Category: Seattle

An interview to remember

For those who know me, I do-not write about work related stuff in this space. But, I needed to document this experience for my own reference.

Context: I relocated to Seattle, WA early this Jan 2020 and I have tons of things to share about the place and my journey so far – which is reserved for a separate blog post.

In pursuit of work opportunities, I applied to a specific role at Pioneer Square Labs (PSL). What are some expected responses from any recruiter?
– Their intent to proceed further with my candidature
– Not interested to proceed
– Or, you get no responses at all

PSL’s recruiter sent me a very interesting response.

They said that the role I applied to was put on hold, but another company they were working with was interested to chat with me and to learn more about my work experience in a Supply Chain startup.

This other company was Yesler. I obviously said yes to the recruiter with my mutual interest to learn more about the company and the problems they were solving.

So, one conversation led to another and today I got to meet the entire team of Yesler and few of the designers from PSL who were helping Yesler with their early concept designs.

A few things I picked from today’s interview, especially on how to conduct a great interview –

  • Listen, listen, listen and listen to what the other person has to say. Breathe, allow the other person also to breathe instead of bombarding them with questions. People at Yesler did exactly this. They let me breathe and they listened a lot more.
  • To actually learn a thing or two about the person you’re talking to from their resume or portfolio goes a long way in enriching a candidate experience. When one of the interviewers asked about my interest areas – that they read in my resume, I definitely felt that these folks didn’t care only about my design skills, but they gave equal weightage to what I do outside of work.
  • Be open to answering any and every question from the candidate. Yesler people were patient to answer each and every question of mine. This spoke volumes about how folks have been carefully hired to breathe that culture at Yesler.
  • Don’t make the other person feel uncomfortable. Which in other words mean, talk and treat the other person like a human. Be humane. In one of my rounds, I felt like I was interviewing with someone exactly like me. Empathy does that magic. You open up a lot more. You are just yourself.
  • Best interviews are those that don’t feel like an interview. Yup, you read that right. I felt like I met some interesting people for a conversation. Not once, I felt I was being interviewed. No pressure, no stress, and most importantly, no one trying to prove anything.

I don’t know about the final outcome, yet! However, I did feel that the overall experience was refreshing and I’m sure I will incorporate some of these elements when I get to hire people again.

Thank you so much Dwight Ware, Colin Chapman, Matt Meyers, David Helmers, Jeff Lubetkin, David Zager (loved the Zoom chat!) and Joon Shin for a memorable interview experience.