Peek inside the interview process at 4 fast-growing Boston tech companies

by Justine Hofherr
September 12, 2018

Nervous about that upcoming job interview? Don’t be!

We chatted with four fast-growing Boston companies to get the inside scoop on their interview processes, what qualities they look for in jobseekers and how you can stand out from the pack. Hint: More often than not, they just want you to be yourself.

 

devoted health
photo via devoted health

Tara Griesbach, head of technical talent at Devoted Health, said the healthcare company looks for authenticity, humility and the ability to roll up your sleeves and work in job candidates.

 

Can you give a high-level overview of your interview process and how it’s set up?   

Devoted’s interview process is a two-way street focused on the company getting to know the candidate’s accomplishments, strengths and development areas, as well as giving them as much context as we can on our mission, our goals and the way we work. The process is set up to assess their fit for the current role, as well as for the company we are building, which will triple in size over two years.

 

Does your company’s culture impact the way you do interviews?

We have a culture of transparency and respect, and this translates to the way we interview as well as the deep amount of context we give interviewees during the interview process. We want to make sure that we are setting the right expectations about both the role and the work environment up front, so that folks can decide whether this sounds like a place they can see themselves thriving.

 

What is the best way for a jobseeker to stand out from the pack?

Authenticity. All of us have aspects that make us unique. Focusing on highlighting this in your cover letter, profile or connection will show the hiring team who you are and will make you seem more human and unique.

 

datadog
photo via datadog

Tabitha Upton, recruiter at Datadog, said the software company seeks out people who are enthusiastic, passionate and love what they do.

 

Can you give a high-level overview of your interview process and how it’s set up?

Our interview process consists of a pre-screen call with a recruiter, a phone interview with a hiring manager, an in-person interview, and then potentially a case study or project, depending on the role.

 

Does your company’s culture impact the way you do interviews?

We have a very friendly and open company, and we try to make sure that the culture is replicated in the interview process. Candidate experience is always top of mind; we go to extra lengths to make sure each person has a positive experience. By being transparent about the process, as well as remembering the small things — a glass of water for their in-person interview, walking candidates to and from each interview, etc. — we are constantly looking to make the process as friendly and open as our culture is.

 

What is the best way for a jobseeker to stand out from the pack?

Their ability to “sell themselves” — not only their skills for the role, but also how they bring diversity of thought to the organization. We interview a lot of talented individuals, but the ones who are able to talk about the value they will provide in the role and how they can impact the team goals always stand out. This also shows that the jobseeker has really thought about what the role entails and their own personal strengths. I love when they get me excited about the impact they will make!

 

bookbub
photo via bookbub

Charlotte How, talent acquisition lead at BookBub, said the book discovery company looks for two key traits in potential BookBubbers: empathy and intellectual curiosity.

 

Can you give a high-level overview of your interview process and how it’s set up?

We want new employees to feel included on the team and engage in real work from day one, and we extend this philosophy to our interview experience. We design our process to simulate the experience of working together, so we often have candidates discuss team goals and tackle real challenges with their interviewers. The specifics of the interview process vary from position to position, but generally include a few conversations — by phone, video, or in person — with people from across BookBub’s teams, as well as a take-home exercise relevant to the role.

 

Does your company’s culture impact the way you do interviews?

Because we’re a highly collaborative organization, we like to have candidates interact with a variety of BookBub teams during the interview process. We also value a culture of transparency, so we’re upfront about our process and timeline and encourage candidates to ask lots of questions. Ultimately, our goal is to facilitate positive experiences for our members and partners, and also for our current and future teammates.

 

What is the best way for a jobseeker to stand out from the pack?

It’s always nice to speak with a candidate who is well-informed and excited about the work we’re doing. I’ve been really impressed by candidates who have engaged with our site and have interesting questions about the new products we’re building, or our diversity and inclusion initiative. Some of my favorite ideas have come from jobseekers who have come in with a great idea or interesting insight.

 

notarize
photo via notarize

Kevin Fanning, senior technical recruiter at Notarize, said the legal tech startup is an inclusive place to work that seeks candidates who are authentic and good communicators. “If you’re not willing to collaborate with your coworkers, actively listen to ideas and frame your responses thoughtfully, you don’t belong here,” she said.

 

Can you give a high-level overview of your interview process and how it’s set up?

We try to keep our interviews as light, hands-on and practical as possible. For engineering roles, there are no brain teasers or whiteboard pseudo-code; we rely on a pair of programming exercises and a conversation around system design and architecture. For customer success roles, there’s an onboarding presentation exercise. For product roles, we have you pitch and iterate on ideas for feature improvements.

Our goal is to have the interview process mirror your day-to-day work in the role so you can get a sense of what it’s like working for Notarize, and we can assess how you’ll thrive in our environment.
 

Does your company’s culture impact the way you do interviews?

Only in the sense that we want people to feel comfortable in being their whole, authentic selves. We keep our interviews focused on the skills and competencies necessary to be effective in the role, rather than a vague notion of “cultural fit,” which can be a barrier to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.  

 

What is the best way for a jobseeker to stand out from the pack?

Be genuine in your interest. Demonstrate curiosity, and be prepared to ask a lot of questions. Sometimes, out of politeness, candidates will insist they don’t have any questions. How is that possible? There are always questions. We work here and we have questions. Really kick the tires. Showing engagement with the opportunity is key.

 

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