“What was the worst job interviewing experience you’ve ever had?”
That was the first question we asked of a group of women as we sipped our morning coffee together at Galvanize. The answers ranged from sexual harassment to a role bait-and-switch to innocuous boredom. I’m sure you’ve got your own stories. Interviewing is often confusing and frustrating and can leave both parties wondering, "Have I really found 'the one'?"
It’s Flock’s mission to help women in tech join the perfect team to accelerate their careers. Thus, we put our design-thinking caps on and led a brainstorm on improving the process.
Of all the issues discussed, one became the focal point:
How might companies be more transparent about their culture?
As hiring managers, our default perspective is the team’s point of view (How will a new person impact us?) rather than the candidate’s point of view (How will joining this team impact me?). Yet this is the most common concern we at Flock hear from women. When we offer someone a job, we are asking them to spend 40+ hours per week with the same small group of people. If you want more candidates to apply, say yes to your offers and stay with the company longer, you need to help them understand who those people are*.
Set expectations clearly on your website.
Before a job candidate even applies, they should have some idea of what it’s like to work with you.
Some suggestions from our focus group:
Get the team involved.
Shouldn’t a job candidate meet the people they’ll be working with, rather than just someone from HR? As one woman expressed, "When I look at these companies, I’m thinking: ‘Is it worth exchanging the devil I know for the devil I don’t?’ While my teammates are sometimes condescending, it could be far worse."
Don’t just talk.
The women we brainstormed with were most enthusiastic about this point. Interviews are often forced and unnatural. Make the environment more comfortable for both sides by breaking the mold and doingsomething together.
This could be a pair coding session, or something more fun:
And, of course, reach out to Flock. We would love to get to know your team and connect you to experienced, talented, value-aligned developers (who also happen to be women).
Now it’s your turn -- What are your ideas on helping candidates see and understand your team's culture?
*We at Flock do not advocate for “culture fit,” which can lead to homogeneityand thereby weaker companies. We look for “culture add”-- individuals who share the team’s values and professional ethics, but also bring their own diverse experiences and backgrounds to the table.
About our blog:
This blog (like Flock) was formed to amplify the voices of underrepresented technologists and help all of us fly higher together.