The Sourcegraph Interview Process

From start to finish!

Before the interview

The below actions must take place before we begin interviewing candidates.

  • Step 1: The Hiring Manager sends a Slack #Hiring to confirm your role is in the board-approved headcount plan and to confirm which Recruiter will be working on your search.
  • Step 2: The Hiring Manager creates a job description & interview plan using this template. We recognize that this step is time consuming, yet it is a critical step in setting our search up for success. Creating a well-thought out job description and interview plan 1) ensures alignment between the Hiring Manager, the hiring team, and the Recruiter and 2) ensures that all candidates are receiving a fair and consistent interview experience. Creating a strong plan upfront is also proven to reduce time-to-fill, meaning that we will make a hire faster, on average.
    • Job description format: we write all job descriptions in an impact format. The way a job description is written can plan a key role in promoting positive Diversity & Inclusion efforts. Countless studies have shown that certain demographics are less likely than others to apply if they don’t meet 100% of the outlined qualifications. To that end, Sourcegraph’s job description format focuses on the impact a candidate will make in the role versus a long list of requirements that have historically impeded underrepresented candidates from applying, resulting in a larger and more diverse candidate pool. The goal of the job description is to focus on getting the candidate excited, while giving a clear representation on what we expect them to accomplish both in the short-term and longer-term. How will working out Sourcegraph benefit them in their career? Why is this the best job they’ll ever have?
    • Interview plan format: creating a structured interview process is critical to our DEI efforts. Research shows that structured interviews are up to twice as effective at predicting job performance than unstructured ones, and ultimately help us hire faster. Structuring interviews with a standardized set of questions also allows for a more fair and impartial way of assessing candidates, which helps remove unconscious biases. Before creating your interview plan, you may find it helpful to read about the types of interviews other hiring managers have leveraged in the past. When creating the interview questions, please keep in mind: all interview questions should be written in open ended format (the best way to ensure of this is to start every question with “tell me…”), and to ensure all questions are legal, ask yourself “does this question relate to the candidate’s ability to do this job?” … if you can’t confidently say yes, it’s better to not ask it!
  • Step 3: The Hiring Manager fills out this intake form. Responses are routed to our headcount tracking sheet.

Once the Hiring Manager completes the above steps, the Recruiter takes the below actions:

  • Step 1: the Recruiter schedules a 30-minute intake meeting with the Hiring Manager to kick off the search and review the responses to the intake form. This is a necessary step to ensure initial alignment and set our search up for success.
  • Step 2: the Recruiter opens the job in Greenhouse by copying the “Template” job and builds out the interview plan, adding all behavioral-based, structured questions directly into each interview stage. All interview stages should use the standard interview titles, found here.
  • Step 3: the Recruiter posts the job to our Careers page. If you would like it posted in other locations, please ask your Recruiter or send a Slack message to #hiring. You can see a list of other job boards we are considering here.
  • Step 4: the Recruiter creates a Slack channel with the Interview Team and starts the Slack Kick-Off Process. Step 5: the Recruiter begins generating a candidate pool by reviewing applications in Greenhouse and Sourcing passive candidates via LinkedIn Recruiter
    • All candidates are either advanced or declined within 5 business days of their application date. To advance a candidate to the Recruiter screen stage, Recruiter uses the Calendly template in Greenhouse to schedule. To reject a candidate, Recruiter sends rejection email template.
    • COMING SOON: to source passive candidates, the Recruiter & Hiring Manager follows best sourcing practices in LinkedIn Recruiter
    • COMING SOON: click here to review cadence and outreach best practices

The interview stage

  • Step 1: the Recruiter conducts an initial recruiter screen with eligible candidates.
    • Sample Recruiter screen questions can be found here
    • Recruiter submits qualified candidates to Hiring Manager.
    • If Hiring Manager expresses interest in the profile, the Recruiter asks the Recruiting Coordinator to schedule the Hiring Manager screen by posting in the #talent-scheduling-and-offers Slack channel.
  • Step 2: If Hiring Manager chooses to advance a candidate following the Hiring Manager screen, the Recruiting Coordinator schedules additional interviews in the interview process (below). All interviewers must review the interview training and Guide to Using Brighthire before conducting interviews.
    • COMING SOON: link to instructions on how we schedule interviews
    • Interview process and sample interview questions for each department here
  • Step 3: The hiring team reviews feedback and makes final hiring decision. This can be done in a synchronous fashion via a debrief Zoom meeting, or asynchronously via Slack. If there is mixed feedback, the Hiring Manager is the ultimate decision maker.
    • See feedback best practices below
  • Step 4: Once a hiring decision in made, the Hiring Manager is responsible for communicating the hiring decisions to the rest of the interview team to stay informed and calibrate for future hiring decisions.
    • Post your note in the role’s private Slack channel.
    • Your note should provide context for why we’ve decided to hire someone, or why we’ve decided not to hire someone.
    • Once it’s been posted in Slack, paste your note into Greenhouse so it lives on the candidate page forever.

Offer stage

  • Step 1: once finalist is identified, Recruiter completes references if necessary.
  • Step 2: the Recruiter confirms level and compensation.
  • Step 3: the Recruiter has a pre-closing conversation with the candidate to confirm mutual-interest. It is very important that the Recruiter makes no offer promises or commitments to the candidate until the offer has been formally approved in Greenhouse.
    • COMING SOON: closing best practices & counter offer conversation best practices
  • Step 4: the Recruiter submits offer for approval in Greenhouse.
    • Approval chain: VP Talent > Hiring Manager > Department Head > VP Operations.
    • If the candidate did not recieve all “Yes” or “Strong Yes” in feedback, the Hiring Manager or Recruiter needs to submit written justification for moving forward with offer in the offer approval section.
  • Step 5: once the offer is fully approved in Greenhouse, Recruiter schedules an offer summary call. The purpose of the offer summary call is to review our offer with the candidate and answer any questions they may have.
    • Attendees: Recruiter, Hiring Manager, Candidate.
    • To generate the offer summary, click “generate” in the Offer Details section of the candidate’s Greenhouse profile.
    • Offer Summary call agenda: 1. the Hiring Manager kicks off the call to give the candidate feedback and tell why we’re excited about them 2. the Recruiter then shares their screen to display the offer summary document. The Recruiter then covers our compensation philosophy, the compensation specifics, perks, travel (and benefits, if applicable), and equity 3. the Hiring Manager and Recruiter answer any questions and ask how the candidate is feeling about the opportunity. Before ending the call, be sure to 1) determine a potential start date (all start dates should fall on a cohort Monday and any exceptions to that rule require approval from VP of Talent, Noemi, and Inés) and 2) schedule a follow-up call to answer any questions.
    • COMING SOON: offer summary call script
  • Step 6: following the offer call, the Recruiter sends the offer summary to the candidate in an email, and Cc’s the Hiring Manager and VP Talent.
  • Step 7: once the candidate verbally accepts the offer, the Recruiter makes a formal request in the Slack channel: talent-scheduling-and-offers for an offer letter to be sent
  • Step 8: the Recruiting Coordinator sends the official offer letter via DocuSign.

COMING SOON: what to do if the candidate declines our offer

4. After the offer

After the candidate formally signs the offer letter via DocuSign, the Recruiter takes the following steps:

  • Step 1: via Greenhouse, the Recruiter sends a welcome email to the candidate by selecting the “welcome email from recruiter” template. To: Candidate, CC: Recruiting@sourcegraph.com, Onboarding@sourcegraph.com, Hiring Manager. This should be done within 24-hours of acceptance.
  • Step 2: confirms that the open, start and hired dates are correct, ensuring accurate time-to-fill data.
  • Step 3: confirms the candidate source information is accurate, ensuring accurate source data.
  • Step 4: declines all other candidates if we are closing the role / not hiring for multiple positions.
  • Step 5:
    • Click the “Mark Candidate as Hired” button found in the “Offer Details” section of the candidate’s profile
    • Select Close Reason - “hire-new headcount” or “hire-backfill”
    • Click either “yes” or “no” in the “Keep Job Open” section. Only keep the job open if we are hiring for multiple openings.
    • Select “Yes” for “Make Candidate Private”
    • Select “Yes” for “Export to BambooHR”
    • Email a summary of this candidate to: 1. “Onboarding Email” 2. Carly Jones (VP of Talent) and 3. the Hiring Manager.
  • The People Operations team then works with the candidate to onboard them and get them set up for their first day! Woo hoo!
  • The Hiring Manager posts an announcement of the candidate’s acceptance in the Slack #Hiring channel.

Our Scheduling Philosophy

We are flexible when it comes to scheduling interviews because we are all-remote and we don’t need to schedule all interviews back-to-back (unlike typical onsite interviews at other companies). Some candidates like spreading interviews out (e.g., across multiple days and/or having breaks between interviews on the same day) and others prefer to batch them as much as possible to get it over with. Ask the candidate what their ideal interview schedule looks like and then try to accommodate those preferences as much as possible (given interviewer availability).

Even if candidates prefer to batch all their interviews together, it might not be possible due to the timezones of available interviewers.

If interviews are spread over multiple days and it is clear from the initial feedback that we won’t be moving forward, we will cancel the remaining scheduled interviews to save our teammates’ and the candidate’s time.

To schedule an interview with a candidate, please work with your recruiter or Slack @hiring. You can see a list of Recruiters.

Providing interview feedback

Please put your written feedback into Greenhouse as soon as possible following the interview (immediately is ideal) while it is still fresh in your mind. You can also leverage your BrightHire recording to revisit key points during the interview when providing feedback. All feedback must be submitted in Greenhouse before discussing with anyone. This is required and ensures that bias does not impact your hiring recommendation.

Overall recommendation

In addition to providing written feedback, you are asked to choose an overall recommendation. You are given 4 feedback options in Greenhouse: 1. Strong Yes 2. Yes 3. No 4. Strong No. It is important that we are calibrated as a team and that we assess candidates using the same scale.

Please leverage the below definitions when rating candidates:

  • Strong Yes. You are confident that this person would make our team better and you would be excited to have the chance to work with them.
  • Yes. You observed only positive signs that this person would be a good fit for our team, but you don’t feel strongly about hiring them.
  • No. You are neutral or have doubts about whether this person would make our team better.
  • Strong No. You are very confident that we should not hire this person because they would not be successful on our team.

All “Yes” feedback with no “Strong Yes” feedback is usually not sufficient. We want to hire people who we are excited to work with.

Assessing focus attributes

When assessing focus attributes, we have 5 options: 1. Star 2. Thumbs up 3. Neutral 4. Thumbs down 5. Stop

  • Star. You are very confident that this person has this attribute.
  • Thumbs up. You are confident and have no concerns that this candidate has this attribute.
  • Neutral. You are neutral or are unsure if they have, or don’t have, this attribute. More digging and interviewing is recommended.
  • Thumbs down. You do not believe this candidate has this attribute.
  • Stop. You are very certain that this candidate does not embody this attribute.