Dec 07 2010

Recruiting for success at White Glove Apps

Here at White Glove Apps we've been informally talking to a few people about the potential to join our team. As a follow-up to our previous blog post titled "Recruitment Done Right: How to treat and hire job candidates," we thought it appropriate to write a small note about our own interview philosophy. We believe that good talent and good companies move fast. Therefore, our philosophy places a premium on our time and the individual's time. We try to place each candidate on three fundamental axes:

1. Technical know-how

This involves gauging the breadth and the depth of the candidate's domain knowledge. Usually we start with a simple, yet broad question. Examples of such questions for an engineering candidate may include:

- How does a jet engine work?

- How does a browser fetch a page from a given URL?

- How does a program call a function?

As the candidate works through the question, we try to pin them down on specific details to determine their strong and weak areas.

2. Communication skills

Being able to explain complex issues in a straightforward manner is an invaluable skill. Usually, we ask a candidate to discuss and explain a difficult concept or project so that a lay person could understand it with minimal knowledge or training. Beyond their explanation skills, we watch their body language intently (especially eye contact) to determine their level of self-confidence.

3. Social fit

Lastly, we try to determine if this individual would make a good team player. By doing some role-playing involving difficult interpersonal situations, we can get a sense of their values and decision-making abilities.

Exceptional candidates can distinguish themselves on each axis during a relatively short interview (two-four hours). The longer the interview process lasts, the lower the likelihood of a successful outcome for either party. We follow this up with a trial period where we work with the potential co-founder for a few months before we formalize the relationship. We like to think that this process works fairly well for us.

What approaches has your company used to screen and assess candidates in a timely manner?