How to Get a Job at Wealthfront

August 05, 2010

Getting a job at Wealthfront is not easy, but we would like to help.

When approaching Wealthfront, first try to contact through a friend of a friend (LinkedIn is a great way). If you can’t find a connection, contact us then directly via our jobs at Wealthfront mail. Your resume and cover letter in a Microsoft Word document is bad karma, PDF is good and if not then a plain text file would do.
In your cover letter you must show some indication that you actually know what we’re doing here at Wealthfront and not desperately sending tons of resumes to all A massive mail broadcast will be killed on the spot. Please do not overload your resume with technology buzzwords that are either empty marketing terms (e.g. “SOA”, “SaaS”, “The Cloud”) or bad technologies (e.g. “EJB”, “SOAP”, “CORBA”) or utterly trivial/irrelevant like knowing how to use some Microsoft piece of software.

We are looking for things like some open source project you wrote. Even small fun ones are great. Interesting technologies you know. Only if you know them please; We’ll be very disappointed to ask you about something and learn you don’t really know it.

Ok, so you sent your resume and we’re impressed, great! We’re going to call you up for a short five minute chat to make sure we’re on the same page, ask few trivial low bar questions and set your first phone interview. This phone interview will be using Skype and some web based collaborative editor. The interviewer will ask you to code three short tasks, each should take five to ten minutes. If one won’t work out for you, don’t worry just go on to the next one.

You solved the tasks in no time as you can do it while sleeping. Very nice, that’s what we’re looking for! Now lets talk business, we’re going to invite you over and meet our team.
Over here we’ll treat you for some coffee at Fraiche (our CFO makes sure we have a pile of their gift certificates in the office) and lets start. We always start a coding task. Our engineers will seat with you in front of some IDE and hook an extra keyboard and do some coding task with you. The task involves some problem we need to solve and it ends when the tests we write for it is green. It should take about thirty minutes and then we’ll have some chat about yourself and Wealthfront. We’ll probably show some of the stuff we’re doing, the cool tools we’re using. If we feel you’re our hero, we might even write some product code with you and push it to production while in the middle of the interview! After all, a production push using Wealthfront’s continuous deployment system is less then five minutes.

We hope it does not sound too bad. The bottom line of the interview is to get the best engineers we can get and make sure they will be excited about working at Wealthfront. If you’re doing interviews at other companies that don’t use such process and might hire you only by your resume and few whiteboard questions, please ask yourself:

  1. If this company does not do coding practices in the interview, does it mean there are people here that might not know how to code? After all, there is only one true way to prove one can code, right?
  2. Say the average developer in this company is the average developer from some random college. Who are you going to learn from? How will you get better in what you’re doing?

You should check out this How to Get a Job post by Cloudera. Its a good read which broadly applies to many companies, Wealthfront included. Lastly, get to know our engineering team; You’ll see we all come from very diverse backgrounds.