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How We Hire

Over the last month I’ve spent several hours talking to people about jobs at Textio. I have written job listings, read resumes and cover letters, sent email, and interviewed people. I have made some job offers.

It’s a funny thing, hiring when you’re a company that makes hiring technology. Candidates hold us to a very high bar — our job listings need to be compelling and our communication needs to be clear. And as a company that stands for equal opportunity in hiring, our particular product and technology focus reminds us every day that our hiring process needs to be thoughtful, intentional, and fair.

Our hiring philosophy is published on our careers page:

  1. Hire people who are great at something
  2. Give them hard problems to work on
  3. Trust them to be outstanding

If we want to hire people who are great at something, then if you’re applying to work at Textio, we need to understand what you are uniquely great at. That means we need to set up our interview process so that you get to be the best version of yourself.

That means that we don’t believe in gotchas. If you’re applying to work at Textio and we’re spending time with you, we are rooting for you to be outstanding. And because we want you to be outstanding, we’re publishing our interview principles so that you know exactly what to expect. Our principles stand no matter what kind of job you’re applying for.

Your interview will simulate real work.

If you’re an engineer, you will code. If you’re a marketer, you will do marketing analysis. If you’re in sales, you will sell something.

But in order for an interview to be effective, it has to simulate not only the kind of work you will do, but also the way you will do it. If you’re an engineer on the job, you don’t code at a whiteboard under scrutiny. That is not how products get built.

At Textio, all interviews typically include a take-home problem that you work through on your own. You use all the resources that you might use on the job. Then you come in and spend an hour with our team walking through what you did.

Just like you will if you work at Textio.

But you won’t be asked to solve our problems during your interview.

Your interview will simulate real work, but we won’t ask you to work on our tough problems during your interview. We choose other data sets to code against, other websites to analyze for marketing strength, and other products to sell. We don’t ask you to do work that benefits Textio unless you are paid by Textio.

We look for doers, not talkers.

When we say, “Walk me through your sales pitch for [product that you’ve told us you love],” what we mean is “Sell me this product.” We don’t mean, “Tell me how you would sell me this product.”

We simulate real work in your interview because we want to see you at your best — the way you will be on the job.

We look for a history of seeking out and learning new things.

More important than any of your specific skills is your ability to pick up new ones. Furthermore, we want people with a history of actively seeking out challenge and learning.

Being at a high-growth startup means that every week brings a new thing to learn. Just when you begin to get comfortable, you’ll discover that there’s something new that you have no idea how to do. And just like you have every other time before, you’ll figure it out. If you’re a good fit for Textio, this will energize you.

Not everyone loves this. But it’s a thing we need, so it’s a thing we look for.

We look for people who have a point of view, but are low ego.

We care about both elements here a lot.

If you come to work with us, you will be expected to tackle ambiguous and hard problems. You often won’t have a straightforward playbook to rely on or a manager who knows all the answers. We hire people who want to lead — who like to immerse themselves in the messiness of a new area and form a point of view.

We want you to tell us what to do, and be prepared for objections, questions, and alternative points of view. If we were working on easy problems, maybe we’d only need one point of view. But that’s not who or where we are.

Because we need you to have a point of view, we also need you to be low-ego, whatever your role or level of experience. Because you’ll be working with other people who have a point of view too — that’s why we hired them.

If this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you. We are hiring: check out the coolest job listings on the internet and introduce yourself!

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