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How to Land a Job at Slack

By Anna Bradley-Smith

Last updated: Feb 15, 2023

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Slack has long been known for its flexibility, great perks and supportive company culture, and the pandemic proved it's well-positioned to dominate in the future of work. Check out our tips and tricks for securing a job at the popular company.


As hundreds of millions of workers around the world went remote with the pandemic last year, Slack was well positioned to fill the gaps as the new means of office communication — and that it did.

Not only did it see users surge above 12 million per day, with more than 169,000 companies signing on as paid users, it attracted 65 of the Fortune 100 companies — and of course there was its $27.7 billion acquisition by Salesforce.

If Slack wasn’t attractive enough as an employer, known for its flexibility, great perks and supportive company culture, the pandemic really proved it’s in the right field to be in for the future of work.

Slack Org chart

Check out our tips for securing a spot at the coveted company.

Company history

A good way to understand how Slack operates now is to know its backstory, and be sure to show off that knowledge when you start networking with company insiders.

Slack didn’t start as a communication tool, it started as the internal communication tool in a web-based multiplayer game called Tiny Speck. During the game’s development, founders Stewart Butterfield and Cal Henderson saw the potential to scale the tool and Slack was born.

In 2015, within a year of launching, Slack became the fastest-ever company to achieve a $1 billion valuation and in 2019 it went public in a direct listing led by Goldman Sachs.

Known as the email killer, the messaging tool aims to humanize company communication, and it now includes features such as video conferencing, file sharing and connectivity to 100s of notable apps including Twitter, Salesforce and GitHub.

Company culture

Slack embraces the ‘work hard, go home’ mentality and has a culture that respects employees’ personal lives outside of work.

Humanizing is at the core of the company, both with its overall goal of relaxing and streamlining workplace communications and also in how employees interact with each other and Slack users.

The company emphasizes how empathy is key to everything employees do, and having a diverse team is how it aims to truly understand its users and build on and continually improve its products.

As Slack’s recruiting lead Marissa Senzaki told Business Insider: “We want people on our team who exhibit empathy, tact, and poise under pressure when working through customer issues. Above all, they need to be ‘human.’ Hard skills can be taught, but other more human qualities are more innate.”

She adds that the company has maintained the same approach to hiring and culture from the beginning, looking for people who are emotionally intelligent, display values that align with the company and bring a diversity of backgrounds and experience.

How to get a foot in the door

Some good news is that you don’t have to know someone on the inside to get a leg up at the company.

“Rest assured this is not the case; in fact most of our hires have come from people who have applied via our careers page,” Slack says.

“We take all applications seriously. We care deeply about diversity at Slack and when you only hire from your current employees’ networks, you tend to get a homogenous set of candidates.”

The company looks at all resumes and normally responds within a week, so it's imperative to present yourself strongly on paper — and remember: communication is key. This includes making sure all your social media profiles are up to date, keeping in mind the company’s values of empathy, teamwork and clear communication.

Specifically talking about engineers, Slack says it looks for people passionate about programming and who display a high degree of craftsmanship. “We value those who can level up their whole team rather than just themselves, and who have a passion for exploration and inquisitiveness about how things work and what our customers need.”

No matter the role, these same values apply, so be sure to show your passion for the company’s mission and for collaboration, diversity and succeeding as a team.

Preparing for the interview process

Knowing about Slack’s technology and having well thought out questions about the company’s future development goals is going to help you be seen as a serious candidate who has taken the time to learn about the company. Slack says many candidates ask about Slack’s tech stack and the interesting engineering challenges it faces, so brush up your knowledge there.

“We want to feel like the candidate has taken the time to prepare for their interview,” Slack says. “Take the time to research the company and the people you will be interviewing with. Most importantly, be ready to ask questions! Being inquisitive is good – you are evaluating us as much as we are evaluating you.”

Universal character traits the company is looking for employees include empathy, courtesy, thriving, craftsmanship, playfulness and solidarity — so link your own experiences back to examples of those traits and show how you would express them in the new role.

In addition to those core values, Slack also emphasizes a few other required character traits including: a passion for Slack’s mission; a willingness to collaborate with your team; curiosity; a sense of personal responsibility; and an appreciation for a diversity of backgrounds, thoughts, ideas and lived experiences.

What Does Slack’s Hiring Process Look Like?

Slack reviews every application it receives and tries to respond within one week. If they’re interested in you for the position, they’ll reach out to begin a process of interviews and skills tests.

Here’s what that will probably look like.

1. Phone Screen

Slack will contact you and set up a phone interview with a recruiter. The recruiter will want to get to know the real you. Their questions will cover high-level issues about what drives you, what you’re looking for, and why you’d be a good fit for Slack. This is your opportunity to demonstrate how well suited you are to Slack’s mission, priorities and company culture. This call generally takes around 30 minutes.

2. Technical Test or exercise

After your initial interview, Slack will schedule a test or assignment to help them get a feel for your abilities. The exact details of your test will vary depending on the position you’re applying for, but a few possibilities would be coding challenge, analytics SQL challenge, design exercise, at-home assignment, followed by a presentation.

No matter the position, Slack says you’ll generally have a week to complete a technical exercise and submit the code and working solution back. Given the company doesn’t do any whiteboard coding during the onsite interview, the technical exercise is one of the best ways for it to evaluate programming competency.

With code, it should be clean, readable, performant and maintainable, and it will be graded against a rigorous set of over 30 predetermined criteria. “We put significant effort into developing these criteria to ensure that, regardless of who grades the exercise, the score is an accurate reflection of the quality of the work. We do this to limit bias,” Slack says.

The coding exercise is the most important way for Slack to evaluate your technical skills, so it is critical you bring your a-game. If you’re selected to come in for an onsite interview, a portion of that interview will be devoted to discussing this exercise, including the choices and tradeoffs you made.

3. Phone Interview with a Hiring Manager

Once you’ve completed the assignment, you’ll have a phone interview with a hiring manager. This usually lasts an hour and is much more in-depth than your initial phone screen. The hiring manager will ask about your background, the relevant challenges you’ve faced, and what you’re looking for in your next role.

Bonus Tip: A great way to prove your interest and curiosity is to ask some questions of your own. Come prepared with a brief list of things you’d like to know about the position or Slack in general.

4. Onsite Interview

Once you’ve made it through the virtual interviewing stage, Slack will invite you to the location you’d be working at for some in-person interviews and tests. These will be conducted by relevant figures in the department you’re trying to join. You’ll also meet members of the team you’re interested in working with to make sure you get along well.

This usually takes around 4 hours. You’ll talk to 4–5 people from the engineering team, each for 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes with the hiring manager. Our onsite interview focuses on technical and architectural discussions as well as determining how Slack’s values fit with your own.

Senzaki says the interview process at Slack is not rigid or strict, it’s about having a two-way conversation with the candidate, and getting to know them and their personality. “I want to get the ‘whole picture’, not just their past experience, but who they are as a person.”

She adds that CEO Stewart Butterfield likes to ask candidates: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Giving you the chance to show who you are and what your goals are behind the resume.

If Slack decides that you’re the right person for the job, they’ll reach out promptly. The entire interview process will probably last 2-4 weeks from the moment you send in your application until they extend an offer.

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