Jess Hickman

Apply for a job at StarFish Medical: our interview process

interview process _q7a4201-800x533The interview process was surprising to me when I applied to StarFish Medical for an administrative role six years ago. I was brought in for two rounds of interviews. In years past, I had only ever had a single interview with a company before being offered a position. Looking back on that now, I was naïve in believing that the company knew enough about me, and in turn, that I knew enough about them to accept a position.

We believe that we have the best people working at Starfish Medical. When we have an opening for a role, we’d love to fill it quickly, but the StarFish process takes longer than some would expect. The main reason is because we spend enough time with a prospective hire to believe that 1) they are the best person for the role and 2) they will fit into the StarFish culture. And we don’t come to that realization about a person overnight.

We engage our candidates in a thorough interview process which can include multiple interviews with a variety of our team. These interviews can be overwhelming to some candidates and we recognize that. But it’s proven to be a great way to understand who will find success at StarFish Medical. As well, it gives the potential employees a much broader understanding of who StarFish Medical is, so they can determine if we will be a good fit for them. We strongly believe that the process of interviewing with a company is a two way street.

Our interviews are varied and can cover an array of topics:

  • Skills-based interviews that dig into the principles of engineering. What does a candidate remember from first year university and how do they apply these to simple problems?
  • Questions that focus on key competencies that we feel are an integral piece for the role that we are looking to fill. How have you addressed situations in the past, and how might you do so now?
  • Discussions around the individual’s education and career history and the highlights and difficulties that were experienced in each phase.
  • Communication and presentation skills by way of a presentation to a StarFish team.
  • Conversations around the core StarFish Medical values and how they align with your own.

We are very proud of our values and the culture they have helped define at StarFish Medical. Developed over 19 years, they truly define who we are and how we interact, both with each other and with our clients. We look to see if our values are already incorporated into the candidate’s work style. This alignment of values is a huge part of being a good fit for StarFish:

  • We look deeper and solve the right problems. We get the fundamentals right and then build from the inside out. That’s a fundamental integrity core value. We’re not about the appearance of being good – we’re about being good.
  • We are open and welcome accountability. We share information with team members well and across the company. We don’t deny our shortcomings and mistakes but welcome opportunities to improve. We point out the elephant in the room.
  • We get better all the time. All the time. We learn and systematize so we don’t make the same mistakes twice.
  • We cut to the chase. We don’t indulge in ineffective actions. We get things done. We’re efficient.

We know that we ask a lot of our staff – there can be times where extra work is required, or a problem exists that is extraordinarily tricky and requires a lot of thinking and mental manipulation. When people are doing what they love and what they do well, those times are not nearly as draining. And when you are working with a team of people that share your values and are equally engaged, it makes the work environment an invigorating place. This is why we invest so much into our interview process.

I hope this look inside our process will help you through the experience if you choose to apply for a position at StarFish Medical – there is method to our madness!

Image: StarFish Medical

Jess Hickman is the StarFish Medical HR Manager.  This is her first StarFish Blog. Since joining the company in 2010, Jess has participated in the hiring for staff in every department and seen the company grow over 100%.


4 responses to “Apply for a job at StarFish Medical: our interview process”

  1. Kim Dillon says:

    So well put! When people do what they love they achieve incredible things for themselves and their organization. Thanks for insight into your hiring practices, and keep up the fantastic work!

  2. Tim Bhatnagar says:

    What a great approach to ensuring that potential employees and StarFish Medical are a good match!

    While this article deals with the interview process, I’m sure there must be a fair bit of ‘resume screening’ to pare down the applicants suitable for an interview. It would be very interesting to see a similar post by StarFish’s HR regarding how they go about sifting through applications!

  3. Kathryne Young says:

    It was the interview process itself that convinced me that Starfish was where I wanted to work. After two days, about 10 hours of time with about 8 people, being the successful candidate felt like a big accomplishment. For starters, it’s very revealing and you tend to get very introspective about your own goals. Having used it to hire others, it has given me lots of clarity about what I’m looking for for my team and for Starfish.

    If you are a candidate, trust the process, open up, and enjoy the experience.

  4. Eric Chasseloup says:

    Thanks for sharing your hiring process philosophy. It is really important as a candidate to see the company spends time hiring a new collaborator, which shows the company invests in you!

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