How to Answer “Why do you want to work at Block/Square"?
7 min read
13 Sep, 2022
Getting a job at Block (formerly known as Square) is no mean feat. In your interview, you can expect the interviewer to ask "why you want to work there". Here are our top tips on answering this question.
Founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and finance tycoon Jim McKelvey in 2009, Square - now Block Inc - is paving the way for digital transactions in our modern world.
Square has transformed the way local businesses take payments - connecting a truly cashless society together. As the world’s leading FinTech firm, it’s no wonder that the company is a top destination for ambitious software engineers and finance talent from across the world.
There’s no avoiding that its interview process is tough - and many candidates struggle with the age-old question: “Why do you want to work at Square?”
Here at 4 Day Week, we help software engineers, data scientists and financiers find their next dream four-day week job.
In this guide, we’ll give you the skills and know-how you’ll need to ace your Square interview and answer “why do you want to work here”?
Why do interviewers ask “Why do you want to work here?”
Let’s first start off with the theory behind this dreaded question. A job interview is an employer’s opportunity to test two things. The first is whether you are qualified enough for the role, whereas the second is whether you fit in with the values and ethos of the company.
Fitting in with the company culture is so important for employers. When new hires gel well with the team and understand the firm’s culture, they are more engaged with the work they do and the people they work with.
In fact, companies that have highly engaged employees can outperform competitors by a whopping 202%.
Why else does Square ask this question?
- Interviewers are judging your enthusiasm for the company and the role: Employees who have a genuine emotional connection with their work are far more productive.
- Square is looking for people who understand its products: Candidates that can grasp Square’s mission statement and product strategy are more likely to hit the ground running.
Foolproof strategy for answering “Why do you want to work at Square?”
To ace a Square interview, you’ll need to practice what you’ll say when your interviewer asks why you’d like to work there.
What is the best strategy for answering the question? Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to approach it:
- Learn all you can about the company and rehearse the company’s objectives
- Research the working environment and company culture and find out what excites you about Square
- Read reviews from past and current Square employees on sites like Glassdoor
- Talk about how you’ve interacted with Square’s products in the past
Completing the above tasks will give you the information to give the right answer to this interview question.
Let’s start off this research and explore some important points to include in your answer.
Would you like a 4 day work week?
What is Square? What are their company objectives?
Square’s motto is “making commerce easy” - and their mobile card readers have certainly done that. When the company released their Terminal card reader in 2018, it embarked on a journey to replace outdated, expensive credit card machines.
Its mission statement is as follows:
“We believe everyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy. We make commerce easy. We believe the economy is better when everyone has access. When everyone has room to grow.”
Anyone who’s ever had the misfortune of using an old credit card machine will understand why Square aggressively pursued this gap in the market.
Square’s smart payment processors aim to:
- Improve the previously dire user experience of taking digital payments
- Make contactless payment accessible to as many small businesses as possible
- Minimise processing fees to relax a cost burden on businesses
In just a few short years, Square’s terminals have become ubiquitous in businesses of any size. They connect by Wi-Fi - instead of a mobile network - increasing reliability.
The launch of the Chip Reader - the mobile contactless reader that connects to a smartphone - brought digital payments to mobile sales people such as street vendors.
It’s not just hardware…
Square isn’t just in payments hardware. They’ve also developed a distinct eCommerce platform to help businesses thrive both online and in the physical world.
Square believes that every business should have access to digital payments and online commerce.
Here are some of Square’s exciting products:
- Providing businesses with a free online store: Square is threatening Shopify’s strong market share of the online commerce space with their store creator. Square has been targeting restaurants and retail businesses - and integrating its online stores seamlessly with Square Registers and Terminals.
- Digital payments infrastructure on the web: Square allows businesses to easily accept payments on their websites, through payment links and by invoice.
- Payment integration with popular platforms: Square want to position itself as the default method of taking payments. They’re pumping a lot of resources to create API integrations with platforms like Magento, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
When applying for a job at Square, it’s important to remember that it has a parent company - Block. Much in the same way that Alphabet was created to separate some of Google’s subsidiaries, Block holds the ‘building blocks’ that make the company’s FinTech offerings.
Aside from Square, Block runs:
- Cash App: A consumer-oriented digital payments platform.
- TBD: An in-development decentralized finance platform based on Bitcoin.
- Spiral: Open-source projects to increase the reach of Bitcoin
- Tidal: A Hi-Fi music streaming platform acquired by Block in 2021.
The Block corporation represents Square’s desire to move away from seller commerce and invest more heavily in decentralized finance. We highly recommend mentioning Block’s vision in your interview answers.
What is it like to work at Square?
Now that we’ve learnt more about what Square does, let’s cover how Square has built its working environment.
Current Square employees praise the company for building a collaborative company culture. As a current engineering manager puts it in on Quora:
“We're constantly collaborating. Because we have a lot of internal transparency in the company, everyone has the potential to impact many facets of our work”
This transparency and drive for collaboration offer every employee an opportunity to shape the company’s trajectory.
Michael White, a current Imagineering Manager at Square, says that - even when he was a new grad - he was entrusted with tons of responsibility: “I get to weigh in on product and design decisions, in addition to working on interesting technical problems.”
According to their careers page, Square places a huge emphasis on social impact and diversity and inclusion. The company runs 14 “committees” - these are employee-run resource groups that promote inclusivity for diversity groups. Committees include Black Squares Association, Latinx, Neurodiversity, Squeers and more.
Most importantly, as White puts it, people at Square believe wholeheartedly in the product:
“We want to redesign the commercial experience. We want to transform the mechanical process of paying that hasn't changed much in decades. We believe in the product. We see the potential of our products to change the world and really enhance commerce by bringing human elements into the process.”
That’s why we believe that demonstrating enthusiasm for what Square does to help small businesses is the key to acing your interview.
How to structure your answer to “Why do you want to work at Square?”
We’ve now done the groundwork for answering this question. It’s now time to put the building blocks together and formulate a response that will inspire your interviewer.
Let’s explore our suggestions for how to structure this answer. Remember, this is just one of the many ways you can approach it. As long as you cover the main points in our foolproof strategy, it doesn’t matter too much how you approach the structure of your response.
- Briefly cover how your professional experience has driven your interest in Square. Here, we’re hinting at what you can bring to Square in a way that reveals your drive and passion. You can use the STAR method to frame this portion of your answer.
- Discuss what areas of Square’s business excite you the most. Let’s try and make this relevant to your role - but you can briefly touch on areas outside your job description given Square’s transparent and open culture. We recommend mentioning how excited you are about Block’s other projects - including cryptocurrency.
- State the benefits of working at Square that are most relevant to you in relation to how you can enhance the company. Perks to discuss include the transparent working environment, the focus on diversity and inclusion, and the company’s mission statement. Avoid talking about salary and other benefits such as insurance or holiday pay.
- And finally, cover your benefits as a candidate and what you will bring to the role. Let’s add some information about your past results and how they translate to working at Square.
Putting these building blocks together will result in the perfect answer to the question “Why do you want to work at Square?”.
Remember, Square is looking for genuine passion and care for its products and company culture. Try to avoid generic comments on the working environment and “looking for a new challenge”.
Instead, be specific and honest about what excites you about Square. Good luck!
Getting Ready for Your Interview at Square
Hopefully, we've helped you prepare for your Square interview and prepped you for answering why you’d like to work at this amazing company.
Need some more help going over other parts of the interview? Check out our full guide on acing your Square interview here.
To browse jobs from tech companies such as Square, Amazon, and Facebook, be sure to check out our extensive job board! Interested in Web3 and Crypto? Why not check out our blog post on how to land a job in the crypto industry?
You can also have a look at the rest of our blog to learn more tips to help you land your dream job!