What are your work tests like?
Work tests vary considerably in length and complexity depending on the role. These often take the form of a small task or project similar to the kind of work a successful hire would be asked to perform. For example, someone applying to a communications role might be asked to draft a response to a sample inquiry from a reporter, while someone applying to a research role might be asked to read a set of materials and build a cost-effectiveness model based on them.
All of our work tests are created “in house” and simulate real work done by Open Philanthropy staff, and we do not use work assessments administered by any external company. We set up our process so that the majority of work tests can be evaluated blind, though at later stages in the process candidates might be asked to perform a work trial that is partly or fully in-person.
What kinds of qualities are you looking for in a hire?
While different positions require different skill sets, our operating values outline some qualities Open Phil values across all roles at the organization:
Ownership. We encourage staff to take broad responsibility for their work and approach tasks and priorities with a critical mindset. Staff are expected to question and seek to understand the reasoning behind their assignments, rather than assume they should execute instructions as given.
Openness. Openness means constantly seeking, incorporating, and sharing new information. We encourage direct, clear, and frequent feedback — delivered respectfully and supportively — across all levels of the organization.
Calibration. We strive to communicate clearly about what we know and what we don’t (see our post on reasoning transparency). We work to improve our ability to make accurate predictions related to our work, to assess the impact of our work without motivated reasoning, and to use this information to shape our strategy.
Inclusiveness. We try to avoid conscious and unconscious bias and be as flexible as we can to ensure that anyone who embodies the above values can do their best work at Open Philanthropy.
Beyond these core operating values, we’re also looking for people who are passionate about Open Phil’s mission of helping others as much as we can with the resources available to us, who can tackle and complete difficult, open-ended projects, and who are excited to be part of building a growing, rapidly changing organization.
What can I do now to prepare for a role at Open Phil later?
While every role differs, and there’s no single course of action to prepare for every opportunity, for many roles it might be helpful to:
Do you offer internships?
If you are interested in an internship at Open Phil, we’d encourage you to fill out our General Application and note your interest in interning. We may reach out to exceptional candidates interested in internships on a case-by-case basis.
Do you have remote positions?
For most positions, we’d prefer candidates to work from San Francisco if possible (though many San Francisco-based staff work from home one or more days a week). However, for many roles, we would consider full-time remote work if the best candidate is only able to work remotely.
What compensation can I expect to receive if hired?
We usually post anticipated salary for a role. If we haven’t posted a salary, it’s usually because we think the responsibilities and scope of the role will be heavily influenced by who we ultimately hire.
We aim to pay competitively enough so that salary isn’t a major consideration for candidates who would otherwise be interested in taking a role with us. We’d encourage you not to let uncertainty about salary deter you from applying.
I applied to Open Philanthropy in the past and was unsuccessful. Should I reapply? How will you use any work tests I completed as part of my previous application?
We recommend that candidates wait about a year before reapplying for the same role at Open Philanthropy. Past candidates are welcome to apply to a different role at any time.
We do sometimes use the same work tests from year to year, but we may use a new assessment for repeat candidates on a case-by-case basis. We sometimes allow candidates to skip forward in our process based on past work tests.