Hired Interview Guide: The Onsite

The onsite interview is your time to blow your future team members away -- in person. After working with thousands of candidates, and interviewing hundreds ourselves, we’ve learned a lot about simple ways candidates can successfully prepare to ace any interview.

Before the interview:

  • After you confirm your onsite date, ask for an outline of your interview schedule so you know what to expect.
  • Research any people you may be meeting with, either via Linkedin or on the company's website. This will make you feel more comfortable and confident going into the interview process. 
During the interview: Most onsite interviews are a mix of technical fit and cultural fit. Be sure to shine in both areas! Here are some tips for these bits of discussion before and after any coding exercises:
  • You can gently steer the conversation towards your more interesting stories (provided they are relevant, of course). For example, your interviewer may point to a specific project or job on your resume and say “this sounds interesting–tell me about some of the technical challenges you dealt with.” It’s just fine to say “Hmm, nothing comes to mind immediately for that project, but I do have a story about a technical problem from another project.”

  • Speak precisely. Have you ever been asked to help debug an issue and been frustrated that the person asking for help couldn’t clearly explain what their code was supposed to do? Your interviewer wants to make sure you won’t be that person. When you’re describing something you built, especially a technical challenge you faced, be clear and precise. Practice helps a lot with this–try practicing with a friend or out loud to yourself. If you’re ever worried you’ve lost your interviewer just stop and ask, “Does that make sense?”

Here are some tips for the cultural portion of the interview:
  • Be excited yet direct. Sometimes the interviewer hopes to get through chit-chat quickly. Try to keep your stories concise by avoiding unnecessary details (again, practice helps). At the same time, let your excitement show through. When asking questions about the company, find something they’re doing that you can really get amped about. The stories you tell about ownership and conquering technical problems are stories about you doing great work–you should be proud of them!

  • Here’s a great list of some questions we recommended asking at any on-site:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/06/18/10-job-interview-questions-you-should-ask/.

After the interview:
  • Send a thank you note to the team! Be concise, but personal, reiterating your excitement for the job!
Want to know more? Here's a blog post we love by Parker Phinney here: https://blog.hired.com/winning-the-coding-interview-background-chit-chat/