Our Interview Process, And Getting Hired

Life at Propellerhead is rewarding - we are dedicated to the evolution of ideas.

We're currently building software for some incredibly innovative initiatives, both in private and public sectors. Our clients are some of the largest government, commercial and non-profit institutions in New Zealand.

alt Check out our recent work with Auckland Museum

We believe future technologies will provide answers to many of our current challenges, and we choose to hasten the emergence of these technologies through software - the platform for tomorrow’s innovation.

Our team is a mix of some of the best software development talent available globally, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our working environment.

We’re always on the look-out for talented people to complement our team, so wanted to share a little of our hiring process and what we’re looking for. If you think you’d make a good fit here, keep up-to-date with current vacancies.

Working At Propellerhead

We believe you are most effective when given the room to move - when there are as few organisational layers as possible.

Managing from the top down discourages the initiative that makes team members who they are. Instead, we seek to build a more dynamic, self-sufficient organisation where people get a chance to focus on what matters.

Working at Propellerhead means being surrounded by inspiring colleagues dedicated to mastering their craft and having a positive impact on New Zealand.

Teams

Our business is organised as a collection of teams. Each team is responsible for an agreed outcome and is free to determine how best to achieve that outcome. They hold each other to account for performance, determine tasks, team direction etc, and each has a lead whose primary role is to support and coach team members in pursuit of delivering to the team’s outcome.

In other words, teams are self-managing business units operating within the larger organisation. We take influence from the Holacracy framework.

Our vision to build software for some of New Zealand’s brightest ideas has attracted high-functioning individuals from all over the world, and our team includes people from over 10 different countries.

Our Offices

We’re situated in the heart of Auckland, close to Victoria Park and the Viaduct, and enjoy modern, open-plan offices.

We also have some of the best coffee in Auckland, right here in the office.

Finding The Right Fit (For Both Parties)

Our culture is critically important to us, so when interviewing candidates we’re careful to make sure the fit is right on both sides. We want to learn about who you really are. We promise if you bring your real self, we’ll do the same.

Our interview process starts with a brief introductory meeting. It is a chance for both of us to determine whether there is a good enough fit to proceed on to the next stages of the process. The meeting is conversational, with a focus on your prior experiences, domain knowledge, and personal interest in Propellerhead. This is your chance to learn more about us.

Developer interviews tend to include technical questions about data structures, algorithms, and software development. We will always have as much detail as possible in the role description which you can view before you apply.

Assessments

Hiring is a bit like speed dating – we’ll go through a series of short interviews to base this ‘life changing’ decision on.

At Propellerhead, we use a set of simple assessments to augment the process of getting to know someone. The assessments we have selected provide a better insight into your preferred working style, aptitude, and the conditions under which you best thrive.

The closer the fit for a particular role the more likely it is you will thrive and grow in our environment.

Meeting The Team

You aren’t simply joining a company, you’ll be playing a key role in one of the self-sufficient teams that comprise Propellerhead.

Your fit with the team hiring you will have a direct influence on your enjoyment and success within Propellerhead. An interview with key team members is part of the interview process, and will give you a chance to get to know more about the company from the point of view of fellow practitioners.

Selecting The Right Candidates

There’s a particular set of markers to indicate whether someone would do well here. Usually it’s the care they take and their learning potential, followed by their technical skills. Technology changes rapidly, so skills are important, but secondary to learning ability. We value this very highly.

Because we hire high-functioning individuals, it’s important not to over-manage them. We try to provide a good structure to work within, but let people make their own decisions within a team environment.

Questions We May Ask

We love learning about you, and may ask a few of the following questions during an interview:

  • What you care about and value
  • What you’re working on - projects or products
  • What drives you
  • Why you come to work each day
  • Why you like working with your current team, or why not
  • How you resolve conflicts
  • Why you want to join our company

We’d also love to hear about your current development techniques, understanding and creativity, your design patterns, and how well you understand complex setups. This is all across the whole delivery lifecycle. The technology doesn't matter as much - we know that if a candidate is smart, and has a good understanding of the above, then the technology can be learnt.

Here For A Technical Interview?

As a software services company we are judged by;

  1. Our ability to deliver
  2. The quality of our code

The challenges posed during the technical interview allow you to demonstrate your prowess as an experienced developer who knows how to solve problems and has a good grasp of patterns, tools, and techniques required for high quality code. You’ll have some idea of what we might cover from the job description.

We realise there’s more than one way to approach a particular problem - we’re actually more interested in hearing your thoughts on why you chose a particular approach, technique, or algorithm. This is your chance to showcase your thinking to other technically-minded people.

We value clean, simple code which is readable, maintainable and extensible where appropriate. We’re equally interested in your debugging ability, analytical skills, creativity and an understanding of the infrastructure and processes that underpin production code.

Want To Work With Us?

If you think you’d make a good fit here, keep up-to-date with current vacancies.