We are constantly evolving our hiring skills and practices.
What follows is a broad depiction of our hiring workflow, from first contact to job offer signing. [Resource onboarding] has its dedicated chapter in this playbook.
How we collect CVs
Candidates apply via our company website or by mail, to email@example.com. Please send your CV in a format that more represents your skills and attitude. Besides your CV, a bit of a presentation is very welcome as it can help us understand who you are and what you expect from us.
We'll propose you a one-hour slot for the first interview. We'll both collect information about each other and will keep a record of our discussion for future reference.
We do our best to get an interview with every candidate. Taking the first interview is not binding. If both we and you will be interested in establishing a job relationship, we'll proceed to the next steps.
The first interview has the following goals:
- Getting to know you, your attitude and your expectations in person.
- Giving you a taste of how working for us would be.
Let's get this out of the way: we will value our impression more than any of the following parameters. Anyway, we'll ask you some questions and score your replies. Here is how we calculate your scores.
Knowledge of the company
Max score: 6
- You actually know what we do
- You read our manifesto
- You read this playbook
- You know you offer something we are looking for
- You know we offer something you are looking for
- You get in touch with us on a non-fortuitous occasion (conferences, events, following on socials, etc)
Max score: 5
- You can show you know your strengths
- You can show you know your weaknesses
- You can elaborate on what you expect from your professional life (short, mid and long term)
- You are aware of how you see yourself in our company
- You can explain why you want to work with us
Attitude and personal skills
Max score: 4
- You can show passion for what you do, or what you want to do
- You have drive and will, not only at work
- You display or prove good social skills
- You show curiosity and interest in your future in our company
Max score: 3
- You can elaborate with clarity on the skills mentioned in your CV
- You can show some of your work (either personal or professional)
- You can fluently hold a part of the conversation in English
More notes may be taken from our side and maybe we won't go deep into every point here, but basically, that's what we want to understand about you.
During the interview, we'll devote 10 to 20 minutes to answering your questions about the company.
In addition, if you have any financial expectations, please be prepared to state them clearly during the first interview.
We commit to providing you with honest feedback within two weeks of the interview. We may also ask for your feedback about how the interview went so we can improve our practices. It would be great if you agree to be engaged in such a loop.
Given you roll a critical hit during your first interview, we will call you back to hold a technical interview.
What "technical" means depends on your profile. Maybe you applied as a developer, UX designer, cloud engineer, agile product owner or whatever else. No matter what, in your technical interview we will get a grasp on your real proficiency and operational attitude. We will also answer your questions about how we do things and why. It has to be a conversation so we can both bring some value home.
Your technical interview score will depend on various aspects, not just production skills.
Basic skills and experience
Max score: 7
- You have good foundations in Computer Science (high-school diploma or college degree, or similar training)
- You have professional development experience with the programming languages we use the most
- You have professional development experience with the programming frameworks we use the most
- You know how to test your code and you do it as a standard practice
- You use git in a non-trivial environment (i.e. contribute to projects on GitHub, working in a medium/large team with a defined branching model)
- You feel comfortable moving around a Unix shell and may use a Unix-like OS as your main operating system
- You know what Docker is and you make use of containers during your daily job
- You have basic experience with mainstream Cloud vendor services
Advanced skills and experience
Max score: 9
- You have experience engineering and designing complex/multi-service software architectures
- You have experience with serverless architectures
- The mentioned experience relates to the same technologies we are currently using
- You properly document your source code by automatic tools
- Containerized environments are common practice for you
- Continuous Integration is common practice for you
- You have experience with Continuous (or automated) deployment and delivery
- You know how to optimize your application performance
- You know how to check and fix security issues in your code
- You can articulate your debugging approach, practices and tools
- You have strong experience with mainstream Cloud vendor services
- You have real-world experience with the Kubernetes orchestrator
- You are or have been a sysop in the past
Max score: 8
- You can explain how you organize your work to ensure it is on time, on budget
- You owned a project from both technical and organizational sides
- You have experience leading a team on medium/long-term projects
- You feel comfortable speaking to an audience
- You are a good communicator
- You can manage a troublesome customer
- You can manage a troublesome colleague
- You provided technical mentorship (or onboarding coaching) to your junior colleagues
Agile skills and expertise
Max score: 7
- You have experience or training in Agile frameworks
- You know what a backlog is
- You played the Product/Project/Process Owner role in a Scrum or Kanban team
- You played the Scrum Master role in a Scrum team
- You were part of a development team using Scrum or Kanban and you can articulate your experience
- You are certified in one of the named frameworks
- You can explain when and why it is not advised to use such approaches
Passion and contributions
Max score: 5
- You are passionate about the work we (us and you) do
- You contribute to FOSS projects
- You maintain or own FOSS projects
- You organize or help the organization of relevant events
- You talk to events, engage in hackathons or are active in a community.
The technical interview may run from 60 to 90 minutes depending on your proficiencies level, your arguments and how much fun we all take from it.
Having the opportunity to take a look at your code or attending a bit of a performance during the interview will surely add useful information and may make you jump the technical challenge if it is totally clear that you are a great fit.
Of course, we are available to give you back information on our technical approach and setup so you can decide if SparkFabrik is a good fit for you also. Ideally, we will reserve 10 to 20 minutes out of an hour for your questions. In addition, clever questions often matter more than correct responses.
Depending on your areas and level of proficiency, we may ask you to endure a technical challenge. The main goal of this activity is to see you at work in our environment.
Technical challenges here are not set up like school exams and there is not always a bar to skip. It is more of a benchmark that will give us an idea about:
- How you jump onto problems and tackle them
- How do you face a healthy stress
- To what extent you can relate to others around you
- How proficient and productive you are during a (non-standard) working day
On the other hand, we want you to:
- Taste the general mood of our working environment
- Spend some time with your possible colleagues, like coffee-machine chat or lunch together
- Make questions about how we do things and why
- Speak your voice
Depending on your availability, geographical position and other possible constraints, we can arrange the challenge to be taken in person or remotely.
In this case, the actual challenge may change: you might have to produce something with a given technology, analyze a problem and provide your observation, explain and comment on something you produced in your spare time, dismantle a messy requirement in a set of user stories, reproduce a diabolical visual with CSS, or such.
No matter the challenge's nature, you'll be assigned a mentor for it, so you know whom to talk to in case of need.
During in-person challenges, you'll have access to the internet, our team, our offices and all the devices, tools and boons you would reasonably get in your everyday job.
Moving to our offices for the time necessary to take on a challenge is not always feasible. For those cases, we will ask you to engage in a fictional project development using a Trello agile board.
We have some Technical Challenge board templates available for you to clone right away. Each board lists all challenge instructions and rules, together with some useful resources.
The board also sports a product backlog, describing a fictional product or agile activity. The backlog may be taken in charge directly in the board. A column for notes and asynchronous discussions is also there.
To take the challenge you must:
- Clone the board
- Put your name in the board title so we can find your one
- Invite your SparkFabrik mentors to the board (generally the CTO and HR responsible for your hiring)
- Start working on the project
Your assigned mentor will play the role of the Product Owner for this fake product.
The base technologies may change, depending on what's relevant in your specific case.
To date the following remote challenge template boards are available:
- SparkFabrik development challenge: develop a simple web application to store and retrieve quotes, using the technology of our choice.
Please, be available to visit -- or attend -- a 2-hrs call to present your work, review it with us and collect our feedback.
At the end of your challenge, you will be assigned a score, as follows.
Max score: 3
- You reached out for help or a simple review by your mentor
- You managed to control stress and kept a positive mood during the activity
- You spent some time with other colleagues and learned about how life in SparkFabrik actually is
Max score: 3
- You were able to set and maintain a tasklist to achieve your goals
- You managed to keep track of your progress during the day
- You showed a clear understanding of your goal and can articulate your progression (no matter how much) at the end of the challenge
Max score: 4
- You produced something that actually works
- You can explain (sell?) your choices and tradeoffs
- You can engage in a meaningful conversation with your mentor about how the challenge went, possible improvements and the difficulties you encountered
- Your work is testable, be it by automated tests or by a human following clear scenarios
Any of the following may increase your score.
Max score: 4
- It is clear you took fun in the challenge
- You helped us shape the challenge idea or raised the stake
- You put special care into some valuable aspects of your deliverable
- You provide honest and professional feedback on your experience that can help us shape future challenges