Interviewing at Criteo: Just do it!

By: Caroline Chavier / 24 Oct 2016

Being interviewed for a job is always a stressful experience. Trust me, even for a recruiter, it is tough!

It takes courage to voluntarily go out there to be challenged and evaluated. As an R&D Recruiter, I often hear candidates stating : “the process is too long, I am busy”, “I am not good enough to succeed  at Criteo’s technical interviews”, “I have been working for 10 years for the same company and I would have to prepare hard, etc…

Well, well, well… It might not be the right time for you to interview but I can tell you a few things.

Criteo’s R&D department is the right place to be

At Criteo, we are very proud of our R&D and we like to showcase it through our interview process. As an R&D Recruiter, my team’s job is to find you, yes *you*, the person who we *know* will fit perfectly with the R&D teams we work with. We sit among them, we laugh at their jokes (not always to be honest), we share the joys of their successes and make fun of their teams & projects’ names (cf. Bigorneau, Biker…etc).

From the cocktails on our rooftop following every monthly R&D All-Hands, to the amazing events we host for our tech communities, Criteo Labs is like an engineer’s playground. You will get the chance to take part in organized events such as the NABD conference, the Criteo Labs – Tech Talks, the RSC Talk (Maarten de Rijke), our internal hackathons or internal soccer betting competitions.

On a less serious side, our R&D All-Hands rock and pink poneys are everywhere in our open space.

The recruiter is your best friend

You will never be alone! Whether you personally applied for the job, or have been referred or contacted by a recruiter, you will be in touch with a recruiter throughout the hiring process. My team aka the recruitment team is tech-friendly! We are so tech-friendly that we often attend coding classes provided by our R&D engineers to satisfy our technical curiosity and understand you better when you are interviewing with us. Hence, don’t be shy while introducing the projects you work on ☺.

Your R&D Recruiter will be your point of contact from the first step to the very last. His/Her objective will be to get to know you better and provide you as much information as possible about who we are : the teams, the projects, the technologies and the different stages of the recruitment process. For instance, following your first interview, the recruiter might send you articles from our R&D blog about how we do our code review, our career tracks and other things we care about.

The recruiter will also send you an interviewing guide related to your interview process in order to help you getting ready and avoid getting stressed for nothing. We want you to succeed and to have fun!

Our R&D Recruitment team doing what they love most, having FUN!

Our R&D Recruitment team doing what they love most apart from RECRUITING, having FUN!

Myth : the recruitment process is time-consuming

The recruitment process usually takes 2 weeks minimum or up to several weeks depending on your availability (and whether you may need a visa to come to interview with us). It can go pretty fast! Just keep in mind that the R&D recruiter is here to ensure it  is the right moment for you.


It is important to enable you to think about every piece of information you collected throughout the different conversations in order to make sure everything is crystal clear in your mind. We do not want to rush everything because what’s coming is…  one of the best recruitment experience ever!

Our R&D recruiters want you to interview with us to find the perfect match between our projects and you! That’s why the Engineering Hiring Process at Criteo Labs is smooth and transparent. It has been designed in order to assess skills, cultural fit and problem solving.


This is also an opportunity for our engineers to provide more details about what they do at Criteo and give more information about their teams and projects plus answer all questions you may have. Criteo Labs is very heterogeneous in terms of technologies and challenges, it goes from Machine Learning to building a Data Center from scratch, from Data Science to performance and scalability issues, from Windows Chef cooking to Cross-Device. For sure, you will find something you’ll enjoy.

The recruitment process is AWESOME because the interviewers are well-wishing

Once you are done with the Skype interview(s), you will spend one afternoon with us in order to meet the teams!

In addition to challengeing you on your technical skills, the interviewers will be giving you examples of teams and projects you could be working with if you join us! Our interviewers are engineers who had to go through the same experience as you.! They survived, they enjoyed and they liked it so much that now they are on “the other side”, INTERVIEWING.


Keep in mind the interviewers will never expect you to come up on the spot with the right solution to the exercise they will submit to you : they will just try to understand the way you think and challenge you a bit to see if you can participate in a fruitful way to our future projects. It is not hard, it is fun and a great way to learn new stuff. We like to see your collaborative spirit and team-oriented attitude. On a daily basis, you will work with different teams and interact with peers, so you have to be into sharing your thoughts.

And, I have good news! If you fail during the interviews, you are not black-listed!

You can try again later! We are aware that, sometimes, it is just a matter of preparation or timing. Failing is ok. It is the first step to discover your potential and understand the areas you can improve!  We have people within our R&D who got hired the second time around and we love them as much as the others.

Plus, a recruitment process is never perfect. We are careful about your feedback and try to improve our processes thanks to you.

Some testimonials from a few of our engineers below highlighting their interview experience before joining Criteo! ; bear in mind everything written is not a Marketing speech, but rather coming from direct sources .


“My interview process at Criteo started with a call from a recruiter that talked to me about the company and the opportunity involved. I was curious, so I spent some time discovering what Criteo does and how it does it: I decided to go on, so I prepared myself in order to pass the technical interviews which were aimed at assessing my capabilities in different domains. I enjoyed it because they were quite challenging, but also rewarding, and it was a good opportunity to sharpen multiple skills and taste some of the day to day problems that they encounter. The final interview was a talk with the managers: it was like a friendly chat, and gave everyone involved a good idea on how it would be to work together. The hiring process at Criteo was overall a good experience: not too stressful, I had the chance of learn plenty of things and meet interesting and friendly people.”


“The good thing about the interview process was that it went at the speed that I needed. It was hard for me to manage to get free time as I was an intern at an another company. The recruiter was understanding and managed to set the meetings at the end of the work day when I could.

I found the Machine Learning interview content interesting, as it started with the basics and went further, according to the candidate knowledge/ level. The candidate can always find a challenging question / problem to solve while treating real Criteo challenges.

The main reason why I joined Criteo was what I felt being around its engineers during the interviews. I thought it  would be perfect to evolve and grow up as an engineer among those incredible people : they perfectly knew and owned their job area, they were passionate for their work and they managed to solve and dealt with real life challenges!”


“The recruiting process was clear and transparent to me. I loved in person interviews, since they gave me a much better impression of the company, culture and people who work here and it was a great motivator for me to accept the offer. And as I said before, that was in general very good experience for me.”

Hence, whether you come to interview just to train yourself or because you are looking for a change, I have 3 pieces of advice : ask questions, prepare yourself and relax ☺

Interviewing is not just about you being analyzed, it is also about finding the right opportunity for YOU! Think about the type of company you’d like to work for and make sure you’d be happy with us at Criteo. There is a lot a candidate can learn from a company by the way they run their hiring.

If you feel ready to get to know more, you know how to contact us : r&   

  • Caroline Chavier

    As an R&D Recruiter, Caroline is always looking for Researchers, Machine Learning Software Engineers, Recommender Systems Afficionados, Data Scientists, Data Analysts and passionate Software Engineers for our Paris office.