Interview Guide

3 minute read

A brief overview of OpenAI’s hiring philosophy and interview process, as well as some preparation tips and resources.

Hiring philosophy

  • Hiring mission. We seek to hire talented people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds who are passionate about collaboratively building safe AGI for all of humanity.
  • Hiring values. We want to ensure all candidates go through a consistent interview process and have the opportunity to showcase their variety of strengths. We are not credential-driven—rather, we want to understand your unique background and what you can contribute to our team.
  • What we look for. We’re excited about people who are already experts in their fields as well as people who are not yet specialized but show high potential. By “high potential” we mean people who have demonstrated the ability to ramp up quickly in a new domain and produce results. We care about collaboration, effective communication, openness to feedback, and alignment with our mission and values.

Refer to our jobs page for specific roles and technical requirements.

Interview process

Below is an example of a typical interview process. In some cases yours may differ.

  • Résumé review. Submit an application via our jobs page online.

    The recruiting team will review your résumé and will get back to you regarding your application status via email, typically within 1–2 weeks.

  • Recruiter call. If there is a potential fit, an OpenAI recruiter will reach out to you via email to schedule an initial chat to discuss your background and interests.

    Make sure to familiarize yourself with OpenAI’s latest work by reading through our blog, especially the work of the team(s) you are applying for. Take some time to reflect on what an ideal role for you would be and what ways you would like to grow through working with us.

    Be prepared to discuss your work or academic experience, especially from your most recent position. Our goal is to understand your strengths and what you hope to contribute at OpenAI so that we can structure our interview process to help you shine.

  • Take-home project. We may ask you to complete a 2-hour take-home project, depending on the role you're applying for.

    For technical take-home projects, we value syntax, structure and variable naming, code documentation and testability. For non-technical take-home projects, we value content quality over content quantity.

  • Phone screen. Typically 45–60 mins via Google Hangouts video call.

    Be prepared to be in a quiet space, with your laptop, and internet connection. We prefer if you have the camera turned on during the phone screen. Your recruiter will give you preparation tips according to the role you’re applying for.

  • Onsite interviews. A series of onsite interviews at our office in San Francisco, lasting 4–5 hours in total, including lunch with the team.

    This is an opportunity to also evaluate whether OpenAI is a good fit for you by visiting our office and getting to meet some of our team in person. If you'd like, you can look up your interviewers to get familiar with their backgrounds.

    We generally care about things like solving the interview challenge without too much complexity, the design of the solution, code quality and performance, and covering edge cases and testing.

    Interviews are designed to stretch you beyond your comfort zone, but we will be evaluating you based on your background (i.e., if you are a Research Engineer, you will be pushed to think about research-oriented ML questions but you are not expected to answer the same way an experienced Research Scientist would).

  • Wait for the decision. Hurray! You’re done. Your recruiter may reach out to you for references at this stage. You should expect to hear from us within 1 week of your onsite interview.


General reading

Recommended technical reading

More resources and tips coming soon!

View jobs at OpenAI