The Zeroth Round – Another look at the hiring process

Written by Gabor Kovacs, VP of Delivery

I’ve had my share of bad interviews with companies.

One thing I don’t particularly like is when I don’t have a chance to dig deeper into who & what I will work with if I join them. Most of the hiring pipelines are set to get the most information out of the candidate, make quick easy decisions for the company on whether they want to move on or not, and disregard the fact that this is a two-way street, especially in the IT world.

As you normally would, if you think you’re a good fit for a job at a company, you will want to talk to them, ask what to expect, and what your role would be there. If you have that informational round, you probably already know if you want to spend some time on interviews or not. Based on my experience, you usually don’t have that chance if you just apply, or if you go through an agency. Yes, you can read some minor facts like working hours, or a general tech stack, but you can’t ask what you really would do or what tools you’d have to use.

I once had an interview process where I learned on the third round that they used a CI/CD pipeline that was outdated security-wise two years ago, with no updates in sight. And no, this was not a small company but a multinational, 10k+ employee one. Do I want to join that? Not at all.

I would not want to make that mistake as a hiring manager. I want to know that if we go forward, you are up for the job. In the IT world, we have great options, great salaries, and yes, you will decide where you want to go, you will have the choice, and I want you to join us with knowing as much as you want.

But technical rounds aren’t the right time for the candidates’ questions either. Once I was just a secondary interviewer at a technical round following an HR round. The leading interviewer let the candidate ask some questions at the beginning, and we spent 75of the 90 minutes scheduled for the meeting answering them. We had to basically reschedule the interview.

Not every candidate will have that many questions, but the more senior roles we search for, the more knowledge they have around how IT companies work, and the more they want to know. I had introduction meetings from 30 minutes up to almost two hours, and I promise you candidates will respond very well.

At Transcend, we have two interview rounds… and before that, YOU have one. This is the zeroth round. We will spend at least 30 minutes, but if you need it, even more to tell you about the company, our tech stack, and we will provide you somebody who can and will answer all your questions, not just about the paperwork, but about the real deal.

Want to give it a try?


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