Hiring Operations

I never made it through a coding interview

Recently my company hit a point at which I realized I have to make a hire. Things were burning and I wasn’t able to fix it all by myself.

I needed to hire people who would execute. Who can get shit done. I talked to a bunch of people and read around the internet to look for inspiration as to how others run their interviews.

Most companies, startups including, used the Google Interview. Hard algorithm questions, ticking clock complicated edge cases. When I tried to dug into why this was the case, I realized this was pioneered by Google. It was a great test back in the day when no-one else was asking such questions. It was a good test for your smartness. However, now candidates come prepared with a set of questions. When I asked, interviewers tell me they pick the questions from the same websites interviewees use to prepare. I never made it through these interviews, I never studied the questions on these websites out of sheer arrogance. But I think I’m a good fit for my company. I don’t want to shoo away people like me.

I formulated the following interview process. It’s far from perfect, but it’s given me something to start with.


For me the most interesting part of the resume is the dates along side the projects & products candidates have been a part of. Usually resumes have the 2 – 3 most interesting projects that she has been a part of. If the most interesting project is kind of long back, is a red flag.

I screen people by seeing how fast they have improved in their life, more than what interesting things they’ve done. I sort the projects by interestingness and see if the progression in date is the same as the progression in interestingness. Usually, a project that’s more than a couple of years old almost gets me to reject the candidate.

I really like to see the progress one has made from school to current profession. A bad score at school kind of helps because there’s more you’ve had to surpass to get where you are. You need to be a hustler to have a bad score at school and still make it to great places with great work. At the same time, a good score indicates discipline. Scores and GPAs are not deal breakers, but I do evaluate both resumes with a different lens.


The first round of the interview is a take home assignment. The assignment is usually a task that’d take an hour or so.

For example, below is an internship job profile we recently used. We asked people to pick a profile design from and implement it in React.js

Complete disclosure : This is not a promotion for the job. This position is now closed.

I’m looking for how promptly the candidate responds. If you are confident about your skills, you’d be able to quickly judge where to fit this assignment in your schedule and get it done.

It also helps me weed out people who are just exploring. A lot of people I talk to tell me they interview at small startups as a practice for larger companies’ interviews. They’re a waste of my time. Having an assignment completed is a sign that you are really interested in actually working with us.

I don’t look for design patterns or quality of code. I just need to see that it works. If it works to a satisfactory level, you’ve cleared this round.


The last round is a round is a video call interview. 30 min to judge personality – to which I still don’t have a good model other than just looking for good vibes. I’d like to improve here and make it less dependent on the tweets I read just before the interview. How can I make this more objective, I’m still looking for ideas.

The other 30 min is a screen share where I give an extension to the assignment already submitted.

As preparation, I go through the resume’s skills sections to get a hold of what the candidate has already worked on in the past and I look at the code to see what she’s comfortable with. Then I pick a task that she hasn’t worked on before, but at the same time it is just on the periphery of something she’s already done.

For the coding interview, I ask for a screen share and ask the candidate to use Google for things she doesn’t know. If she doesn’t have to Google, I gradually make the problem harder. I need to see how she Googles. Is she a fast learner, can she navigate through stackoverflow, can she read official documentation quickly to get things to work? Lot of weight given to the quality of Google queries. The completion of the task is of lesser importance. But depending on the role I’m interviewing for I look if the candidate has an eye for details that are relevant for the position.

With this I’ve been able to hire with confidence for my company and for a few friends’ companies, and it’s been working out. Would love to hear how you hire, how I can improve. 🙂

We are a company that has been focusing on 1st principle thinking. We usually write about how to build a great business on the internet. If you’re building one, you should subscribe.


Integrate Zoom with your Socionity Account

We are happy to finally bring to you a much asked for feature. You can now integrate Zoom with your Socionity and directly start meetings from your dashboard, without the to-and-fro of copy pasting links.

How to install

Log on to your Socionity account. If you do not have a Socionity account, you can request access here.

To start a meeting you must follow the following steps :

  1. Open the collection of your choice
  2. Tap on Add Content
  3. Select Zoom Meeting / Webinar

Login with Zoom

Once you add a Zoom Webinar / Meeting, you’ll be prompted to login with Zoom.

Create a new Meeting / Webinar

Start the Meeting / Webinar

That’s it! The notification will automatically be sent to the people who are a part of the collection this meeting/webinar is a part of.

You can then join the meeting on you your Zoom app by tapping on “Start Meeting” or “Start Webinar”


  • If you want to create a meeting with your students and have a face to face classroom setting
  • If you want to provide one to one help and support to your customers
  • If you want to conduct a webinar where more than 50 people are likely to join in


  • You need a Zoom Account
  • If you want to conduct Webinars, you will need a Pro account
  • You will need to have access to Socionity Dashboard


  1. Login to your Zoom Account and navigate to the Zoom App Marketplace.
  2. Click Manage > Installed Apps or search for the Socionity app.
  3. Click the Socionity app.
  4. Click Uninstall.

Should you need any help, you can always contact your Account Manager or contact us at


Release July 30

We’ve been building amazing new infrastructure that took longer than expected. We missed our July 15 update. We’ll make up for it here, i hope.


You can now charge people in their native currencies. You can set the price in your local currency and it will automatically be converted into their currency.

Pricing Parity

We don’t just use currency conversions to display the price in a foreign land. We use pricing parity to detect what should be the right price. We take into account the live currency conversion, the strength of the currency and what the average costs of related material is in their home country.

That means you don’t need to worry about setting a new price for each country. We’ll do the math and pay you in your local currency.


We now integrate seamlessly with PayPal. All your customers from abroad can pay you in their local currency using their most loved payment mechanism. They can also pay using cards. And very soon more payment modes like Venmo which will get added.

Great Integrations

A lot of you have already been using various other tools like Zoom, Vimeo etc. And when you’ve already taken a Pro plan for those, it doesn’t make sense to pay for those features again.

We’ve now have a way for you to bring your existing Vimeo and Zoom subscriptions and add them to your own app.

Brand new pricing

When you bring your own Vimeo and Zoom subscriptions, you can move to our brand new pricing plan, where you pay us only a 7% transaction fees as against 30% before.

This is great for people who already have invested in such services and are looking for a way to put them all under one roof – your own app. Socionity will let you integrate with other services you’ve already purchased and let us take care of your app, payments, user management.