πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ How to Toptal?

Vrezh Oganisyan

Vrezh Oganisyan / June 21, 2022

5 min read β€’ ––– views

And then she asked "So, how to join Toptal?"

The question I have heard a lot of times during past weeks. It was a little bit confusing to forward the same message, so I decided to prepare an article.

Below you can find my ultimate description of Toptal interview and work process πŸ‘‡

Preview

Table of contents


Interview process

Application / CV

The inital stage for toptal application includes registration on the platform using LinkedIn or Email.

Recommendations:

  • Don't forget to attach your CV
  • Prepare professional photo for the application.Sample

Toptal usually checks applications quickly.

For referrals:

  • In case of any question, feel free to reach me out using one of the social links in website footer.
  • Using my referral link will help you to earn additional bonuses when you join the network (up to $2500).

1st stage: English Screening / β˜•οΈ 15 min

When your application is accepted, the very first stage of your journey starts! You need to schedule a quick call with English Screener.

Usually the whole process is going to take around 10-15 minutes and the goal of this stage is to check English speaking and listening skills.

Recommendations:

  • Don't panic and be confident. Your english most probably is more than enough for this stage.

  • Prepare the environment. Toptal is using BlueJeans for all sorts of calls

  • Prepare to answer for questions like these:

    Tell me about yourself?

    What's your strenghts?

    Tell me about your past experience?

    What you love about being an engineer?

2nd stage: Online testing / β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈ 90 min

So, right after the process of screening your English you are going to get an email about the next stage which is an online coding test.

The test is 90 minutes long(from the moment you clicked the link) using the Codility platform. During this stage, you are free to use google.

Recommendations:

  • Play with Codility before taking test. I started without getting acknowledged with platform and it costed me valuable time.
  • Prepare to get algorithmic questions (see Preparation section).
  • Prepare for react in case of frontend track (see Preparation section).

3rd stage: Live coding / β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈ 30-60 minute

After the online test, you will get a chance to schedule the next step which is Live Coding with TopTal technical screener.

During this stage, the hardest part is time restriction: you must solve 1-2 tasks under short time frame.

You will start screen sharing, get the task description and after confirmation that requirements are clear, the countdown starts.

Recommendations:

  • Try using timer during preparation in order to get ready for this step
  • In case of algorithmic tasks get acknowledged with platform (Codility)
  • In case of frontend track prepare environment (disable Copilot, prepare code editor, language syntax highlights)
  • Understand your salary expectations: this is the first step when interviewer asks about your desired rate

4th stage: Technical Task / β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈβ˜•οΈ up to 1 week

The last and the longest step is the technical task. Technical screener will send requirements by email and you will start working on the project using GitLab.

Recommendations:

  • Get acknowledged with GitLab (Merge Requests, Squash commits)
  • Test everything before submission
    • Validations
    • Access Rights
    • Paginations, etc.
  • Avoid using technologies you are not famillar with
  • Prepare 10-20 hours for the task Use vacation or have weekends ahead before starting

Preparation

Algorithms and Data Structures

  1. Grokking Algorithms β€” The best book to start your journey of learning algorithms.
  2. Solve tasks using one of the websites
  1. If you are looking for something like a course with tons of materials prepared earlier, then use AlgoExpert

Frontend Track

  1. React Docs β€” Don't forget to pay attention to both Class components (lifecycle) and Hooks.

  2. Articles β€” Use Robin's articles regarding different topics

FAQ

  1. How the payments work?

Toptal sends the money to your Toptal wallet (during 20 days), then you can use 2 options to get the money:

  1. Visa Digital or Physical card β€” has additional fees (see in payment portal)
  2. Wire Transfer (1-2 working days) β€” costs $10 per transfer
  1. What about english proficiency?

You should not be native english speaker to cope with the interviews and daily conversations with clients. Good listening and speaking skills (around B2) is enough.

  1. How long it takes to prepare?

I'd set aside 5-10 hours for frontend track and 1,5-2 weeks for algorithms

  1. Will you help me?

Use my referral link and feel free to reach me out in case of questions.

πŸŽ— Support Author