Insider information on the interview process, including extra tips to get ahead.
PayPal finds itself in a pantheon of pandemic-proof tech companies that have seen a “tremendous surge” in demand because of COVID-19, according to CEO Daniel Schulman. As consumers pivot towards more online purchases, they’ve relied heavily on online payment providers like PayPal.
The Palo Alto-based company recently added a QR code feature in response to COVID-19, which enables sellers to receive contactless payments without needing to purchase dedicated equipment. The company also announced a hiring surge in March.
In 2019, PayPal ranked #5 on Forbes’ list of the 250 best regarded companies, which rates how firms do as employers as well as their trustworthiness, product quality, and social conduct. PayPal has over 23,200 employees in 50+ global offices. The company does not disclose its acceptance rate for job applicants, unlike Goldman Sachs and Apple.
We'll break down the following in this article:
The hiring process at PayPal is unusually swift for a tech company. A combined 51% of respondents on Indeed said the process took between two days to one week, while just 11% reported waiting over a month.
According to the same data, the interview experience is favorable overall. Interview reviews claim the process is moderately difficult, and very few interviewees reported negative experiences.
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The initial phone interview assumes a typical format, but be prepared to do most of the talking. While the recruiter will provide a rundown of the role and requirements, PayPal wants to know your story and where you see your career going.
Discuss your current work, past experiences, and what you seek in your next role. You may find it helpful to prepare a two-minute elevator pitch summing up your past, present, and future career trajectory. If the recruiter thinks you’re a good fit, they’ll recommend you to the hiring manager.
The second phone screen focuses more on the candidate’s expertise. You’ll likely be quizzed on your technical knowledge: if you’re interviewing for an engineering role, be prepared to answer questions that test your familiarity with data structures and algorithms.
If you get stuck working on a Java problem, the interviewer will work through it with you -- just be sure to talk through your thought processes and ask clarifying questions about constraints and parameters.
Employees report that the technical phone screen questions tend to be quite standard. What’s more important is talking through tangible examples of what you’ve accomplished and establishing your unique area of expertise. Discuss your current or past work with an emphasis on process and results -- or, if you’re a student, discuss a passion project or capstone project.
PayPal extended work-from-home options for employees at the start of the pandemic, so onsite interviews are presumably being held remotely. Candidates who are invited to an onsite have already been deemed technically qualified, so the company is looking for culture fit. However, you should still expect to answer technical questions as well as behavioral ones.
PayPal focuses on a candidate-friendly approach to interviewing. While you’re selling yourself as an applicant, the company is also pitching itself to you. PayPal aims to hire for mutual fit and wants to make sure you understand its value proposition as an employer, so make sure to discuss how the role and company can help you grow professionally. The onsite is a streamlined process which, under “normal” pre-pandemic circumstances, includes a tour of the campus and the chance to meet all the team members you may work with.
If you pass the onsite, you’ll receive an offer by email or phone. The average salary at PayPal is $110,043, according to PayScale. To find average the average salary for your role, level, and location, check out our offer review community.
You can also expect benefits such as:
Employees generally seem really happy with PayPal's benefits package. You can read more about PayPal's benefits on its website.
PayPal hiring managers want candidates to interview them as well, otherwise they run the risk of hiring someone who’s not a mutual fit. Ask in-depth questions about company culture, diversity and inclusion, and your day-to-day work. Even if you have certain preferences or workstyles that don’t necessarily gel with the company, mention them in a tactful way, if they come up. Hiring managers value transparency and sincere interest during the job interview. Candidates that don’t ask probing questions may be disqualified.
As a disruptor in the online payments space, PayPal wants to hire innovators who challenge the status quo. Show tangible examples of your work that demonstrate how you decided to do things a different way or experiment with a quirky idea, even if others said it wouldn’t work. Examples include your GitHub repo, contributions to open-source projects, a passion project, or ongoing endeavors at your current company.
Mentioning these accomplishments in your resume and cover letter will get you noticed, but be sure to mention these projects first round and onsite interviews as well. Choose projects that showcase initiative and creative thinking, even if you’ve never been in a position to implement your ideas.
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PayPal’s abbreviated culture deck reads like the code of conduct for a grade school classroom: it’s simple, concise, and defined by principles of tolerance, collaboration and mutual respect.
Whether you're a software engineer intern or a C-Suite executive, you're expected to take these principles to heart.
Pay attention to these when interviewing for software engineering positions, java developer roles, and more. To see more technical questions at PayPal, click here
Pay attention to these when interviewing for any role, especially those with an emphasis on customer service or relationship building. Even manager interviews may involve these ideas. To see more behavioral questions at PayPal, click here.
Employees overwhelmingly explain that culture and work-life balance are team-dependent, and this checks out — both are frequently listed as pros for some employees and cons for others.
When discussing culture specifically, a lot of people claim that favoritism and politics are ingrained in PayPal's culture, while others claim the environment is supportive and inclusive. This PayPal employee explained on Blind:
"It really seems to depend on the department and team, varying from great to Amazon level toxicity."
Another employee on Blind highlighted the sentiment that WLB is very mixed:
"PayPal is totally org dependent. I know people working 60 hours and others working less than 35, both delivering and performing well."
Refreshers at PayPal are dependent on your team and manager; they're typically based on a number of factors, but the 2 big ones are: your performance and the amount of unvested RSUs you're currently holding. They are not based on your initial grant.
Based on PayPal employee reviews, here are the average refresher amounts for tech positions:
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