Interviewing stories

Networking pays off

We’re currently hiring for a hard-to-fill position.

I reached out to a good friend to see if he was interested, and to my surprise, he said he was going to apply.

It was unlikely given he is currently employed, less than a year in at his current company, with decent compensation and a good work environment.

He applied to the position, and sadly, got a rejection letter almost immediately.

No explanation, no feedback, no courtesy initial phone screen, nothing.

This would be the end of the story in most situations, but he reached out to give me an update and told me about the rejection.

Here is where networking pays off.

I reached out directly to the recruiter and mentioned that for such a difficult spot to fill, In the current competitive market, getting my friend to apply was unexpected, and that it was surprising not to have him go through at least an initial phone screen.

The recruiter mentioned they would look into it and update me soon.

A couple of days passed, and I heard back from the recruiter.

They had made a mistake and had declined my friend’s application while going through candidates.

They offered to reach back out to schedule a screening call if I thought it was ideal…I said yes!

A few days have passed since, and today, I got an update from my friend.

He received an email from the recruiter apologizing for the mistake, and they held a screening call.

Later, the first interview with our VP of engineering happened, and he is now scheduled for follow-up discussions.

I am happy for my friend and excited that he is moving along in our hiring process, but this would not be the case if he did not know someone already working at the company.

Networking paid off! Reach out to your ex coworkers, keep in touch, and remember that sometimes a quick conversation can be a powerful tool.

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Hiring Interviewing

Hiring your boss

Today I had the great honor of interviewing my possibly future boss.

During the interview, I was looking not only for this person to be the right fit for the company, but I was looking for this person to be the right fit for me.

Here’s what I mean by that.


I dislike micromanagement, but sadly in engineering groups, this might be a common approach to execution.

On this topic, I am usually on the lookout for good delegation, a high-level understanding of the project, well-defined processes, great stakeholder communication, inclusiveness, and utilizing everyone’s talents to their best.

A red flag for me would be someone who feels that they have to control all aspects of the project.

This shows via lots of “I” statements such as “I did,” “I executed,” “I managed and architected,” so on.


I am empathetic, so when we ask about challenging situations, I like to hear if someone embraces a problematic situation by thinking about the other person first, starting from a position of curiosity and doing their due diligence to fully understand all sides of a given problem.

A red flag in my case is hearing that they made up their minds quickly, placed blame on the individual without holding the team accountable, and probably defaulted to PIPs as a trusted tool.


I value friendship, so when I hear about managing stakeholders and relationship building, I love to hear stories of fun moments, camaraderie and getting together to overcome challenges.

For me, a red flag is to listen to stories of political or brute force approach or battle of wills.


Hopefully, this quick rundown through my small list of desires helps you start thinking about your list of wants for your possible boss.

Suppose you ever find yourselves influencing who will be your boss. In that case, It is highly beneficial to prepare in advance and understand the questions that will surface the behaviors you would love to see.

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Hiring Interviewing

Why do I stick around?

Today, I saw a post from a close colleague of mine that they have joined a new company.

Anytime someone leaves it makes me wonder if I could I be next, what is keeping me here? what drove them to leave? how much money are they making now? are their benefits better? what is it like over at their new place of employment?

Upon reflection, I think about the reasons for me to join my current company and I wonder if those still hold true, as well if I still feel the same way I felt about them when I joined.

For me specifically, I value a place with strong company values, a big emphasis on empathy, and treating people with respect.

to give you an example, a place that thrives on execution and driving people out via PIP is not the type of place that I wanna work for (you know who you are)

I went back to my prior priority matrix for when I was searching for work (yes, I had a weighed priority matrix to compare offers) and I noticed that I weighed heavily on the values, more so than the compensation.

So far, this still holds true for my current employer so I’m happy to say that I’ll be sticking around for a little while ☺️

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