Interviews are a core part of a company’s culture. Some are famous for their questions: eg. Google’s : “Why are manhole covers round?”. Some for their process eg. Susquehanna’s poker games as a part of the interview. Each company has their own “Interview Stack” that has evolved with time to better enable their HR teams to find the perfect fit for their companies as they scale.

Over the past few years, we have evolved our “Interview Stack” into something that is relatively simple and has been working really well for us, so I thought it might be worth sharing with you.

Firstly, what we don’t care about:

Though unconventional, when we are assessing candidates we typically ignore the following.

  • Where the candidate went to school / college.

This was inspired by a course I took in college called CIS 120, a foundational class for Computer Science. We were taught the fundamentals using OCAML, a relatively obscure programming language to set up an even playing field for the newbies and folks with prior programming experience.

What do we care about and assess?

1). Personality vs. Role

To determine this we have our candidates fill out a quick, binary personality test we have come up with internally. Below is a list of few of the questions where we ask our candidates to pick one choice from a set.

SCIENCE
HISTORY

SKY DIVING
CAVE DIVING

PENCIL
PEN

$1.99
$2.00

TRAIN
PLANE

DIGITAL WATCH
ANALOG WATCH

CONCERT
CIRCUS

GWENEVERE
GWEN

This helps us get a quick, rudimentary sense of fit. Eg. If it’s a Sales role, it would make sense for the candidate to choose $2.00 over $1.99. Though no answer is wrong or a deal breaker it helps us place the candidate broadly into a personalty trait block.

2). The Last Few months.

What has the candidate been up to the last few months? We find this to be extremely important, especially if the candidate is in between jobs. We love folks that are growing, either personally via travel, etc. or skill ie. taking an online course, etc.

3). A Candidate’s Comfort Level to Ask?

During our interviews we ask our candidates to ask the interviewer questions that will allow them to get to know the interviewer better. Yes, personal questions. We found that it is important for candidates to be able to connect early with members of our teams. Recently during an interview one candidate asked me what were my favourite movies growing up. I found that to be an interesting question, because when you are young, movies do tend to have more of an influence on you as you grow up. My answer to this question is later in this write up.

4). Sink or Swim?

When we do select a candidate, we bring them on for a fully remote paid pilot gig. Typically this is over a project or a short timeline. We have found this to be extremely useful. Resumes, portfolios, recommendations, past project samples are great — but having a potential team mate swim in the deep end with you is when their skills, personality, composure and like-ability truly come out.

Our stack is basically these 4 points. We use this to hire roles in operations, sales, design and technology across Khoob companies. Here is an example of the form we use for Sanscubicle (a Khoob portfolio company) companies Example.

Have any questions I can answer regarding our stack? Feel free to shoot me an email at: nav.chatterji [at] khoob.group

Now…. What were my favourite movies growing up?

Explorers 1985
The Boy Who Could Fly 1986
Best of the Best 1989
The Flight of the Navigator. 1986
The Sandlot . 1993
3 Ninjas. 1993
Hook. 1991

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