Preview Night: A Different Approach to Recruiting

Written by: on January 20, 2016

You’re a soon-to-be graduate or recent college grad looking for a killer internship or the first job that will jumpstart your career. Exciting? Yes. Difficult? Absolutely. Choosing an internship or your first job out of college is a big step. It means putting all of the things you’ve learned in college to work and in many ways your first job helps shape your career.

So, how do you choose where to put your fresh set of skills to work? This is a question our Talent Manager, Jared Gatti helps candidates navigate on a regular basis and it is the reason why we started Preview Night.

Preview Night is an open house meets speed dating style approach to recruitment that gives prospective interns and employees an opportunity to visit our Denver office, meet the team, and learn about our company culture and mission in a relaxed atmosphere over pizza.

“We started Preview Night to change the way college recruiting is done post career fair. We wanted to improve the candidate experience while also making the process faster for our team. So how do you find the right candidates without spending months interviewing? You bring them all in one night exposing them to our culture and environment while getting a chance to talk to them all the same day and giving them a real taste of what it is like to work for us and how our environment flows. While we change the format here and there we see the model works and have hired 11 people since our first Preview Night in 2013.” – Jared Gatti, Talent Manager

How it Works:  

Interaction: This is an opportunity for prospects to mingle and interact with current employees. We focus on maintaining a casual atmosphere and encouraging candidates to ask questions about working at POSSIBLE Mobile. Pizza and drinks are provided. At the end, there’s a short info session to transition into the rest of Preview Night.

Interviews: While half the group tours the office, the other half enter interviews. The format is 4 or 5 rooms with 2 interviewers in each room. Questions could include: technical mobile problems and concepts, level of interest in the mobile space, general fit for the company, algorithms, or general tech questions. No candidate could get every question correct, but they aren’t expected to get an A+. The emphasis is on how much the candidate can contribute to the company. If they lack mobile expertise, does he or she have the technical skills to pick up mobile with ease? We also are looking to see if the candidate will work well with the existing team. Although obviously, candidates who demonstrate rock-star abilities during technical questions will earn extra marks.

What our hires are saying: 

Andrew Bruni –  iOS Developer

Describe your night

At the start of the night I walked in expecting to meet some of the developers, eat dinner with them, and chat. I was not fully expecting to sit down and interview that night but really enjoyed the process once the night was over. I appreciated the fact that Jay (CTO) and Ben (CEO) were a part of the interviews because it showed me that the upper management here at POSSIBLE Mobile were approachable and truly care about everyone in the company.

Justin Powell – iOS Developer

What should candidates know?

They should not be really nervous before the interviews at all. When I did them, I was a little nervous but I calmed down after talking with the first few people. I think being calm and letting your personality out will help in the long run. The interviews are not too challenging, even though some are technical; but they do let the developers and leads know how you think and what your personality is like. Just do not be nervous, they are not frightening at all! Plus I think that the speed dating style makes it easier to be relaxed because you aren’t getting drilled with complex puzzles by one person for 30 minutes.  

Melissa Guba – iOS Developer

Describe the Preview Night approach.

There were multiple stages to getting the internship here, and each one was different and served an obvious purpose. When I initially met Jared at the career fair, he was easy to talk to and direct about what he was looking for. I was able to summarize for him the important parts of my resume, and ask more detailed questions about what kind of work was done here. When I got invited to the Preview Night, it was clear that I would be able to decide from the event if it was going to become a viable option for me. Since the technical interview came afterwards, I already knew that I was interested (so I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time), and was more comfortable since I had met my interviewer previously. When I was offered the internship I knew that I was chosen for my skills and personality, and felt like I was being welcomed into a family as opposed to being offered a trial-run.

Mike Patterson – Android Developer

What is your advice for Preview Night participants?

Don’t forget to have fun. The engineers want to meet someone that they wouldn’t mind being around everyday. If you’re spazzing out about the interview or too busy reviewing notes about technical details, the engineers won’t feel a positive vibe. You’ll also be doing a disservice to yourself because this is a unique chance to decide if you want to work around these people, in this office, and with this atmosphere.

If you would like to learn more about interning or working for POSSIBLE Mobile, contact us at Denver.Careers@POSSIBLE.com.

Laura Hamel

Laura Hamel

Laura is a Business Growth Strategist at POSSIBLE Mobile, a leading mobile development company. Laura has experience growing small and large companies, as well as acquisition integration. Her mission is to help companies determine how they can leverage new technology to build their brands and engage consumers. She blogs on industry trends, do’s and dont’s and business strategy. You can follow Laura on Twitter @LauraHamel.
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