From interview to conversation: how Poll Everywhere invites authenticity to the candidate experience

two-women-during-interview-process

If you were to ask me what questions a candidate always poses at the end of a recruiter screen, I would say that 9 times out of 10 the answers would be: What do you love most about working at Poll Everywhere? What’s the culture like? 

As the lead recruiter, it should come as no surprise that these questions are the easiest for me to answer. There are always a few paths I can take, mostly driven by what the candidate has already expressed that they are looking for in their next company and in their next role. But I find that all of my answers can easily be anchored back to our values. Specifically our value of authenticity. 

After a candidate finishes their final interview, I make a note to check-in with them to see how things went and to gather any feedback on the interview process itself. I’m never surprised when candidates note their experience as genuine after their final interview. 

For me, it’s a no-brainer and a hallmark trait of Poll Everywhere. I say this to candidates often: with us, what you see is what you get. Each chat is more of a conversation and a process of getting to know the person versus a rapid-fire interview question assembly line. Here at Poll Everywhere, our employees genuinely care about the company and the people who might be joining our team. So they are going to be themselves because they’re also hoping to draw in the candidate who not only has the tech chops to do the role well but also someone who will add to our eclectic Poll Everywhere culture. (Did I mention that our unofficial tagline is: Keep PE weird? You kinda need to be down with that or at least, have an appreciation for it. We’re a quirky bunch.)  

As the recruiting lead, I place a huge priority on making our candidates feel as welcome as possible. There is nothing more nerve-wracking than going for an interview and sitting down with interviewers who are cold, robotic or even worse – intimidating. On the contrary, interviews aren’t meant to be scary or a pop quiz. That’s why Poll Everywhere prides itself on a welcoming and disarming interview process (read here for a current employee’s past interview experience), with most candidates noting that the magic ingredient throughout is simply the genuine conversation. (OK, are we seeing a theme emerge here?)

To help make your interview process more of a conversation, I encourage you to reflect on your company’s own interview process by asking yourself the following:

  • Does your recruiting team provide some general information on the nature of the questions before each round? This one is huge and not the norm. We love doing this for our candidates. Any chance to calm nerves, eliminate stress and set them up for success is going to be a win for everyone. The ability to answer questions under pressure is almost never a requirement for a job here at Poll Everywhere. So we like to give our candidates a general heads up on what might be covered in the next round. 
  • Does your recruiting team check in on the candidate after each stage in a timely manner, giving them updates as soon as they’re available? I find that even if I have no update at all, just a check-in email goes a long way to make them feel at ease. Because why make someone constantly refresh their email inbox when you could simply send a quick email? This lets them know they’re still on your radar and you haven’t forgotten that they exist. 
  • If the interview is hours long, are you building in any breaks for your candidate, such as the opportunity to grab coffee or have lunch? We find that these moments where a candidate doesn’t have to be “on” can reveal a ton. You can find out about their interests and background, which can really help you sell the candidate later. Or just simply find more to relate to. Because humans usually tend to enjoy connecting with other humans.

  • Does your recruiting team offer feedback when declining a final candidate? This is something I’m particularly proud of. What better way to round out the process with going back to our values of authenticity and a growth mindset? It can also be the beginning of an important relationship. Just because the candidate wasn’t chosen for this role doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be a good contender down the line. And you want that person to remember the awesome candidate experience they had, so when you do send that reach-out email in a year or two, they’ll say “Oh yeah! I remember them. They were great!” 

I asked our Office Manager and  Recruiting Coordinator her thoughts, having recently gone through the interview process herself. She is now happily on the other side and enjoying the opportunity to have a direct impact on other candidates’ experiences: 

For someone who was going to transition into the tech industry, I was really nervous about not being able to successfully get through interviews because I was not aware of the day-to-day language in tech. However, from email communications from you and then in the recruiter screen call, you were really able to explain to me functionally what the role entailed and really broke down the titles of people my role would collaborate with. Interviews already have this nervousness around them and I felt that Poll Everywhere really wanted to set me up for success by telling me exactly what to prepare for each round. Lastly, the playbook was huge for me! That was more of the culture piece I was looking for (big picture) and what working at the company would look like (day-to-day).

Here at Poll Everywhere, what you see is what you get. We are beautiful and authentically us. And we’re always up for a conversation.