by Xavier Dufour
Many people stress out when they go to a job interview. I remember myself, I was shaking like a leaf, the first time I met an HR who asked me “Why do you want to work for our company?”.
But times change and nowadays I do technical interviews for Wemanity. That means that I meet candidates whom the Community Facilitator estimates could fit on the boat. Yup, I’m (eventually) going to meet you. Yup, I’ll have to define if the “5 years Agile project” on your resume is real or just exaggerated.
I remember a colleague who told me that he only accepts to meet the colleagues for an interview. No HR. Because they are not the one he would actually work with, because they always ask the same questions. Well, here I am, boy.
Between asking myself if I’m legitimate for doing this and what’s the best way of doing this, there are some things I discovered when I was facing candidates that I want to share with you.
We are not Recruiters nor Human Resources experts
This means we are not looking for the same things… An HR wants to know if you will stay long enough in the company, if you are valuable, if you are someone professionally acceptable and flexible enough. The main question is about your potential.
We, as potential cooperators (We call ourselves cooperators at Wemanity), want to know if you are someone who can bring something to the community. If we can count on you during hard times. If you are someone we will be happy to meet regularly. If you work with us, of course, you will work mainly in contact with our partners, but we see you once a month during the Open Wemanity Day, four times a year during Agile Sans Frontière (big meeting with all Wemanity’s offices from Europe where we share knowledge and invite speakers), and maybe even more if we go on an agilization mission together, meet for sharing knowledge or just take an after-work drink.
So don’t recite your resume nor try to show us that you know everything. That’s not (especially) what we want to know. Yes, we must report your technical skills and say if you have kind of the level you pretend you have, but that’s only 10% of the information we must complete on our report.
I’d rather hire someone who has the mindset but not the skills than the opposite. Skills can easily be learned, the mindset hardly.
We are not looking for the perfect dude
Because we are not perfect either. When you read job offers, you feel like they’re looking for a unicorn. That’s because people shoot randomly what they want in a perfect world.
But the world is not perfect, so deal with it. That’s what we do. You cannot do everything and that’s normal. Otherwise, there would be nothing to learn. And believe me, it is sometimes hard for ourselves to keep this in mind. But if you show us what you’re good at, we’ll definitely be responding to this!
We like original stuff
Wemanity is a disruptive company. We encourage initiatives, different ways of doing and anything that can bring added value to our community.
And because of that, we like people who are different and can propose something unique. I mean, if I get to choose between someone lambda and someone out of the box, guess to whom I’ll turn to?
We also like to do different stuff during our interviews, like Interview Question Backlog Prioritization, Role Play or Lego Games. That’s a way for us to have fun and experiment. And we hope you like it too! So come with what you have that is different and unique. That’s the real added value.
Some Lego Plays during an Interview we conducted
It’s hard to say “No”
First, because our Community Facilitators do an excellent job and filter people who wouldn’t match. Secondly, because we actually do not want to hurt, and because we think we might be wrong refusing you (remember what I said about not being perfect and doing mistakes ?). Evaluating someone during an interview is NEVER objective. Despite we want to make it as clear and decide with all possible knowledge, we acknowledge that this is not possible, but that’s not a reason for not trying.
Some questions we might ask?
Well, I personally like to challenge reflexion and knowledge that cannot be found in books. Here are some questions I might ask you 😉
- If you were in 2001 in the room with all the builders of the Agile Manifesto, what idea or new concept would you bring to this paper?
- What is the difference between a waterfall and an agile analyst?
- How would you apply agile concepts in your personal life?
It is always a pleasure for us to meet candidates: this is a moment where we can exchange and take time to discuss to know more about you. Each candidate is different and it is very interesting to discover them.
So just be yourself and come meet us. For a job application or just during a Meetup that we often organize. Always a pleasure to discuss with you!