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Interview Processes of Brazilian vs US Tech Companies


A General Comparison of Interview Processes: Brazilian vs US Tech Companies

When it comes to interviewing for tech positions, the processes and expectations can vary significantly between Brazilian and US companies. Understanding these differences can help applicants prepare effectively and navigate the unique challenges of each approach.

Cultural Influences on the Interview Experience

In Brazilian companies, there's often room for qualitative discussions during interviews. Candidates may find themselves engaging in deeper conversations, allowing them to elaborate on their skills and experiences beyond the initial time box. On the other hand, US companies tend to focus strictly on quantitative aspects, and candidates might be cut off when they exceed the interviewer's predefined time limit. This could be a reflection of the cultural values in each country, where Brazilian communication tends to be more expressive and open-ended, while US interactions lean towards efficiency and time-consciousness.

Home Assessment and One-on-One Evaluation

Both Brazilian and US tech companies may require candidates to complete a home assessment as part of the interview process. This assessment could involve building a frontend or backend related to the company's business domain or even creating an end-to-end MVP solution for full-stack positions.

However, a significant difference emerges in the one-on-one or pair programming evaluation that follows. In Brazilian companies, this phase may allow for a more generous time frame, giving candidates up to 1 hour and 30 minutes to showcase their skills. In contrast, US companies might allocate as little as 20 minutes for this part of the evaluation. This shorter window puts greater pressure on candidates to demonstrate their abilities quickly and efficiently.

Preparation and Laser Focus

To succeed in tech interviews, candidates in both countries need to stay up-to-date with algorithms and data structures. Moreover, cultivating the ability to laser-focus on tasks for extended periods is essential. This skill is particularly challenging to develop, as maintaining unwavering concentration for at least 90 minutes can be tougher than anticipated. A useful tip is to practice with an alarm, testing one's endurance and focus under time constraints.

Considerate Timing and Timezones

Applicants should consider not only their own comfort but also the interviewer's convenience when scheduling interviews. Taking timezones into account is crucial, as a candidate's ideal time might not align with the interviewer's schedule. Being mindful of the best timing for both parties can lead to a more positive and productive interview experience.

One may not be too happy to talk to a stranger at 6 am before they had their black coffee or 10:30 pm when kids are in bed already.

Keep in mind that the insights provided in this post are primarily applicable to semi-top-tier companies (non-FAANG), such as medium-sized fintechs, healthtechs, and SaaS firms. Additionally, these observations do not extend to outsourcing companies, which may follow distinct interview procedures.

Understanding and adapting to the differences in interview processes between Brazilian and US tech companies can give candidates a competitive edge and lead to successful outcomes.