Details of Rocketium's hiring process

Guiding principles

These are a few guiding principles for the hiring team at Rocketium.
  • Treat candidates the way you want to be treated - Interviews are a source of stress even for the most confident and accomplished candidates. We have all been on the other side of the table with good and bad interviewers. Be the sort of interviewer that you want to have.
  • Candidates are evaluating you as much as you are evaluating them - Do not make the entire interview a one-way evaluation. Give candidates the opportunity to learn more about you, your work, and your vision.
  • Give feedback when you can - Not everyone likes getting feedback especially if they did poorly in an interview. Feedback is a precious gift that few people give. Skip the "Your profile did not fit with the role" and give real feedback that tells candidates why you were unable to proceed further with them.
  • Standardise what you evaluate and how you do it - It is good to tailor the conversation so it does not feel robotic. However, it is important to maintain a standard set of evaluation criteria that depend on the role and seniority to avoid subtle biases. This also simplifies the debriefing process by ensuring that everyone is talking the same language.
  • Prioritise culture fit - Our Prime Directives are a good guide to the sort of person who will be successful at Rocketium. They are broad enough to encourage diversity of thought and action but specific enough to disqualify people who will likely not see Rocketium as the right place for themselves.

Steps in the hiring process

Rocketium's typical hiring process involves the following steps:-
  1. 1.
    Introductory call
  2. 2.
    Take-home project
  3. 3.
    Project deep dive
  4. 4.
    Technical interview 1
  5. 5.
    Technical interview 2 (optional)
  6. 6.
    Team interaction 1
  7. 7.
    Team interaction 2 (optional)

Introductory call

This call is with our HR team or the hiring manager. The goal of this call is to establish broad fit for both the candidate and the company. We start with the basics and establish whether we meet your expectations of role, responsibilities, salary, and joining date. We try to understand what you are looking for and why you are looking for a change.

Take-home project

This is a controversial topic. As a candidate, we would hate to do "homework" for every company we speak with. However, we believe this is a critical part of the process. We make sure projects are representative of the eventual work that you will do at Rocketium. Sometimes, these projects are nothing more than a planning exercise for your actual job. This gives both parties clarity about what you will eventually do, how you will do, what support you need, and if this partnership will eventually be successful. We try to be respectful of your time - we pick projects that will take 3-5 hours of effort and let you tell us when you will complete it.

Project deep dive

This is typically with the hiring manager or a senior teammate. This is a technical discussion that goes into details of why you made certain choices and how you went about your project. We also like to understand how you felt through the process, what you learned, and your feedback about the project. Interviewers then set up context for the next set of interactions that will go deeper into this area and require some preparation from you.

Technical interviews

These interviews happen with one or two teammates at a time and are broader than the project discussion. This is also a good opportunity to brainstorm ideas and have a good back-and-forth about other approaches.

Team interactions

We typically schedule time with members of other teams with whom you will work. This gives them an opportunity to evaluate culture fit and candidates the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the other teammates with whom they will work. This is a good place to have candid conversations about what they like, what they saw change, and what they would like to see change.

Interview tips

This advice is specific to Rocketium because of how we operate. Other companies may not respond the same way that we do. However, we think this is good career advice in general.
  • Be clear about why you are looking for a change - We are not looking for the "right" answer. What we care about are the specific reasons that made you consider moving instead of changing things in your current role. For all you know, Rocketium will have the same conditions that made you leave your current role. Being as open as possible here will help us avoid pitfalls down the road.
  • Read up on the company, especially its culture - You are more than your home, car, gadgets, and other belongings. The same way, a company is more than its offices, revenue, or stock price. The company is the people who are working in it. This means it is critical for you to know how they work and why they work a certain way. Our culture code captures some of our guiding principles.
  • Remember that you are making a big investment - Investors invest in multiple companies but you work only for one at a time. In many ways, you are making a far bigger investment than investors by committing your reputation, time, and mind space to the company. Do your research and ask enough questions so you are convinced this is the right step.