Ace the interview: How to get hired at 4 Colorado tech companies

by April Bohnert
July 31, 2018

There’s no doubt about it: preparing for a job interview is stressful. But what if you could gaze into a crystal ball and see into your future interview?

Well, consider this your crystal ball. We may not be able to read your fortune, but we did talk to four local tech companies about their unique hiring processes and what you, as a candidate, can do to ace the interview.

 

Xero accounting interview process Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of Xero.

Xero is on a mission to make cloud-based accounting software “beautiful” — and to succeed, they look for people who can embrace the values behind that mission. Senior Talent Specialist Justin Pendergrass gave us a glimpse into the company’s culture-driven interview process and offered advice for standing out.

 

What makes your interview process unique?

One of Xero's core values is #human. We understand how important it is for candidates to find the right career fit, so we strive to deliver a personable, #human interview experience. We pride ourself on our culture and are very protective of it, so expect at least half of the interview to revolve around how you live our values and will be a great addition to our culture.

We pride ourselves on inclusivity, and you shouldn't hide behind what you think we want to hear.”

What is the best way a candidate can impress you or stand out in an interview? What traits do successful candidates display during interviews?

Be authentic. We want to know the real you! We pride ourselves on inclusivity, and you shouldn't hide behind what you think we want to hear.

Our values are not just words on a page but, rather, principles we live by, so demonstrating those traits makes for a successful interview. Ownership, championing your work, being human and taking on challenges are the values that empower our people to do beautiful work.

 

What's the best question a candidate has ever asked?

“Why should I not work for Xero?” It was a hard question to answer, both because I had never been asked it before but also because Xero is a phenomenal place to work. Eventually, my answer was “change.” Change is a constant at Xero, and you have to be able to roll with it. We are small and nimble so it comes with the territory. Most of the time it is great and stretches our people to their full potential. It is not for everyone, so we are transparent about it.

 

Radar Relay blockchain interview process Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of radar Relay.

Radar Relay leverages blockchain technology to enable the trade of Ethereum cryptocurrency tokens directly from one user’s wallet to another — without the need for a token exchange or middleman. As the leader of a future-thinking startup, CEO Alan Curtis shared how his team ensures both the company and its job candidates find a good fit.

 

What makes your interview process unique?

It’s long. We have screening calls with multiple members of the team, a paid work trial and a multi-week contracting period prior to being hired. We want candidates to try us on for size, and we want to gauge conviction and cultural fit. We’re looking for people who want to make a dent in the universe, and that takes a bit more time than an online application or coding test.

We’re looking for people who want to make a dent in the universe, and that takes a bit more time than an online application or coding test.”

What is the best way a candidate can impress you or stand out in an interview? What traits do successful candidates display during interviews?

First, do your research on the company and the industry! We’re always impressed by candidates who come in with a deep understanding of our product and aren’t afraid to ask hard questions and be skeptical. Second, we look for candidates who live our values. If you can show us a track record of accountability, vision and creating impact, you’ll be right at home as a Radar-er.

 

What are the best questions candidates have ever asked?

The best question we get in the first interview is “How does Radar Relay work?” Hearing this question means we can pass on that candidate quickly and be respectful of each other’s time.

The second best questions are around product roadmaps, company hiring plans and operational strategy. These are deep second and third order questions that inspire confidence in the candidate and accelerate our hiring process.

 

OpenTable restaurant tech interview process Colorado
Photo courtesy of OpenTable.

OpenTable’s online restaurant platform aims to bring people together around the dinner table by allowing them to explore the restaurants in their area — or anywhere in the world. Customer Support Operations Manager Randy Abbott, who started as a customer support rep six years ago and has played an integral role in bringing each of the company’s Denver CSR classes on board, explained how this goal of bringing people together extends to OpenTable’s culture and its interview process.

 

What makes your interview process unique?

We create a lively and inviting environment by welcoming candidates to an open house where applicants will actually come on site — prior to interviews — and get to know OpenTable’s culture, team and office in a casual atmosphere.

Once invited back for an interview, our process for our support team allows you to get a look into a day in the life of someone who currently has the role. We have candidates come in and shadow our support agents and ask them questions when possible.

We have a collaborative team mentality when it comes to hiring. Everyone — from CSRs to supervisors to our management team — is involved in one way or another. As a team, we come together to calibrate on the open house and interviews while sharing a meal together.

Thoughtful responses are valued more than perfect answers.”

What is the best way a candidate can impress you or stand out in an interview? What traits do successful candidates display during interviews?

We really appreciate a candidate who comes to the table having done their research on our company and products. Having a genuine interest in OpenTable as a brand is also a key indicator of a solid candidate. Thoughtful responses are valued more than perfect answers. An excellent candidate will have an innate curiosity to learn more. Personal accountability is the most important trait we look for at OpenTable.

 

What's the best question a candidate has ever asked?

“What’s the biggest personal hurdle that you have overcome in the past two years?” Someone that is bold enough to ask this challenging of a question in an interview setting can confidently carry a conversation with any of our customers — or anyone really.

 

BlueModus digital agency interview process Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of BlueModus.

Full-service digital agency BlueModus helps bridge the gap between technology and marketing by delivering services that range from building custom CMS platforms to implementing digital marketing integrations. In the process, its employees have the opportunity to work directly with clients to shape the technology they build. Office and HR Manager Mandy Wingfield shed some light on the interview process that allows them to find the perfect candidates for this unique work.

 

What makes your interview process unique?

We include a group of staff members in every face-to-face interview. Our team knows what it takes to be successful at BlueModus, so it’s important they have a chance to engage with candidates and see if they have the right qualifications for the position and if the culture is a good balance.  

We seek highly strategic thinkers — not people who just want a job.” 

What is the best way a candidate can impress you or stand out in an interview? What traits do successful candidates display during interviews?

We seek highly strategic thinkers — not people who just want a job. Candidates should never sound rehearsed. We want someone who is strong and confident. They are interviewing us too, so it’s always important they have questions for us.

 

What's the best question a candidate has ever asked?

“What do you feel has made you successful working here?”

 

Jobs from companies in this blog24 open jobs
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