Joining Monzo after a failed interview 🤔

Hey community :slight_smile:

After years of lurking, I’ve decided last month to apply to join Monzo engineering team.
Unfortunately I didn’t pass the last stage (system design interview), probably due to miscommunication with the interviewers and choices I’ve made. Other steps were OK, including learning Go for the purpose.

I know that ticking the right boxes at the right time is part of the hiring gamble, but I can’t stop thinking I could bring a lot to this family, and it could bring a lot to me.

I’ll probably try to re-run the pipeline after some time, hoping planets will be in a better alignment :pray:, even though I’m not sure I’d still be available or as eager as I am now…

Q: What would you do in my position now (and later)? What’s the best course of action for one that’s really motivated?

Hey! Welcome to the community, and sorry to hear you got knocked back after an interview. :frowning: I’m glad to hear you are still motivated, however. Best way to be!

I had the same kind of situation earlier this week, after my assessment and interview for COps. In the feedback email you received, did you receive any quantifiable feedback from the Hiring team? I ask as I received some good feedback from my interview, about how I had good sound logic and reasoning, but they wanted more customer empathy from me. :slight_smile: Basically… if you did receive feedback, give it good thought and don’t be too discouraged. Apply again in six months time if they have a role you like!

I’m going through the same process for another role, TechOps. This one is much more within my actual interest and skill-set however, so I’m not too unhappy right now!


Feedbacks were actually quite positive about the things they liked, but all I got was the generic answer about picking up another candidate (I’m not frustrated about that, I’ve interviewed a lot myself and it’s always tricky to give satisfying thorough justifications).

That’s just funny knowing I interviewed the very day they announced they closed their 113M series F :roll_eyes:

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Hey both! I’m sorry to hear that you both weren’t offered roles. It sucks when that happens and I’m sure most people have been in that place at some point in their lives.

I think it’s important to remember that nailing an interview actually has nothing to do with your ability to do the job, and also, it is a judgement call that is incredibly tough to make and can often come down to another candidate just being able to demonstrate the qualities we are looking for even just slightly more than you were able to.

I’m not a regular part of the hiring team, but by virtue of having been here a while I’ve interviewed and assessed a fair few candidates and it’s often an incredibly tough and close call.

Also, there are multiple people here, who we haven’t offered a job to the first time, or even sometimes the second time around, and have gone on to make huge, huge impact in this company, whether that’s through their progression, or their stats, or their cultural fit, or any combination of those things. So, that tells me that sometimes we get it wrong. The flip-side of that is that we’ve also hired people in the past who, for whatever reason, it turned out the job wasn’t right for them or they weren’t happy in the role. So, again, that tells you that sometimes we get it wrong.

It’s hard not to feel disheartened, but ultimately, I think if this is where you want to be, one way or another you have a good chance of being here eventually - even if it’s not right now. Take any feedback on board, and if you do intend on applying again in the future, if you can demonstrate further down the line that you took it on board and used it as an opportunity for personal improvement and development, then that really shows strength of character.


I don’t work for Monzo, but the first time I applied and interviewed for my job I didn’t get it. Now I have it and it’s everything I wanted. :tada:

If it’s something you know you really want to do, definitely give it another go. It’ll be worth it in the long run. :blush:


Nice response Simon. I am beyond interview age now and well into retirement and I just wanted to say as somone who has held high office [ :grinning: felt like it to me anyway] and have interviewed a good many folk how honest, fair and helpful your response was. Interviewing is not an easy task at all and not many employers would want to even remotely suggest that “sometimes we get it wrong”. To try to draw out that tiny inference based on a short conversation is sometimes heartrending - for both sides.

I hope Antwan, and anyone else reading this thread, will feel encouraged by that style of corporate approach and will try again. If that ethos is prevalent throughout Monzo you sound like a great outfit to work for. R-


I’m curious as to what this involved, if you can give an overview?

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Thanks for the insights, I’ll chase for more feedbacks I’m sure there’s always room for improvements. It’s just a tad frustrating knowing how borderline it could be, that just a word or sentence can change a destiny…

I’m not disheartened, I know deep down I want to be part of your journey, I’m just looking for the best approach / timeline for a second trial. :slightly_smiling_face:


I won’t disclose the topic, but this was a classic system design interview. It was really close to things I’ve read and done beforehand.

At then end I made it my way. I read loads of approaches to do it in a distributed manners back in past, but I preferred to show something personal.
I’m sure there are many approaches to conduct such interview as that’s a lot about sharing and communicating technical topics, but that’s also very dependent on who’s on each side.

Anyhow, outside the topic itself, that was extremely interesting to see how you can learn from someone with this kind of exercise, and I’ll probably run similar interviews in the future when I’m back on the other side of the table.

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I once applied for a job as a class teacher in a school and failed to get the job. Thought I did brilliant on the day but I was told I started a little negative when explaining some points even though they liked me on almost every other option.

Many months later I received a random email from the headteacher who offered me an alternative class teaching job as a member of staff was leaving. Talking to her years later, it so happened that they wanted me then but on the day a more qualified teacher, who had the exact skillset they were looking for, had interviewed and scored higher meaning they had to take the other candidate.

The point I am trying to make is that you never know what is happening behind the scenes right now and it takes just one superb run by a candidate or two to dash your chance even though you did well. I have never failed an interview since because I took on board what that headteacher said, focused on modern practices and fell back on my experience.

Don’t give up if working for Monzo if it is what you want to do. Hone your skills, focus on the feedback given and reapply in 6 months.


I know how you feel.

I applied for a product role in Feb 2016, and had a telephone interview with Tom. I was so eager to join the company that I was incredibly nervous and didn’t perform at my best - so wasn’t surprised to be turned down. Monzo has fewer than 30 staff at the time.

(The person who did get hired obviously went on to do a great job, which somehow softened the blow!)

I was initially worried the rejection might put me off Monzo, but I’ve since invested the maximum in every crowdfunding round, helped with identifying bugs and fixes, and referred a great many people who’ve since become customers and advocates themselves.

However, still hoping one day to find the right role at Monzo!