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API - "Atypic Programmer Interview”
On the evening of May 21, Atypic hosted its first ever Sprinterview - a group based interview specifically for front end and back end developers. We coined this specific event the API - "Atypic Programmer Interview” - and 21 hopeful candidates RSVP'd and attended this event.
We wanted to explore a new approach to interviewing as we found the traditional approach - the approach we had been using for years - was redundant, inefficient and wasn’t providing much traction.
We felt inspired by our client Menlo Innovations who has established a similar interview approach and has trademarked the term “Extreme Interviewing.” We took a page out of their playbook and put our own spin on this event.
Rich Sheridan, the Chief Joy Officer at Menlo and author of Joy Inc. wrote in his book: “I couldn’t interview, hire and onboard the same way I had been. But if I was not going to hire for skills anymore, or stand for the "two people lying to each other for two hours” interview, what was I going to do instead? Your interview needs to match your culture.”
The Right Fit Over The Right Skills
We decided hiring for the right fit over the right skills was the first and most important step for our team and culture. If it’s the right team fit and the individual is capable of working well with others; chances are they will adapt and be able to grow in their skills quickly when they are supported by the right team.
So How Did It Go?
Each interview candidate was paired up with another interview candidate and assigned to an Atypic team member. We had each pairing participate in three activities; switching partners and Atypic team members between each activity. These activities spanned different skillsets. We included an Engineering Challenge, a Business Challenge and a Creative Challenge.
After the activities concluded and the candidates exited the building, Atypic team members gathered together to debrief on the candidates and make selections about who to invite back for a code challenge.
While we strongly believe in finding the right teammate(s), we also want an opportunity to evaluate their individual coding skills. By identifying individuals who brought the right attitude, teamwork and personality to the table, we are hopeful that by evaluating their skills, we can find the right hire to add to our team.
We are currently in the process of having individuals who were invited back participate in a four-hour code challenge and we are excited about what we’ve seen so far.
We have also received wonderful feedback from some of the participants which fuels our passion to continue to do things differently.
“I can tell Atypic is a special place to work, and I would be thrilled to join such an innovative, hardworking, and passionate team of individuals.”
“I have never been apart of anything like that ever and I was very pleased with the organization, the team work activities, and the casual environment.”
“Thank you very much for organizing yesterday’s Sprinterview. I couldn’t have imagined that an interview process could have been fun, but I had a blast participating in this unique experience.”
“It was both fun and informative, and definitely not what I was expecting... and I mean that as a compliment! ... It's refreshing to see a company that really values human interaction and teamwork in conjunction with technical skills and abilities the way that you all clearly do. Love it.”
“I never knew how much fun an interview could be. I'm excited to know there are companies that care about the hiring process so much!”