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How to ace the Mobile Engineering interview at Cash App

Product Data Science Main

With Ali Feldman, Senior Tech Recruiter

We know interviewing can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. It should spark great conversation and be an opportunity for you to interview our team, too.

You’re probably wondering what it’s like to interview for a Mobile Engineering role at Cash App. To take some of the mystery out of interviewing, we sat down with Ali Feldman, a Senior Recruiter on the team, to walk you through the process and share some tips on how to ace it.

Meet your guide

Ali is the founding recruiter for the Mobile Engineering team at Cash App and has helped build the interview processes you’ll be going through here. Her role involves a mix of coaching and guiding candidates through the various stages of the interview loop. She provides support at each stage of the process so candidates are well-informed and can focus on preparing to do their best.

“I joined Cash App because I was blown away by my own interviews and the people I met with,” Ali says. “I could tell that each interviewer really cared about the interview process and was invested in our conversations. I was also excited to get into Fintech—the work Cash App is doing, and our mission really resonates with what I want to be doing at this point in my career.”

Ali is always excited to work with the Mobile team because they’re compassionate and easy to work with—and they play a huge role at Cash App. “We’re a truly mobile-first company, so mobile is a big part of everything we do—which makes hiring for this team even more fun,” she says.

Mobile at Cash App is focused on building a high-performance team and creating an environment where people from different backgrounds can succeed. “The mobile engineering leaders do a great job of recognizing the role they play in setting their team up for success, and consistently challenge themselves, and each other, to be better. They take a human-centric approach to managing, with a focus on fostering environments of inclusivity and supporting their teams to meet our high bar of engineering excellence,” Ali says.

About the Mobile team

Our mobile teams build the products, features, and frameworks that power Cash App. From building brand new products to iterating on existing ones to working on systems that enable other engineers to do their best work, there is never a dull moment as a mobile engineer at Cash App. “The team is always at the bleeding edge of newer mobile technologies, and often are the ones creating them themselves, which you can see through our open-source work,” Ali explains.

The Mobile Engineering team embodies our Compete on Creativity operating principle. They truly want creativity to be a competitive advantage for Cash App and to make users excited and delighted to use our products. To do that, they collaborate with the Design and Product teams and always push themselves to think outside the screen.

On the technical side, the team works across Android and iOS. On Android, we’re predominantly Kotlin-based; on iOS, we’re predominantly Swift-based. We also try newer technologies often, so things are constantly evolving.

“Mobile is a prestigious domain here at Cash App, and in my obviously biased opinion, one of the best environments around to grow your career as a mobile developer,” Ali says.

As the Mobile team grows, it’s looking for folks excited about what we do at Cash App and passionate about mobile development. “We’ve built a great culture here, and we’re looking to hire folks who will add to it with their experiences and unique perspective,” Ali says. “So if you’re a mobile developer and passionate about what you do—talk to us!”

The interview process: What to expect

After your initial call with your recruiter, the Mobile interview process involves three rounds. 

The first round is our technical screen stage. At this stage, you’ll have a choice between two options:

  • Option 1: A 60-minute pair programming interview, during which you’ll work virtually with an engineer using CoderPad to solve a multi-part problem. The questions are not mobile-specific, but they’re designed so that any engineer can complete them, and you should feel free to use the language you’re most comfortable with. In this portion of the process, we’ll be evaluating your collaboration skills, understanding your thought process, looking at your overall code quality, and seeing how you think critically about solving problems.

  • Option 2: A mobile take-home project, where you’ll be given the specs to develop a lightweight mobile application. We typically encourage you to spend no more than 3-4 hours on this, but you’ll be given a week to complete it. Once you send it back, we’ll pass it along to our mobile engineers to review. In this exercise, we’re looking for sound architectural decisions, well-crafted UI, and whether you followed the specifications and requirements listed in the prompt.

The second round of the interview process is a Hiring Manager screen. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the team, and for your hiring manager to learn about your background and what you’re looking for next. The goal is for both of you to determine if there is alignment between your skills, your interests, and the role itself. 

The third and final round of interviews is the virtual on-site. You’ll have two coding and 2-3 behavioral interviews during this phase, depending on the seniority of the role. If you went with the Pair Programming interview for the first round, the coding portion of the on-site will be very similar. If you went with the Take-Home Project, the coding portion during the on-site will focus on adding features and functionalities to your project in pair-programming style interviews. The behavioral interviews will focus on your past cross-functional and project management experience, your mobile system design and architecture knowledge, and, potentially, your ability to act in a leadership capacity and drive technical decisions while mentoring other engineers.

Advice from the recruiter: How to ace your interview

To knock your interviews out of the park, Ali recommends being able to articulate why you want to work at Cash App, from a business and/or technical perspective. Ali also recommends speaking to your passions as a way to stand out. “Folks who are passionate about what they do really stand out to us, so if you’re genuinely excited about Mobile or Fintech, tell us that,” she says. “Nothing beats a conversation with a candidate who is enthusiastic about their work.”

For any of the pair-programming style technical interviews, remember to ask clarifying questions before you start coding and to share your thought process. Explain the decisions or trade-offs you’re making and why. “The better your interviewer can follow along, the easier it will be for them to help if you get stuck,” Ali says. “Part of their job is to set you up for success, whether that’s providing hints or jumping into the code with you.” For the behavioral interviews, she encourages you to not be shy around acknowledging personal contributions. “We love teamwork, but we also want to understand the impact and ownership you had in the work."

Ali’s final words of advice for crushing your mobile interview? “Leverage your recruiter! Ask me any questions you might have and I will answer them transparently. I deeply care about my candidates, so I always try to give them my best advice and guidance.” she says.