Everything is a Test: Pulling Back the Curtain of the Interview Process

An interviewer sits across from an interviewee at a coffee shop

Finding the right job can be a challenge. Ideally, people are able to find a position that aligns with their skills within a culture that feels comfortable.

But, just like any relationship, it’s always 50/50. The candidate needs to evaluate if the company and position are a good fit, just as much as the company needs to ensure that the candidate is the right person. No matter how much you may want a job, that doesn’t mean the company agrees, and vice versa.

At 8THIRTYFOUR, a lot of our interview questions relate to our Core Values. These guiding principles are non-negotiable, so it is important to us that all team members feel like they can be successful under them. Then, we have to evaluate if a candidate has the capacity and desire for the position.

And, I’ll let you in on a little secret: when we interview, everything is a test. Everything.

Here are the specifics:

Phone Interviews

We work in a client-focused business, and everyone who works here has to feel comfortable on the phone because it is a great way to connect. When we schedule phone interviews, the number one thing we pay attention to is how a candidate answers the phone. The call is scheduled, it’s not a surprise. We love to hear “Good afternoon, this is Mary”. We don’t love to hear, “Hello?” You know we are calling – when you act like you aren’t expecting it, and we then have to ask to speak with you, it sounds like you aren’t prepared. And that’s not ok.

Embrace Chaos

We always tell candidates that if they desire a calm, chill work environment, this isn’t the fit for them. Real life happens during interviews. Dogs bark. Clients call with an emergency design need. A family member stops in and surprises everyone with donuts. Disruption is a part of our business. If a candidate is clearly bothered by something unexpected, that means that person might not be the right fit.

Follow Up

In person or on the phone, we might mention that if a candidate has any additional examples of work or thoughts about our conversation, we would love to have that sent to us via a follow-up email. This is another test: are candidates able to take this direction and use it as an opportunity? Our clients trust us to listen and anticipate needs. Sending a follow-up message allows candidates to show that they were listening, and to show off their writing ability – another key skill of everyone on our team.

See, it’s just that easy. Pay attention to potential tests, and you just might land your dream job at 8THIRTYFOUR.

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