Applying for a job can be nerve-wracking and confusing, especially if you don’t know what to expect during the interview process. When will I hear back? Who will conduct my next interview? How many rounds will I have to complete until the job offer? As each company handles their recruiting process differently, answers to these questions vary and can be hard to find.
We at Smartcar thought: “We can do better than this!” If you are interested in applying for a job at Smartcar, the following guide will tell you what our application process is all about. Even if you aren’t looking to apply at our company, you can get some useful insights into what you should know before applying, what the main steps in the process are, and how to prepare for a job interview.
Before applying for any role at any company, do some research about their product. Find out more about their team and work culture. Would you be excited to work for this company? Here’s what the product and team look like at Smartcar:
Smartcar’s API allows app developers to locate, unlock, and read data from cars. If you are interested in software, APIs, apps, cars, the mobility space, or just one of the above, Smartcar might be a good fit for you. Check out more about our product to see for yourself!
Our team is smart, driven, genuine, and quintessentially human (apart from one team member… can you guess which one?). Would you like to see what it’s like to work at a small startup and to work closely with a bunch of awesome individuals? Then Smartcar might be right for you!
As many startups in the Bay Area, Smartcar strives to be a great place to work. Check out our perks, which include paid family leave, flexible vacation time, 401k, health insurance, commuter benefits, and four times weekly catered lunches. If you have any questions about our perks and benefits, just let me know!
Our interview process
Once you know that a company is the right fit for you, it’s time to look for the right position and apply. At Smartcar, the interview process has multiple steps and takes about two weeks. Here is what it looks like in detail:
Feel free to apply through Smartcar’s website. Once you submit your application, a team member will get back to you within a few days.
1. On your resume, we’re looking for a substantial project that you worked on and that you are proud of. Tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly about that project - we want to know it all.
2. Spend enough time writing answers to the questions we’re asking on the application form. Those questions are there for a reason. 😉 You can skip the cover letter.
We got back to you and scheduled a first phone call, yay! You will most likely speak to me, or to another team member. The purpose of this call is to answer all your questions about Smartcar and about the role you are applying for. We also want to learn more about you. Be yourself and have fun!
After the call, our team will review your background to determine if your skill set matches the role. If that’s the case, I will reach back out to schedule your first call with the hiring manager.
If unfortunately there is not a match I will let you know. However, I’ll be happy to help you connect with other recruiters I know. Feel free to ask!
Pro tip: If you’d rather come by our office in person to grab coffee and see a demo, just let me know!
Hiring manager call
During this call, the hiring manager wants to learn more about you, your background, and your motivation to apply for the position at Smartcar. If you are interviewing for an engineering role, the manager might ask you a few technical questions. If you are interviewing for a business role, they might ask you a few situational questions.
Pro Tip: Feel free to ask the hiring manager as many questions as you like.
During this stage of the interview process, you will receive a challenge that will assess your skill set in relation to the role you’re applying for. Once you receive the challenge by email, you’ll have three days to complete it.
Pro tip: We’re building every challenge in-house here at Smartcar. If you have any questions while working on the project, our team is happy to help!
The challenge review will be a Google video chat with a member of our team. The team member has reviewed your challenge beforehand. They will ask you why you completed the challenge the way you did and what you would have done differently if you had more time.
Pro Tip: In this interview, we are trying to assess your ability to reflect on your work. If you come prepared and think of questions we might ask you, you’re already halfway there!
The onsite is the last stage in Smartcar’s interview process. It differs for each role, so I will give you all details over the phone beforehand. All onsites take place at Smartcar’s office in Mountain View. They last about four to five hours including interviews and lunch. You will have lunch with two team members who won’t interview you. This way, you’ll have a more casual conversation and can get a sense of our work culture first-hand.
After the onsite, our team will huddle, reflect on all the interviews, and decide whether we’d like to move forward with an offer. Before we can give the final job offer, we will ask you for two references who have worked with you in the past - one manager and one co-worker. I will reach out to them and briefly speak with them about their experiences working with you, your ability to work in teams, and your ability to handle stressful situations. If the reference calls go well, we will give you an offer! 🚀
Congrats, Smartcar is giving you a job offer! Now it’s on you to decide whether our company and the role are a good fit for you, and whether you’d like to accept.
Pro Tip: Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, the hiring manager, and the team members who interviewed you, in case you have any questions or need advice. We hope that you’ll make the decision that’s right for you, and we’re excited if you join our team!
How to prepare
Like with so many things in life, being well-prepared for a job interview can go a long way. To familiarize yourself with Smartcar, learn more about who we are and what we do:
- Sign up for a developer account and run our demo app
- Check out this fun video to get an overview of what Smartcar does
- Join our Meetup group to stay up to date about events we host
- Meet the team even before you come onsite for the first time
- Follow us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram 👇
Thanks for reading, and happy job hunting, everyone!