Toloka Interview Process for Crowd Solutions Architect
Let’s get familiar with the job
- A Crowd Solutions Architect (CSA) is a specialist who balances data-labeling and business processes in order to deliver to the clients in a timely manner in the context of crowdsourcing. To put it simply, a CSA needs to effectively combine and automate the efforts of a large number of performers to meet the desired outcome. People in this job are a link between the company’s requesters and the crowd.
- Key aspects include programming skills, task decomposition, time and project management, and soft skills.
- Toloka (a global data labeling solution) has two major commercial objectives and hence two positions for new CSAs – (1) maintaining a relationship with both new and old clients internationally, and (2) improving the platform and creating new turnkey solutions.
Applying to become a CSA
- To become a CSA at Toloka, one has to go through 3 rounds of interviews and then the finals.
- The interviews are conducted by HR, engineers, and customer success managers from Toloka. Toloka’s team evaluates the candidate’s technical expertise, analytical and algorithmic thinking, ability to build pipelines, ability to work without supervision and prioritize, communication skills, and willingness to work in a team.
Round 1(Technical Section): This section is dedicated to problem-solving. Practice here(https://leetcode.com/) to prepare for the interview.
Round 2(Process Design): There will be a case on pipeline development.
- You will need to build a process with task decomposition, quality control, metrics, and result evaluation.
- This free course (https://www.coursera.org/learn/practical-crowdsourcing) on Coursera will help to get a better understanding of the task.
- Take a look, it’s a great preparation tool.
Round 3(Managerial Section): The best way to prepare for this round of interviews—which is mostly about project management—is to check out(https://toloka.ai/webinars) recorded webinars, presentations, and different product development videos from Toloka, and also look at Toloka’s Knowledge Base(https://toloka.ai/knowledgebase/) on the company’s website. Toloka’s community Slack channel(https://toloka.ai/community) offers an additional medium. All of them will help a great deal to understand the company’s values and strategies. And there’s GoPractice(https://gopractice.io/), too.
Round 4(Finals): As for the final round, this is when the candidate meets their future potential supervisor who will determine whether you’re a good match or not.
- By then, the candidate should have a pretty good idea of what Toloka does and how, and they should generally be on the same page with the rest of the team.
- This is also the time to ask any questions.
Who can apply
- Remember, you’re applying to be a CSA, not a software engineer. So, your understanding of the overall blueprints and architecture is more important than being able to code on your own. That is not to say you can just wing it without the required skills, but your coding ability isn’t the only (or even main) criterion. The question is how you can deal with people and deadlines, and how quick and agile you are when it comes to implementing your analytical skills.
What are analytical skills exactly?
- Analytical skills fall into two categories: general and specific. The first one has to do with how organized you are, how well developed your social skills are, and how well you can conduct research. In other words, you should know how to gather and present relevant information. The second one has to do with SQL.
- If you can’t write a super basic SQL script and use the data to find a potential solution, then you should probably learn how to do it first and then apply. It’s a prerequisite. Even if you just want to be an intern.
What are these often-mentioned algorithmic skills?
- These skills will be tested, and they have to do with problem-solving. They apply more to the CSAs who want to work on improving the pipelines, as they also include solid coding skills. What recruiters need to see is how you use logic to approach a particular issue. Even the solution itself is secondary, at least in the test stage.
- Always explain your reasoning with words when you write code during a test – this way, even if your solution ultimately fails or only partially works, it would be easier to understand exactly what you were trying to do and why.
- Like analytical skills, algorithmic skills include some soft skills as well – even if you don’t need to code much (as is the case with “external” CSAs), you still need to communicate with those who do, and that means you need to make sure you understand them and you yourself are understood, along with the project’s objectives.