Application Security

The Trail of Bits Hiring Process

The Trail of Bits Hiring Process
Written by ga_dahmani
The Trail of Bits Hiring Process

when the engineers apply to Trail of Bits, are often surprised at how simple and streamlined our hiring process is. After years of experience, we’ve stripped the process down to its foundation, so it’s candidate-focused, fast, and effective.

Here is a short video showing some of our European colleagues discussing some cool things they are working on right now:

DevOps Connection: DevSecOps @ RSAC 2022

Our interview process

There are four parts to the process from interview to offer, and the whole thing can take three weeks or less. We want to be respectful of your time; we will not move you forward in the process unless we believe there is a good reason to continue, and we ask that you do the same.

Here is a short video showing some of our European colleagues describing the Trail of Bits interview process:

In one word

  1. Initial screen (~30 minutes, one by one)
  2. Evaluation (2 hours, on your own)
  3. Final interview (~2 hours, with two engineers and a team or practice leader)
  4. Decision (within five business days) and offer letter or pass with explanation (we often recommend that candidates reapply in the future)

Home Screen

We begin our process with a 30-minute selection call, designed to ensure a rough mix of mission, skill, and ability. These calls are typically with a Trail of Bits recruiter or the hiring manager for the position.


Those who walk through the screen receive a short take-home assessment, which we want you to spend two hours or less. Interviews are very good, and there is a limit to what you can convey in a phone or video call. We want to see what you can do! Some people have a portfolio of work, but even in many of those cases, we want to see you work. So we put together short assessments that we’ve benchmarked to only take about two hours. The assessment has a technical focus and allows us to see your skills in practice. The assessment is reviewed by a lead engineer in the appropriate practice: cryptography, blockchain, application security, research, or engineering. In some cases, in lieu of evaluation, we are happy to accept a sample of work that you have already produced.

final interview

Those who pass the evaluation are invited to the final interview, where the actual pairing takes place. Now, whether you provided a work sample or completed an assessment assignment we sent you, if you got over that hurdle and made it to this final interview, that’s something to talk about! We find that the best way to start our final interviews is right there, because it is indeed something he is rightfully proud of. Tell us about it, and how you tackled the problem, the problems you ran into while doing it, and go ahead and brag a bit! This is a perfect way to start a conversation about what it would be like if you worked here.

Our final interviews last about two hours, some are shorter, some are longer, but on average it’s around there. You can expect a conversation with two or three teammates, on a variety of deeply technical topics, to assess whether this is a good lineup for all of us. There are no trick questions, just a collegial approach to solving similar technical problems that we face every day.

Your turn

A good part of the final interview, about 20%, is devoted to answering your questions about us. We are very direct about what it is like to work with us.


Within five business days, you should receive an offer letter or email explaining why we decided not to proceed with your application. In many cases, we recommend that you reapply in the future. For example, when you gain more experience in an area where we feel you need more depth, or after you have developed some specific skills that we mentioned during the process. But in all cases we will be open and communicative.

A Sample Rejection Letter from Trail of Bits

Negotiation and acceptance.

Our offer will be well thought out and based on the conditions and criteria we know exist. If you think there are other factors that we have not taken into account, please do not hesitate to respond and negotiate. You will find us reasonable; At this point, we want you to work with us as much as you want to work with us, so we do our best to meet your expectations whenever we can.

During the interview process we will ask you, or you will tell us, what your availability will be, so at the offer stage we will propose a start date. If you plan to accept an offer with us, we forever We recommend that you take extra time between jobs. We advocate for it. If you need a different start date, for example if you need more time to give notice, to finish some personal business before joining us, or even if you want to start earlier than we thought, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. .

All the documentation is sent digitally and, once everything is signed, we work with you to get you all the equipment you need. We also provide a virtual Ramp credit card for other incorporation costs that we’ll be happy to cover (more on that in Incorporation, below).

Getting started on Trail of Bits

Once you accept and sign your offer letter, we’ll provide you with the documentation you’ll need to have the most successful (and enjoyable!) onboarding experience. From things like payroll and benefits to our operating practices and procedures, you’ll find our documentation and resources to be quite comprehensive. The first things you can expect to find are:

  • Onboarding Checklist
  • Payroll and Benefits Enrollment Steps
  • Employee Handbook
  • Manual for the practice you join (e.g. Assurance, Engineering, Project Management Organization, Operations, etc.)
  • Manual for the team you will be joining (eg Application Security, Technical Edition, etc.)
  • Compensation Philosophy
  • Learning and development resources

Our Learning and Development Resources document, for example, contains a detailed and actionable list of resources that every Trail of Bits engineer and non-engineer can use to further their professional and personal development goals. From books we think you should read, to presentations (ours and others’) you should watch, to references on specific courses we think are great for all of us. Managers will find guides to better leadership, all employees will find access to online classes and courses, and interns can benefit from lists of tips and tricks. And engineers will love that we regularly schedule software development and skills-based training for the team and send people to training specific to the areas we intend to grow and specialize in.


We equip all employees with the superior equipment they need to work remotely (and safely!). Trail of Bits engineers currently receive the Latest generation 14 or 16″ Macbook Pro with 64 GB of RAMand members of the Operations team receive the Latest generation 13″ Macbook Pro with 24 GB of RAM. Depending on your country of origin, you will either be ordered to arrive before your start date or we will send you a Ramp card to purchase the items in your country of origin. We will also order a YubiKey 5C Y 5Cia high-end Logitech C925e either verve webcam and one of our standard headsets (usually a Sennheiser game one) to arrive before your first day. Your Ramp card is also loaded with extra money to upgrade your home office (we recommend Dell U2723QE either Dell U3223QE monitors, a CalDigit TS4 Plus Baseor even a new router like the Eero Pro 6E). There’s lots more information in our onboarding guide, which you’ll receive when you join!

More questions?

Get in touch. Visit use our Contact Form.

*** This is a syndicated Security Bloggers Network blog from BitTrack Blog written by Nick Selby. Read the original post at:

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