Andrew Marsh is co-founder and CTO of interviewing.io. A product designer and software engineer, he previously founded Fifth Column Games and has shipped titles with over 100 million users. Andrew ultimately left games in search of an industry where making a positive impact on the community was more aligned with success.
On today’s episode Andrew and I talk about the poor state of interviewing process in today’s tech companies, how to improve them and his company, Interviewing.io
[0:00] Good afternoon and welcome to the show.
[0:03] Thanks I’m happy to be here.
[0:04] Yes and you are here in person which is always a treat for me I definitely love when my guests come in right it’s it’s certainly happy to see you better to see someone kind of face-to-face it kind of had something else to the podcast.
[0:14] Well you have a lovely View and there’s a rainbow out the window so I feel like you know good luck.
[0:18] Is it really.
Oh wow there is I got to take a picture of it and posted the show notes but I’ve taken some previous pictures of rainbows and show notes so maybe I’ll I’ll put them on here but I think that’s a that’s a good opening for the said that they were going to have today.
To a little bit Andrew kind of give me a brief background of kind of how you got to be where you are today.
[0:39] I sure am so I I got a tech degree from MIT a computer science.
My whole life has been in programming or at least it started there even as a kid like.
Messed around and programmed my first like kind of serious job was in video games and that’s when I went in to like my career path.
Programmer first then sort of a hybrid like a lead.
And then set of hybrid designer programmer then more of like a studio director with a lot of programming and Technical responsibilities then I started my own company about like 6 or 7 years ago, fifth column games it was a game company.
I was a CEO and founder of that died a couple of co-founders and then more recently I got into interviewing IO with some friend of mine from college who started it and I joined pretty soon after and where the cofounders of at.
And I’m the CTO officially but I think that the more realistic roll it would be like I’m a co-founder I do.
Product I do technology I do operations I do whatever she’s not doing and whatever the weaknesses in the business are.
[1:42] How many people are on the interview IO team right now.
[1:46] 11 now 11 full time a month ago was 8 and 6 months ago it was 5 so weird.
[1:54] So you know it definitely you know 50% Harbor synchros in a Time.
[1:58] Yeah exactly that’s the goal.
[1:59] Which has its jumped challenges and you’re based here in San Francisco.
[2:03] Oh yeah we’re just we’re just getting some kind of down the street.
[2:07] Okay tell me a little bit about how you went from kind of that just you you’re an engineer and can gaming company you start your own one had how does that how does that jump work.
[2:17] Well I mean it didn’t happen overnight but it’s always been something like I think my interest in software development was more about my interest instead of solving abstract difficult problems.
Then it been so my software engineering Focus was like theoretical computer programming an artificial intelligence in college and video games it was like a i and gameplay.
And I kept moving more and more towards problems with unclear answers like I always like the kind of fuzzy problems where you’re like.
Make it fun make the enemy difficult to get out the goalie should be good at goalie whatever that means and then like having to like watch.
TV and figure out like oh what does it mean to be good to do being a goalie like in this abstract and then how do I write algorithms that anyway the the point of that is.
It wasn’t really about programming for me it was about creative approaches to problem solving problems and so the step from that two management wasn’t a big one that was sort of like and you know that’s a natural career stage anyway just getting as you move out.
But like I think I’ve been drawing a design with an obvious one for me cuz it was always a little bit of design bleeding in anyway and then moving into more Studio director stuff was more about.
Just having a lot of different kinds of problems to solve and never getting.
Pigeon-holed into any one thing wearing lots of hats changing often and just sort of being a Pioneer and solving problems in different fields and I think that that’s like.
That’s like where I’ve been going the whole time so it wasn’t a surprise but it wasn’t also like you know took years per step.
[3:51] You can do teams almost to the certificate systems in itself for Ed and there’s data complexity now of all the different sort of inputs and outputs for the for the for those types of systems.
[4:01] Yeah that that the more the more high-level you are in a way the more complex the problem you’re trying to solve it but the less it’s your job to solve it by yourself.
[4:10] And from that aspect what were some of the challenges You observe in yourself from having to go from kind of just worrying about yourself and coding to know dealing with these you know teams as system.
[4:22] Well I mean obviously the problems they get less scientific like there’s less of a right answer so you can last for one thing you know when you’re right a lot less so.
People humans are very good feedback machines were really really good at learning by the closer the feedback we get the better we can become an expert at something.
It’s why I like we are good at walking upright because we it’s very easy to know when you’re starting to fall over you get a lot of input but why it takes a really long time to win,
how to get good at like playing poker because what feels like a win might actually have been because of bad play because there’s a lot of like chance mixed in the kind of overwhelmed overrides your immediate input so takes much longer to learn and I think that like.
Early on I was able to understand weather at soccer problem really quickly.
Correctly and now it might take years to know if the way that I approach the problem with the best way and I may never know so I’m it’s a lot more intuitive in a lot less scientific in a lot more hand wavy.
[5:19] And then from there you you kind of got into this this company now and really want what is it that that your your company does now that you were very early on almost kind of co-founder with.
[5:30] The company is it’s a very big departure from video games in.
Field although in actuality there’s a lot of overlap but it’s a it’s a it’s a recruiting platform and so it is a new way of.
Helping Engineers find jobs in helping companies find engineer if you know connecting the two and I think that like.
My co-founder it was she also went to MIT she was ever Chris she was an engineer for a while then a recruiter and so she had sort of a data-driven engineering style approach to recruiting and the big.
The big lesson she learned was it’s broken it doesn’t work this isn’t a good way of doing things so this company was born out of like her vision of how to do it better and I came on is sort of like.
The least that it’s the least confident about the field I’ve been in previously like.
[6:26] Sure it in the domain.
[6:27] In the domain thank you thank you but as far as her like right hand I was able to bring a lot of like oh but I know how to design a product that people want to use and I know how to build a technology that will scale and work.
And in those ways this is the same as running a game company but in the ways of like oh wait I’m actually a really bad recruiter and that’s actually one of the first things I learned from working in the spaces how.
How hard it is to do well and how bad I was doing it previously.
[6:56] What do you view is the difference in between you can give used to convert terms recruiting and then interviewing right are they part and parcel are they really discreet how do you kind of do that inside of you your company now.
[7:09] Well they’re not they’re not Concepts that are.
Synonymous but at our company there their they’re tied together very well I mean you can recruit without interviewing but what kind of our theory is that.
We can make recruiting better through interviewing obviously interviewing doesn’t necessarily mean recruiting you can do interviewing as part of like.
Any part of the hiring funnel or just for practice like there lots of services that do interviewing truly to practice interviewing is like a core part of getting a job.
And there isn’t a lot of interviewing done outside of getting a job in terms of I’m talking specifically technical interviewing.
There are other reasons to do it I mean we’re doing it now but the the idea behind interviewing and Technical interviewing generally especially at the kind of that were talking about in interviewing IO is.
Specifically in a job search.
[8:01] And I think the I think the one thing to that I’ve noticed a look at your company is you guys have a really awesome blog.
And it’s not just her to lost I mean I started looking to some of the Articles and,
it’s clear that not only are you doing this as a service but the data that you’re actually starting to collect now is becoming incredibly valuable.
[8:22] Yeah yeah that’s a big part of our story again my co-founder as a recruiter she was very engineering Focus data-driven almost scientific about it and her blog started off is almost like.
I desperately about what’s broken and then that company came out of the data that resulted from the Block she like I want to write a blog post about giving people practice and then she’s like.
That was really effective.
Oh there’s that there’s an opportunity for a for like I weigh into the industry that is perhaps not only platform as a bow as in arbitrarily scalable but also just way way way.
[9:02] And I think you don’t reading through some of the articles some of the inside you’re getting about the data is one of the piers that in general it’s hard really to find it what did the resumes it shows is really write a poor signal.
[9:15] Yeah and I think that’s it I think the original like big success most successful beginning of our story is a blog post entitled resume suck here’s the data.
[9:24] Yep what about how many kind of interviews or something that have you actually gone through your platform right now and soon.
[9:32] Total number of interviews you know I haven’t checked in a little while but I’m not I’m not his nose to the grindstone on like that side of the business but I think it’s about 10,000 it might be more,
there’s definitely thousand or 10000 somewhere in that range.
[9:47] And I think one of the things that I believe your platform provides but it’s not just.
It shouldn’t just be regulated your platform is the concept of getting feedback on your interviews right + 2y in your from a company standpoint is that important to write what it why is feedback important for candidates like going to the interview process.
[10:08] Will a lot of our design app lot of our like product design is based on the idea that everything should have like more than one purpose I think that from a candidate’s perspective feedback is the most valuable part of the process.
Track me again where feedback systems.
What good is practice if you don’t know if you’re doing something wrong or right and actually we have some features plan that should make the feedback more granular so that the feedback system of somebody learning to be better at interviews is more complete.
Oh at minute 10 I was not doing a good job versus I just didn’t do a good job overall.
If it’s more than that because also our whole business model is predicated on the idea that we can tell the difference between good engineers and bad Engineers we want to create a pedigree.
So that feedback that we are giving the interviewees it’s all it doubles for our methodology for figuring out.
How to sort the how to sort the candidates which is what we sell.
That’s how we make our money we don’t have two candidates for money we asked our company partners for the for the money of sourcing and sourcing is valuable because we sort so well.
[11:14] You’re being a pre-screening in a sentence.
[11:16] Yeah we’re three that we’re doing screening cuz that we could just like we’re not just attracting people are attracting them and then filtering them and that’s the real value.
[11:25] Did you do anything with tracking say.
Interview candidates overtime ride today can I come back to your system and then can you see Improvement you’re at cuz a lot of things you need to read the words like cracking the coding interview or something and you know some of the,
the criticisms of some of these types of interviews at companies are the Dickie games.
Pray even the SAT or any of these kind of test that you go through the potentially that’s why Kumon a list of is out there right so how did how do you see that and is that a good thing or bad thing that you can actually train people to do better on their interviews.
[11:56] They started I guess those are too kind of separate Concepts in my mind at least the first is like if you.
Yes you can get him anything right you I mean gaming is getting better at something and this is the goal of an interview is to be a signal to whether or not that person’s going to be a good employee the only way you can’t game that is.
By having them be unemployed like you have to test that so because it’s a signal it’s game of viable Birds game of all but I would say that like.
A test that you take on your own in the abstract or let’s are not in the abstract the test that you take on your own in a vacuum is much easier to game than a conversation with a human being a human is hard to full and we’re not talking about like.
We have a.
An interviewer with no experience that we trained on what questions to ask and how to end how to interpret answers were talking about we have a network of real interviewers at top companies that are not all the same.
We don’t tell them what questions to ask her how to behave we say oh Google Facebook every like you no lift twitch these are all people in our Network.
Interview people the way you would interview them for the for the job and that’s a really tough system to game because everybody’s been trying to game it forever but if you can game it.
Maybe in the process of gaming at you’re actually becoming a good engineer.
[13:16] Well I mean yeah which is which is right there until it’s it’s kind of a win-win and respect because you can’t you going to the game it too much without having the core knowledge and understanding.
[13:23] Right in the other side of what we’re trying to do is.
There are people who over practice and like kind of Rise Above not based on their abilities as an engineer but based on their practice so a big other part of our product is the assumption that we can level the playing field by giving everybody practice before they go out there.
So a big thing that we’re offering people is like yeah you may not be the kind of person who’s like,
red cracking the coding interview and done like 20 interviews with people you went to school with and then had 3 interviews lined up you may not have that ability because you may not have gone to that kind of school.
Or you may just not have the patience for it but either way come on our platform to a couple Rio practice interviews.
And even if you do poorly if they were still Anonymous they don’t affect your personal brand so your value is still you’re catching up with those people much much faster than you might have caught up with them if you just like.
Didn’t know what to do this is the best source of real crack.
[14:18] And I think is it as a hiring manager myself and I can actually appreciate,
someone having gone through some practice before they come to an interview because I might get better signal that way because it might take away their nerves right or take away something else that would industrial being a good indicator of their employee thing because they’re nervous in a whiteboard.
[14:38] Yeah I’m at one of our customers I don’t know if I should say who they are so I.
But one of our bigger customers actually uses are like pays us to use our product as a Sandbox where people can.
People their interviewee like candidates for their platform can come in and practice ahead of time with that in mind there like they did this is not part of the vetting process they don’t ask us for this for their scores they actually insist that they we keep it anonymous.
So the whole process is an anonymous interviewing pool just to give their candidates practice before they get in just to help level the playing field before they get there so they don’t end up with people who have just over Pratt.
[15:16] Yeah and now that’s an interesting point what how do you think that this potentially helps with dealing with diversity issues.
[15:25] It’s definitely a big like a big topic for us I think that one of the like one of our mission of the core is meritocracy and.
Like a big part of meritocracy is diversity because I believe pretty strongly that they’re weather.
You know you can argue what you want about where the vices are coming from her who’s got them or whatever but the current state of affairs is,
has a lot of bias built-in Weatherby from education or from background or literal like people being biased and I think that like by having an anonymous platform that is designed to be a meritocracy it’s.
Clear that like diverse that we are an ally of diversity and diversity is an ally of us.
[16:08] And that works both ways to so when you sourcing should have candidates and presenting them to.
The companies are hiring companies that sort of blind than to any type of you no background or anything else.
[16:23] Right yeah companies are not allowed to know who they’re interviewing until they thumbs up.
Like you don’t ever find out who someone that is until you’ve basically mutually opted-in to continuing and a big part of that is a lot of our clients a lot of our companies will say wow I would have never let that person in.
Maybe that’s because I’m doing it wrong but not not everybody immediately like if you show someone a resume trust me he’s smart they’re going to be like no but if you’ve actually already had an hour long conversations with someone now you’re kind of on their side you’re kind of like.
You start to doubt your own like.
You’re such a your own selection bias as in your own opinions about things because you’re like and what happens and what we’ve noticed in some people’s cases as they actually kind of backed off and say like oh no.
Like I was sure of myself and now I’m just like questioning like maybe College isn’t too good.
Like that’s all I look at in people’s resumes did they go to the same school as me and now I’ve met all these smart people and none of them went to schools I’ve even heard of some of them didn’t even go what am I doing.
[17:29] Yeah and I think you guys have another blog post about that you know if you want if you value diversity don’t hire from the same flight schools every time.
[17:36] Yeah that was at that I think that was that are most recent or.
[17:39] You wanted that one of the ones yet but I think that makes a good point because you can take away that selection bias OVO they went to a code academy right instead of Stanford.
[17:48] Right end with something that I’ve learned is like even when a.
Like there’s everybody talks about unconscious biases but even conscious spices like things really like oh well I mean I have a biased towards people with experience at their job.
But a lot of times those biases aren’t wrong like more experience people tend to be better Engineers but what happens is because people rely so much on the signal of a resume.
Stand up over relying on things and just like anything else if you sort of like if everyone in the industry is looking at.
The same information as a as a predetermined of who they’re going to interview that you know that rock will get mind out.
And no one’s trying the other Rock so the where that where are the great Engineers who are looking where are the great Engineers who need to break in where are the under-represented great engineer those are going to be the better Engineers because they’re going to be the one to,
haven’t moved and moved as far as their career they haven’t been like snatched up by Google yet or whatever else.
[18:52] When you talk about feedback these people getting very.
You know can it be back in time with you back on the interviews through your system your platform right now,
we all know about like Glassdoor and companies like that where their employees are actually giving discount of,
their version of feedback about the interviewing experience two companies right now. What recommendations do you have for a company is interviewing to help you know,
in getting feedback and making that experience better for you know the people that are actually going through the interview process at once they pass the stage of you and her at the company.
[19:26] Oh I mean it’s it that that’s a good question and one of the first thing I would say about it is I am surprised at how bad,
most people are at this like companies are I’ve never until looking at the actual data I had no idea what percent of like.
Hires don’t go through just because somebody doesn’t respond to an email like obviously there’s just this huge back and forth and there’s so many people involved and there’s so many opportunities to drop a ball,
and you know Engineers aren’t necessarily the best. You know self application and following up and staying organized.
But surprisingly neither are companies so it would result in a lot of like like I would say just.
Get on your horse and pay attention like follow up like there’s a don’t make assumptions about people who didn’t respond after 3 days but they don’t have enough interest in your company they might just be like.
Professional about their future they might be like they might be like talking it over with her family because they’re treating this like a big decision cuz it is and they should that’s not like a lack of enthusiasm for you.
[20:31] Or they have a day job and are they project.
[20:34] Oh yeah yeah exactly weather in vacation where they’re sick like don’t don’t jump to conclusions but also just I mean.
I mean that seems like it’s so basic a piece of advice is like be good at.
Don’t like don’t rely on the Canada to follow up with you to follow up with them and spend like get good Engineers that way don’t don’t only get people who are predetermined to be excited about you.
They might be excited about you anyway but maybe they’re not excited about the process of filling out your forms.
[21:05] And I think you know what you talked about the brand awareness in and even on your classroom platform.
That sometimes accompanies with larger brains they might just more visible to people and people might apply to the more but you know you also have maybe some of those companies maybe have.
If you get paid as a company can of and you go right to the point where they should want to work for us so I don’t have to you know treat them as well.
[21:29] I mean I work two companies that no one’s ever heard of who had the biggest ego about their own brand and it’s it’s it’s ridiculous like I think everybody has everybody drink a little bit of the Kool-Aid.
The way they were especially people at the top of businesses they try to you’re taught in Silicon Valley you’re taught to drink your Kool-Aid it’s like no one’s going to give money to a Founder who doesn’t like openly believe in there cause even if it causes a little like desperate and.
They’re they’re guaranteed to fail if they’re not sure of themselves and being like a realist is not a great approach to being a Founder it’s why I need co-founders I’m a realist and it doesn’t help.
I believe in our product but if somebody says like are you definitely going to be a success in like that’s a stupid question no that’s not how it works that’s not how startups work.
[22:14] Try to not in sales.
[22:15] Yeah well you know if I have trouble even like talking to friends about like working with the company because it’s such a,
I’m such a skeptic myself so I assume everyone else is even though I know they aren’t and just like the idea of someone coming up to me and saying I have the best new business sounds like we all do.
I get it at all.
[22:34] And I think one of the more common things that I would receive it looking glass door or talking to candidates has it really been that lack of response right you submit a resume.
And that sometimes you hear back and that’s that’s probably the least amount of annoyance but usually as you spend an eight-hour day at a company and then radio silence.
Donald is anything worse than that for a candidate.
[22:58] Yeah and I think but like.
The companies that are set in a really Savvy about this they have a process for following up when they reject someone never process for following up when they need more time ever process for like.
They think about all that stuff because it’s great for their brand it’s great and also it’s just like a human thing to do and being a candidate.
Especially like I’m not sought-after one like one who didn’t go to Harvard or MIT or so.
Is an exhausting situation especially early on when you’re trying to break in and the people who do it are.
Kind of overwhelmingly like exuberant and sand like,
outgoing because they could barely went to survive the process I think that one of the things that we found with our class one that we’re very proud of is we’ve got a lot of people got a lot of fans in our base who are just like man this process is so much less painful.
Everything else aside I don’t hate it and that’s that’s like a big thumbs up for the process.
[23:55] Yeah I absolutely I think one of the big people that you hear about this kind of notorious for taking a long time is that Google,
not one in tactics notorious to is I know some people who is ever go to work for the CIA you know you submit your your background checks and sometimes even called like 24 months later hey or you know you’ve been approved in what year,
it’s got out of the blue I think one of the things that’s interesting that I’ve talked to a couple people about is and maybe you know you have some insight into this you have a engineering manager and.
Dave’s in the start getting away from the code base a little bit and maybe this time for them to look for new job.
Maybe they want to go back to be an icy may be a tech lead somewhere or they going to go to an injury manager another company.
What are your recommendations maybe your platform and some other things for them to strike to get kind of back in the game little bit to take him out rust off.
[24:51] Well as always I’m Andrew Marsh and I approve the use of interviewing IO by All Peoples but in all seriousness actually a large percent especially early on when Aileen was doing this like by herself for a blog post.
A large percent of people which was surprising her at the time but now it’s a big part of like our understanding of the field where a senior people and it was because there if you’ve been a work at Google for 8 years and you haven’t even if you’re in ic.
The idea of like a technical phone screen you like I haven’t reverse the string in a.
Am I going to like make a fool of myself so that what they really love was coming and getting some Anonymous practice and being like Oh I don’t even remember what an interview was Ivan a few people but I haven’t been interviewed and we ask this type of question but what does everyone else have.
I think that like.
In terms of being like an engineering manager I mean it’s tough It’s a really tough space out there for the first part of my career I kind of prided myself on like finding jobs on my own but after that it’s like it’s just you can.
It’s easier to find jobs through your network it’s just so much easier and so much more prolific and so much less painful and I think that like things like in interviewing. IO.
Help for Icees that’s kind of what we’re focusing on right now and we like we’re going to expand into more managerial roles and stuff like that eventually,
but the questions we ask her more appropriate for individual contributors.
[26:16] I hope that were in a position to answer that question better later for into the like for a very senior people who eat people who are looking for like to be an icy.
[26:27] Talk to your network pick some companies that you’re really excited about if you have the brand strength do you know if you’re one of those unicorn to has a resume that like glows in the dark then use it in like go in like to take advantage of the situation and like.
Get those opportunities if you’re not I honestly don’t have a good answer to that and that’s one of the reasons I’m in this industry.
[26:48] So you mentioned a good thing before just had to go to Leah talking about you know reversing a string or or doing some algorithm in doing this have you noticed that that actually isn’t answering some of these things is a good signal for being an engineer at somebody’s company.
[27:02] I have a theory that like.
Two people sitting across the table or across a virtual table having a conversation about something that forces them to be smart together is a great signal.
And that everything else is just a proxy to that I think that reversing a string might be a little too easy but it’s.
Technical phone screens are not like in my mind the end-all of proxies for whether or not you can be a good programmer the work that you do in there is rarely relevant to like what you’re like you’re not thinking about.
Naming conventions in life.
Long-term applications of your code and whether or not it’s valuable to change and I had architectural e sound and although you might be a little bit but for the most part you’re doing something very different than a real job but.
I think that like if you get that initial practice and you get that like d russification where you’re actually like okay at it.
And then somebody ask you a question in the question is a little too hard for you that’s the perfect scenario it’s not like oh I know that I got it it’s more like I don’t know this and.
Give me a hint do I understand that hit can you understand what I’m doing to try to get that answer do we like I think that I’ve gotten a job offer from a question that I got completely wrong before because and I’m good at those questions too sometimes.
And like but if you sit there and have a really smart conversation that like man this guy is like he totally is not.
He hasn’t come to the right answer but he’s sharp as a tack and it gets it.
[28:35] And he like understand the question and you understand my and then as soon as I gave him a hint I like how I know where you’re going with this I got it now it’s something like this give me a minute okay it’ll let you know.
Carrie The Matrix got it but I feel like,
that conversation is the key to this which is why I like tuning those questions it’s really tough like if you ask a question that’s too easy or part of just cracking the coding interview but most good interviewers know how to ask follow-up questions they know that their curveball they know I like.
You’ll be in a position where you’re like once you go past that painted like the last page of that book you either will follow along and be good at that or you won’t and that’s the key to it.
[29:12] So what else do you recommend for hiring managers that are you may be struggling or trying to put together a good interviewing process right.
[29:24] I manager Marsh and I reckon but seriously I mean yes interviewing that I of course I I really I mean I believe in what we do as a skeptic that’s that’s hard to except for me but.
I mean really like building a hiring process is I guess my first piece of advice is like.
To paraphrase someone who I forget said this but doing the same thing as Google and thinking it will work for you is the definition of insanity.
[29:53] I read that somewhere to.
[29:54] Yeah like don’t do it Google that they have unlimited money,
Limited Brands strength and bike they are teaching me industry how not to hire because they have again if you don’t have a feedback system they’re not getting any feedback because they are always successful no matter what they do so how are they going to learn,
they can’t learn to be cheaper concise or efficient or Maritime meritocratic or anything because you have unlimited options and unlimited money so.
They aren’t that I mean they’re they’re smart and they do a lot right but they do massive things that just won’t work for anybody else and are probably pretty poisonous to the industry if we all try to copy them.
A lot of big companies so I would say experiment iterate think don’t copy.
Do learn from other people you know take everybody’s thing like learn from everyone but take it all with a grain of salt and you know how are the people you want but also like.
I misses I think a hard pill for every company to swallow we’re not all making like rocket ships and self-driving cars were not all making like the next generation of bleeding edge technology.
Stop trying to hire only people who would do that.
Most most sauce most engineer or I should say employees are more valuable for their soft skills in the hard skills if they’re above the bar where they can do the work it’s more about like.
Are they going to be dedicated I going to be product savvy are they going to be thoughtful are they going to be like are they not going to get lazy when it comes time to like self test.
Like are they like if it’s.
[31:25] Are they going to stick around through the hard times are there is their morale going to be like a constant management managerial prop process I think that like.
Mine probably was for most of my career like I had managers you probably had to worry about me everyday,
and like I tried to always make up for it by being a really good programmer and like really good at product and able to put things together but if they gave me some boring tasks for a few weeks I would probably like burnt out on them,
that’s not what you want in your life.
It was it was fine when I was doing triple a gaming and sometimes I had to like change math a little to make something work but like that’s not what you do most places you don’t.
Like even even in gaming you don’t do that much anymore most of your job is like wiring a UI and making it talk to a database in a way that like.
Will Survive the 30 more changes you have before before the light.
[32:11] I miss your Cody new engine or something.
[32:15] And even then like only the clothes leaves need to be at the optimized you know like very few people work on like embedded systems and those embedded systems are probably strong enough to have like a scripting language running on them this isn’t rocket science generally.
[32:29] Yeah. I think you know one of the things 2 about that is.
Yes I make a good point I don’t. All higher for your building the best AI in the planet right when most of the time you’re you’re doing your wiring up the UI to database.
Great and maybe there’s some scale things have to do with why I put that doesn’t always answer I deal with it sometimes it’s more system based then it is algorithm based.
And those things are all important do you deal you just strictly with with your company it’s real and a technical side,
is there any to get into any kind of that software skills in a culture side of things and how they might can it might fit with one company or another more or less is there any type of Behavioral question.
[33:14] You mean interviewing IO.
Okay yes or no I mean we don’t have a big part of our our vision right now is we don’t tell companies what to ask.
We say do whatever you would normally do at this stage in your photo as in it’s a technical phone screen ask them the questions you would ask them we’re not trying to tell you how to interview.
One day we hope to have like the mindshare necessary to like R&D.
What a better interview is but right now we’re trying to make a better version of what out there were trying to improve it massively cut out the resume,
I make the the process for getting interviews way more efficient level the playing field anonymize everything and just like but still like.
The company they know that they have yours in your Google has.
10 that only 10 to 20 years of experience being Google so they’re the best they know who they are they should ask the questions they ask which means.
Ask some country question but we’re also not the last bar the last far as be on site and we’re not be on site where the phone screen so.
A lot of the culture stuff you know you can’t really know whether or not someone is going to like fit your technical culture.
Unless you like sit down with them and you talk about philosophy and and coding standards and like all those things and see if they’re like okay with it and they’re good at it and that’s what the way I think I will say that like.
There’s sort of a reimagining of that word culture.
[34:47] Company culture where there’s like I think there’s like a version of it that is bad and a version that’s good and some companies are intentionally still.
They’re still doing using company culture is kind of a way to be intentionally bias in a bad way so when I think of company culture.
And I try to be careful when I’m talking about it out loud but when I think about in my head I think of the parts like are you a good fit for our engineering culture and our communication culture in our business culture as in do you.
Are you going to work counter to our goals not are you someone I want to have a beer with that’s cool.
At the end of the day if I like working with someone I’ll probably be fine.
You know doing whatever the non assumptive version of having a beer with them anyway but what’s really important is to like I want to be inclusive I want to I want to work with some people who I don’t want to have a beer with because that might be beneficial to.
My business is a hog I just don’t I want to be able to communicate with him and I want to be the talk to someone and disagree with them and have.
Fundamental improvements to my understanding of my like the way I do business.
[35:55] And throughout all of this and all the data collected it what do you see is the one thing in this industry related to interviewing that is the most broken right you say the whole thing is broken right here what’s the thing that.
Reason d’etre for this company to be.
[36:12] I mean the resume like the short answer to that is just the resume is a.
It’s a amplification of status quo and bias it is nothing more it is it it creates what I believe like what I call like career inertia where are your creative keeps doing whatever it’s doing weather like.
Yo we all are Boulders at the top of a hill and some people got pushed in a rolling down and some people are just sitting at the top and they just sit at the top and that’s where they sit and I’m.
In one of those positions where I feel that.
This may not surprised people who know me but I feel that I’m pretty good at my job but I also have a background that makes me look like I’m pretty good at my job and so I was a little blinded to the fact that those two things might be at more independent than I think they are.
And I think the resume is a great way to take away our.
Our strength in determining who might be good at this job and especially in a changing world.
But like really what are you looking at when you’re looking at someone’s resume a lot of time with your looking at is how excited they were about high school.
[37:20] Did they at where they at where they like you know,
what what what like did they get into a good college is more about how hard you worked and how like you know a lot of intelligent people didn’t in a lot of intelligent like less intelligent people work their way into doing it and then after college you got everything you needed to like survive in my case,
a bubble burst which is right when I graduated so long so you had to kind of have all the advantages and going to MIT I had a lot of advantages and I was able to push through that no problem.
And a lot of my peers weren’t in a lot worse and it’s far more based on how excited they were about high school then how like critically intelligent they are.
[37:56] And some of that Fortuna’s ahead if you’re talking about some you know maybe disadvantaged groups.
[38:01] Right I think that I am oversimplifying for poetic poetic ality what I really mean is.
Whether or not they got their stuff together by time they were 23,
or not in that could that actually probably has a lot more to do with socioeconomic background and timing and lock then it does with like if they were happy or not us I’m simplifying for for a fact.
[38:26] Like the other side of your equation is the people that are doing the interviews right so these are engineer’s engineering managers over there might be at.
At these companies how did they get involved in the process are they reimbursed in anyway or what’s what’s the reason for them that they kind of get involved.
[38:43] Well I mean we have a lot of.
A lot of categories of that person that you just described I mean we are for one thing we have two full categories of like our product we have what we call practice which is.
Anonymous people being interviewed in double-blind interviews with the other Anonymous people.
And those people the interviewers in that case they broken down into several different groups some people are just there to practice some people are there just because they like it or because they want to help other people learn and summer there because their pay a contractor.
[39:13] Okay or masochists or something.
[39:17] That. The other two got here so there’s a mix of bad and also there is some companies in there some of the smaller companies who don’t have they don’t want to,
they don’t have the budget or whatever to get like the curated group they go in there just like make contacts we don’t charge anybody for it they’re doing us a favor by helping us vet and helping our candidates get practice.
So with that just sort of an open Community we we make sure that the interviewers in there are top-notch but those that are there we let do as many as they were.
I’m for whatever reason they’re there for the for the candidates who do well enough in the practice rounds.
Which is 10% of the the overall candidate base.
We let them interview with companies and these are like are paid Partners this is where our income comes from so we’ve got you no lift and twitch and other and other companies and then like a long tail of less well-known Brands but good company that we like.
And they will interview with them and those are usually people who are.
Being assigned the task of interviewing for their company so they’re not doing it for practice but what they’re getting out of it is the same thing anyone at any company would get out of being told to interview someone it’s a third job and be the only way to hire.
[40:30] Good night I can’t even see why it could benefit from even if I was to have Engineers to two,
work on interviewing because in a place where they can help other people but also I think would help the company right over all the more practice I get everything else you get with interviewing,
trying to suss out like you said when the other one is reading with your blog post it said that you had there was something about.
What makes good interviews and what makes bad interviews right and one of the things that makes a good interview as was will you mention before offering hints right working through the problems not just sitting there arms crossed like.
And you’re not done yet right and not offering any solution all and it came to sweating and everything else for it so I think I probably can’t even both sides no do you.
Give allow any feedback for the candidates on the people interviewing.
[41:18] Yeah it’s actually completely to bi-directional.
Most of our candidates leave feedback for most of the interviewers I think the reality of the situation though is like if you make if you wrote out like the the value proposition to Canada.
Get a better job get better at a thing that directly affects you excetera if you wrote out the value proposition for the for the interview where it’s like.
Get better at a skill that is a subset of your job that doesn’t directly like doesn’t directly affect you unless you’re a founder or and it’s but it might improve your ability at helping your business and potentially like having control over improving the quality of your peers,
but it’s a much more abstract concept and while I think it’s still available more of a super valuable one it’s much harder to keep the balance up.
So a lot of that we find black with companies they have a more obvious hair on fire problem you need Engineers so that that was our best like.
Sales pitch that speak is to the companies directly not to like the interviewers as much.
[42:19] Got it now any other kind of last comments or thoughts that you know you kind of like to to talk to you about it over there it’s about your company or the industry or interviewing or anything.
[42:29] I feel like I should but nothing nothing immediately comes to mind we’ve been we’ve been all over.
[42:36] No it was just good at the one thing I like to ask you a lot of my guest any resources or books that maybe you’ve read recently or things you think are good as hers it pertains to,
interviewing or itself Under New Management or start-up or leadership in general.
[42:52] Honestly no not really I mean I’m not.
I’m more and more intuitive it this as I said before I kind of like approach this the way I approach everything else which is sort of like an abstract problem solving so I haven’t really.
Reinvented myself as like a leadership scientist or somebody who’s like well-researched and I’m working on like.
You know listening to more podcasts and paying more attention to like blog posts and stuff but I would say that like.
Whether or not I don’t trust my own my own suggestions on that front any more than I would like trust someone else’s like I’m an amateur at like researching how to get better at this I think just.
I try to learn by doing and I try to learn by having a really open mind and listening to the people around me.
[43:38] Yeah great well Andrew I just wanted again thank you very much for coming in the show today had a great conversation alright thank you and you have a great day.
[43:44] Yeah me too it was really fun thanks a lot.