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2 months ago

The Flagrant Interview Process

By Jim Remsik

We recently posted a position (Remote Administrative Assistant) and I wanted to share how we interview at Flagrant. In part to set expectations for folks who may apply for this position, but also to address a deeply broken part of our industry.

What I am not going to address here is how people get into the interview process. It's obviously adjacent, and I have opinions, many of which are possibly wrong, but out of scope in order to ship this blog post today.

We invite the candidate and the rest of the team to a new project in our team-collaboration software (e.g. New Hire Candidate: Shontae Williams). This project has a few To-do items that we assign to the candidate. These to-dos can be addressed asynchronously as the candidate has time and attention available to them.

The process is pretty straightforward and is modeled after how we actually work. As a remote company much of our time is spent moving efforts forward and then coming back together to discuss and review. Sometimes that’s spending a significant amount of time pairing and other times it means turning off distractions and going heads-down for a while. The whole process is meant to demonstrate that a candidate has the skills the job requires and to-date this process has been pretty successful.

The questions we ask are:

✅ Introduce Yourself

This section includes written instructions to reply back and provide some background to the team. Who are you? What have you done? What would you be happiest doing as we move forward? The questions are open-ended and sometimes the answers are short and sometimes they are longer. There's no right answer.

Our folks will respond and introduce themselves which often leads to discussions on topics like coffee fandom, other areas of shared interest, or ways they will contribute to our culture.

✅ Share an example of work which you are proud

This is an opportunity for the candidate to show off what they are passionate about. It could be documentation, an illustration, a spreadsheet, a whole app, a small piece of their work, or an event they planned.

If they cannot share an artifact they are encouraged to tell us about it.

And just as importantly they are prompted to share why they are proud of this thing they have shared.

✅ Provide availability for a call with the team

As a remote company we spend an amount of time collaborating through video-conference calls, usually in Zoom. Once they describe their availability we have someone on our team ensure that we follow-up with the team and schedule a call with as many from the team as we can accommodate. This meet & greet is an opportunity to put faces & voices to names, ask questions, and interview us back. It's generally pretty casual and social.

Candidates are encouraged to follow-up with the team in our collaboration software and have 1:1 access with folks to ask questions.

Many companies don’t give feedback to the candidate they did not hire because they received legal advice that says any indication of why they were turned down could be used against them in a lawsuit etc. Therefore they tend to not officially go on record. As much as possible we’ll let folks know once we’ve made a decision and if there’s feedback that we feel can be provided we’ll share it. Again, we’ve interviewed for jobs and heard horror stories from folks in our network about the hoops they’ve had to jump through and the time wasted waiting for an offer or even word that they were turned down. We’re putting ourselves in those people’s shoes and asking “what can we do” to make it as painless as possible for them.

And that's it! Once we have this context and are able to gather to make a decision folks are either offered a position or not. As a small company we are not able to hire everyone we would like, but everyone we've hired through this process has worked out well.

P.s. Where’s the whiteboarding and the take home interview work to be done in my spare time? Is that part of the second interview? Nope. We don’t do any of that. And we’ll talk about why not in a future blog post.

Psst! We're always looking for people, like you, who are interested in learning and motivated to get better to join our remote team. Get in touch!