The Zappos Family
The Zappos Family Technical Recruiter Interview Questions & Reviews
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Very Easy Interview
Technical Recruiter Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at The Zappos Family in February 2013.
Interview Details – I have seen this position open multiple times over the last 18 months (it's now 8/12/13) so you know something is definitely wrong with a company not being able to "find" a candidate that clicks with the team. As a very experienced individual contributor in technical recruiting, the hiring process is just the first reason this role is still open. Like a few of the previous interviewees for this role, the juvenile "culture" questions and description of the work environment was a red flag. I agree as another poster that a labor attorney could prove they are discriminatory in nature and place zappos at legal risk. Be prepared to put a lot into the process as a candidate nothing in return. I think they forget candidates are interviewing them as much as they are looking for employees. Since I've come from multiple Fortune 30 companies, I'm used to best practices and rolling out the red carpet to candidates. I figured given the current hiring process it would be nearly impossible to recruit top talent so I opted out of the process at the record your interview stage. If you can't decide to bring a candidate onsite after a phone interview or two, you shouldn't be hiring.
Interview Question – Nothing too difficult, just insulting to a professional. If you walked into a room and your theme song was playing, what would it be and why? If you could have lunch with two people current or in the past, who would they be and why? View Answer
Technical Recruiter Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at The Zappos Family in February 2013.
Interview Details – 1: Online Application
2: Formal Application
3: Video Application
4: HR Phone Screen (Personality Based)
5: Technical Recruiter Screen (Personality/ Culture Based)
6: Recruiting Manager Conversation ( Personality / Culture Based)
7: Technical Screen with IT ( Didn't do this, was next)
8: Fly in all day onsite (Didn't make it this far)
Interview Question – There was nothing technically difficult, one question they asked was around creative recrutiing techniques, they were looking for something outside of the box. Answer Question
Technical Recruiter Interview (Negative Experience)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at The Zappos Family.
Interview Details – Zappos had this position open on and off for 6-13 months. As an experienced recruiter and manager this piqued my curiosity. After all, if they have trouble getting a technical recruiter they are probably going to have problems getting technical people. I decided to evaluate their hiring process and determine if there were flaws that would prevent my success.
The answer was YES! I think Zappos has gotten lost in their "coolness" and forgotten the basics. Candidates have to have a similar experience as their customers!
Zappos started with something I like which is just a quick upload of a resume. There's nothing more frustrating than having to spend a long time on a formal application only to have it disappear in to the black hole. A week or two later I recieved two e-mails that expressed interest and asked me to fill out an application, questionaire and then do a video interview.
This is where they went astray. First and foremost if this is standard for every single job, it will explain why they can't find a recruiter and why they have even more difficulty getting technical people than an already challenging location for what they need.
It's the first of the year. I'm in recruiting. New jobs are out and I'm working 12+ hours a day and barely have time to try to get to the gym, eat and go home and sleep and do it again. I completed the application the same way I'm completing this review. Starting at 5:30AM while I'm drinking my coffee. Standard interview except 3 of those ridiculous questions that people think are sooooo progressive that come around every decade and are really just a demonstration that they don't have a grasp of the basics.
I will write the questions in the next section but let me say that every single one would indicate age and/or discriminate against over 40 workers. Seriously, how many over 40 people actually think of who their favorite superhero is? I'm more concerned about the US economy, foreign relations and how Obamacare is going to impact business and HR.
I finished the application anyway because after all, I'm evaluating them. I don't *need* a new job. I'm considering them.
The second e-mail I received asked me to complete a video interview. I found this interesting because their web site says it is option. Given that the only place I can do it is at work because I am home long enough to shower and leave and then come home and sleep I knew it was going to be some time until I could do it.... even though I had no intention. Why? Because video interviews are appropriate if you have an out of town candidate you have already phone interviewed and want to take them to the next step before paying travel costs. Outside of that, they might be using them to test technical skills but I can demonstrate those in another way. The bottom line is that video interviews lend themselves to younger people who generally look better on camera. This is just like receiving a CV from outside the US where a photo is on it. The first thing that happens in recruiting is we try to remove the photo and other personal information like marital status, age, number of children, etc.
So I stalled and waited to see if Zappos was going to be rigid on this process. They were.
Here's the rub. The questions lend themselves to younger people. Even your answers can. The videos lend themselves to younger people. In Zappos attemp to be hip and progressive, they have lost sight of the basics!
In addition, Zappos clearly isn't dealing with the reality of how job seekers behave. Those in demand aren't going to jump through a lot of hoops. They are simply going to say "next". Rigidity in a hiring process doesn't work.
I have to wonder if they know how to interview or if it would be a google-style interview which seems hip but is so 1990s!
Bottom line - too much focus on cool and hip and not enough focus on the basics. Potentially discriminatory process and deep pockets (especially now that they are part of Amazon)
Little probability of success for a Technical recruiter so I wouldn't accept the position if offered unless I ran the place and could change the process!
Interview Question – There weren't any difficult or unexpected questions but I was asked:
"If you walked into a room and your theme song was playing, what would it be an why?" I called a friend because I'm not into music most people are in to and she pointed out that the songs I like would date me (and I like music before my time too!). She suggested a song and I listened online and yes, the lyrics described me.
If you could have lunch with two people current or in the past, who would they be and why? OK, so this one doesn't necessary reflect age but since I picked to people from the past and had a salient reason why and how that was tied to what I do, I didn't mind but I did pick historical figures that younger people don't learn much about any more (unless they major in US history!)
"If you could be a superhero who and why" Really? Superhero? What am I, a 10-year old? <sigh> OK, google superheroes and figure it out.
Zappos... these interview questions started in the early 90s. They were abandoned as useless and potentially discriminatory. You may be "hip" but you clearly do not have a well balanced staff because anyone with any level of experience would roll their eyes and thing "not this again".
I wonder what it looks like inside of Zappos outside the call center. It's my guess that their average age is around 30-32, if that,. Answer Question
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