Square Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Square Interview Questions

Updated Sep 16, 2018
453 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Contract Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Square (San Francisco, CA) in January 2018.

    Interview

    I had a phone interview with the hiring manager after my initial phone interview with one of their recruiters. This was by far the worst phone interview experience of my life. The hiring manager was late (no big deal), he was abrupt, he didn't let me finish answering his questions, and he was quite rude. What really striked me was his comment, and I quote: "I am sitting here scratching my head as to why you applied for this position", in the sense that I was overqualified and I didn't understand why I applied. I ended up not being called in for an in-person interview which probably is a blessing, since I don't know how anyone could work on a day-to-day basis which such a manager.

    Interview Questions

    • How would I reconcile drafting certain sections of an NDA when the business would profit but it might jeopardize the company from a risk perspective?   Answer Question

    Square Response

    Mar 12, 2018 – Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for sharing your interview experience. The tone and language that your interviewer had over the phone is uncharacteristic of our hiring managers and we apologize for the negative... More


  2.  

    Leadership Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Square (San Francisco, CA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    I was rescheduled 3 times and when they did arrive they were 15 minutes late for a 30 minute interview. Very junior person interviewing for senior role that had very little experience. Also for a senior role - the HR person did not even meet with me or provide any guidance as to how the role and my fit were relevant. Terrible process never seen anything like it.

    Interview Questions

    • what kind of execution experience I had and second guessed what I did based   1 Answer
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Square.

    Interview

    I was selected for first round technical interview with Square through my local campus recruiter. The first round is a series of technical challenges on an online platform, HackerRank. They give you 3 days and 1 hours to complete their challenge up to a certain standard. Still waiting to hear back...

    Interview Questions


  4. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Square (San Francisco, CA) in October 2013.

    Interview

    I submitted my resume to my university's career website, after which I received an email to complete a coding challenge online. This was used to determine whether I got an on-campus interview. There were two questions, both of which I put below. I finished the first and got halfway through the second one.

    After that I got the on-campus interview, which was pair-coding style. We implemented a least-recently-used cache in Java. It was fun, and I was able to Google syntax I didn't know, and we ended up getting it to run.

    A bit later, I got an email to set up an on-site interview at Square in SF. This consisted of breakfast, three pair coding interviews, lunch, a few talks, coffee at Sightglass, and then that was it.

    The three questions I got were:
    1. find all prime numbers under a given number
    2. Fraud detection: if two merchants have swiped the same card, they are part of the same component. Find the size of the component.
    3. parse TVL bytes and return cardholder name.

    I struggled with the last one in particular. I was notified of no offer after a week.

    Interview Questions

    • input: coefficients line (a’s), lines of values from transactions (x’s)
      y = a0 + a1*x1 + a2*x2 + ... + aN*xN
      y <= 0 not fraud, y > 0 suspect fraud
      output fraud/not fraud for each line of N lines   Answer Question
    • input: two numbers, N and M, which define an NxM grid
      start at top left corner of grid (1,1):
      - step forward
      - turn right
      - if space in front of you is out of board or you already walked on it, turn right
      keep going until you can’t walk anymore
      output is number of steps you take before stopping.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Square in October 2014.

    Interview

    Applied via college/university. Recruiter reached out with a coding exam, which was pretty easy to solve. Next, a phone screen was scheduled, but I did not make it past this stage. The phone screen consisted of some resume questions and a programming question based on CoderPad, so the interviewer can watch you write your solution, though you are also free to implement your solution on an IDE first.

    It does seem that they want people who can think of a good solution and code pretty quickly, and if you use API docs, that you use them properly by making the correct calls that are appropriate for what you want to do and that provide the best theoretical performance. The technical questions themselves weren't too bad, but they set the bar at a pretty high level for the solution that you deliver. So in this case, simply being able to deliver a workable solution isn't enough.

    Interview Questions

    • In implementing the solution, the interviewer did ask how I could optimize my solution further. It was kind of a unique case.   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Square.

    Interview

    Applied online. First step was completing a coding challenge on HackerRank. Next was a one-hour phone screen. Interviewer seemed genuinely interested in my past projects. Spent first 10 minutes talking about current and past projects. Then did a coding question on a shared coding environment. The environment compiled and ran code so the code you write has to work. Unfortunately I didn't do so well during the phone screen and didn't make it past this stage.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (8)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Short simple problems along with discussion, geared towards a complete rather than clever solution. Some very experienced interviewers that made for a pleasant experience. Set up as a "pairing" experience but without much direct help (as in normal pairing). Design questions were taken from the real world and very well chosen, it was clear the interviewers had a deeper knowledge about the subject and were open to variation.

    Interview Questions

    • What day of the week was the Unix Epoch? (geared towards algorithm implementation)   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (8)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Square (San Francisco, CA) in May 2014.

    Interview

    Quick phone call followed by a coderpad-based interview done over Skype. The interview consists of the guy from Square giving you the problem statement, and I was expected to write a working solution - including test cases - which is compiled and run within coderpad. I had to do two of these because the first one was inconclusive.

    The first problem I got was writing an arithmetic expression parser with only parentheses and the '+' sign. This was fairly straightforward. Then, he asked to parse a list of expressions instead of just one. Then, some expressions could reference others in the list (e.g. A3 + 1) which was as far as we got. I successfully wrote the code but I think he was displeased with my messy design as it was "patched through" on the initial design. Eventually the recruiter informed me that I need to do another coderpad session.

    The second interview was much like the first. The problem this time was to write a class scheduler, where each class could have multiple time slots and we need to choose a combination of times so that we can take each class. I tried this time to focus on designing it properly in OO but it took so much time that I was only able to reach one evolution of the problem - return all possible arrangements instead of just the first. I haven't received an official response yet but I'm pretty sure I effed this one up as I was probably expected to reach at least step 3 or 4. Oh well..

    Interview Questions

    • Overall, both problems were non-trivial and the requirement of writing working code + tests in a one hour interview makes this probably the toughest interview I've done to date. If you're doing this, make sure you are able to solve the above problems quickly and properly OO. Use python (or similar) to save some time on list comprehension. Good luck!   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Square (San Francisco, CA) in August 2012.

    Interview

    I was contacted by an internal recruiter. I was looking at the time. (I'd been contacted a year earlier but not looking then.) They had one phone screen and then one all day on-site interview, with a mixture of Q&A and coding sessions as well as a lunch break with someone.

    Interview Questions

    • Asked for an algorithm for connecting credit cards and merchants into sets. Kind of a big problem if you can't keep everything in memory. Made a fair amount of progress but didn't finish everything. It was an interesting question, related to Square's business rather than a theoretical question. The interviewer kept modifying my code style which seemed a little odd.   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Square (San Francisco, CA) in October 2013.

    Interview

    I applied for an intern position last spring but had been denied at the last stage. Square contacted me this fall and asked to interview again. Had 2 pairing interviews on campus that were very easy. Advanced for another onsite, this time in the new HQ. The morning consists of 3 more pairing interviews. These were more difficult questions, and the amount of pair programming vs. you just doing it alone varies completely by each interviewer. My first interviewer smelled of weed, didn't explain the problem very well, and I struggled with it while he sat on his own computer. I felt that he deliberately gave simple test data that concealed the complexity of the problem. Only after I started did I realize how I had messed up; short interviews and not much time to change that. One interviewer sat down and said let's make tic-tac-toe, and I had a blast hacking that with him in the 45 minutes time. The afternoon is odd. Some candidates are asked to do another interview, while the rest are given tech talks. It wasn't clear if they had advanced or what, and it was really awkward when they did that.

    Between the unprofessionalism of the 1st interviewer, the awkwardness of the afternoon, and the midnight redeye return flight they gave me, I'd say it was a slightly negative experience.

    The candidates are the best from the best universities (MIT, CMU, etc), so Square has the ability to be insanely selective. Even had I done well on the first one, I'm not sure if I would have received an offer.

    Interview Questions


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