Affirm’s Interview Process & Questions
The info below is based on conversations with Affirm engineers in 2023.
Mid to senior-level engineers interviewing at Affirm can expect the following process:
- Recruiter call (30 minutes)
- Technical phone screen (1 hour)
- Onsite (4 hours)
Affirm has a hybrid process, which means that you interview for a specific org but will have engineers involved from across the company on your panel, as well as a hiring manager from the specific org you are interviewing for.
The entire process can be completed within 2 weeks. You’ll be asked to provide 3 different times that you’re available so you can be more, or less, aggressive in how you approach it.
Affirm’s recruiter call lasts 30 minutes, and it’s more about prep for the hiring process than anything else. You might be asked about your interest in Affirm, and they will likely talk about the role you are applying for.
It’s really important, at this stage, to not reveal your salary expectations or where you are in the process with other companies. We’ve written a detailed post about salary negotiation that lays out exactly what to say if recruiters pressure you to name the first number.
Affirm’s technical phone screen lasts about an hour and is conducted in HackerRank.
We will cover what we know of their question style in the section called “Types of Interview Questions to Expect at Affirm” below.
You can do the onsite section in one day or over two days.
- Behavioral (45 mins). This is with the hiring manager of the team you are interviewing with. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the Behavioral section below.
- Coding (1 hour). This will be conducted in HackerRank. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the Coding section below.
- Second coding (1 hour). As above.
- System design (1 hour). This will also be conducted in Hackerrank. For more detail about the kinds of questions to expect, see the System Design section below.
Affirm’s coding questions are pretty straightforward and will be familiar to anyone practicing on LeetCode. You can commonly find them online. That said, their interviewers will try to put their own spin on questions – expect some variations, but if you can solve medium LeetCode problems, you should be fine.
Below are the technical topics you’re likely to encounter in Affirm interviews. To compile this list, we did two things. First, we spoke to some current and former Affirm engineers. Then we cross-referenced all the anecdotes we heard with Glassdoor data AND our own data-set of mock interviews:
This round won’t be a completely generic system design interview. It will usually relate to Affirm’s business. Expect questions about databases, multiple layers of schema, and functional design.
You might be asked to design a system that enables transactions between two users via their bank accounts but that has certain constraints built-in e.g., they can’t transfer more than what is in their account.
Timing is important here. You won’t have enough time to go into everything in detail. Try to cover everything at a high level and ask your interviewer which areas would be most interesting to delve into more thoroughly.
Expect the standard behavioral questions here. Questions like:
- Have you ever felt pressure at work? How did you handle it?
- When have you worked on a good team? Can you describe why it was good?
- Have you ever received criticism from leadership at work?
This round is important as it is conducted by your potential manager. You can do well in the coding rounds but still fail out if you don’t perform well in the behavioral interview.
All the interviewers submit their feedback, and the decision is made by the hiring manager.
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