From favorite swear words to aptitude tests: A look inside Upsuite's interview process

by April Bohnert
April 24, 2018
Upsuite coworking software Colorado
Photo courtesy of Upsuite. 

Upsuite’s technology and analytics platform connects teams and coworking operators, delivering the tools everyone needs to build thriving workplaces. Still in the process of piloting its product, the company is breaking into a unique and fast-growing industry — and they’re looking for the right people to help them do it. Founder and CEO Ben Wright gave us some insight into the company’s interview process.

 

THE CULTURE FIT QUESTION: “Tell us about a time that you solved a problem at work that was not of your own making, and not in your job description. What did you do before starting? How did the team react to your taking the initiative?”

 

RED FLAGS: Upsuite is a community-oriented company, serving teams and coworking community builders. For us, a red flag is someone who has worked outside of a team environment for multiple years. Often times, these folks demonstrate great technical and creative skill and are hard workers but do not get the most out of or contribute the most to a team environment.

We like specifics! Specifics demonstrate passion.”

MOST AMAZING THING EVER SAID IN AN INTERVIEW:  When interviewing a sales candidate, we asked for examples of how they had advanced sales leads through the pipeline. Their answer was “I can heat 'em up!” — without giving specifics. We did not hire the candidate and I would be surprised if they are in sales now. We like specifics! Specifics demonstrate passion.

 

THE TRICK QUESTION: We have found that the best way to interview is to “put people into the job” during the interview process. Our second interviews are about real-world scenarios. We give candidates scenarios and have them present real work in the interview. People who ask the most questions before they present usually get the job!

 

TESTS TO EXPECT: We have used StandOut and StrengthsFinder inventories extensively. The best teams put people in the best position to succeed, and StandOut helps us do that.

 

A NEWBIE’S FIRST DAY: We ask three questions at the first all-hands meeting the teammate comes to (usually on a Monday): 1. What is your favorite movie? 2. What is your pet's name? 3. What is your favorite swear word?

These questions let every new hire know they are welcome for who they are and help the team get to know them quickly. And when people really share a real swear word — that is the best!

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