Charles River Development
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Technical Writer Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Charles River Development in January 2010.
One of my network contacts put me in touch with the hiring manager. My first interview consisted of one-on-one interviews with two people, a team member and the hiring manager, followed by a logic test.
The first interview was rather standard. We discussed my skills and experience, the team, the work, and a bit about company culture. Red flag #1 - the requirement (part of their contracts) that everyone work a 45 hour week. When I questioned it, the interviewer said, "Well, I suppose the owner thinks that everyone is stealing at least an hour a day from him, and he's determined to get it back."
The second interview of the first day was with the hiring manager, who mostly described their very complex product. And described their company culture as being a “consultant culture.” If you're not doing billable work, your work is not valued. Red flag #2 was the story he told about how the owner used to walk around the company firing anyone that he thought wasn't working hard enough. "It wouldn't matter if you'd just spent ten hour cranking out code, if he came around the corner and found you with your feet up on the desk, he'd fire you."
The last part of my first interview was a 24 question logic test, which you had 50 minutes to complete. The recruiter told me not to worry about the test, said it had been part of their hiring process since the company was founded, and that it was no longer a hire/no hire determiner. She gave me an hour to work on it, and told me that most people finish 18 questions, but not to worry if I didn't get that many. It was more important to answer correctly than to answer all the questions. I finished all 24 questions within the 50 minutes. The recruiter seemed surprised that I'd not only finished the entire test, but had gotten so many questions correct.
I was called back for a second interview, this time with the hiring manager’s manager. This time I was really grilled. The interviewer questioned everything on my resume, my skills and whether my experience was classroom or real-world, my previous jobs, the size of the companies that I had previously worked for, the products that I had previously worked on, etc.
Despite the fact that they claim to be doing Agile development, I did not observe much teamwork going on in the office. It was dead silent when I was there. I was told by more than one person that it is a very quiet office, even the employee who sits near the developers told me that nobody ever talks. I don't see how you can be "doing Agile" if the team never talks to each other.
Despite the fact that she promised to follow up with me, I never heard back from the HR contact. But it was pretty obvious from how my second interview ended that I did not have the experience that they were looking for. And by that point, I'd already figured out that I was not a good match for their company culture. Previous experience with financial products seems to be a requirement for employment. If you don't have a financial background, I'd be very surpised if you could get hired there.
- None of the questions that I was asked stands out in my memory as being unexpected or more difficult than any other. The most difficult part of the interview process was probably the logic test, which is probably proprietary information. Answer Question