First Impressions Are Everything

Everybody is looking to hire talented engineers. Most people I meet in similar roles often ask me how we have scaled our engineering organization so quickly here at HubSpot. I wish I could tell them that recruiting and hiring is just a one-step process, but it isn’t that simple. It requires your full attention and constant iteration. One ingredient of this complex process is the candidate experience. Take a moment to think about how companies design their websites. Homepages are storyboarded, tested, and reiterated until it creates the right experience for a viewer; the first impression has to be flawless. Similarly, when a candidate is interacting with your company for the first time, their experience should capture your company’s culture, values, and style. My goal is for candidates to enjoy every touchpoint with HubSpot, and get a first impression of a team that they can picture themselves joining. Even if they don’t take an offer, or aren’t the right fit after all, I still want to create an experience that the candidate would tell their friends about. For example, it's sad when I hear co-founders trying to optimize for their engineers' time by cutting an interview short at the expense of the candidate. If you asked someone to take time out of their busy schedule to interview with you, then you better do the same. If you can’t, don't wonder why you are not getting the results you want. For a long time, HubSpot was treating the interview process as an afterthought until we reminded ourselves: when you bring a candidate in, they’re interviewing you and your company too.

Our candidate experience is probably what has changed the most since the day I arrived at HubSpot. I was fortunate to have received strong and critical feedback from early candidates that shaped many of the things we do today. Most importantly, it sunk in that an experience is created by a team, not just one person. Last week, I was out of town when a candidate asked us about the interview format. It was clear from the email, that, like most candidates, he was nervous. But Becky, who runs dev operations and goes above and beyond to make sure every interviewee feels comfortable and welcome every step of the way , quickly drafted a personal email that summarized our interview philosophy. I knew my team could ensure a welcoming, valuable, and unique experience once I saw this email because it showed that the way I feel about the candidate experience is mutual across our organization and that we all agree these are the takeaways from our interview process: 

  • We are flexible. We'll code on the board, review existing code or let you use your computer. Whatever works best for you.
  • We are transparent. We'll tell you about us but we know you are here to interview us as well.
  • We are not asking that are you the best in the world, but that you want to be.
  • Most importantly, that you will like working with us!

Hi Adam,

I have you confirmed for tomorrow at 4:30pm.

Please ask for Keith upon arrival as you will be meeting with him first. We are located here: 25 First St. 2nd Fl Cambridge, MA 02141

As for the the format of the interview:

It will be a mix of questions. please bring your laptop if possible. They may ask you to write code (whiteboard or on your computer), discuss prior experience, present the code samples you supplied, design new systems, etc.

The team is very practical and transparent and will make sure you have ample opportunity to talk to the engineers to "interview them" as well.

To summarize they just want to get a feel for your strengths and how you may fit into our organization.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Good luck with today's storm!