As a recruiter, one of the things I am most often asked is how to get over pre-interview jitters. Whether it’s prepping for an introductory phone call, or planning for a Zoom presentation, job-seekers want to know what they can do to quash their nerves and let their skills and abilities shine.
Interviewing is a skill and, like most skills, you can find improvement with preparation and practice. While my team of Dyspatchios can’t help you practice, we have put together this overview of our recruitment process to help you prepare for each step along the way!
We review applications as they arrive, looking for those who clearly align with the goals of our job postings. While we’re not looking for a perfect skills-match, we do hope to find candidates who show enthusiasm for our projects, tech stack, and mission.
The first step in our interview process is the manager phone call, a 30 minute Zoom video call between chosen candidates and the hiring manager. These calls cover your background and experience, as well as your interest in joining our team. You can prepare for these calls by reviewing our job post, your application materials, and taking a look at our website and social media accounts, to get a sense of our projects, vision, and ways of working.
For technical roles, the next step in our interview process is a technical screening call. This helps us ensure that candidates moving forward have the level of technical proficiency needed to be successful in the role as we have designed it. Here are two recent examples of our technical screens:
- For our recent junior developer position we had candidates participate in a pair programming session with one of our senior devs using CoderPad. Working in a language of their choice, the candidates walked our dev through solving a simple problem. There are a lot of great resources online to help you prep for technical screens – our team recommends HackerRank.
- When searching for a product designer, we had candidates spend 60 minutes speaking with two members of our Product team via Zoom. The conversation covered previous design experience and core design competencies. We also asked each candidate to walk our team through a portfolio piece, explaining their design decisions and techniques. To prepare for this kind of conversation, consider walking a friend through some of your favourite portfolio works, and articulating why these pieces still connect with you.
After these screening interviews, we invite candidates to our “onsite interview” (except now this is on Zoom, too!). We structure this interview in sections, having the candidate meet with a number of our Dyspatchios in groups of two or three. In one section, you’ll discuss your previous experience and projects, as well as your style of working. In another session you’ll meet with some potential co-workers to talk about how our team works and communicates, as well as our shared values.
For preparation, we always suggest spending a little time getting to know more about our products (Dyspatch and Sendwithus). Also, if you have some time to check out our values, it may help you understand a little more about what drives a lot of our decision making day-to-day. Our values can be found on our careers page here. You can also see what our #dyspatchios have been up to on our Instagram, and learn more about their backgrounds on LinkedIn.
If you’re interviewing for a technical role, the onsite will include a technical interview, where you’ll discuss a system or software design problem, to get you thinking beyond the algorithms. We care about seeing our candidates succeed at the interview stage and we understand that technical interviews can be daunting. Our intention is not to ask any trick questions and we sympathetically advise that candidates do their best to explain as much as they can about topics discussed. A good strategy to go by when stumped is to think of topics that are related and you’re more familiar with. It’s not about being correct, it’s about understanding you better.
Typically candidates spend 2 – 3 hours in our onsite interview process, but we make sure to give you lots of breaks, including camera and mic-off breaks if we are on Zoom. We ask everyone coming for an interview if they need any accommodations, as we want to ensure you’re as comfortable as can be, and we don’t mind shifting our schedules to accommodate candidates with strict work or care schedules.
And that’s it! Hopefully seeing our end-to-end recruitment process helps you get ready for the conversations you may be having. Fundamentally, we want to get to know you, your interests and skills, and figure out how your previous experiences (professional or otherwise!) align with where we’re headed.