Interviewing at Mutually Human

By Matt Mercieca on 20 03 2016

Interviewing at Mutually Human

You are standing somewhere on Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north to end up where you started. Where are you?

What are the layers of the OSI reference model?

Alice and Bob need to send a secure message but they don't trust the post office...

I've been on these interviews. They were from good companies and by good people, but I didn't take any of those jobs.

Our interviews aim to answer one question: will this person be a successful consultant at Mutually Human? We're not out to trick candidates, trap them, or look for reasons not to hire them. Changing jobs is a big decision for a person and hiring is a big decision for a company.

First Steps

We start with a phone interview. Our questions focus on the candidate's experience. We also leave plenty of time for the candidate to ask us questions. At this stage we're looking to see if there's a mutual fit.

We also want to talk about a candidate's work. Recognizing that many companies don't let employees share what they have done, we've developed a few small homework assignments that we'll send to a candidate after the phone interview. These assignments are also given at a time when the candidate has a better idea if they want to make the investment of interviewing with us.

The On Site Interview

We involve as much of the company as we can in our interviews. We use the time we've already set aside on Fridays to get that involvement; everyone working here is an interested in candidate's success.

We break up the on site interview into sessions that last about an hour. The first is always a session where a group meets with the candidate to talk about their experience and what they're looking for in a company.

The rest of the interview is composed of exercises that match the work we do here. We have a design exercise that everyone does, but with different expectations for developers and designers. Candidates also pair with a couple of people. They may work on a side project or they may do another exercise that we've developed. As consultants, we're often required to improve a client's existing work. Thus, we also frequently invite a candidate to review and critique something new to them.

What We Are Looking for

We want to find people who will make good consultants and we want our interview process to set candidates up for success.

  • We talk about a candidate's best work and their strengths.
  • We let candidates honestly evaluate what they'd like to improve.
  • We have exercises that match the work we do here.

Like everything else we do here, we talk about our interview process and ways we can improve it. It has and will continue to change over time.

It's easy to get caught up in thinking about technique and tactics. In the end, we keep reminding ourselves of the question above --- Will this person be a successful consultant at Mutually Human?