An announcement and a brief retrospective

You may have noticed that I rapidly went quiet about the whole interviewing companies thing. This is actually because I found a new job rather than just because I got bored of writing about it.

I will be starting at Lumi on Monday. It’s not quite the job I claimed I was looking for, but it’s an opportunity to work on interesting research problems at scale with a great team who have done a successful startup before. How could I say no?

I mean, I totally could have said no if they’d failed my interview. It’s inappropriate for me to comment on specific questions, but suffice it to say they did OK. There were a few problems, but they were largely of the “We know this is a problem, but we’re either in the process of fixing it” or “If you feel very strongly this is a problem and want to take fixing it in hand, we’d be very up for that”, which I felt was a good enough response.

In general I’m not sure how useful the questions actually turned out to be. It was much harder to fit them into the interview than I expected it to be, and I’m not sure it really changed my mind about any of the companies I interviewed at – no one did amazingly, and the companies that did badly were companies I was already worried about. I think part of the problem is that the questions focused more on eliciting whether I should run away very fast rather than whether it would be a great place to work, and in general companies which are dysfunctional enough to be worth avoiding are so obviously so that the questions are maybe not needed.

I still think they’re useful to have, but I think maybe next time I find I’m looking for work I’ll throw out about half of them (I have no idea which half) and add in a few ones that probe whether it’s somewhere I should actually be excited about working at.

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