Two Things We've Learned From Interviews

Having received no response, I am left with no idea why I was a poor fit for both positions, but considered a potential candidate for the second, after not being suitable for the first. With no response, I am unable to work on this and become a better candidate in the future.

Two Things We've Learned From Interviews

Preamble

In my role as a founder, I speak to at least 30 people a day. I use this dialogue as an opportunity to keep things current, to understand what impacts our users and to share that information with the team.

A recent conversation with a highly qualified candidate reminded me why we started to build a candidate-centric platform. I asked her to write about the experience and promised I'd use our platform to put it out there. What you're about to read is the end result.


The Interview

Interviewing for a new job is a notoriously stressful time. In general, people will interview at a number of companies prior to being offered or accepting a position. I have recently been interviewing for positions and have learned a couple of things along the way.

Initial Screening

I have undertaken a number of interviews where I have been asked to complete some kind of challenge. These have varied in scope and focus, but I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed completing these. I have finished each one aware of some shortcomings, but ultimately being proud of my solution and generally having learned something.

Following submission of the results of the challenge, there has typically been somewhat limited feedback until either an onsite or more detailed phone conversation. This makes a certain amount of sense, as questions about the solution and decisions made can be asked of the candidate which have not been biased by previously given feedback.

Onsite Interview

In my experiences, these have varied slightly. Some have been relatively short with a focus on my past work experience. Others have been longer with a broader remit. In the longer onsite interviews, more open-ended questions have been asked that typically don't have right or wrong answers but are aimed at understanding a candidates personality. These types of questions can be difficult to answer as thinking of an example which fits every situation can be challenging.

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1. The Outcome

I have had mixed success in my job search. While I am grateful for the positions I have been offered, I have also been left curious about the positions I have been unsuccessful with. Ultimately the process of interviewing requires a fair amount of time and effort. Particularly when the challenge can take some evenings and the onsite can require an entire day excluding any travel. It can be frustrating when after that, there is little to no feedback outside of a generic rejection email.

This happened to me recently and it left me questioning my adequacy in applying for certain roles. I was relatively inexperienced with a machine learning method that was predominantly the focus of the challenge. Though the challenge itself seemed to progress well and I didn't feel that the interviews went particularly badly. There were clearly parts of each that could have gone a little more smoothly, but isn't that always the case?

Shortly after the onsite, I received an email asking for a follow-up interview for a different position. I accepted this as the proposed position sounded of interest and awaited the next step. Upon its completion, I received another email informing me that I wasn't correct for that position. At this point, I asked for any feedback that could be given on my performance when interviewing for both positions.

Having received no response, I am left with no idea why I was a poor fit for both positions, but considered a potential candidate for the second, after not being suitable for the first. With no response, I am unable to work on this and become a better candidate in the future. I also have no real idea how I did with the challenge outside of my solution being deemed at least reasonable enough to warrant an onsite interview.


2. Feedback Matters

In any walk of life, feedback is critical as it allows for a greater understanding which gives an opportunity to improve. Just imagine a personal relationship with no feedback how it's working.

At RecruitSumo, we focus on the user experience, not everyone who comes into contact with our team, product or service will be an end user however we actively encourage feedback at every touch point. We believe this allows us to offer a better experience and ultimately create champions who value our efforts.


About RecruitSumo

RecruitSumo, Inc., is a predictive analytics company for human capital. Our first product RecruitSumo CCP, a candidate-centric platform that empowers key decision makers with their tech hiring, through visualized data, curated research and engagement analysis.

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