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Hotjar Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Hotjar

2 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (16)  

Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Declined Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Hotjar in January 2017.

Interview

This interview process was a mixed bag of red flags.

1. They don't really respect your time.

David Darmanin explains in a Recruitee interview why there is such a long form to fill out before you can even submit your resume. He's trying to scare away anyone who doesn't really want the job. Normally, if you're going to ask your applicants to do something really time consuming, you reserve that step for a shortlist of top candidates. He claims Hotjar only reads one of the questions in the form anyway, so why not start with that? Make the larger form an automated second phase.

Introducing big time investments early in the process has the effect of necessarily wasting hundreds of your applicants' hours. (Think about it. If you post a job and you get 200 applicants who each have to spend an hour thoughtfully filling out a long form, and you only hire one of them, you have necessarily wasted 200 hours right off the bat.) Designing an application process that requires large up-front time investments is a really bad way to show applicants that you respect their time (which is ironic because Hotjar paid for the 4th task stage).

2. Despite already being in the employer's advantageous position, they press their advantage in a number of ways that are sort of exploitative.

David also talks about Hotjar's dedication to honesty and transparency, and says they divulge their salary range up-front. The opposite is pretty much the case. After completing the form and submitting my CV, the very first contact I received from them was a request for my absolute bottom salary. Like the other reviewer, I responded that I expected their range was fair, and asked what it was. They responded that they required my base minimum to avoid wasting their time on someone whose expectations were too high.

The only thing transparent about this was the way they were trying to establish a low-ball quote off the bat, and to apply pressure on your salary floor by forcing you to enter a twisted cheap-labour competition with the other hundreds of applicants they never forget to remind you that you're up against.

3. They are kind of precious.

One of the last questions in the 3rd phase is whether you're interviewing for other jobs. Obviously, everyone who is marketable enough to get to this stage is applying and interviewing for other jobs. Job application fidelity is not a thing. Expecting candidates to only interview for one job is like expecting Hotjar to only interview one applicant.

It is totally unreasonable to expect fidelity *before you're even hired*, particularly when the process takes 2 months, they take their time to let you know if you've made it to the next round, and they remind you of how overwhelming the competition is at every step. What does Hotjar think? That if this doesn't work out and I don't get the job, I should just starve because Hotjar is the only company I will ever work for?

It is either unbelievably precious or straightforwardly exploitative. The real function of making you lie about whether you're interviewing with other companies is that you can't use your actual marketability to alter the salary floor they made you establish in the beginning. If you're being offered 5k more in another opportunity, you can't use that to suggest your real market value. In that scenario, if you really do want to work for Hotjar, you just have to suck up a 5k difference annually, because you can't very well go back and say "actually, it seems I'm worth this much," even if it's true.

Conclusion

These flags suggest that Hotjar is less concerned with filtering for a combination of quality + interest than quality + desperation. The job market is such that cool tech start-ups can make steep demands of their applicants, who will comply even if they think it isn't fair.

Hotjar wants highly skilled, ambitious employees with lots of diverse skills and a track record of growth, but they want to pay as little as possible for it. The effect of forcing applicants to make huge time investments, low-ball themselves off the bat, and forfeit the bargaining chip of competing offers has the effect of debasing the applicant's position at the negotiating table. Does your having prevailed over 200 other applicants mean that you're in a strong position to negotiate a fair salary?

No:

1. You stand to lose 2 months of invested time and Hotjar doesn't really stand to lose anything (there are 5 other candidates just like you at the negotiating table).

2. You started by divulging your very base minimum, which you were forced to establish while competing with 200 other people with varying levels of marketability instead of 5 other top-tier candidates. They already know the minimum you will accept (and if you try not to accept it, they can ask you why you were willing to before but not now, which makes you look bad).

3. They forced you to say that Hotjar is ostensibly your only option.

Flag, flag, flag.

Interview Questions

  • What is the minimum salary you would accept?   1 Answer
  • Are you interviewing for any other positions?   1 Answer

Hotjar Response

3 Apr 2017

David Darmanin from Hotjar here (CEO). Thanks for the awesome feedback. This type of input helps us improve Hotjar as an organization – so thanks :)

I assure you we are not trying to scare anyone awat. However we do want to make sure candidates really want to work for Hotjar vs. just 'want a remote job' which is something we get quite often.

You are completely right regarding the salary expectations. Unfortunately we stopped following the process of being transparent about the range. This happened as we had many a time unreasonable expectations presented to us very late in the recruitment process. It's not an excuse and dropped the ball on this. A few weeks ago we reviewed this because of the feedback we received. We have now (April 2017) started the process of publishing salary ranges as part of the job listing itself. Although we are global and remote, when setting the ranges we look at the most expensive markets (e.g. London and New York) and ensure Hotjar is very competitive. I also want to note down that we never make an offer lower than the range we set – this is not allowed. In determining the offer within the range we look at experience and being equitable with the existing team. We're also in the process of making all ranges public to the team and (as mentioned before) on a role basis when published.

We only ask if you are interviewing for other jobs just to make sure we don't lose a candidate coz we were not aware of it (this happened in the past). It's not a test of fidelity in any way. We don't expect candidates to only apply for Hotjar. That would be unreasonable.

I deeply apologize if you felt we wasted your time or were being 'precious'. This was not our intention and we will do our utmost to ensure we change our processes / attitude to avoid it happening again in the future.

Best,
David Darmanin
Founder and CEO

Other Interview Reviews for Hotjar

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Hotjar in October 2018.

    Interview

    The interview process was just as described in the Careers section of their website (apply, video, interview, task, offer), only after the "task" we had a couple more calls: One with the CEO and another one to sort out some details and make sure we were a good fit.

    The process at Hotjar IS lengthy, it took maybe 2-3 months for me in total from application to 1st day on the job, but that wasn't a problem for me, and I'm really happy that they're so meticulous when hiring because now that I'm in the team I can tell you that the culture here is spectacular. Only top-notch talent with top-notch personalities seems to make it through.

    Everyone was very nice, supportive and genuinely interested throughout the whole process.

    My favorite part of the process was the "Task" where I got 2 weeks to perform about 2-3 days of work, and I got to interact with the entire team during that time, really getting a feel for the vibe of the team and how they collaborate. It was a fun project, it was fun to get to know the team, and they pay for our time during that task, which I also appreciate.

    In general, I would say if you're not pressed for time and you're a strong candidate, you'll probably have a great experience with the interview process at Hotjar.

    Interview Questions

    • What is an example of a difficult or challenging situation you've encountered, and how did you go about solving it?   Answer Question

    Hotjar Response

    14 Dec 2018 – VP of Operations

    Thanks for the candid feedback. We continue to look for opportunities to condense the length of our recruitment process while still maintaining its integrity. It's a tough balance and sometimes we are better at it than others. We're glad to hear the process went smoothly for you and we are excited to have you join us!


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