Announcing our Pay Later Program: Don’t pay for mock interviews until you get a job

I started interviewing.io 6 years ago with the mission of making eng hiring efficient and fair. In my mind, as long as employers were obsessed with where people had gone to school and worked previously, instead of focusing on what people could actually do, hiring would stay broken. 

So, we set out to build a better system. On our platform, you get mock interviews with senior engineers who’ve been involved in hiring decisions at top companies. If you do well in practice,  you get to bypass recruiter calls and resume screens and instantly book real technical interviews at top companies, as early as tomorrow, regardless of how you look on paper. Real interviews are also completely anonymous, and because we use interview data, not resumes, our candidates end up getting hired consistently by companies like Facebook, Uber, Amazon, Lyft, Dropbox, and many others, and 40% of the hires we’ve made to date have been candidates from non-traditional backgrounds (many were literally rejected from the same company when they went through the front door and someone saw their resume… only when they got to interview anonymously did they get the chance to show what they could do).

Here’s a new video we made explaining what we do. People don’t usually believe us when we explain it in words (“Wait, what, you can book a real interview at Amazon tomorrow? What’s the catch?”), so here are some nice animations. It’s real, we promise, and it works.

For most of our lifetime, practicing on our platform was completely free for engineers — you could get paired up with a professional interviewer (a senior engineer from a FAANG or FAANG-adjacent company) and do 3 mock interviews completely on us. This model worked pretty well because we monetized employers who wanted to hire our top-performing users, and the proceeds went to paying our awesome professional interviewers.

But it wasn’t perfect. To keep our costs manageable, we had to cap people at 3 mock interviews, and we had to waitlist a lot of people because either they weren’t experienced enough (despite our best efforts, we couldn’t get companies to pay us for access to junior engineers) or because they weren’t looking for jobs in our target locations.

Then COVID-19 happened and with it, a deluge of layoffs, hiring slowdowns, and freezes. We found ourselves down from 7-figure revenue to nothing. Companies didn’t really want or need to pay for hiring anymore.

If we wanted to keep offering practice in this climate, while still being able to pay our interviewers, we needed to find another revenue stream. After the quarantine began, we made the very hard call to start charging people for practice. But, charging felt anathema to our mission, so we also made a public promise back in June of 2020 to launch a program in the future where engineers could defer paying for practice til they found a job.

Today, we’re making good on that promise by launching our Pay Later Program.

What is the Pay Later Program?

Here’s how it works:

  • You get $512 or $1024 to spend on mock interviews. Other than being cute powers of 2, we chose these numbers because our data shows that after 5 mock interviews, your chances of passing real interviews will double, so we wanted to get people enough practice to make a difference in their outcomes. 
  • You put down a credit card and promise to pay us when you find a new job. There’s no interest and no gotchas, and enrolling is really as simple as putting down a card and promising not to screw us over.
  • We check in with you in 4 months (most of our users find jobs within 4 months of starting to practice). If you’ve found a new job, great, we charge you, and any unused credits are yours to keep. If you have not, no worries, we grant you an extension (and keep granting you extensions til you’ve found a job).
  • Here’s the best part. If you find a job through interviewing.io with one of our employer partners, then you don’t have to pay us anything! (If you’re not part of the Pay Later program and you find a job through us, we still refund all the $$ you spent on practice.)

Who’s it good for?

The Pay Later Program is available to all of our users who are authorized to work in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. We’ll be rolling out in other countries as we go.

Beyond that one criterion, this program is for any engineer or aspiring engineer who will be interviewing in the near to medium-term future. We know how much practicing for technical interviews sucks. If you’re a junior engineer, it’s scary because you haven’t done it before. If you haven’t come from a traditional computer science background, and especially if you’re coming out of a bootcamp, it’s scary because, chances are, you haven’t been taught this material properly (bootcamps aren’t good at this, sorry).

And if you’re an experienced engineer, interviews are scary because they’re not the work that you do every day, and ironically, the more experienced you are, the worse you do in these interviews, even as the bar keeps getting higher and higher.

Below you can see the seniority of users currently enrolled in our program. 

If you need interview practice, whether you’re junior or experienced, whether you look good on paper or not, you should sign up, and you’ll get value out of it. Whether you don’t have the $$ now or whether you’re just not sure if the investment is worth it, this program is for you.

Does it really work?

Yes! The majority (over 80% of our users find jobs in 4 months or less), and by the 6 month mark, 94% of our users are employed. Here are some testimonials from our users. It was hard to pick which ones to share. We have a lot.

I love your platform, and you can confirm I use it all the time! I push using your platform as the #1 advice when anyone I mentor asks me for ‘prep advice’. I always tell them: “When you have that job at Google and all that stock, won’t you think the paid prep was worth it?”

Your program has definitely changed my life. I was able to use some of my signing bonus to buy a home in the DC area, so this work is really starting to pay off.

I can’t speak highly enough of the [Pay Later] program. As an engineer looking to make a jump, the mock interviews are an invaluable practice resource. Being able to utilize the mock interviews even before getting that really well-paying job, is life-changing. It gave me access to a resource which literally catapulted my career in ways I could only vaguely imagine a year ago. I really hope they keep the program around to help others who aren’t yet flush with cash.

My experience with interviewing.io was awesome. I used the Pay Later program to schedule six practice interviews, which led to offers from my top targets: Google, Pinterest, Airtable and Stripe. It is hard to simulate an actual interview while using Leetcode, and I definitely feel the practice interviews were a key factor in the success I had during technical interviews throughout my job search.

I signed up for the [Pay Later] program as I worked on transitioning from teaching high school to software engineering. The program seemed like a no-brainer. I could get all of the excellent practice opportunities I needed and I would only have to pay for the service after I landed a new job. A job which would nearly double my previous salary.

interviewing.io’s [Pay Later] program was a godsend for me. I was not in the best place financially (as a job seeker does) and I needed the practice to improve my interviewing skills. Of all the platforms that I have tried, the most engaging and the most helpful is interviewing.io. They are so patient with the deferral process and I even received my current job through the platform!

My mock interviews on interviewing.io were instrumental in my preparation for my latest job search. I also really appreciated the flexible payment options they were offering during the pandemic. Every mock left with me specific, actionable feedback that I could apply to my next phone screen, and it didn’t take long to see serious improvements in my performance, and the number of onsites I was booking. Eventually, I accepted an offer from Facebook, even with no degree and limited field experience. Sincerely, I can’t thank your team enough for helping make this dream of mine come true!

Prior to using interviewing.io, I had been very discouraged and frustrated when I was constantly rejected after on-site interviews and not knowing what I did wrong or where to improve. To give it a perspective, I found myself clearing 90% of the phone screens but receiving a rejection after the onsite interviews. Even though there are lots of interview preparation resources out there such as Leetcode, AlgoExpert, Growking the Coding Interview, none of them truly bridges the gap between my technical knowledge and the interview expectation. The feedback provided by the professional interviewers during the mock interviews were extremely helpful as they provided points of improvement on areas I have never thought of. On top of all, the deferral program really provided me a risk free and worry free opportunity to try out the platform.

I just cleared Amazon and Google interviews. I have a learning disability and social phobia. Prior to using interviewing.io I had never gotten past the technical phone screens. Getting in the habit of doing back to back interviews every weekend helped with both anxiety and getting better at timing myself to solve all problems within 45 min. $600 owed in a couple of months… will have been worth it 100x over 😊

I think the practice at interviewing.io really helped me land a job at Google. The interviewers were professional and really improved my communication skills during the interview. Since each mock interview is structured just like a real interview, I got more familiarized with the environment and the process. The feedback helped me strengthen my foundation and make up for parts that I missed. Especially with the [Pay Later] program, I could afford the charges as a poor student… it felt like interviewing.io had trust in me and this really boosted my confidence.

After I got laid off from my job, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to be a part of the [Pay Later] program. (I found something within the 4 month window!) The interview practice prepared me for my actual technical interviews and helped me approach my technical interviews with confidence. I got a lot of good feedback about how I could improve my presentation during a living coding session. Being able to listen to live recordings of my coding sessions was painful, but enlightening. My interviewers were helpful and asked tailored questions and gave useful feedback. I’ve recommended this to all of my friends who are looking for software engineering jobs.

I absolutely loved the program. It allowed me to focus my energy on preparing myself for my technical interviews, instead of worrying about the cost of my practice. The mock interviews allowed me to get comfortable in a real interview environment, which helped me pass the interviews at Facebook, Google, Amazon, and more!

Ended up getting a few offers but went with Google! I’m from a non-CS/non-SWE background and without a doubt, your platform helped tremendously with landing these offers. Additionally, the deferral program is a fantastic idea… I really appreciate what you are trying to do with interviewing.io and also with shaping the broader interview process. Keep up the great work!!

My experience with the [Pay Later] program was great. I felt a bit anxious spending money initially on the site without the guarantee of receiving a job offer, [but the] flexibility the program offered to me both made me feel comfortable opting into the program as well as gave me the chance to get quality interviews that helped me receive a job. [The program offered] both offered a vital resource to me while also giving me comfort knowing that I wouldn’t need to worry about the cost until I achieved the goal of the program. If I were ever in the need of more mock interviews, interviewing.io would… be my first choice of sites to visit.

I am happy to share with you that I was offered the software engineering position at Facebook that I had been preparing for. Your assistance through the [Pay Later] payment program and the mock interviews I utilized (both general and company-specific) were an integral part of my outcome as I received feedback on my interview performance that I had only ever guessed at. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to do the deferred payment arrangement with Interviewing.io since I would’ve foregone paid mock interviews otherwise!

12 thoughts on “Announcing our Pay Later Program: Don’t pay for mock interviews until you get a job”

  1. Simple question: how are you doing verification? Like whether the students are placed or not.

    Students may hide the truth. Eager to know your response.

  2. Will I be on the hook to pay this if get a job after four months. At which point one should disregard that interviewing.io really helped them in any way. Am I going to be off hook if I don’t get a job?

    In other words, is “pay later” program an interest free loan or is it a loan with a guarantee that it will be waived if one doesn’t get a job in 4 months ?

      1. Thanks for clarifying this is non-expiring liability.
        And, If they get a job 10 years later. They will still have to pay.
        Another question, If they came here to land a software engineering job but eventually got a Test Engineer role, will they still have to pay?

        There should be some terms and conditions on this offer for clarifying users.
        There must be some open communication to people taking a liability on when it is going to expire. And what conditions say next job nature, field, would make it expire.
        Is there a terms and conditions page for monetary liability that you are making users sign up for or is this legally non-binding and unenforceable? (context: US resident, US market)

      2. No, if you don’t get an engineering job, you don’t have to pay. Our terms and conditions are laid out in the “Pay Later flow” in detail on their own page. They cover all of these questions.

  3. Hussen Mohammed Ibrahim

    Is the program only for those seeking full-time offers or does it also include students looking for summer internships? And if so, will there be opportunities to directly interview with companies if students do well in the mock ones?

  4. Hi, it seems like Interviewing.io has taken down the pay later program? I cannot find it anywhere and I would love to use it.

    1. We’ve paused this program for the moment and will be announcing the pause and explaining the rationale soon. I’m really sorry about that.

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