Preparation Tips for Interview Questions at Square

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Square, a powerhouse in the fintech world, is not only known for its cutting-edge payment solutions but also for its diverse and inclusive work culture.  It’s no wonder why you’d want to be a part of this innovative community. 

However, as you’re likely already aware, preparing for a job interview can feel a bit daunting. The good news is that thorough preparation can make a world of difference, turning the unknown terrains of job interviews into familiar grounds. 

In this article, I aim to demystify the process at Square. I’ll dive deep into the nature of Square’s interview process, the types of questions you might encounter, and even provide sample answers to equip you better. I’ll also discuss interview tips and insights into what Square typically looks for in its candidates. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

The Interview Process at Square

Navigating through the dynamic world of job interviews can indeed be a challenging journey, and understanding the process beforehand can go a long way in easing those interview jitters. 

Square adopts a considerate and holistic approach to its interview process, aiming to recognize your full potential beyond just what’s on your resume. In general, it follows three simple phases: 

  1. Initial phone screening
  2. Technical phone screen
  3. Onsite interview

Let’s take a closer look at each of those steps.

Step 1: Initial Phone Screening

This telephone interview is typically conducted by a recruiter. This conversation primarily centers around your interest in Square and your past working experience. It’s a great chance for both you and Square to see if there is a potential fit.

Step 2: Technical Interview

The next step is to go through a technical interview. You should expect this, especially if you’re interviewing for an engineering role, where you’ll be expected to complete a technical challenge within a specified amount of time. Remember, this isn’t just about getting the right solution — how you approach the problem is incredibly important, too.

Step 3: Onsite Interview

Finally, you’ll be invited for an onsite interview. Square also conducts virtual on-site interviews, so you may be able to do this over Skype, Zoom, or another video conferencing platform. The onsite round usually consists of multiple interviews, including coding, systems design, behavioral, and sometimes even a presentation round. 

What to Know About Preparing for a Job Interview at Square 

Having been through a wealth of interviews myself, I can tell you with utmost certainty that preparation is often the deciding factor between securing a job offer and merely adding another interview experience to your tally. 

When it comes to preparing for a job interview at Square, the preparation process can be broken down into three main stages: 

  1. Understanding the company
  2. Brushing up on your skills
  3. Anticipating interview questions

Let’s go over each of these tips in a bit more detail.

1. Understanding Square

As with any company, getting to know Square and what it stands for is crucial. Familiarize yourself with their mission, culture, and recent developments. Look up news articles, company reports, and profiles of their noteworthy executives. 

You should have a clear understanding of the products and services Square offers and their place within the fintech industry. It’s equally important to review the role you’re applying for, its requirements, and how it integrates into the wider company structure.

2. Improving your Skills

Square is a tech company, and while you don’t need to be a software engineer to work there, a basic understanding of technology is beneficial. For technical roles, make sure you’re proficient in the skills outlined in the job posting. You can leverage platforms such as LeetCode and HackerRank to polish your coding skills. 

For non-technical roles, having a solid understanding of project management tools, financial concepts, or business strategy principles, depending on your field, can be a game changer. 

3. Anticipating Interview Questions

Square’s interview questions vary between behavioral and technical. Behavioral questions are designed to examine your personality, intercommunication skills, and how you handle various challenges. 

These questions could range from “Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation at work and how you overcame it” to “How do you prioritize your work?” On the other hand, technical questions revolve around problem-solving and core subjects related to your job. 

A software engineer, for instance, will face questions about data structures, algorithms, and coding problems, while a marketing associate might be asked about campaign strategy and measuring success.

One effective way to prepare is to practice answering common interview questions. You can jot down your answers, but remember the goal is not to memorize them word for word but rather to frame your thoughts convincingly. Role-playing interviews with a friend can also provide helpful feedback.

The Essentials to Have With You for a Square Job Interview 

Let’s get practical for a minute. No matter how well prepared you are for an interview, there are a few tangible items you need to bring along to make a great impression. Here’s a checklist for your job interview at Square.

Multiple Copies of Your Resume

This seems a tad old school, especially if you’ve already shared your resume during the application process, but it’s a must. Ensure you bring enough copies along just in case there are various individuals involved in your interview who need it.

Work Portfolio

If your role demands it, like UX/UI design or marketing, carry samples of your past work. Don’t assume your interviewers have thoroughly examined your online portfolio. A physical document or a ready-to-show digital collection on your device can go a long way.

Examples of Past Work

Where what you do can’t be summarized in a document or captured in visuals, it’s good to have real examples. This could mean noting down specific accomplishments, numbers, or project-shaping decisions you’ve made ahead of time.

Notebook and Pen

Even though many of us use our phones to jot things down, a classic pen and notebook leave a good impression. They denote that you’re serious about this job and ready to note down any important information. 

Plus, notebooks won’t have you battling with autocorrect or losing track of what is being discussed while you search for your notes app.

List of References

You may not be asked for them, but having a printout of your references gives you a prepared and professional appearance. 


You’re not the only one being interviewed, you’re also interviewing Square to see if it’s a good fit for you. Be ready with smart, thoughtful questions that dig beyond the surface of what it’s like to work there.

Types of Questions Asked at a Square Interview

I can tell you that you’ll encounter a few different types of questions when you interview at Square. These can generally be categorized into behavioral, technical, and case study questions.

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to give interviewers insight into your personality, values, and work ethic. 

For example, they might ask, “Can you describe a situation where you had to handle a team conflict?”. They’re trying to gauge your teamwork and problem-solving abilities through such questions. It’s also common to be asked questions about your past work experiences and how you handled challenges or resolved conflicts. 

Technical Questions

Technical questions are specific to the role you’ve applied for and the skills it requires. As an aspiring software engineer, they can ask you to solve coding problems in real-time and to discuss your thought process as you work through the problems. 

But if you’re applying for roles in marketing or finance, be ready to answer competency-based questions relevant to your industry, like designing a marketing campaign for a new product or outlining a financial plan.

Case Study Questions

These are typically scenario-based problems that are designed to analyze your problem-solving skills in a real-world context. For instance, you can be given a situation related to optimizing a function in the code for their payment processing system – the goal is to identify your analytical capacity along with your problem-solving approach in a realistic context.

Some interviews might focus more on one type of question than others, depending on the role. So, be sure to research thoroughly and prepare accordingly for the specific job you’re applying for.

General Questions Asked at a Square Interview

Now that we’ve talked about some of the basics of applying for a job at Square, let’s get into the nitty gritty of interview questions you’ll come across. 

To kick the process off, Square may ask some general interview questions. These questions may seem basic at face value, but they provide the hiring team with significant insight into your character, motivation, priorities, and ability to fit within their culture.

Here are a few examples of these types of questions.

“Can you tell me about yourself?” 

This question seems simple, yet it’s golden. It offers you an opportunity to present a tailored narrative about your professional journey. Be sure to focus on experiences and achievements that resonate with the role you’re applying for and with Square’s ethos of empowerment and inclusivity. 

“Why are you interested in working at Square?”

Here’s where you’d do well to demonstrate a sound understanding of Square’s operations, culture, and mission. Speak about how these align with your own values and professional aspirations.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Square is all about passion and dedication. They’re interested in your long-term career ambitions, not only to assess your commitment but also to explore potential growth paths within the company.

“How do you handle feedback?” 

This question looks at your adaptability and openness to criticism. Square values learning and growth, and your ability to handle feedback constructively is essential in this ever-evolving tech environment.

“Can you describe a time when you faced a significant work challenge and how you overcame it?”

Square is looking for problem solvers. Sharing your experiences tackling big challenges not only shows your resilience but also demonstrates your strategic and critical thinking skills – both highly valued at Square.

Role-Specific Questions at a Square Interview

It’s important to know that each job has its unique set of responsibilities and tasks, thus demanding different skills and capabilities. Understanding this, the interviewers at Square carefully design questions that reveal an applicant’s suitability for a specific role. 

Each of these questions directly relates to challenges or tasks you’d face in the role you’re applying for. When answering, it would be helpful to apply the STAR method – describe the Situation you were in, the Task you were responsible for, the Action you took, and the Result of your actions. 

This technique allows you to deliver a structured and succinct response, clearly showcasing your capabilities and experience in a real-world context.

Here are a couple of different roles and questions you may come across in interviews for each one.

Engineering Role Questions

  • “Can you discuss a recent technical challenge you faced and how you overcame it? What was the end result?”
  • “Can you explain your approach towards debugging code? Can you share an instance where you had to resolve a high-priority bug?”

Product Management Role Questions

  • “Describe how you have used data to drive product decision-making in a previous role.”
  • “Can you provide an example of when you had to pivot a product direction at the last minute? How did you handle it?”

Sales Role Questions

  • “Can you tell us about a time when you turned around a difficult client or closed a difficult deal?”
  • “What would your strategy be to increase the uptake of our services in a market segment where our presence is relatively low?”

Customer Service Role

  • “Can you share an instance when you went above and beyond to assist a customer?”
  • “How would you handle a situation where a customer is unhappy with our product or service?”

Tips to Help You Ace the Interview at Square

Let’s get to the good stuff – how to actually ace your interview at Square. After engaging with many candidates, here is a compilation of tried-and-true strategies that I believe can help you make a strong impression.

Tip #1: Understand Square’s Purpose and Values

Before you set foot in the interview room, take some time to understand Square’s mission of economic empowerment and how its values align with this. Reflect on how these resonate with your own values and ambitions, and be ready to articulate this clearly.

Example: “I have always admired how Square is democratizing financial services. The company’s focus on inclusion and accessibility aligns perfectly with my own mission as a software developer. I want to use my skills to build tools that benefit everyone, not just a select few.”

Tip #2: Be Prepared to Talk about Past Experiences

Think of situations from your past roles that showcase your problem-solving skills, your ability to work in a team, and your resilience in the face of challenges. This will give your potential employer a clear idea of what you’re capable of delivering.

Example: “In my previous role at XYZ, I was part of a project that faced a major setback due to unforeseen circumstances. Instead of panicking, I collaborated with my team to identify causal factors, implement a strategy to address them, and get the project back on track.”

Tip #3: Technical Preparedness

If you’re applying for a technical role, practice coding problems and familiarize yourself with specific languages or frameworks relevant to the position. Show them you are technically competent and can hit the ground running.

Example: “I’ve spent a considerable amount of time honing my coding skills and familiarizing myself with Python and JavaScript as I know they are crucial for this role. I recently completed a project involving these languages, which I’m excited to discuss further.”

What Square Looks for in Candidates During an Interview

As a career coach, I’ve helped countless individuals prepare for interviews across a diverse range of industries, and I can tell you that every company has its unique set of traits, skills, and attributes they value in potential hires. Square is no exception. 

Some factors are common throughout all industries, such as reliability, problem-solving skills, and strong communication, but other factors may be very specific to the company in question. 

Let’s go over a few different qualities that Square looks for in its candidates.

Candidates who believe in their mission of economic empowerment

Square values candidates who are not only proficient in their respective roles but also committed to creating a positive impact on the world around them. 

Knowledge of company culture

Aligning your values with Square’s mission and demonstrably being familiar with their products will give you an edge. For example, you could share anecdotes about how you have used Square products or services to find solutions in the past. 

Innovation and out-of-the-box thinking

Innovative thinking doesn’t mean inventing a new product on the spot but rather demonstrating your ability to approach challenges in a novel, creative way. Shape your responses to highlight instances when you’ve used innovative thinking to solve an operational or user-centric issue.

Ability to Work Collaboratively

As a team-oriented company, Square loves candidates who can seamlessly integrate into diverse groups and work towards common goals. Provide concrete examples where you collaborated with cross-functional teams and achieved significant results. 

Passion and Resilience

When asked about your challenges and achievements, focus on instances when you persisted despite obstacles. Remember, the more genuine you are about your experiences, the more you’ll resonate with your interviewers.

Start a Career at Square

I surely understand that preparing for a job interview can seem daunting, especially when it’s for a dynamic and successful company like Square. Yet, with the right understanding of what the company is looking for and appropriate preparation, you’re more likely to showcase your strengths effectively and make a lasting impression.

Remember, Square values candidates who share its mission of economic empowerment. So, make sure to let them know how you connect with their mission personally and professionally. Use your own life experiences and work history as real-life examples to get this point home.

Even with these tricks up your sleeve and ways to prepare for your interview, I strongly recommend you to take advantage of our personalized coaching to prepare for your Square interview. Assessing your interview responses with the guidance of our experienced coaches can significantly increase your confidence and effectiveness in the interview scenario. 

The journey to your dream job with Square is a step away, and we’re here to walk with you every step of the way!

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