I asked her how she was doing in the interview process and she said, “I’m actually still trying to get an interview.”
“That’s weird.” I told her. “I thought you had already met with them a few times.”
“Well, I grabbed coffee with the founder, and I had dinner with the team last night, and then we went to a bar together.”
I chuckled. She was clearly confused with the whole matter. I told her, “Look, you just made it to the third round”.
Its no joke ! Though this was in the Silicon Valley, I see it happening in Seattle as well. Over the years lunch interviews have become commonplace or even the norm. It is interesting because you normally get interviewers asking you personal question and get a feel for you out during lunch ‘interviews’. The so call lunch or after hour coffee meetings are to push boundaries of a formal interview to gauge your personal involvement with the kinda work you are looking for or the passion you have for the role. There are several casual conversations you could expect to have, like the techniques and technologies you are using the challenges in using them and your opinions of them.
In todays fast paced product centric start-up environment, there is a growing emphasis that you are a culture fit for the team and the organization. I believe these days most startups try to explain their culture and their goals and aspirations before you join. They would not want any surprises and neither would they want you to feel uncomfortable and leave soon after you have been hired. Its important to know what you are getting into. How much funding they have, where they are in the product life cycle, people, work hours and so much more. Like any relationship setting the right expectations form the very beginning is the most important thing.
There is also a valid argument that today its not only important to be able to do you the work you are responsible for but also a cohesive team player as the teams are small and need a good working relationship with each other.
So try to be prepared to talk and ask questions about the particular team you are trying to join. You would be surprised with the number of white papers and patents you can use for research these days on pretty much any work people are doing. Read up and be prepared.
Side note: In the article mentioned the author says never wear a suit.
That funny cause I am the guy who always feels that you can never be overdressed for an Interview but I guess these days, its true. Particularly with the Silicon Valley culture slowly permeating to Seattle I do agree one could be overdressed for an interview.
Stay Sharp !
The Interview Scene ..