My Journey Interviewing with SonarSource...

by clint cameron|

I'm a newcomer to SonarSource's Product Marketing team.  As an American working for a company based in Geneva, Switzerland, I thought it would be fun to share journey through the hiring process.

SonarSource is a unique company and I mean that in a good way.  From the beginning, things felt different from past interviewing experiences.  And the further I went down the path with SonarSource, the more I wanted to know what was around the next bend.  So join me, dear reader, on my adventure...

Soon after I sent in my resume, SonarSource reached out to schedule an interview.  Most companies start the hiring process with a phone call from someone in HR that typically knows little about the real aspects of the role.  That first call is pretty much just designed to screen out applicants and make sure you have a pulse.  However, as I was soon to discover, that's not the SonarSource way. 

SonarSource is headquartered in Geneva and I'm in Austin, TX.

So, flying candidates to Switzerland for in-person interviews would be pretty expensive, but they did the next best thing - video conferences. 

My first interview was a video call with two folks on the marketing team - not an HR screener.  The interview was informal, but focused. We covered several relevant topics and I was given ample time to answer questions. The result was that we covered a lot of ground and I was able to get a better understanding of the team dynamic.

My second interview was with the People & Culture Gardener and we talked about cultural fit - both for me and for SonarSource.  SonarSource has a strong, product-first culture and it's one of the keys to their success and a recipe for continued growth. I'll go into it more in future blogs, but it's things like working in a flat org and making team decisions. Ok, next on the interview path was a video call with the CEO. We talked about marketing open source products in conjunction with commercial versions. We talked about working in a company where you're expected to first listen then ask questions, take initiative and challenge the status quo as appropriate. SonarSource isn't looking to hire order followers!

This is a company that strongly believes in cultural fit and a team-oriented approach.  This is a company invested in and dedicated to long term success and so they invest significant time and resources in their hiring process.  They prepared for the interviews and didn't waste time and effort asking overlapping questions. I've worked for enough companies and I've been through enough interviews to know this is the exception and not the rule.  Most companies hire for a warm body that can fill a specific role with the objective that the company gets an immediate bang for its buck.

In the end, I was fortunate enough to receive an employment offer and I excitedly joined the team. 

After investing real and meaningful time to learn about each other, SonarSource and I concluded that there was a long-term, mutual benefit based on compatibility and goals.  A very logical and pragmatic approach, right?  It makes perfect sense to me, but most companies don't have this mindset - and that's OK. Companies are unique, just like people, and so values and objectives don't always align, but when they do it's pretty cool and the journey continues!