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Interviews suck. Here's how Duffel tries to make them suck less.

Interviews suck. Here's how Duffel tries to make them suck less.
Norberto Lopes
Norberto Lopes
26 August 2021

Interviewing for a new job is stressful. It is anxiety inducing. You're jumping into the unknown. In the hopes of finding a better place to express your creativity, grow and help grow others, you end up performing this jump many times in your life. At Duffel we want to make this as painless and friendly as possible. We know that your time is valuable.

Here's what a Duffel interview for a software development role looks like:

🤗 A friendly chat with one of our amazing recruiters

Duration: 30 minutes

Where: Zoom

What: We want to know about your motivations and if Duffel can offer what you're looking for.

🤓 A phone interview with engineers

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Zoom

What: We explore your base knowledge and how much breadth and depth of expertise you have.

🏢 A final interview

Duration: Usually half a day

Where: Remotely for the time being, but it can be done in person in London once things go back to normal

What:

  • 💻 A pair coding exercise – how do you write code, test it and communicate your intent?
  • 📚 An architecture exercise – how do you find a working solution to a problem and articulate the trade-offs you make along the way?
  • 👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏻 An interview with people from various parts of the company to assess how you work with others and how you can bring some fresh perspectives or different experiences to Duffel.
  • 🧐 An interview with one of the founders – we want to learn more about you; what makes you tick, how you prefer to work in an organisation, etc.

The best advice we can give you is to prepare how you will communicate your thoughts in a clear and concise way (for example, use the STAR method to prepare your examples). Practice your responses on your own, with a friend, or even record yourself to hear them out loud. Be aware of your audience and adapt your style and level to more or less technical interviewers, for example. Most of the technically astute candidates that fail our interview do so due to communication.

Interviews are a two-way street and for you to have a great and fair experience, we hold our interviewers to high standards.

Here's what you should expect from your interviewers at Duffel:

  • Set clear expectations at the beginning of every interview.
  • Offer time for you to interview them – we usually reserve around 10 minutes at the end of each interview. By the end of the process, you should have spent about an hour or more asking us questions.
  • Collate feedback to share with you at the end of the process.
  • Put you at ease and optimise for as much comfort as possible.
  • Accommodate your needs, for example, have the final interview booked across days, look at adjustments in video or sound, etc.

Once the interviews are complete, all of the interviewers get together to compare notes and challenge each other's individual analyses. Then, we'll come to a decision about making you an offer.

We always aim to do this as quickly as possible – usually within a few days – and we'll set expectations with you about when you'll hear from us. No need to jump at the sound of every ping from your phone for an entire week if it can be avoided.

No matter what the outcome, we'll provide you with plenty of feedback based on our interviewers' notes. We'll also ask how we've done throughout the process and ways we can improve. We really do care about the entire experience and wanted to share a few comments we've received:

‘Definitely one of the best recruitment experiences I’ve had. So many places fail to nail the basics and do things like go long periods of time without updating you, or aren’t respectful of your time by scheduling meetings at really short notice. This was nothing like that, I was always kept in the loop and knew what was happening well in advance.’

‘Each individual was very open in their responses to questions. They also made sure that the interview was balanced to allow time for me ask questions to learn more about Duffel as a company.’

‘I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of feedback I received, both on things that I did well and things that I could improve on. The response I received after the interview was prompt, and the explanation behind the decision was thoroughly communicated.’

And we're hiring! Check out careers to see the open opportunities and apply today. You already know what to expect from there.

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