Attract talent

How to Get a Job at Twitter
Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world and it attracts hundreds of thousands of applicants each year. Check out these tips and tricks on how to stand out from the crowd and land a job at the coveted microblogging company.
By Anna Bradley-Smith
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8 minute read

With around 400 million users and almost $4 billion in annual revenue, Twitter is without a doubt one of the largest social networking companies in the world.

The microblogging platform, launched in 2006, is based out of San Francisco and has offices around the globe, but since the pandemic hit its more than 5,500 employees have increased flexibility to work remotely. Over the last few years, Twitter has become well-known for its political and social stances, and it has gained a reputation as a conscious employer. Naturally, jobs at the site are in high demand, with hundreds of thousands of tech-hungry applicants applying each year.

Twitter Org Chart Parag Agrawal

So how does one get a foot in Twitter’s front door?

Know the company history

To really increase your chances throughout the Twitter hiring process, it’s important to know the company’s history.

Jack Dorsey founded the microblogging platform in 2006 with colleagues from podcasting start-up Odeo, Evan Williams, Noah Glass and Biz Stone.

Dorsey came up with the idea that would become Twitter while studying at NYU after becoming fascinated with SMS. Twttr, as it was first called, launched in 2006 with Dorsey as CEO allowing users to send short messages called ‘tweets.’ In 2013, Twitter went public at around $40 a share, and now it is now valued at more than $27 billion.

Since its launch, Twitter has been seen as a platform for public conversation, connection and debate, but it hasn’t been without its controversies. A central question has been over the level of responsibility it holds for what users publish. In 2020, it started allowing for fact-check labels to be added to tweets to combat misinformation after Dorsey acknowledged in 2019 that Twitter had been responsible for the spread of abuse and misinformation.

The company has since been seen as one of the few social media platforms attempting to take responsibility for user content in an era rife with foreign interference and campaigns of misinformation, and it has banned political ads as part of that.

Recently, Twitter has diversified its offerings acquiring companies including newsletter service Revue, allowing content creators to get paid through Super Follows and notably creating Spaces. Spaces is comparable to Clubhouse, where users can host a live conversation where other users can listen in and request to speak. Twitter says it’s on its way to $7.5 billion in annual revenue by 2023.

Know the company culture

Twitter prides itself on its company culture and focus on clear communication, making understanding and including the company’s core values in the Twitter interview process imperative.

The company calls its employees Tweeps, and makes it known that each has power within the company to make an impact. To do this it stresses having free and safe spaces to have conversations, both about the company and the world, and of course Twitter’s role in it. It also places significance on life being about purpose, not a job, and it sees itself as having a social role in serving public conversation.

Specifically, its goal is “to power positive global change by fostering respectful conversations, creating deeper human connections and encouraging diverse interactions among individuals and teams, across our organization, and on the platform resulting in a more globally inclusive culture and more globally diverse workforce.”

In its first Global Impact Report, released in 2020, CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter was building trust through transparency and accountability, to make it stronger and serve its customers better. “We’re committed to corporate responsibility, sustainability, and philanthropy, which are core to serving our purpose and we believe they are the right thing to do. We strive to unite philanthropy with our business objectives and be good stewards in the communities where we work and live.”

In order to do that, Twitter provides employees with a flexible workspace, often giving them the option to work from home if that suits best. It also provides a number of physical, mental, financial and professional perks to employees.

Going through the Twitter hiring process, stress how your values align with those of the company, and why and how communication is important to you.

Getting on Twitter’s radar

Twitter is well-known for proactively networking with potential employees. That means networking and putting yourself out there is paramount to being noticed by the company.

“I think any company that’s going after software engineers will realize that the vast majority of your hires come through referrals and networking and proactive outbound communication,” Twitter’s Head of Global Talent Acquisition and People Analytics Steve Bonomo told CNBC.

“Most of the great software engineers and other great workers that are out there are happily employed. Their managers are trying to do everything to keep them there. We literally need to go out there and build relationships to get people.”

So key to getting that foot in the door is building relationships with the right people and making yourself and your skills and achievements stand out online. Leverage existing networks with colleagues and friends and reach out to people at Twitter that you respect to find out their stories and get tips. Attending events where you know Twitter will be present is a great way to start building relationships, and do what you can to grow those relationships and get an invite into the building to build out your network and get a feel for the vibe.

At the heart of it all, Twitter wants to know that you believe in their mission. Are you on board with Twitter’s purpose? Can you get passionate about what they’re trying to accomplish?

As you enter the hiring process, get ready to show Twitter how well your personal mission aligns with theirs. And once you’ve got that connection and are ready for the Twitter interview experience, get ready to go fast! “It happens pretty quick,” Bonomo said. “We do try to expedite the process, because we do know that most people are not just talking to one company and we need to move pretty fast.”

How Does Twitter’s Hiring Process Work?

1. Initial Interview

If Twitter is interested in your application or discovers you through networking, a recruiter will reach out to you and set up a phone or video interview. A hiring manager will then call you, explain the role, and ask you about your background and skills. As in every stage of the hiring process, be ready to show why you’re the perfect person for the job in question.

2. Assessment Test

Depending on the role you’re applying for, the next step may be an assessment test to gauge your abilities in areas like coding, data analysis, or engineering. These tests might be conducted live or as a “take-home” project. Getting it in take-home form isn’t uncommon, either, which is good news for any nervous job candidate.

3. Department-Specific Interview

Once you’ve made it past the assessment test, the hiring manager will schedule at least one phone interview — and probably multiple — with someone relevant to the department you’d be working in, such as a software engineer, designer, or product director. These specialists will ask you questions to get a better feel for your skills.

The exact questions will depend on what role you’re being interviewed for, of course. But one way Twitter’s interviews differ from other tech companies is that they generally skip the trend of asking seemingly random riddles or trick questions like “How many golf balls could you fit inside a school bus?”

Twitter prefers to evaluate the technical skills that will actually be required on the job.

4. Onsite Interviews and Testing

Finally, you’ll be invited to one of Twitter’s offices to take part in a series of interviews with potential coworkers and managers. You’ll also be engaging in onsite tests and activities to further prove your capabilities. This is quite extensive and will require you to be at your best. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

The Twitter hiring process usually takes 2–4 weeks from start to finish. Because it can move right along, make sure you’re properly prepared for every stage before you even get started. You don’t want to have to struggle to fit in prep time between the stages.

Bonomo stresses that beyond the skills and experience required, “We really want to understand someone’s motivations to be a part of Twitter.”

If Twitter doesn’t end up working out, there are plenty of other great employers out there — and there’s nothing stopping you from building up that skillset and network base and trying again.

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