Working at PortSwigger

What to expect from the application process

opportunities at PortSwigger

So you're interested in applying for a position at PortSwigger! What should you expect from the application process?

  1. How to apply

    We will need your CV. We also ask you to provide your full educational record including degree and A-levels (or equivalent), both subjects and grades. We do recognize that academics aren't everything, particularly for more experienced candidates. But they help us to get a well-rounded view of individuals.

    We will review your application and get back to you within a few days.

    Please click here to see the positions that are currently open for application.

  2. First conversation

    The purpose of this conversation is to determine whether you have the skills and experience that we are looking for.

    The conversation takes place over Zoom and takes 15-30 minutes.

    You will meet someone who works in the role that you are applying for. They will ask a range of questions relating to the technical subject matter of the role.

    For software development roles, the conversation will focus on either Java or .NET and will include some more general questions about computer science. An example question might be: "What are the performance properties of a linked list?".

  3. Second conversation

    The purpose of this call is to get to know each other a bit and see if we might be a good fit for each other.

    The conversation takes place over Zoom and takes 15-30 minutes.

    You will meet our founder, Dafydd Stuttard, or someone else who does not work in the role that you are applying for.

    We'll talk about various non-technical areas, such as team collaboration, approaches to delivering quality work, and personal motivations. An example question might be: "What would your ideal job be like?". We'll explain more about PortSwigger and how we work. You'll have an opportunity to ask questions.

  4. Remote exercise

    Depending on the role you are applying for and your level of experience, we might ask you to carry out an exercise in your own time.

    We'll let you know during or following the second conversation if we'd like you to carry out an exercise, and we'll send you the details via email.

    The exercise shouldn't take more than a few hours. There is no deadline to return your work. You can ask any questions that you have about the exercise via email.

  5. On-site interview

    The on-site interview will give you an opportunity to meet the PortSwigger team, experience our working environment, talk about the role in more detail, and ask questions.

    The interview process takes approximately 2.5 hours.

    There is no dress code for the interview. PortSwigger people generally wear casual dress at work. You can wear whatever you are comfortable with.

    Depending on the role you are applying for, the on-site interview will generally include some kind of work exercise. We will let you know details of the exercise ahead of time.

  6. Offer

    We make decisions quickly and can normally make an offer shortly after your on-site interview.

    Take as much time as you need to consider our offer. We want this to be the right decision for you. You can also ask as many further questions as you like at this stage.

    If you accept our offer, we'll need to take up references from your current and previous employers (or university supervisor for students).

    We are flexible on start dates and can work around your existing obligations and preferences.

    We can provide help and advice on any aspect of your transition, including places to live, transport, local schools, or other assistance that you might need.

    We will keep in regular contact in the run up to you joining, and you will have further opportunities to meet colleagues and discuss our work in more detail.

  7. Feedback

    We are happy to provide feedback after the application process is complete, and to answer any other questions that arise during the process. Please email us if you have any questions.

Interviews for software development roles

For software development roles, you will carry out a pair programming exercise alongside one of our engineers. We are looking for TDD, clean and maintainable code, good problem solving, and use of appropriate design patterns where relevant.

You will use the following equipment and software:

  • Java developers: Mac Pro running MacOS, IntelliJ IDEA, JUnit.

  • .NET developers: Mac Pro running MacOS, Jetbrains Rider, xUnit.

You will have internet access during the exercise and can use this to obtain any information you need to help you complete the task.

If you have any concern about the equipment and software used for the exercise, please let us know in advance of your interview.

On-site interviews during COVID-19 pandemic

Some "on-site" interviews are currently being conducted over Zoom.

For software development interviews, you will need a computer with a VNC client. You will connect to a cloud-based virtual desktop with necessary tools pre-installed. We recommend using an external monitor rather than a laptop screen, if available.

For some roles, we are still conducting interviews in our office where feasible. This is optional, but for some roles you will have a greater chance of success if we are able to meet face-to-face. We always operate in accordance with current lockdown rules and official advice on safe practices.