Ace Your Ellevation Education Interview: Insider Tips and Top 20 Questions

The edtech company’s engineering team created a revamped interview process called “The Hitchhiker’s Guide. ” Here’s how it works. Written by.

Go ahead, pump that fist. You just landed a job interview for what appears to be an exciting engineering opportunity. You’re excited, nervous and flattered as you prepare for the next steps. What do those look like, anyway?.

That’s unfortunately how many interview processes go. People who are being interviewed don’t know things like how many rounds there will be, who they will talk to, what they need to do at each stage, or even how to prepare. But why?.

Ellevation Education’s engineering team asked the same question. Yet unlike many hiring teams, they agreed that interviews shouldn’t have surprises. That’s why they revamped their interview process and started a new trend.

Every engineer who is being interviewed gets a three-page PDF file called “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ellevation’s Interview Process.” The guide walks you through each step, from the phone screen to the homework to the “Explain Something You Built” part. And according to the interviewers, it’s working.

“People are much more ready for the questions we’re going to ask because we give them the questions ahead of time,” said Tara Yoo, a Software Engineer II. “And they’re more prepared for the take-home coding tests. ”.

Yoo said that a better interviewee is one who has prepared, and her team can tell more clearly if someone is a good fit for the job.

Software Engineer II Eva Petzinger said, “We’re hiring great people because we put our best foot forward as interviewers. The candidates feel like they were respected during the interview process.” “It’s the perfect welcome to the collaborative and inclusive culture of our engineering team. ”.

Built In Boston talked to three Ellevation Education engineers to find out more about the new interview process and how it has changed the team’s culture.

If you’ve landed an Ellevation Education interview, congratulations! This shows the recruiter sees you as a potential match for their mission-driven team. Now you need to shine during the interview process to receive an offer.

In this comprehensive article, we provide an overview of Ellevation’s interview stages and the most frequent questions asked. Read on for sample responses and expert tips to help you successfully navigate your upcoming Ellevation interviews.

Overview of Ellevation’s Interview Process

Here’s what to expect during the Ellevation interview process

  • 30 minute phone screen with HR

  • 1-3 rounds of virtual interviews, 45-60 minutes each

  • Interviewers include hiring manager, team members, and executives

  • Questions test your experience technical abilities problem-solving, and passion

  • May include a practical sample project or presentation

  • Evaluates culture fit, communication skills, and work ethic

  • More weight placed on emotional intelligence than exact qualifications

Top 20 Ellevation Education Interview Questions and Answers

Let’s prepare winning responses to the most common questions asked in Ellevation interviews:

1. Walk me through your resume. Why did you choose to pursue these opportunities?

Connect the dots telling your career story arc. Share what excites you about each experience and skills gained relevant to this role.

2. What appeals to you about working at Ellevation Education specifically?

Spotlight shared values, their mission-driven culture, innovative products, and commitment to educational equity. Share why this aligns with your goals.

**3. How did you become interested in educational technology? **

Share personal experiences, professional passions, or people who inspired your interest in leveraging tech to help all students succeed.

4. How do you stay up-to-date on trends and innovations in the edtech industry?

Discuss online edtech communities you engage in, publications or blogs you follow, conferences attended, and how you continually expand your knowledge.

5. Why are you interested in this role? How would it fit into your career goals?

Spotlight how the role perfectly matches your skills, interests, and values. Share how it moves your career in your desired direction long-term.

6. What do you know about our products and mission? Why are you interested in being part of what we do?

Display your passion for their solutions and how they help underserved students. Share why their mission deeply resonates with you.

**7. Tell me about a time you successfully led a project or initiative from concept to completion. **

Use a STAR format to detail the challenge, planning process, team collaboration, hurdles faced, and results achieved. Quantify success.

8. Describe a time when you had to solve a difficult technical challenge. How did you approach it?

Showcase analytical abilities and problem-solving. Outline steps taken like diagnosing issues, researching solutions, consulting others, and resolving the problem systematically.

9. Walk me through a situation where you had to partner cross-functionally to complete a complex project. How did you ensure success?

Share how you set clear goals, communicated proactively, leveraged strengths of each member, and built relationships to unite around shared objectives.

10. Tell me about a time you received critical feedback from a supervisor or peer. How did you respond?

Stay positive focusing on desire to grow. Discuss being open, creating an improvement plan, and successfully implementing changes to improve.

11. Have you ever made a mistake at work? What was the situation and how did you handle it?

Be transparent showcasing accountability and maturity. Share briefly what went wrong, how you corrected it and put processes in place to prevent recurrence.

12. How would you go about quickly getting up to speed on our products if you joined our team?

Share strategies like thoroughly studying their website/materials, engaging product experts, investigating use cases, trying demos, and requesting training where needed.

13. How do you stay organized, prioritize and meet deadlines when juggling multiple projects and tasks?

Discuss tools and systems you use to schedule time, prioritize competing needs, create checklists, get help if overwhelmed, communicate about deadlines.

14. What experience do you have using project management software and tools?

Discuss any PM systems used, like Asana, Trello, Jira etc. Share how you leveraged them to set milestones, assign tasks, track progress and communicate on projects.

15. In your experience, what are some best practices for writing clean, maintainable code?

Showcase technical knowledge by discussing practices like commenting code, using version control, modular programming, minimizing redundancy, testing rigorously, and organizing code strategically.

16. How would you explain a complex technical process or software feature to a non-technical user or executive?

Reveal communication skills tailoring to audience needs. Discuss using plain language, relatable analogies, visuals, building understanding incrementally, inviting questions.

17. Tell me about a time when you successfully influenced a team or executive to move ahead with one of your recommended technology solutions. How did you get buy-in?

Share how you presented a persuasive case tailored to their priorities, needs and knowledge level while relating benefits enthusiastically.

**18. What is your preferred work style – more independent or collaborative? Give me some examples. **

Show you can adapt flexibly to either style needed. Provide examples of both independent problem-solving and collaborating seamlessly on teams.

19. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now in your career?

Convey your passion for sustained growth at Ellevation into advanced roles and greater responsibilities, while remaining dedicated to their mission.

20. Do you have any questions for me?

Ask thoughtful questions regarding professional development, company culture, leadership vision, emerging product plans, and opportunities to take on new challenges.

Expert Tips for Acing Your Ellevation Interview

  • Research the company, products, and each interviewer before your meetings. Look for talking points.

  • Be prepared to speak knowledgeably about edtech industry issues, innovations and trends.

  • Have stories ready that highlight relevant tech skills, problem-solving, project leadership, and teamwork.

  • Practice responses out loud to improve delivery. Time yourself to keep answers concise.

  • Express genuine passion for educational equity, student success, and Ellevation’s mission.

  • Ask smart questions that show your engagement, strategic thinking, and long-term focus.

  • Send thank you notes after the interview acknowledging key points discussed.

With rigorous preparation using the advice above, you’ll feel confident, showcase your capabilities, and make a winning impression. We wish you the very best with your Ellevation interviews!

WHAT THEY DOEllevation Education’s web-based software platform is designed for English Language Learner (ELL) educators and the English Learners (EL) they serve. Its EL program management platform organizes all EL student data, supports critical meeting and monitoring processes, enables accurate reporting, and supports instructional planning for multilingual students.

Yoo: I immediately got the Hitchhiker’s Guide email that laid out each step of the interview process. I loved that. It saved me from having to wait a week or two and wonder why no one was responding, what I should do, or how I did. Ellevation told me right away that they would have a debriefing right after my interview and then get back to me in one or two days.

Another unique aspect is that I was able to shape the interview process. I was originally interviewing to be a software engineer I. That would have been a lateral move and a bit of a pay cut for me. During my interview, I told them that I should be a software engineer II because of what I had already done at my last job. Ellevation added a new part to my interview called “Explain Something You Built.” This is where I got to talk about something I built at my last job. Through this, I was able to justify being hired as a software engineer II.

Ellevation also learned from that experience that the “Explain Something You Built” question should be used in all engineering interviews. I loved how flexible Ellevation was about the interview process, and how we both adapted along the way.

Petzinger: I applied for an implementation manager role (pre-Hitchhiker’s Guide). It didn’t take long for them to write back and tell me that the job had been filled, but they wanted me to apply for the project manager position instead. I interviewed for that role, and I had such positive interactions with the team throughout the interview process. They told me I didn’t have the right technical skills for the job in the end, but they asked me to interview for a product support specialist job instead. I said, “Sure, why not?” I ended up getting the job as a product support specialist because the interview gave me a chance to get to know the people on that team.

There’s a lot of flexibility at Ellevation. And if a candidate seems like a good fit for the business, they are willing to help them find the best job for them.

Senior Software Engineer Benjamin Ford: My favorite aspect of the interview process was the take-home coding exercises. My nerves get the best of me when I have to do a coding exercise in person during an interview. I’m more methodical, and like to think through a problem quietly by myself instead of thinking out loud.

We’ve all had a bad interview before. How has that experience helped you be a better interviewer?

Yoo: When I was asked a question about recursion in an interview, I felt like a “deer in the headlights.” I didn’t know how to answer. That has changed the way I interview because candidates have gotten stuck during the technical round and had that same awkward moment. People don’t realize that the interviewee wants you to succeed. I’m not trying to stump you. It’s not me versus you. It’s painful when someone gets stuck and embarrassed and doesn’t want to ask for help. I would love it if an interviewee asked for help. It shows a willingness to collaborate, and a willingness to seek and listen to feedback. It’s not a weakness to ask for help. If you do get the job, you’re going to collaborate with me and many other team members.

Ford: It has definitely given me empathy. Years ago when I was interviewing for a job, I flunked the in-person coding test. I thought I knew what to expect for the role. Turns out, I didn’t. There were basic ideas I hadn’t heard of because I wasn’t familiar with that role at the time. I learned from that that it’s important to make people feel welcome, even if they’re not a good fit for the job. Who knows, maybe they’d fit somewhere else at the company, or be a good fit down the line. A little empathy goes a long way.

Ellevation: EL Program management has never been easier

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