The topic of a recent meeting was what could be done to further the growth of the tech industry in Fresno. The question was posed to us, “What does Bixly look for in employees? What does your recruiting process look like?” We know that no interview process is perfect, and because of this we are constantly trying to improve ours. On top of that, screening programmers has its own set of challenges. Here’s our current process.
It begins with a quick phone screen of no more than 30 minutes. In this conversation, we are mostly looking for some good communication skills and an appropriate level of professionalism. If someone starts swearing, has a really hard time expressing themselves, or (since we hire internationally) their English is not comprehensible, then we won’t hire them. We also begin to check for an attitude and cultural fit. We know it’s impossible to know someone very well from such a brief conversation, but if a candidate is blatantly rude, then that’s not going to work at Bixly.
After the phone screen is a four-hour group test and personal interview. This is a long day for everyone! Be prepared to write some code for a small project. We have two different tests: one for back-end, and one for front-end. For the back-end test, we allow the applicants to perform this test in whatever language they feel most comfortable. At this point, we are obviously assessing a candidate’s technical skills. At Bixly, we certainly don’t look for perfection, so don’t psych yourself out. What we’re looking for are good building blocks. We intend to put training and time into our devs. We expect our devs to grow in knowledge and skill, even if they’re a black belt. We believe there’s always more to learn, and with the rapidly advancing tech world, there’s probably not a career in which that is more true. In addition, we know that it’s impossible to see a programmer’s full range of skills in a small four-hour project, so we take that into consideration when we look at the results. If we feel an applicant has the basic skill level that we can build upon, that person will advance to the personal interview. Here is where we assess personality, cultural fit, professionalism, whether their professional goals match the position, etc.
If we feel confident in the candidate’s skills and fit, we might offer them a position at this point. If we feel we need to see more, we might ask an applicant to come back for our eight-hour group test. We usually give a two-week study period because we require this test in Python. This allows us to get a much more in-depth look at the candidate’s coding skills.
So, what are we really looking for?
- A team-player. Are you willing not only to help others, but also to ask for help when you need it?
- A student. Are you willing to continue learning and growing, to take on new tasks?
- A problem-solver. Do you have the persistence to push through a problem and the creativity to look at it from multiple angles? An expert. We’re a web consulting company. Our clients hire us because they want our expertise. Are you willing to put forth your expert opinion to your team? To your project manager? Even to the client or the CEO?
- A communicator. Do you have the skills to communicate with all the moving parts of team? It’s important with long-term complex projects. Can you offer your opinion in a way a non-programmer can understand and do so respectfully?
- A gymnast. Can you be flexible when the client changes his or her mind? When you get assigned to a different project mid-stream? Or, if the project ends up going in a way that’s different from how you think it should?
If you’re local, we’d really love to have you in the office for the personal interview and tests. We want you to get to know Bixly just as much as we want to get to know you. We want you to see our office, meet our team, and observe the way we work. We know that just because we may believe you’re a good fit for us, you may not think Bixly is a good fit for you. (But we really hope so!) Bixly is a laid-back company that, at the same time, has high standards for what we deliver. We are proud of the code we produce. We believe that happy programmers write great code, so we want you to be comfortable. We want the office to be as low-stress as possible. That’s why you’ll hear us say over and over again: We don’t hire jerks or know-it-alls. We like to have fun. We play video games at lunch, have monthly outings or Halo nights in the warehouse, have insane Cinco de Mayo parties and Halloween parties… and well, I could go on.
Do you want to be a part of our team? Apply online here.