My new job at Narato!
The job search
In the beginning of August I decided it was time for a new professional challenge. I started looking for a new job, so I applied for several ones. Even though there are a lot of vacancies available in the ICT sector, getting a fitting new job isn’t that simple. It encompasses more than just a way to earn money. It’s about finding a good match on several levels, technical as well as on a personal level. Both you and the company also need to feel a connection to make the match work. As we’re spending a lot of time at work, you have to find an environment in which you love to work and where you can grow and shine in the role and the domain you prefer.
In my hunt for a job, I hit upon a vacancy at Narato. I looked at their website and I was attracted by their story. I applied for the job and shortly thereafter the HR department of Crosspoint Solutions called me for an initial screening, which went well. Not much later, I received an invite for a first interview with one of the founders.
When I entered the Narato office for the first time, it exuded a familiar atmosphere. It made me feel comfortable. The meeting started with the classic questions about my education, work experience and future expectations. Afterwards, Patrick introduced Narato. He talked about some of the projects and the overall company culture. The enthusiasm in his story attracted me. It seems people at Narato think having fun at work is at least as important as earning money. I went home with a good feeling.
Apparently Narato also had a good feeling and I was invited for a second – more technical – interview. Because of the summer holidays it took some time before this interview could take place. It consisted of 2 slots: a role-playing game and a technical interview. During the role- playing game I was presented a real-life problem. The interviewer played the role of the customer to whom I had to present my solution. It wasn’t easy to shift my mind and consider the interviewer to be the customer. On one hand, I wanted to convince the interviewer of my technical skills, but on the other I shouldn’t go into too much technical depth in front of the customer. Next was a technical interview. For me this part never felt like a classic interview but more like a natural conversation on some technical topics I could have with a colleague.
The technologies I have experience with don’t exactly match Narato’s technology stack. This wasn’t a major problem for Narato because they think that as long as you have a solid base, you can learn any technology. That’s a point of view I like. Still, Narato wanted to make sure I would learn new technologies quick enough. That’s why they presented me with a code challenge. I got 5 days to build a web application around a bot framework, preferably using the technologies in Narato’s stack. The task was deliberately kept a little vague and the time frame was rather short. I went for it. The following days were very intensive, but I learned a lot of new things which I will probably reuse in the future. So even if I didn’t get the job, I would still have gained a lot of knowledge. Finally I presented the application and told my story. They were convinced so I got the job!
Looking back at the experience, the overall procedure took some time. Mainly because of the limited availability of people due to the summer holidays. But after each step I received clear and valuable feedback. Each of the interviews lasted more than an hour. Add to this the time spent on the coding challenge and you can see that Narato expects some investment from their candidates. This might seem like a lot of work but it does have its benefits. Narato gets to see if the candidate can hold a position in the company and the candidate gets to know Narato as well to see if they would fit there. After all, finding a job is about finding a good match and that may take some time.