tl;dr

Our hiring follows a 3-stage process:

  • First Contact,
  • Skill Demonstration,
  • Group Lunch.

We test

  • Personal fit,
  • technical skills,
  • social skills.

Who should read this article

This article is for you,

  • if you are interesed in applying with metamorphant,
  • if you are a metamorphant employee and you are leading a hiring or
  • if you are just looking for inspiration how others do hiring in the tech industry.

You can consider this article as our own well-prepared dogfood. May it be healthy and tasty for everybody!

Interviews are filters in a funnel

Cartoon of the metamorphant 3 stage hiring funnel

The hiring process can be considered as a funnel. Each interview is a filter stage, trying to detect (and reject) bad matches between employer/job and employee. The earlier a mismatched application is rejected, the better for applicant and job provider. It saves both parties a lot of wasted time (though we also try to make our hiring a worthwhile experience and a great learning opportunity for the applicant). The worst case is rejection at a late stage or even starting a work relationship that doesn’t work out. We approach hiring with benevolent openness and mutual respect. It might be the beginning of true romance. Or not. Both, applicant and employer, have an interest in discovering the truth as soon as possible.

Interviews are no different from working as colleagues

Cartoon of 2 people discussing a diagram on a whiteboard

Interviews are the beginning of an employee-employer relationship. At metamorphant, we have a certain spirit. It will be inspiring and fun for some, but repugnant to others. Hence, it’s only consequent to already apply this spirit in the hiring process.

In principle, this spirit is

  • truthful and transparent for some (uncomfortably direct and unsophisticated for others)
  • honest for some (impolite and impudent for others)
  • competence- and skill-oriented for some (pretentious and cocky for others)
  • stimulating and joyful for some (unfocused and shirt-sleeved for others)

I think you get the point. We both want to learn, whether this is a great fit or if an applicant is better off with a different company. There are no bad candidates, just bad matches.

You (and we) have to master 3 stages

You found metamorphant. You read our homepage. You are convinced it might be a great career choice for you; all those awesome fellows, all those opportunities for learning and personal growth, the freedom, the topics, … It sounds too good to be real.

Cartoon of an envelope and 2 sheets of paper; 1 CV and 1 cover letter

You sent us your application. You have written a short motivation letter, e.g. how you found us and why metamorphant sounds appealing to you. You attached an elaborate CV. It will list your relevant previous experiences (no matter if private, educational or professional) and most of all, what you did and learned there. These might be concrete projects if you are applying for a senior position. They might also be your private pet projects, relevant hobbies or your final thesis from university - especially if you are applying for a junior position.

We want to see signs of your skills and passion about technology, business and entrepreneurship. It’s fine if your CV let’s you come across as slightly geeky or nerdy - especially affinity for the Open Source community is regarded as positive. As of now, we also want to know that you are fluent in both German and English languages.

First Contact

Cartoon of 2 people having a phone call

Your letter and CV convinced us. One of us (selected by volunteering) will ask you for a first video call. It takes anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes.

Sympathy and gut feeling is what counts at this stage. Just be authentic. Imagine you’re meeting somebody at a party. That’s the right tune.

Typical topics we will address - rather on a small-talk level of depth:

  • your previous experience,
  • your motivation,
  • your current situation,
  • your timeline,
  • your expectations.

I guess you will have questions of your own, as well.

Skill Demonstration

Cartoon of a person explaining some code on a whiteboard

Congratulations! Your interviewer had the impression that you and metamorphant might be a good match. You will receive an invite for the second session, which is now focused on demonstrating your skill level - in technology as well as business and communication. It will read as follows:

Dear …,

thank you for the inspiring phone call we just had.

As promised, we have 2 suggestions for a challenge in the next interview phase:

  1. Bring some code you love or hate (preferably developed by yourself)
    • explain why, explain why not
  2. Solve a small and simple challenge (live coding)
    • show us how you approach a problem

Tell us which variant you chose (or propose your own).

For point 1., previous applicants typically brought:

  • Open Source Code from a tool/library they used a lot and knew well
  • A project which they contributed to (Pet Project, Abschlussarbeit, …)

For point 2., just choose a programming language. Depending on that, we would provide a few hints for preparation, e.g. if we require certain domain knowledge and for which problems you should have your toolchain prepared. We want to be able to start right away.

Besides the mentioned points you won’t need to prepare a lot. Spontaneity is welcome.

Looking forward to your reply.

Independent of this mail, we will send you an invitation for a 2h video call. Typically, 1h – 1.5h are enough, but we plan with a 30m buffer – just in case.

Best, …

You will tell us, which option you prefer. Maybe you ask some other questions as well. We answer them. Finally, the interview awaited so eagerly by both parties takes place.

The session will comprise:

  • 5min hello
  • 30min challenge (e.g. 15min presentation by you + 15min Q&A or 30min live coding)
  • 25min other skill-oriented questions, e.g.
    • judge quality,
    • explain concepts,
    • visualize things,
  • up to 30 min of open discussion and mutual Q&A

All of this will be quite interactive. Imagine it like working together as colleagues on a shared topic.

We want to see,

  • how you communicate,
  • how you approach problems,
  • what technologies you are familiar with and at what level of depth,
  • how well you can judge quality,

During the interview, we probably will have to explain some of the more complex questions, too. So you will also have a chance to get a glimpse into our collaboration style.

Group Lunch

Cartoon of 5 people sitting at a table, drinking beer from huge mugs and eating

You survived enjoyed the technical interview. You loved the open atmosphere and the high level of expertise in our discussions. You can’t wait to start with us. Lucky us!

And lucky you! We share that feeling and invite you for the 3rd interview.

You will be invited to join us for lunch at a public restaurant or beergarden. We will ask for your preferences beforehand. We don’t want to embarass you by choosing Schäufelewärtschaft when you are on a hard-core vegan diet. You are also welcome to suggest a nice place. We are always happy to try new locations or even exotic stuff.

Typically, all 4 founders will be there to meet you. Food and drinks will be on us.

We will just socialize a bit more - mostly on a non-technical level. It’s fine to tell your best war-stories and jokes or discuss the latest books you read or TV series you watched.

As part of this 3rd interview, we will also dive into the details of your contract and discuss the timeline of your onboarding. The conditions are fairly standardized and provide you with a lot of flexibility. Also, you will have learned the fundamentals of “the ‘phantastic way” in the previews calls, already. So this is rather about the practical parts, i.e. what all our fluffy unicorn buzzwords mean for daily routine.

What happens, if we don’t reach an agreement

It’s a pity. metamorphant did not convince you and you revoked your application; or somehow we reached the conclusion, that it will be better to not start a work relationship (yet).

We will ask you if it’s fine to keep your contact for a later point in time. We are interested in people’s growth. No matter if they work for us or not. Hence, if we had at least a phase 2 interview together, we will offer you a personal feedback call.


Post header background image by Hans (Hans Braxmeier) from Pixabay.



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