Preparing for your Interview at Action Verb

This page is meant for folks who have already been granted a telephone interview with Action Verb. If you haven’t applied, check out our Hiring page.

Our Interview Process

Recruiting and hiring is the most important thing we do. Our success depends on Action Verb finding and hiring people who are truly A-players.

To that end, we’ve built a proprietary interview process that is very different from what you may be used to.

Our written application asks for very specific topics to be covered in your cover letter. We use these cover letters and resumes to select a large pool of candidates to complete our telephone interview process.

Our telephone interview process is designed to very quickly separate the highest caliber candidates from the folks who are simply average.

The interview is conducted by a senior engineer from the team, usually the company founder if he is available. Interviews are recorded and additional staff sometimes participate as well.

The interviewer will dive straight into a set of challenging interview questions that require both technical knowledge and creativity. We ask questions that we’ve designed to get a feel for the depth and breadth of your technical knowledge.

Our interview is very fast paced and you will be expected to answer questions off the top of your head, without pausing to look anything up.

Our standards for this process are extremely high and only about 10% of interviewees will make it to the end of the phone interview process.

We end interviews as soon as it becomes clear that the decision will be a no-hire. If this happens to you, please do not take it personally. It is not necessarily a judgement about you, but rather a judgement of how well you fit with our needs.

Interview Tips

Here are a few tips that should give you the best chance to succeed in our telephone interview process:

  • Our interview tests your knowledge of a variety of different subjects. Knowledge is not the only thing we hire by, but it’s the easiest thing to test quickly. We do not expect that you will know the answer to every question. If you can’t formulate a great answer to a question, just say so, and we’ll move on quickly. We have a limited period of time, and would rather spend as much of it as possible on things that you do know rather than dwelling on things that you don’t know.

  • We adapt our questioning in real time to challenge you on your answers. We also jump around from topic to topic very abruptly. Just roll with the punches and answer the followups as best as you can. If a followup causes you to want to change an earlier answer, by all means do so.

  • Our interview also includes “ideation” or “brainstorming” type questions where you will be asked to craft solutions to very difficult or impossible problems. On these, we want to hear your best creative ideas, even if you know that they fall short of the ideal. It’s actually best if you can explain exactly why your best ideas fall short of the ideal.

  • We also enjoy role playing questions where we give you an issue to troubleshoot (as a roleplay) and see how you would go about solving it. For these, we will continually change the circumstances to continue to challenge you. Just keep rolling with the scenario as it evolves and continue to respond as best as you can. Feel free to make assumptions about the question being asked, as long as you state that you are doing so.

  • We do not give a whole lot of real-time feedback about how the interview is going. But use this rule of thumb – if you’re still on the phone with us, it’s going well. We have no interest in continuing to talk to someone that we know we won’t hire, so don’t ever get discouraged or let yourself think the interview is going poorly. If we are jumping around from topic to topic randomly, it could be for any reason at all. Maybe we loved your answer, maybe we hated your answer, and maybe we just decided to move on. Again, if we’re still talking to you, it’s going well.

  • There is no live coding element to our interviews, and there is nothing you need to study ahead of time. Just show up and be prepared to share the knowledge that you have. The technical/challenge part of this interview lasts between 5 and 45 minutes, depending on how fast you go.

If you make it through to the end, you will then have the opportunity to ask all the questions you’d like about the company and our culture and unique way of working.

In fact, if you are offered a position, you will have the opportunity to speak to everyone on the team before you’ll have to make a decision.

We look forward to speaking to you!