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Our interview process: your guide to DeepL's interview journey for the Sales team

Are you getting ready for a DeepL interview or simply curious about our interview process? Either way, you're in good hands. I'm Nathan, and I'll be your guide through this journey. 

As one of DeepL's Talent Acquisition Specialists, I'm dedicated to finding the best talent for our Account Executive roles across EMEA. With over 8 ½ years of experience in the fast-paced world of B2B SaaS sales, I’ve supported a number of organizations at different stages of their business journeys, navigating complex hiring challenges and processes. Join me as I walk you through the different stages of our interview process, sharing insights and insider tips I've gathered over the years.

At DeepL, our interview process is designed to ensure that both the candidate and the company are a perfect fit for each other. Let's break down the process into four distinct stages:

First stage: recruiter screen

The initial stage of our interview process is the recruiter screen, which serves as an opportunity for us to evaluate if you’d be an initial good fit for DeepL. However, it’s equally important that DeepL is the right fit for you. Every stage of our recruitment process is reciprocal. During this stage, as a recruiter, I look to understand a candidate's motivations for considering DeepL. I consider whether you’re actively looking, what your expectations and ambitions are—just as we have criteria for what we’re looking for, you should, too. I also ask some general “housekeeping” HR questions to get a broader understanding of your background, experience, successes, and responsibilities. 

All of this ties together to see if there’s an initial cultural fit. For me, it’s quite simple. Are you a kind, approachable, easy-to-talk-to person? Someone I feel comfortable putting in front of the wider DeepL team? Finally, it’s just as important that you come prepared with insightful, meaningful questions for me—which I’m always happy to answer.

Second stage: One-on-one with hiring manager

So, we see an initial mutual fit—great! Next up is a one-on-one meeting with your potential manager. This is a great opportunity to see if you can work with and report to this person. It’s also a chance to see if your manager thinks you’ll be a good fit within their team. 

The goal of this stage is to delve beneath the surface of some areas covered in the first interview. For example: 

  • Experience and application of sales methodology
  • Objection handling
  • Successes and failures (aka learning opportunities)
  • Your ambitions and motivation outside of the role 
  • Questions around ownership and critical thinking

Third stage: panel interview/role play

The third round often requires the most candidate preparation. This stage typically consists of a 60-minute interview split into two sections.  

In the first half, you'll present and conduct a role play, usually with the hiring manager, followed by feedback. In the second half, another member of management will ask self-reflective questions based on our company values.

Fourth stage: peer interview or with leadership (depending on role)

Our final interview is an opportunity to meet with a future peer within the team. This provides a chance to understand what it means to be an Account Executive at DeepL. 

Similar to previous stages, our goal is to ensure you feel comfortable and happy with the people you meet—as they’ll play an integral role in your day-to-day work. It’s also important that our current employees feel excited for you to join us.

By structuring our interview process in these stages, we aim to thoroughly evaluate candidates while providing a transparent and engaging experience. The duration of an interview process can often depend on multiple factors, but we are a fast-moving company. On average, the process takes two weeks from start to finish. Now that you have a clear understanding of the interview stages, let's discuss some tips to help you navigate the process effectively.

Tips for candidates

Successfully navigating the interview process requires more than just technical expertise; it's about showcasing your character and commitment. Here are some practical tips to help you excel:

  • Treat the interview process as you would a sales opportunity. Conduct due diligence, do your research, and go above and beyond. Consider sending an email to your interviewer before the meeting to discuss the agenda and follow up with a thank-you note afterward.
  • A successful candidate is open, transparent, enthusiastic, and cooperative 

In conclusion, our recruitment process is reciprocal. It's not just about you being the best fit for DeepL, but also about us being the best fit for your next career move. Each interview stage gives you an opportunity to meet different members of our Revenue/Sales organization, allowing you to understand expectations. It also helps us align what you expect of us with what we expect of you.

As you prepare for your journey with DeepL, remember to do your research, come well-prepared for each interview, and ask insightful questions that demonstrate your enthusiasm for joining us on our incredible mission to break down language barriers.

If you're ready to take the next step in your career journey, we invite you to explore our current job openings on our careers page.

We look forward to welcoming exceptional talent to our team at DeepL!