Polidea Recruitment Process—Practical Tips for the Candidates
Change of job is usually a big move with a lot of impact on one’s life that can be very stressful. The first day in a new company is a final (and satisfying) step of the process that begins with a decision to look for new opportunities, drop some CVs here and there, and approach a few interviews.
The interviews can vary a lot but all of them have the same goal—to assess the candidate and make the hiring decision. That’s why interviewees are very often uptight and unsure. Especially when they don’t know what to expect.
Let me unveil the mystery how the recruitment process at Polidea works and share some universal tips to be better prepared for your upcoming interview.
By the way, we’re currently hiring! All open positions are available here.
STAGES OF RECRUITMENT PROCESS
We follow a few simple stages. Since our process is designed for a variety of engineering and design positions, it’s unified at some level, but yet flexible enough to ensure an individual approach.
What can you expect after dropping your CV at our inbox?
Firstly, we compare it with our hiring strategy that is composed of two factors: current needs and future plans.
Secondly, we check our must-have requirements, like declared English capabilities (which is really a must in our international team) or a work-permit (in the case of foreigners). Then we check for education and work experience.
The next step is something that is infamously called “the screening interview”. It’s usually a 15-minute phone call with a candidate. Its core objective is to verify that his/her goals and skills match the company’s needs and requirements. No more no less. Depending on the result we continue the recruitment process or stop it, to prevent both sides from wasting their time. We believe it’s good for the candidate to stay up-to-date as much as possible with the progress so that he/she could engage more or focus on another recruitment process.
There are many approaches to verifying technical skills. Online or on-site coding sessions, multistep technical interviews with various team members, using external web services or even outsourcing the process to another company. Each one has its pros and cons. At Polidea we developed a compromise between time and quality—in terms of the people engagement and the value of assessment.
In almost every case we ask our candidate to do homework—a well-defined task to be delivered to us in a given timeframe. It’s important for us to see how the candidate approaches the problem in a calm environment without time pressure. Shortly, we expect the best he/she can do.
In terms of design our requirement is to prepare up to 3 projects from his/her portfolio that we’re going to study and review during the interview.
This moment can be a bit tough because we assess someone’s work before inviting them to our office.
It takes usually around 1.5hrs. We start with the candidate talking about his/her work experience and motivations. Then we focus more on their engineering or design skills. The flow of the conversation can vary a lot, but it has one common part—discussion and review of the homework or portfolio prepared earlier. All other interviewers’ exercises depend on the candidate’s engineering specialty and skill level and are individually selected case by case.
We do not treat this stage of the recruitment process as a one-sided interview. This is the time for the candidate’s questions as well, we are there to show you who we are, what are our values and goals. Feel free to ask—we might become your coworkers after all ;)
During the meeting, there are usually two or three interviewers at a time. A recruiter, a team leader, and a team member. Sometimes CTO (yours truly) is present as well, as he oversees the whole process for engineering and design.
We follow a few principles that help us keep the right direction in terms of making the hiring decision and approaching our candidates.
It’s better not to hire the right person than to hire the wrong one
This may sound harsh. It may look like we are picky or even unfair.
But, building a strong and well-fit team is crucial for us, that’s why we treat our recruitment process very seriously. We try hard to be fair and unbiased in our assessments.
We also respect every candidate, his/her time and skills, and we’re aware that the job change is a life challenge. So we try to prevent his/her potential frustration when we see that he/she would not fit our team, culturally or technically.
Hire for attitude, not for skill
It doesn’t mean the skill level is less important for us whatsoever. Quality—and therefore craft—is one of our company’s core values, so it cannot be treated as irrelevant.
It rather means that with some minimal technical capabilities and the right attitude, a skill can be learned. For us, the right attitude is when someone shows self-integrity, proactivity, creativity, is open for criticism and feedback, follows-through commitments, has attention to detail, analytical skills and communicates well.
Hire for strength, not for lack of weakness
Everyone has some strengths. Things or areas when he or she feels good at. We want to see them and—later on, when hired—develop and build on them in professional work. We believe that this is the right approach. Our job in the recruitment process is not to focus on weaknesses or even lack thereof, but rather unveil the candidate’s strengths and match them to our needs and values.
We show respect to anyone who considers joining our team. It’s really a privilege to be chosen by a candidate from a huge range of companies on the market.
There are two concrete ways we do it, besides creating a friendly atmosphere during the interview. First, we don’t only ask the questions, but when the candidate’s skill level is low, we try to educate a bit as well, encouraging to ask us questions and to know us better.
Secondly, when we reject a candidate we always send them feedback. This is exceptionally important to us—to be fair and explain the reasoning behind our decision and to help someone improve next time, even in another recruitment. We gather our observations and remarks, both on soft and technical skills and we share them along with the decision.
Let me share a few tips that may help you during an interview, based on my experience of conducting them for the last few years.
Sounds trivial, but it’s not. Not being prepared is unfair to the recruiters and shows disrespect.
If you had done some coding homework or you’re about to show your portfolio, prepare to present it. Think about the decisions you made and the solutions you used. Be ready to explain them.
Read your CV a couple of times. Your CV is only a document that a recruiter has access to and bases his/her questions on it. They could be very detailed. When a candidate doesn’t know his/her own CV it usually makes a bad impression.
Last but not least, read a bit about the company you’re heading to. You don’t have to remember the entire team, but you should know what kind of services the company provides and look through a few case studies. There’s a good chance you’ll get asked why did you pick the company as your future workplace.
Try not to make up answers that you don’t really know. Try not to pose for someone else. Try not to brag about your skill or knowledge because it will be verified.
The real state of things always unveils, sooner or later.
Be straightforward, say what you’re sure about. If you hesitate for some reason, it’s ok to express it—no one knows everything.
We would risk a statement, that integrity and honesty are some of the most crucial factors in professional teamwork and can weigh on the success of the entire project. That is why it’s so important during the interview.
An interview is a stressful moment. Even for very experienced professionals. Sometimes ice breaks in the beginning, sometimes candidates are uptight until the very end of the meeting.
Don’t hide your stress or emotions too much. Recruiters see them anyway. They have an impact on your thinking process. It helps a lot when you embrace your discomfort and admit it out loud.
Showing your emotions is a good thing because it gives the recruiter a sense of what kind of person you are. It’s important in terms of teamwork when you will have to face many different people and be able to handle your and their emotions.
On the other hand, you can count on us—we’re going to be candid as well. Honesty is one of our core values and it’s very important in our daily work.
I hope that describing our process, principles and sharing a few tips, would make any recruitment process easier and less stressful for all the job-seekers out there. I also hope that it made our approach more transparent and clear.
We actually have a lot of open positions right now, so if you feel encouraged after reading the article—get in touch! All currently open positions are available here.