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Stripe's unique interviewing tactic that you need to know

Getting one of Stripe's coveted and often high-paying jobs is no easy task, and you'll have to impress a lot of people to get in. It won't just be HR and your future-manager you'll be speaking to, however: the $65bn payments giant has a unique quirk to its interview process.

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Matt Esteve, formerly product risk innovation and strategy lead at the fintech, says "it’s expected that everyone does interviews, not just for roles that are directly on your team." He says that someone senior working in risk "might interview someone in audit or accounting." According to Esteve, "Stripe says hiring is everybody's job, and it truly is."

There's a reason for this. Esteve says, "a lot of the hiring is on the technical side and domain knowledge focused, but it’s also about fitting into stripe and culture." The teams at Stripe are often very interoperable with each other, and interviewing hires on adjacent teams ensures the whole operation keeps running smoothly.

It's also to highlight individual differences and prevent a team from becoming too samey. Esteve says Stripe is "not always looking for people that are like other Stripes in terms of experience." Instead, it wants "dissenting or different viewpoints to bring that diversity of thought."

Esteve remembers his interviewer back in 2019 as someone in marketing, "which was something that stood out because, at the time, Stripe didn't have many marketing people, and was growing through word of mouth." Having interviewed across different departments in his tenure, he says an interesting trend was "how smart and interesting the people were that they were able to attract" as a relatively young, small team.

Esteve spent a number of years on an FX trading desk at Citi; he says the interview process there is very different. "When I was hiring in banking, you had a script, you don’t really deviate," Esteve said. "It’s largely relationship based."

He also says that in a bank you're less likely to encounter those candidates with dissenting opinions. "It's the same group of people moving around from one bank to the next, doing the same sort of role in each stop. They’re pretty much locked in."

Esteve left Stripe last month for a smaller, newer fintech, Pangea, building an AI-powered FX infrastructure platform. Rather than working alongside all those different teams, in a smaller fintech, you work within all of them. "Sure, I’m in the C-Suite, but I kind of do everything… and we all do."

It's not just about working well with others in a smaller fintech. Given the more chaotic nature of a smaller startup, Esteve says prospective candidates also need to ask themselves, "Are you going to be able to hop onto the bullet train and become a force multiplier?" 🤔

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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