Your guide to Toptal Interview

4 minute read

It was 2017, When I first learned about something called Remote Work. The idea of working from anywhere, anytime and the possibility of meeting new people and learning new things while doing so seemed so flourishing that I couldn’t stop myself from applying to remote jobs.

But there was a catch. Remote work wasn’t that mainstream at that time plus Companies who were recruiting for such jobs did not have enough resources to go through every resume they receive from literally every corner of the world(with internet). So, it turned out in two ways: Either you won’t get a reply back from the company or they will put some kind of restriction in job description that only people from specific geography can apply for the ‘remote’ job under consideration.

Because of all the ‘buts’ mentioned above, It was hard for me to search and apply at right companies. Luckily, I found RemoteIndian around the same time. It is a wonderful community of Indian remote workers created and maintained by my friend Abhishek Bose. After joining the community I got to know about lots of things, Like:

  • Pros and Cons of working remotely
  • Ideal work environment
  • How to handle your finances

And many more. If you are working remotely from India(or want to) I would definitely suggest to give RemoteIndian a look.

I also got to know that Abhishek was part of this hip remote work platform named Toptal. I thought of giving it a try and see how it goes. Fast forward to now, I have been part of Toptal for more than two years now. I get asked a lot about my interview experience at Toptal. So, I thought of gathering all my thoughts in this post.

If you find this post helpful please consider using my referral link to register on Toptal.

The thoughts that I have shared below is more for a QA applying to Toptal. If you are someone who comes from a Development background, Feel free to check this amazing article from Avi.

Interview Process

Toptal’s interview process consists of total 4 rounds. They can be described as below:

  1. English Proficiency
  2. Validating your Skills
  3. Project
  4. Retrospecting your choices

English Proficiency

Once you are part of Toptal you will be working for clients from all over the world. Toptal expects people on their network to be proficient in English. This helps provide them assurance that you will be able to understand client requirements and communicate back with best of your capabilities. Communication is also a very integral part of working Remote. So, you want to make sure you can fluently express your thoughts in English.

This round will be a 10-20 minutes call and someone from Toptal will be validating your English speaking skills.

Validating your Skills

Toptal claims to cater Top 3% of Freelance Talent. It matters to them that you are best at what you do. This will be a 45-60 minutes of technical round. The discussions can range from your technical expertise in specific technologies to a coding test.

Tips:

  • Do some basic problem solving.
  • Read about Automation Frameworks structure and its components
  • Understand Software Test Life Cycle by heart

Project

If you passed the technical round you will be given a project. You will receive a project requirement document and what other tasks you may have to fulfill. This may contain multiple tasks. Such as:

  • Create an Automation framework with complete CI/CD implementation.
  • Create a test plan with UI and API test cases for some specific application.
  • Create performance test cases for some specific scenario.

You will have one week’s time to complete the project and submit it.

Retrospecting your Choices

If you have made it this far, you are most likely to get selected. In this round you will be discussing the decisions you made while completing your week long project. A lot of Hows and Whys. It can also cover some technical discussion related to the project you finished.

Once you are done with that you will receive a mail to get onboarded on Toptal.

So, that’s about it. If you found this post helpful feel free to use this link to register at Toptal. And I wish you All the Best.

It’s OK if you don’t get selected, Toptal gives you another chance to apply after a break of couple of months. Also, there are lots of other freelance platforms that you can apply to. I have listed some of them below:

  1. Gigster
  2. Upstack
  3. Flexiple
  4. Arc
  5. Gun.io

When I started searching for Remote Work in 2017, I never thought that there will be a global pandemic. And it will force everyone to go remote (partially or fully). But thinking optimistically, It has introduced this wonderful way of working to a larger audience. And it is not going anywhere any time soon.

What are your thoughts? Share them in comments below.

Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of any third party.

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