We’re hiring! In true Agile form, Charles Callistro invites us to consider a less painful, more people-first, approach to the job interview. Prospective candidates, read up!

We’ve been hiring lately (after reading this go to our jobs page!) and I’ve found the interviewing process to be very exciting and enlightening, which has been a pleasant surprise.

We’re committed to our culture at Simply Accessible, in which our shared values of respect, transparency, and inclusion are mirrored throughout the activities we perform, and hiring is included in that approach.

The first thing I realized while attending these hiring sessions is that it’s much more fun to be the interviewer than the interviewee. That should be obvious, but I’m stating it because the observation presents an opportunity while raising a couple of questions: Why is it so painful to be interviewed for a job, and how can we make it less painful?

So many questions

So far, the things I’ve identified as worrisome about being interviewed are:

  1. What will they ask me about?
  2. What are the right answers?
  3. How am I doing so far in this?
  4. What else do I need to know?

So, in the interest of helping people out, let’s try to address these up front.

What will they ask me about?

We’re going to ask you to tell us a bit about yourself and your recent work. We’ll be glancing at your LinkedIn profile as we do so, but a lot of this will depend on the kind of job you’re applying for. If you want to be a tester for us, we’re looking for an analytical mind, but also to determine what your motivation is. You obviously like to solve problems, but WHY do you like to solve problems?  We’re also quite likely going to ask you how you found us, and what interests you about working with us. Questions like these really help us to get a feeling for why you’re here.

What are the right answers?

In a very general sense, we’re looking for people who are both very good at their professions and very excited by the prospect of adventure. We have an internal meme, “This is how we do things now.” This was stated by a co-worker after a week-long vacation. We pivot often and improve in a flash, and this goes for our roles as well.

We’re looking for people who want to constantly refine and improve their positions, not maintain them. Doing something well 10,000 times the same way is actually doing it pretty poorly. Doing it well three times and finding a better way to do it is what we want. Come to us with a dream of how things should be done, and you’ll find a very receptive audience!

How am I doing so far in this?

You could ask. One thing I’ve noticed, and don’t like, about most job interviews is an implied formality that isn’t realistic or helpful. If you’re working with us, we’re going to be talking with you every day about a variety of things. Your “best behavior” isn’t how you really are, and we need to know how you really are! And, if you’re really looking to improve (as mentioned earlier), then start with the interview itself.

What else do I need to know?

At the end of interviews I’ll sometimes think, “If I were that person and wasn’t feeling pressure, I’d ask <this stuff>….” and sometimes I actually do ask for you. Most frequently, these things include:

Why are we talking to you?

Something in your background or introduction letter excited us. Simple as that. Find out what that was.

What are the next steps?

We’ll tell you, and some of it depends on the anticipated role. We’ll definitely have an internal discussion, and if we feel this is a good fit, we’ll move forward. If we unfortunately don’t see this as a good fit right now, we’ll let you know that too; nobody should be left worrying.

What about salary? Vacation time? Benefits?

Those are beyond the scope of our initial talk. You should want those details to make sure you’re making good use of your time on this, but at this point we’re still trying to get a feel for you. Those details will be worked out soon.

I thought of the perfect thing to add, five minutes after the interview ended! What should I do?

What would you do if you forgot to ask or tell anybody anything? Ask! Tell them! Send us an email with an awesome addition.

The last thing I’d like to add is this: relax. Don’t consider us a room full of strangers–consider us a room full of your fans, because we are. Your job is simply to explain to us how right we were about you!

Ready to meet your fan club? Check out who we’re looking for.