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Help Scout Javascript Engineer Interview Questions

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Javascript Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer
Negative Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Help Scout in February 2018.

Interview

I interviewed with engineering+product executive and we did not mesh well in our communication style. It wasn't a technical nor behavioral interview.

First, he was adamant about using this appear.in site to do video chat. It didn't work for me the first time and he immediately went on the offensive to say that it wasn't his issue. Even if his computer is perfectly configured for appear.in and mine is not, this negative comment wasn't necessary. I had been on google video chat twice earlier that day and it wasn't fine, and of course I wasn't so rude as to point out may not be me (it could be that the issue might be coming from appear.in). He did not want to call me on my phone because he needed to take note while talking to me.

When we met the second time, I used my boyfriend's computer and also bought a new headset, just in case. Unfortunately, the video wasn't working and we again had to reschedule. As I was speaking and trying to wrap up our call, he cut me off by saying, he needs to get off the call and he sensed some push back from me. His negative perception of people is simply warped.

When we chat for the third time, he asked me to describe my background. While I was talking, he appeared immediately annoyed and cut me off by saying "You cannot go into that level of details. You only have 2 minutes to talk about your background." I looked at my time stamp at it was 9:43AM, 13 minutes into our interview. Why would you interview someone if you have absolutely zero interest to get to know them?

I question why would this person want to interview me in the first place. He wasn't minutely interested in my background - both as a startup founder and engineer. He didn't ask about what I technologies I had worked on. I had managed to raise $250k the past year for my startup. He asked condescendingly if it was from friends and family, which isn't the case. None of my angel investors is related to me.

My conclusion after this interview was that this work environment is full of negative energy. Impatience, rudeness, rigidity, and disrespect make up the culture of this company. Two things I expect if I were to work here:

1. expect to be cut off while speaking because my voice doesn't matter.
2. If bug occurs and things don't go as well as planned, expect myself to be on the receiving end of the blame.

Here's a suggestion to Help Scout: You are not required to interview every candidate you see on paper. But if you do, treat us with respect. It's only basic common courtesy.

Help Scout Response

Feb 15, 2018 – VP Engineering

I’m so sorry you had a negative experience interviewing with me. I admit that the technical difficulties did put a wrench in the works for me in terms of making the most of our time together and I apologize that any negativity creeped in. When I told you that my previous video calls worked fine that day, my goal was to let you know that I needed your help debugging it on your side. I didn’t mean for it to sound like I was blaming you.

Also, when I said I couldn't call you, I should have explained further that it’s not just about taking notes. Aside from Slack, video is the main way we communicate as a remote team so it’s important for me to interact with candidates using this medium.

I’m also saddened you felt like I didn’t want to get to know you. We very much want to get to know people we are interviewing but at this first stage, we only schedule 30 minutes. When I stopped you after 13 minutes, my goal was to ask more specific questions because we were almost halfway through the time we had scheduled and I only had asked one of several questions so far. At that point, I was able to ask you a few more questions to learn about your experiences developing CRM apps, your startup, and working with Angular and Swift. This background was very interesting (and why we wanted to talk in the first place) but ultimately we didn’t move forward because we are looking for someone with more experience in our specific tech stack.

We take feedback from customers, candidates and employees very seriously at Help Scout and we’ve already started exploring some ideas on how to make this process smoother. One idea we’re thinking about is having a video/equipment check with candidates prior to the interview to iron out any possible challenges. I appreciate so much that you took the time to give me this feedback and I’ll also reflect on why I came off as condescending. It certainly was not my intention.

Again, my apologies and thank you so much for letting me know how you felt.

Other Interview Reviews for Help Scout

  1.  

    Javascript Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Help Scout in February 2018.

    Interview

    A phone screen w/ someone from People Ops, you learn a lot about the company, its values and benefits. Then a technical screen discussing a particular open-ended scenario. Finally a take-home exercise which involves building a basic CRUD app in React followed by a technical interview with the CTO.

    The process is well thought through and shows that the company has a egalitarian remote-first work culture.

    Interview Questions


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