please put your written feedback into Greenhouse as soon as possible following the interview (immediately is ideal) while it is still fresh in your mind. You can also leverage your BrightHire recording to revisit key points during the interview when providing feedback.

All feedback must be submitted in Greenhouse before discussing with anyone. This is required and ensures that bias does not impact your hiring recommendation.

Overall recommendation

In addition to providing written feedback, you are asked to choose an overall recommendation. You are given 4 feedback options in Greenhouse: 1. Strong Yes 2. Yes 3. No 4. Strong No. It is important that we are calibrated as a team and that we assess candidates using the same scale.

Please leverage the below definitions when rating candidates:

  • Strong Yes. You are confident that this person would make our team better and you would be excited to have the chance to work with them.
  • Yes. You observed only positive signs that this person would be a good fit for our team, but you don’t feel strongly about hiring them.
  • No. You are neutral or have doubts about whether this person would make our team better.
  • Strong No. You are very confident that we should not hire this person because they would not be successful on our team.

All “Yes” feedback with no “Strong Yes” feedback is usually not sufficient. We want to hire people who we are excited to work with.

Assessing focus attributes

When assessing focus attributes, we have 5 options: 1. Star 2. Thumbs up 3. Neutral 4. Thumbs down 5. Stop

  • Star. You are very confident that this person has this attribute.
  • Thumbs up. You are confident and have no concerns that this candidate has this attribute.
  • Neutral. You are neutral or are unsure if they have, or don’t have, this attribute. More digging and interviewing is recommended.
  • Thumbs down. You do not believe this candidate has this attribute.
  • Stop. You are very certain that this candidate does not embody this attribute.

Interview debriefs

We conduct debriefs after a candidate finishes interviews. The debrief can either take place via a private Slack channel or via a Zoom debrief meeting. Should the hiring manager decide to not need a debrief (e.g. the feedback was overwhelmingly positive or negative), the hiring manager should post to the candidate’s Greenhouse profile stating the reason and/or context for the decision.