The Interview Process

Many people forget that the recruitment process is a two way street. While the employer is evaluating the candidate, the candidate is equally evaluating the company, position and management.

While the Weekend Australian article, “What Interviews foretell” by Karalyn Brown focussed primarily on the interview process from the candidate perspective, there were some good points for employers.

In my career I’ve been through quite a few interview processes, so it came as no surprise that Bob Olivier, director of Olivier recruitment

believes employers can easily overlook how a candidate matches the values and working style of an organisation – the “cultural fit”

One of the many attributes I’m looking for when we interview at Ephox is how the person will “fit” into our team. So while I’m ensuring the candidate gets a chance to evaluate our culture, we also ensure they will fit into the team through the code review and Coffee Interview.

Rightly so, Steve Begg, general manager of operations of executive recruiters Tanner Menzies and Olivier

believe that the recruitment process provides a glimpse into a company’s working culture. A formal series of interviews can indicate a more bureaucratic employer. A “meet the team” chat reflects a more open and casual working style. However, Begg stresses both method are valid recruitment tools

At Ephox we have what I believe is a good mix of formal and casual in our interview process. In addition, I’m are upfront at the beginning of the interview process with what the process is.

So what is our process? Well like many companies we start with a phone interview. As a significant amount of our communication is with overseas clients and our other offices, this also gives us a chance to evaluate how well a candidate can communicate on the phone.

We then move to a more formal, in office interview. We delve into the candidates abilities and also talk about us and the role, leaving nothing hidden. We want candidates to want to work with us so make sure they have the information to do so.

Successful candidates are then asked to do a coding exercise but unlike most “formal” ones, ours is a little more candidate friendly. We email the candidate a simple program requirements and ask them to submit the code, in their preferred language, when they have been able to complete it. After submission, we get the candidate back in to discuss the code and the solution approach with a couple of the senior engineers. This gives the candidate a chance to gauge what it is like to work within the team, and importantly for us, gives us a chance to evaluate how the candidate solves problems and discusses solutions.

Finally, if all goes well, we have the coffee interview to allow the entire team to participate in the process.

Why do we go to all this trouble to ensure both the candidate, the team and the company fit together? For one thing, we have very good retention and want to keep it that way.

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