How to Land a Tech Job at Twitter and Nail the Technical Interview

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  • There are over 600 available jobs at the social-media platform Twitter.
  • Allison Allen, VP of talent acquisition, shared what Twitter is looking for in tech-job seekers.
  • She advised job seekers to come to interviews prepared and ready to collaborate. 

Twitter is adding 600 new roles to its 5,000-person workforce. 

The bulk of the social-media platform’s open positions are technology jobs in machine learning, design and research, software engineering, data science, and product, said Allison Allen, Twitter’s vice president of talent acquisition.

Landing the job, however, will require navigating several technical interviews, including a virtual onsite with four rounds of questioning, Allen said. These interviews test candidates problem-solving ability and creativity, which will prove useful on the job.

“The one thing most people learn at Twitter is this: Change is the only constant,” Allen said. “And that goes for the culture too. The culture at Twitter will always be evolving.”

The VP shared with Insider how interested tech candidates can ace the interview process. 

Allison Allen, Twitter's VP of Talent Acquisition

Allison Allen is Twitter’s vice president of talent acquisition.


Understanding Twitter’s values

Twitter employees live by five principles, Allen said: promoting health, earning trust, being straightforward, uniting profit and purpose, and being fast, free, and fun.

These principles relate not just to the product itself, Allen said, but also to employees’ work habits. 

For example, employees need to be reliable (earn trust) and are encouraged to be themselves in the office (be fast, free, and fun). 

“Our product, our behavior, and our work habits should all be transparent and to the point,” Allen said.  

Twitter embraces its principle of being straightforward in its hiring process. The company doesn’t ask for cover letters and instead has multiple rounds of interviews. 

“Interviewers are going to be looking for problem-solving, creativity, communication, as well as algorithms and system design if it’s a technical interview,” she said.  

Allen encouraged job seekers to do their research on Twitter’s mission, values, and platform and to come prepared with examples of their previous impact at companies. She said Twitter often uses the STAR method, which stands for situation, task, action, and result.

“Have examples ready that are data-driven, show the impact, and provide key learnings,” Allen said.

Acing algorithm interviews 

The algorithm interviews, or technical interviews, are an important part of the process at Twitter. During these interviews it’s vital to treat your interviewer like a coworker rather than a test administrator, Allen said. 

“Bounce ideas back and forth,” she said. “Collaborate on the solution.” 

Additionally, candidates shouldn’t jump straight into coding but should take time to ask the administrator questions and understand the problem. 

“Remember that we can only evaluate based on what you share, so remember to actively listen to the questions and be prepared to talk about the big picture and details as needed,” Allen said. “If you need to be quiet to think, no problem; just let the interviewer know.” 

Once you think you have figured out your solution, ask your interviewer their thoughts on it. 

“Run through the code verbally with your interviewer once complete. Make sure to read what is there and not what you think is there,” Allen said. “Proactively suggest ways to optimize to the interviewer and get their feedback to ensure what you are trying to do is not overly complex.” 

If all that sounds nerve-racking, Allen offers a final piece of advice: “Practice, practice, practice!” 

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