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At Clearbit, we place a particular emphasis on building a close-knit team. We want to work with people whom we also enjoy spending time with. It’s one of the things that makes this place so fun. Therefore, we look to hire people who are aligned with our core values and will add to the culture we’ve created. The Values interview is designed to determine this.

Using Clearbit's hiring rubric

Our hiring rubric is a tool designed to assist hiring managers and interviewers with making better hiring decisions. It determines the character traits we think our candidates need in order to be successful within Clearbit’s culture.

By externalizing the subjective portion of the hiring process that often takes place in our heads, we can be more objective and scale our character evaluation abilities. Below are our values; each candidate gets a score of zero to four by each value.

Self sufficientCandidate is a self-starter, and once given a general direction or problem-set they will run with it.
TrustCandidate only has to be told something once, and you can be confident it will get done.
ConvictionCandidate is willing to disagree (playfully) and fight for what they believe in.
Loves their craftCandidate has genuine curiosity and love for their craft - it’s not just another job for them.
IntegrityCandidate is honest and truthful.
Sense of humourCandidate is quick to laugh and doesn't take themselves or life too seriously.
TeamCandidate works well with others and believes there’s no such thing as β€œit’s not my job.”

Now, you may be thinking that testing for these values could be quite arbitrary. You would be right, were it not for our hiring rubric, which details how to test against each value.

Our full rubric can be found in the wiki under the Recruiting section, but we've reprinted a portion of it below as an example:

Sample rubric: testing for craft

At Clearbit, we take pride in what we do, and we’re always looking for ways that we can improve. Mastering our craft and bettering ourselves should be an end unto itself. We want to add people to the team who take a similar joy in their work.

Some ideas for testing:

  • Does the candidate have a blog (doesn’t need to be up to date)?
  • Has the candidate published any works, written any books, or given any presentations?
  • Does the candidate know any experts in their field well?
  • Has the candidate shown clear progression in their field over the last few years?
  • Is the candidate aware of recent news/research/articles that you haven’t even heard of?
  • Does the candidate have any side hobbies related to the field?
  • Has the candidate purposely chosen this career or just slipped into it?
  • Do other people/companies seek their advice?
  • If they're an engineer, do they develop or maintain any open source projects?
  • Are they part of the community for their specialty; e.g., do they attend meetups, conferences, etc.?

How to score

  • A zero would be someone whose knowledge has remained static for the last few years, takes no pleasure in their work, and clocks out at 5 p.m.
  • A four would be someone who’s taught themselves their field from scratch, is constantly reading and looking to improve, and has lots of coffees with people looking for their advice.