Ten minutes. Ten long minutes before I would embark on an interview process that could alter my career trajectory in the best ways possible. I’m not sure about you, but I tend to get a bad-case of the “preshow jitters” in these kinds of situations. It’s like a blind date, you want to impress this person, you want to do your best to sell yourself, and you sure as heck don’t want to screw up. I found myself furiously reading over my notes, running scenarios in my head to ensure that I would have all the answers I would need. It’s funny how we psych ourselves up in such a way. Five minutes. Five long minutes. At this point, I’ve realized that I need to calm down. When I get nervous, I talk even faster than my normal breakneck talking speed, and you can hear the shaky timbre to my voice. Thankfully, yoga breathing saved the day and allowed me to refocus on the goal at hand: Nailing this interview.
Interviewing with Coveo is a process unlike any other that I’ve experienced in my entire life. Thorough, thoughtful, and insightful. Challenging, but in a way that you feel accomplished once you’ve completed it. It all started with my introductory call with Marie-Eve, a recruiter with Coveo. Her pleasant voice helped me shake the nerves off, and it definitely helped that she laughed at my jokes. We went through the usual questions, taking time to discuss finer points of the job requirements, and my related skillset and experience. All in all, it’s what you would call a “normal” first interview. Upon closing the call, I was on an emotional high. I busted out my best white boy dance moves around my office, chanting “I killed it! I killed it!” in a sing-song voice.
But from that point on, things were far from average. I was delighted to promptly receive an e-mail from Marie-Eve, stating that I would move on to the next step of the process; a call with Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Floisand. As the kids say, it went from zero to one hundred real quick. Never in a thousand years did I think that I would go from the HR department, to the tippity top of the Marketing department. But I thought to myself, “fear not.” This time, I was prepared.
Trusty mug of chamomile tea in hand, I proceeded to do my pre-interview yoga breathing, which was elevated by the calming sounds of whatever the first result was for “calming music” on YouTube. I had been told by a friend that Mark was a genius, and full of amazing ideas. We dived into further detail about the finer points of what would be expected of me if I was to get this role. I asked relevant questions regarding the ROI and goals of my position, and was given detailed answers. It was incredibly reassuring. Talking “shop” with Mark allowed me to start picturing myself in this role, and allowed those creative cogs to start turning. I was seeing the bigger picture, and it was beautiful.
At this point, I was still waiting for the classic “think on your feet question.” You know the type: “What kind of superpower would you have?” or “What kind of animal would you be.” It arrived in a somewhat unusual form. “What do you think about Pokemon Go?” Mark inquired. Of all the questions, I was not expecting this. Not one bit. Without missing a beat, I started ranting about how amazing it is that nostalgia can drive a product to be so successful, equally showing excitement and trepidation in my voice (Nintendo, owners of the Pokemon brand, have a history of going two steps forward, and one step back with all endeavours). I loved how relevant this question was. It elicited an instinctual response that couldn’t be planned for. After that, we spoke for only a short while longer. Mark was down to earth the entire time, eager to hear what I have to say, and clearly passionate about what he does. We exchanged ending pleasantries, and wrapped things up.
In no time at all, Marie-Eve sent another e-mail my way. The next step threw me for a loop. Tests. Two tests, specifically. I’m not sure about you, but the last time I did a formal test was five years ago in college. I felt another surge of nervousness coming on; there was no way to prepare for this, no material to absorb. The first test I chose to do was the personality test. I trusted my gut and went with my instincts, simultaneously second guessing myself every step of the way. As I selected answers, I reassured myself to stick with my gut. You don’t want to present a facade of who you are, especially to a potential future employer. Forty-five minutes later I completed it, anxiously hitting the submit button as I prepared for the next challenge.
Aptitude test. Yup, aptitude test. I’ve never done one before, but to be completely honest, I was excited. I saw this as a challenge I wanted to overcome. I’ll spare you the nitty-gritty details of what it included, but it was a healthy mix of math, logic, and analysis. I vividly remember hitting that submit button with 10 minutes left on the timer. Within my own ignorance, I assumed I would receive my results immediately, of course I was seeking validation in my skills. But unfortunately I was informed that I would only have access to this information if I was hired.
Like clockwork, my inbox dinged with the notification that I had another interview. This time with Mike Raley, VP of Marketing. After the first two interviews, and the tests, I felt as though I was ready for anything. Mike and I exchanged questions back and forth, revisiting previous conversations held with Mark and Marie-Eve. By this point, I could only imagine myself working at Coveo within this role. I knew what work would need to be done going in, and I would have clear goals. It was exhilarating.
Ultimately, as you can assume, I received an offer from Coveo and accepted it happily. But before the offer came in, I sent a brief follow up e-mail. I’ll give you the exact quote, because I believe it’s 100% accurate:
“Regardless of the outcome of this position, I can’t begin to tell you how much of an exciting and interesting process this was. It has provided me the certainty that Coveo takes hiring seriously, as any company should. With that knowledge, I know you’ll make the best and most informed decision.”
Coveo aims to hire only the best of the best, and although the interview process seems arduous, it’s designed in a way to ensure that quality people are put in jobs they can excel at. There is no nepotism, there is only the commitment to build the best team possible. Speaking from my experience working with Coveo thus far, they are doing just that.