Slack-based interviews…?

Today I learned that Automattic does most of their interview process over Slack.

 Interviews are conducted via Slack – they’re text-only. That’s how we work day-to-day, so we want to interact with you in that medium. The initial interview is a 90-minute chat (which we’ve found is the equivalent of a 60-minute face-to-face interview) with an engineer, which covers subjects like motivation, technical depth, problem solving, and managing complexity. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, too.


If you’re curious, here’s someone’s first hand experience with this and here’s someone else’s.

I think this is neat for three reasons:

  • Many companies communicate mostly via writing (Slack, email, Google Docs, PR comments, etc.) but their interview processes don’t test writing communication skills. This fixes that.
  • Interviewers can’t always tell if someone’s doing badly because they’re nervous or because they’re bad. Most people aren’t as nervous over Slack which levels the playing field.
  • Some people (like me) need a minute or two to ponder a question instead of immediately spouting off some brilliance. With Slack, you don’t have to hit enter until you’re satisfied.

Running the whole interview over Slack feels like a mistake; you need some face time. But I think Slack based interviews may have their place too. I’m wondering why it isn’t more common.

Anyone have experience or thoughts about this? Email me.

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