Our interview process is the way it is because for us there is nothing better than to see someone actually do work and interact with our team before they join us permanently. We want candidates to experience what our company is like firsthand.
Throughout the interview process we evaluate applicants based on our values and make sure that they align with what we do. We want to find new co-workers who are passionate about what they do, are willing to constantly learn and willing to challenge us and themselves to push for progress.
Along with values, we find experience to be especially important for more senior roles. We value specialists and we hope to learn new things from them.
We look at talent as an indicator for potential future growth that we can enable a candidate to achieve in order for them to be successful at our company in the future.
For us a value-fit is an absolute criteria for hiring, while talent and experience can be developed depending on the person and position and must not be present from the start necessarily.
Our CTO Patrick and/or CIO Nikolai oversee our hiring process. They ensure that candidates are kept up-to-date about the status of their application and speak with every candidate before they are hired.
For technical positions we usually ask candidates for code samples or a portfolio. Usually two members of our team look over it as a first estimate of a candidate's ability, but it is unlikely that we reject somebody only because of a lack of a good portfolio. We ask candidates to either provide us with a CV or a LinkedIn profile to find out a bit more about their background beforehand.
If we are interested and the candidate looks promising to us, we send an email along those lines:
Thanks for applying! I just wanted to give you a heads-up, our hiring process is:
We do a call on Skype or phone for about 30 minutes. I want to give you the opportunity to ask all the questions you have about Instaffo and I want to make sure we both think it might be a good fit. I will ask you a few questions to better understand your motivation and background.
If we both want to move on, we will have a chat in person or via Skype for about an hour to talk about your work. We will ask technical questions and make sure your ability is at the level we're looking for.
We schedule a day for you to come in and work with us on a small project. You will get to know the team and show you can deliver and communicate well on real work. We will spend the day with you, get lunch and at the end of the day make the decision whether we are a good fit for each other.
How does that sound for you? Are you available for 30 minutes sometime over the next two weeks? Could you name a few dates that work for you?
For our technical interview we have standardized questions and tasks, but might also elect to pair candidates with somebody working on something real if possible. We do not use puzzles or code challenges. We prefer to review actual work the candidate does under real conditions (no white board, but on a computer at their own time), and to talk to them about the design process, architecture, and writing code.
One important step for us is also the non-technical interview, which is conducted by a member of our HR team or our co-founder and Chief Vision Officer Daniel. We want to find out if the candidate is aligned with our values and that our team and the candidate get along well.
For us it is important to ask candidates to visit us for a day if possible. We pay for their travel expense if required. We want them to get to know the team and we want to find out how they work with us.
We do quarterly feedback meetings with all employees. For new hires, we aim to have a feedback meeting within their first two weeks in order to find out about potential problems as early as we can.
If a candidate is rejected during our process, we provide them with feedback why we feel they are not a good fit for the position at our company.
We ask candidates to rate us on Kununu after their application, even if unsuccessful. We understand that not everybody is happy with a rejection, but we genuinely believe in transparency and hiring only those people that we are confident will bring value to us, and to whom we can bring value as well.