Ento Interview Process 101

January 16, 2017 Hannah Heath 4 Comments

We love hiring at Ento. It means new perspectives, increased output and above all – growth!

Because of this we do a lot of it. This means thousands of applications, calls and interviews. There are countless guides to acing interview processes but we wanted to collate a few of the most important tips from our perspective, and offer some general advice on how we run our process.

Why have we written this guide?

  • To remove any anxiety and uncertainty around the process. We expect to know where you are in your job search so it makes sense you know where you are in our process.
  • To make sure if you truly want to work at Ento you are spending your time on the stuff that will help you the most.
  • Because we have a culture of openness and transparency and that starts with our very first interaction!

Stages of our process

80% of Ento’s roles follow the below process. There will always be exceptions to the rule, some of which we’ve detailed below this table.

Stage Details Timing Candidates at stage
Application review Review of your CV, cover letter & folio by our People & Culture team. Within a week of your application. 50+
Phone interview 15-30 min call with our People & Culture team. Within a few days of a positive response to your application. 10-20
First interview 1 hour face-to-face with our Head of People & Culture & your future manager. Within ten days of your phone call. 5-10
Practical test A take-home practical assessment closely mapped to the role you will be performing. Within ten days of interview one. 2-3
Second interview 1-1.5 hour presentation of your practical test with your future manager, skip level manager & our Head of People & Culture. 3-4 days after we send the assessment. 2-3
Reference checks Phone calls with mutually agreed references. Within a few days of the second interview. 1
Offer An official employment offer and start date. Within a few days of successful reference checks. 1

Exceptions to the rule

  • We approached you. This means we’ve heard or read great things about you and will generally skip the application review stage. Plus your phone call interview might be with your prospective manager or the MD.
  • The role is very junior. We might skip the second interview or make it a lot more low-key.
  • The role is very senior. The timing will often blow out and there might be more people involved in the second interview to ensure the management team is fully on board. We may also throw in an extra step such as a meet and greet with the team you’ll be working with.

Other stuff to note

  • Feedback we gather and information we collect will never be shared with anyone who isn’t involved in the interview process.
  • We will always let you know if your application is not going to progress to the next stage. If you haven’t heard anything from us please don’t assume the worst. If it’s been longer than the timeline mentioned above feel free to flick hannah@ento.com an email enquiring about your application’s progress.

Application review

The application review stage is often our first impression of you. Some tips:

  • Use the cover letter to tell us why you would be good for the role at Ento. At this stage of the process we don’t want to know why you are good at what you currently do or worse yet, why the role would be good for you. Tell us what makes you right for Ento.
  • For any role (excluding sales), your resume should reflect pretty much exactly what’s on your Linkedin. In fact, most of the time we will use Linkedin instead of your resume to checkout your work history.
  • For sales or target carrying roles, make sure your targets and how far over/under you were per role are mentioned in your resume (we totally understand these can’t be listed on Linkedin). We want successful metric driven sales people and the detail listed in your resume will be the key indicator of this for us.
  • If you don’t include a cover letter or the cover letter you send fails to mention Ento your application will be auto-rejected.
  • Expect to hear back from us within the week.

Phone interview

  • We are calling to make sure you seriously interested in Ento and understand the opportunity.
  • We are going to ask you why you are leaving your current place. We ask this so we aren’t setting you up for the same problems.
  • We are going to ask you about your salary expectations. If the number is out of our range we won’t be able to progress you so please be realistic. For more info on how to answer check out this blog post.
  • The call will last 15-30 minutes and you can expect to hear back from us within the week.

First interview

  • We don’t have much of a waiting area so if you arrive more than 5 minutes early, go for a walk around the block to fill in some of the time.
  • Dress in stuff you are comfortable in. We are pretty casual and full blown suits are definitely out of place (unless that’s what you feel most comfortable in, Barney).
  • Remember: we are probably trying to impress you as much as you might be trying to impress us. This first interview should be thought of and prepared for like conversation rather than an interrogation.
  • The general format of the interview will be:
    • We tell you a bit about the company and the role (most of which you should know)
    • You tell us a bit about you and your last couple of jobs (most of which we should know)
    • We will ask you some behavioural questions to understand your skills and experience
    • You should ask us a handful of questions
    • We will re-iterate next steps in our process
  • Stuff we might ask you about:
    • Memorable projects or pieces of work you’ve been involved in delivering
    • Challenges you’ve faced in your previous roles
    • Roadblocks you’ve encountered and how you handle them
    • How you like to work and the relationship you like to have with your manager and team
  • Stuff we are not going to ask you:
    • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    • What three words would you use to describe yourself?
    • What is your biggest strength/weakness?
  • The interview will go for 40mins to an hour and you can expect to hear back from us within the week.

Practical Test

If you make it to this stage you are at the business end of our process, typically one of two final candidates. For this reason we hope you see the couple of hours needed as an investment!

The practical test we send you will generally try to replicate stuff you will be doing day-to-day at Ento. Some tips:

  • The test spec will be vague. We’ve done this on purpose – we want to know how well you fill in the gaps and adapt on the spot. If there are questions that you need answered to complete the test feel free to email them over.
  • Make sure your personality shines through and feel free to use any tools you feel necessary. Please submit your complete test (in PDF format) ahead of your second interview to hannah@ento.com.
  • Make sure you send us your completed test at least 24 hours before your final interview so we have the chance to review your work. If we feel you have misinterpreted the task we may ask you to redo it. However if you have completely missed the mark we may decide not to proceed with the final interview. We’ll give you plenty of notice if we do decide to cancel your interview.
  • Prepare to present to 2-4 members of the Ento team during your final interview. A TV and/or whiteboard will be made available to present with, just let us know what cables you need.
  • We don’t schedule interviews Monday morning or Friday arvo because we know we’re not at our best. If there are specific times of the day you are at your best feel free to suggest them and we will try and work around that.
  • At least one of us is going to put some pressure on you. Startups can be stressful at times, we need to know how you act (but don’t forget, we are on your side)!
  • Once we’ve finished going through the practical test we are going to ask you to raise any last concerns you have about taking a job at Ento. We want to make you 100% confident this is the place to be.
  • The interview will go for an hour or so and you can expect to hear back from us within a few days.

Reference Checks

So you made it through everything we’ve thrown at you! The last step before an offer is reference checks.

  • Instead of asking you to provide references we will suggest a couple of people we want to talk to. It will generally be an existing manager (more on this below), a previous manager and someone from your current team.
  • We understand you looking for another place to work might be a sensitive topic and will happily leave your current manager until all other references have passed and you’ve had ‘the talk’ with them. That being said, we will pretty much always need to talk to them before offering you a job so make sure you are prepared for that.
  • References that only have positive things to say are always a bit suspicious. We know no one is perfect and would much rather you told your references to be realistic rather than sugar coat everything.
  • On the flip side of our reference checks, we invite you to Linkedin any of our current (or past) employees to ask for a reference on us!

Offer

The final step! Within 24 hours of your references coming through positively you will receive a call from our Head of People & Culture to confirm salary and start date. Some tips:

  • During your phone interview we’ll ask you about your salary expectations and give you a clear indication of what our range for the role is. Our offer to you will be in line with this conversation and there will hopefully be no surprises for anyone. If, during the interview process, your salary expectations shift, we’d appreciate it if you raised it asap.
  • We’ll try and factor in a week of chill time between your last day at your current/previous job and your first day at Ento. This will help you recalibrate! It’s not always possible but we’ll do our best to make it happen.

 

Discussion

  • Fritz Macaulay

    Aulay, a great interview process.

  • Jyri Björkman

    You have outlined your process and possible exceptions to the rule really well. You have obviously given a great deal of thought to your recruiting process. I was wondering, however, if you have considered overseas applicants at all?

    • Hannah Heath

      Hi Jyri! Thanks for your feedback. We certainly do consider overseas applicants and another they’re another good example of an exception to our normal process – usually by utilising Skype or similar services to take the place of onsite interviews.

  • David Jacobs

    This is the first time I have seen anything like this and I am highly impressed. I generally find the whole job-hunting process a daunting “game” where there is a level of subterfuge from both parties. Well done on specifying the “rules of the game” for Ento!

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