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How we hire at SuperAPI

Interested in a role at SuperAPI? Great! In this document we’ve tried to outline what makes us tick with regards to what we look for in an employee and what you can expect when you come through the hiring process with us.

We don’t always get this right, so if you have feedback, thoughts or anything, then please reach out to us. Contact details are on the homepage.

Two parts to the job

First, it’s important to understand that when we hire we don’t just look at your skills. If you’re a developer and have a deep understanding of Elixir, that’s great, but it’s only half of the puzzle. Along with skills in the area that we’re in, we also look for what could be described as a “culture” fit (although we think we’ve done a bit more deeper thinking about what culture means then the average company).

The Culture interview

We call it culture at SuperAPI because that’s the easiest shortcut to getting at what we’re talking about, however we go a bit deeper than the usual 1 hour video chat with the manager of the team you’re hiring for. Instead, what we’re looking for are people that fit a certain set of characteristics that we’ve noticed great people have had over the years that we’ve worked with them. Obviously, this list could be much larger but we’ve distilled it down to the following:

  • Optimism - kindness, thoughtfulness and a sense that the glass is always at least half full
  • Curious intelligence - learning for the sake of learning, a curiosity towards new things
  • A work ethic - pride in the work done, a willingness to master one's craft. Not to be confused with willingness to work all hours.
  • Empathy - An awareness of how one's actions affect others, caring for others
  • Integrity - Do the right thing, even when no one is watching

Our culture interview is always the first interview that we do, in fact it might not even feel like the usual cultural interview at another workplace. After we’ve had a chat, the interviewers will get together and discuss the meeting and try to frame it in light of the 5 criteria listed above. Depending on how we go, we’ll then progress to the skills based interview.

The skills interview

Our skills interview follows a more traditional interview process. E.g. for a skills interview in our engineering team, we’re looking to see how your development skills will fit with the kind of work that we do. In this interview we strive to make it as close as possible to the actual kinds of work that you will be doing. We don’t believe that getting you to try and build a minesweeper clone in a couple of hours or building a Mars rover simulator is a good way of simulating the kinds of work that we do in our codebase.

Some of the things you can expect from the skills interview are:

  • Review a pull request - Let’s pair on a real pull request in the system and have you work through understanding what it does. Here we’re looking for the kinds of questions that you might ask and how you apply your experience and knowledge from previous roles.

  • Pair on a feature - We’ll pick an easy feature from the codebase and work together to implement it. Similar to the pull request review, we’re looking to see how you approach a problem.

  • Bring in some code - Rather than working on our code, let’s work on yours instead. Bring in something you’re proud of building (and can show us!) and let’s work through how you might add a feature to your own code base.

In all cases, these aren’t pass or fail tests in the sense that you must add the feature in the hour we have allotted. Instead, we’re looking for how you approach a problem and communicate with the engineer that’s running the test.

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