FAQ for Candidates and Interns

Candidates

What is the proper interview attire?

Come as you are, that’ll probably work. Be comfortable.

Close

What happens if I don’t make it through an interview or a test?

It all depends on how far you get in the interview process.

The main reason people fail the Logic Test is because they try to rush through it. In fact, this test is more about self-discipline than logic. So, if you were a question or two short of passing, you and your recruiter can determine if it makes sense to give it a second try. If the test freezes on you or you had to walk away from the test for whatever reason, just alert your recruiter and she’ll resend it. She can easily check if a test terminated prematurely.

However, if you answered all the questions and got a very low score, then that’s it. For now. You can try again later, in a few months. Talk with your recruiter about it.

If you don’t pass the English Interview, that ends the process, too. The interviewer will give you specific feedback on what you would need to improve (e.g., understanding, pronunciation) and suggestion on how to work on it.

If you don’t pass the Tech Screen, the Profile Interview, or the Task Interview, then your recruiter will let you know and will share with you the feedback from the interviewers. If you’d like, you can ask to talk to the interviewers directly.

TIP: If your interviewers do not offer any feedback at the end of the interview, ask. Ask them how you did, how well you answered the technical questions, and about your cultural fit.

At the end of the process, everybody who has talked to you gets together to decide whether not to make you an offer.

In all cases, we will give you the most detailed feedback possible. Our intention is that this feedback is of value to you, regardless of whether or not you end up joining Nearsoft. As part of this feedback we may recommend reading material or other means of improving weak areas. In a few cases, one of interviewers has served as a mentor to the candidate, even though we decided to not hire him at that time.

In addition to technical skills, our decision weighs heavily on “cultural fit,” that is, our estimate of how closely you already are living our values. Even if you are very skilled and experienced, we won’t make an offer if we feel that there’s not a good cultural fit. On the other hand, we have hired people who didn’t didn’t have as much experience as other candidates, but because these folks were so well attuned to our culture they advanced very rapidly with nominal mentorship.

Close

Can I follow up with someone? Who can I call?

You can talk to your recruiter. If you can’t get a hold of her, send us an email. Somebody will get back to you within 24 hours.

Close

How does the hiring process work?

  • You send us your CV or we find you
  • You take our Logic Test (which is more about self-discipline than logic)
  • You have a nice conversation with us in English
  • You do a nice job at the Profile interview by having an intelligent conversation about your experience and showing mastery of the key concepts in your domain
  • You wow us during your Pair Programming test
  • We agree on the terms of an offer
  • You make a good impression on the Client interview
  • You move to Hermosillo
Close

How long is the typical hiring process?

We really try to get it all done in less than two weeks. Sometimes it may take longer for good reasons (e.g., you may have limited time, our developers are busier than normal).

What we promise to do is to keep you informed at all times of what’s going on. We’ll reach out to you by phone, Skype, email, or smoke signals if need be.

If the process seems to be stuck somewhere, please, send us an email and somebody will be in contact with you within 24 hours (hopefully, much sooner). Please, include other contact information, if possible (e.g., Skype name, Gmail chat address, phone number).

Close

How many rounds of interviews will there be?

Although the details of a session will vary according to the role, the number of steps of our process is the same,

  • Logic Test. This really is more about self-discipline than logic. It is a 20-question, multiple choice test. We highly recommend that you take a full hour to complete in a quiet place, without interruptions.
  • English Interview. A 5 to 10-minute call to determine if you can hold a conversation in English.
  • Tech Screen. A 10 to 15-minute call with an appropriate technical person to determine if it makes sense to continue with the process.
  • Profile Interview. Traditional Q&A interview to get to know you better and figure out what you are strongest at.
  • Task Interview. In this session, we’ll ask you to do something specific to your skillset. Something like write software, design a UI, implement a page, create test cases, etc.

After this everybody who has talked to you gets together to decide whether or not to make an you an offer.

In addition to technical skills, our decision weighs heavily on “cultural fit,” that is, our estimate of how closely you already are living our values. Even if you are very skilled and experienced, we won’t make an offer if we feel that there’s not a good cultural fit. On the other hand, we have hired people who didn’t didn’t have as much experience as other candidates, but because these folks were so well attuned to our culture they advanced very rapidly with nominal mentorship.

Close

I didn’t find any positions that match my qualifications or interest me, should I still submit my CV anyway?

If you are interested in joining Nearsoft, then send us you CV, please. Together we will figure it out.

Close

If I am not selected for a position, will you review my resume against other job openings or do I need to apply directly to those?

If you are a good match for Nearsoft, we’ll figure out a way to make things work. If you are our type of crazy, we’ll want you in the asylum with us.

So, no, you don’t have to apply separately for different positions. That’s our responsibility.

Now, if you have learned a new skill or technology or there’s been other significant change with you since we last talked, then, by all means, contact your recruiter and let her know. New information about you is always welcome and it may put things in a different perspective.

Close

What is the timing of when a hiring decision will be made?

Ask your recruiter and she’ll map it out for your specific case.

In general, the whole process should take two weeks at most. This is the time that it should take you from the time that you pass the Logic Test to the time that we make a decision to offer you a position.

Sometimes this may take longer for good reasons (e.g., you are not available for interviews, our developers are busier than normal). In any case, your recruiter will keep you informed of what’s going on.

If any of this is not working to your satisfaction, send us an email and somebody will be in contact with you within 24 hours (but hopefully much sooner). Please, include your Skype name or phone number if possible.

Close

What types of pre-qualification steps are there?

If you send us your CV, one of the recruiters will contact you. You and your recruiter can discuss your qualifications versus our immediate and future needs. If Nearsoft seems to be a good match for you, then you’ll be invited to enter our hiring process.

Close

When will I hear from a recruiter?

If you send us your CV, one of the recruiters will contact you within 48 hours.

Close

Will I hear back from a recruiter after applying?

Yes. If you send us your CV, one of the recruiters will contact you within 48 hours.

Close

I may not be experienced enough to join Nearsoft, but I really want to be part of your team, what are my options?

We have two programs that may be applicable in your case, the Nearsoft Academy and the Talent Incubator. As for all candidates, you must pass the Logic Test and the English Interview. These are followed by a Profile interview.

The Nearsoft Academy is for college students or recent graduates. College students must be in their ninth semester, ready to join Nearsoft full-time at the end of this six-month program. They must have no other courses during the semester or at most one course. This is an unpaid position.

For more experienced candidates, there’s the Talent Incubator. This is appropriate for people who may not know a particular framework or tool that we use or may not have enough experience with a particular practice (e.g., unit testing). In these cases, a short tour through the Talent Incubator may be enough to bring them up to speed. This program is tailored made for each candidate and lasts at most three months. This is paid position, with limited benefits; full benefits kick in once you graduate from the Incubator.

Close

I completely identify with your values and what you want to achieve. What is it expected from me as a potential candidate?

Besides the obvious technical skills, we expect you to have the courage to lead whenever leadership is needed. We expect you to voice your concerns openly and clearly. If you identify a problem, then it will likely be taken care of, maybe even by you. But just grumbling about it won’t change a damn thing. And we are mostly interest in change. We expect you live the values of the company and to encourage and lead others to do so.

We expect you to want to be the best at what you do.

We expect you to love to learn and to always question everything.

Most of all we expect you to make mistakes and learn from them. Or as Esther Dysonput it, “always make new mistakes.”

Close

Contact your recruiter and she’ll send you a new link to the test.

Close

What are the working hours at Nearsoft?

There are no standard “working hours.”  Each team, including the folks in the US and elsewhere, decides what their hours is.  Within that, each individual usually sets her own pattern as well.  So “early” teams, have some people who work “late” and viceversa.

What counts is that you deliver on your promises.

And in order to deliver on your promises, you have to interact with your team throughout their working day.  It would definitely not work to have somebody working throughout the night when the rest of the team is at work during the day.

Please, read about the context for these answers.

Close

Do you have a dress code?

Not really. Come as you are. Be comfortable. But do wear something.

Close

Can I work remotely?

Yes. Let people know that you’re going to be working away from the office and how to get a hold of you when needed.

Normally, people post a message in our Yammer stream with the tag #remote whenever they decide to work away from the office.

Like everything else, if you go overboard with the #remote thing, so much so that it gets in the way of our commitments, then somebody from your team will probably talk to you about it.

Please, read about the context for these answers.

Close

Why Hermosillo?

One of the co-founders is from Hermosillo. So, that kind of gives you a hint of why we started there. But we’ve stayed there for other, really good reasons, like,

  • Hermosillo is a quiet city, with a low crime rate and none of the insecurity that other cities in Mexico are suffering from.
  • It has a very reasonable cost of living.
  • It has a bunch of Universities, 12 of them with software programs.
  • It has a healthy technology ecosystem where we can draw experienced candidates from.
  • It is well connected by air to the rest of Mexico and the US.
  • It is in the north of Mexico which has a very high cultural affinity to the US (e.g., major sport: baseball—go Naranjeros!).
  • It is time-aligned with the Pacific and Mountain states in the US.
  • We do plan to open another office in Mexico in the near future. Any suggestions?
Close

How long do people stay at Nearsoft? How many have left?

We have a very low turnover rate. That’s the percentage of people who leave the company voluntarily.

As of this writing it is around 2-3% in the last 24 months. That’s very low in our industry, and very low in our area. Even then, some of the people who have left have done so to get a Master’s degree abroad, or to follow a spouse for a great position in Europe.

Close

Do you have flexible work arrangements?

Besides vacation and holidays we get five days of Personal Time Off (PTO). This is time that you can take off for any reason or no reason at all. Mostly these are used for personal appointments, child care, extensive car repairs, etc.

People in your team will expect you to let them know ahead of time when you are not going to be available so they can make whatever accommodations may be necessary.

Please, read about the context for these answers.

Close

Who are your clients?

Software product companies.  Exclusively.

We don’t work on software that’s only used for internal consumption.  We work only with organizations that value their software and their software developers and it is in line with their business to do so.  Their software has to be high quality, world-class stuff and they know that it all starts with great engineers.

If you put a lot of love and care into creating software, if you consider it your craft, then we definitely want to work with you.

Close

What are your core values?

  • Commitment
  • Leadership
  • Long-term Relationships
  • Smart and Get Things Done
  • Teamwork

To be clear, these are not a list of five “power” words and phrases that “the boss” came up with one day.  These are the core, living values that we identified as a team.

We did that about four years back (playing Innovation Games).  It’s probably about time to review them again and rediscover our living values.

Hope that you can join us in time to help us go through the next round of discovery

Close

How many devs are there at Nearsoft?

In total, there are over 80 of us (as of May 2012).

Of those, 10 or so of us are “overhead.”  Everybody else is a developer, tester, or designer.  And there’s more of them coming every day.

Close

How am I going to get paid?

For the first couple of cycles after you start, you’ll be handed a check. Once your bank account is set up, we’ll be able to automatically deposit your paycheck into your account.

Close

How do you live your values?

For starters, we use them to measure how well candidates fit with us culturally. We live up to our commitments. If we can’t meet them sometimes, we own up to it and clean up after ourselves.

Every one of us has at one point or another lead on a topic that she’s passionate about. We nurture our relationships because they’re going to last for a long time. This is so with our clients, with each other, and with everyone else we’ve touched, even people we’ve decided not to hire.

We hire smart people for sure. We are also very interested in bringing in folks who are resourceful and get things done. In spite of obstacles. We are not looking for heroes. Sometimes you get things done by declaring failure and ask someone else to give it their best.

We can do what we do because we support each other as a team. It would be impossible to be a TOP 10 Great Place to Work if we didn’t embrace the team culture. We would have never been honored to be included in the WorldBlu list of Most Democratic Workplace if we didn’t lead with trust for each other as a team.

Close

Why do they say that Nearsoft is a Great Place to Work?

The Great Place to Work Institute studies and identifies great workplaces throughout the world.

Nearsoft has been ranked in the TOP 20 since 2008 (i.e., since the first year that we participated).  We started in number 17 and we’ve moved up every year.  In 2012, we ranked #6 in Mexico and in #24 in Latin America.

We work very hard at making Nearsoft a great workplace.  Every day.  And this is reflected in our ranking.

The GPTW “measures employee engagement by surveying employee opinions, attitudes and perceptions on the level of trust between colleagues and between management and employees.”

The GPTW does an annual audit of our company culture in terms of “an analysis and inventory of the policies, practices, programs and day-to-day management behaviors that form the foundation of your workplace culture. Responses are rated for variety, originality, all-inclusiveness, human touch, and integration.”

Close

Why is Nearsoft listed as a Democratic Workplace?

WorldBlu measures workplace democracy in terms of its ten principles,

  1. Purpose and Vision
  2. Transparency
  3. Dialogue + Listening
  4. Fairness + Dignity
  5. Accountability
  6. Individual + Collective
  7. Choice
  8. Integrity
  9. Decentralization
  10. Reflection + Evaluation

Nearsoft has had the honor of being included in WorldBlu’s list of Most Democratic Workplaces since 2009, the first year that we participated.

We are a very flat organization, with no titles and no “management elite.”  We each have a role, but no titles, per sé.  We have a CEO, for example, but that defines his responsibility, not his place in a “hierarchy.”

We treat each other as responsible adults.  And we help each other to to live up to our highest potential.

Close

I’ve heard a few things about the Nearsoft “culture” but what does it all that mean?

At Nearsoft, our culture is one of our most important assets. It drives the company to success or failure. We have proved that this is true for us. Culture has shaped the level of service we provide to our clients, the quality of people we hire, and our financial results.

Our culture is shaped by our values as we live them everyday. During your interview, we will be looking for how well you already live these values.

Beyond that, our culture has been described as relaxed, committed, driven, balanced, nuts, fun, and family-friendly.  Take your pick.

Just look at our our pics.  Or even the videos.

Close

What is the culture like at Nearsoft?

Relaxed.  Committed.  Driven.  Balanced.  Nuts.  Fun.  Family-friendly.

Just look at our our pics.  Or even the videos.

At Nearsoft, our culture is one of our most important assets. It drives the company to success or failure. We have proved that this is true for us. Culture has shaped the level of service we provide to our clients, the quality of people we hire, and our financial results.

Our culture is shaped by our values as we live them everyday. During your interview, we will be looking for how well you already live these values.

Close

What’s expected of me?

Be an adult.  Be responsible.  Don’t take yourself too seriously, have fun.  “Always make new mistakes.”

Close

What are some of the challenges that I might face at Nearsoft?

The number one challenge that people go through is getting used to the culture.  In spite of everything that we may say during the recruiting process and all the conversations, people come in and try to find “the boss.”  This takes many shapes, but it all comes back to “but, really, who’s the boss?”

Close

What are the expectations of the hiring manager?

First of all, we don’t have managers.  Each team hires its new members as it needs to grow.  The requirements vary.  But the expectations are pretty consistent,

  • Come ready to hit the ground running—don’t wait for somebody to tell you what to do next (nobody will)
  • Be serious about your work, but don’t take yourself too seriously—enjoy life
  • Own up to your commitments, and help others live up to theirs
  • Take the lead on issues that you feel passionately about
  • Ask for help, don’t get stuck—adults know that they don’t have to do it all or be heroes
  • Lead with trust—the relationships you build today are going to last you a long time
  • Be resourceful, get it done—look for the smart way there, not excuses
  • Innovate, make mistakes, learn from them, innovate some more
Close

What is the salary range?

You will be offered a competitive salary and nice benefits.  Our goal is it to offer you great work, good pay, and time to play with your kids.

Close

What kinds of benefits do you offer?

Besides our base pay, our benefits include 25 paid days off, private health insurance, annual aguinaldo, and full Social Security benefits, including INFONAVIT.  In addition, we get monthly vouchers (e.g., gas, groceries), and as many books as we want.  Each of us gets training budget, and, depending on business conditions, we get an annual profit-sharing bonus.  These are, of course, the short-term benefits.

The real, long-term benefits is what you will learn at Nearsoft.  The remarkable people you’ll meet and make lifelong friendships with.  The things that you’ll discover you can accomplish when you work without restrictions.  The ability to reach as far and high as your creativity takes you.  The opportunity to take the lead on anything you are passionate about.

Close

Why should you join Nearsoft?

You should join Nearsoft if you are convinced that doing so will help you grow and allow you to have a bigger impact on the world.

If you are looking for your next 9-to-5 “job,” or you want to do the safe, same-as-last-year work, then Nearsoft is definitely not the place for you.

Close

How many vacation days will I get?

We all get 10 days of paid vacation and 10 holidays throughout the year.   That’s typical stuff.

We also get five days of Personal Time Off (PTO).  You can take time off for any reason or no reason at all.  Just let the rest of us know, “taking PTO tomorrow morning.”  Mostly these are used for personal appointments, child care, extensive car repairs, etc.

In practice, nobody keeps track of your time, except you.  But everybody in your team will implicitly keep track your results, simply because they depend on you as you depend on them.

BTW, if you have a family emergency, go take care of your family.  Take whatever time you need.  We’ll worry about the formalities later.

Please, read about the context for these answers.

Close

What are the benefits of working at Nearsoft?

The primary benefit is personal growth.  There are lots of opportunity for growing your technical skills.  But also, and perhaps more importantly, there are lots of opportunity to grow personally.

You are going to be working with a group of very skilled and very wise people.  And you’ll have the opportunity to learn from them and with them.

In more traditional terms,

  • We get 25 paid days off (see How many vacation days will I get?)
  • Each of us has a “training” budget.  This can be spent on trips to conferences and the like, not just traditional classroom training.  This helps to keep us up to date with the latest and greatest technology.
  • We have a very simple book policy: send in the URL to the book you’re interested in, and we’ll get it.  That’s it.  Oh, and this is not limited to hardcore technology books (we have been known to buy a couple of book on neuroscience).
  • Everybody gets high performance desktops or laptops, at least two displays, and whatever other tools they may need.  For example, these days we’re upgrading everybody to SSD drives.
Close

Interns

When does Nearsoft accept resumes for intern positions?

Any time. But we only accept students who can dedicate themselves to the internship full-time for a whole semester. In Mexico, the “ninth” semester is officially reserved for internships, with none or very little class load.

Close

How do I apply for a intern position?

Send us your CV, short as it may be.

Close

What’s the criteria for an internship?

  • You are 18 years or older
  • You are currently enrolled at an accredited college or university
  • You are in your ninth semester (Mexico) or otherwise be available full-time for a whole semester
  • You are in a an applicable degree program (i.e., computer science, marketing)
  • You are in good academic standing
  • You are planning to start to work at the end of the semester
Close

I don’t live in Mexico, can I apply for an internship?

Yes. We’ve already had a couple of non-Mexican students intern with us and it has worked really well.

As to the visa required, it depends on the country you’re from. If you are from the US or Canada, then no special visa is required to stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. For other countries, requirements vary.

Close

Will I be contacted once I submit a resume?

Once you send us your CV, a special recruiter fir interns will contact you within 48 hours. Normally, this recruiter will be your recruiter throughout the interview process.

Close

How does the selection process work?

Interns follow a short version of our regular process,

  • Logic Test
  • English interview
  • Technical interview

For interns, the technical interview is more about concepts than experience (although some of our interns have had experience freelancing).

What we look for is eagerness to learn, resourcefulness, and fearlessness. We value people who are not afraid of pushing the envelope, make mistakes, learn from them, and try again.

Close

Will you consider hiring me at the end of the internship?

All throughout the program, your overall performance will be reviewed. These reviews as well as feedback and recommendations from your peers and mentors will determine if you will be considered for a full-time position.

If you have done stellar work, then we’ll consider you for a full-time position, if one is open at the time. If there isn’t a position open at the end of your internship, we will still consider you for future employment with Nearsoft ahead of similar candidates who have not gone through our program.

Close

Will this internship lead to a full-time position?

Yes, of course. One of the goals of the Nearsoft internship program is to help shape future employees. We want to make sure that you end up the right kind of crazy for our asylum.

Throughout the program, your overall performance will be reviewed. These reviews as well as feedback and recommendations from your peers and mentors will determine if you will be considered for a full-time position.

If you have done stellar work, then we’ll consider you for a full-time position, if one is open at the time. If there isn’t a position open at the end of your internship, we will still consider you for future employment with Nearsoft ahead of similar candidates who have not gone through our program.

Close

Which universities are on Nearsoft’s recruiting calendar this year?

We have been working primarily with Hermosillo universities so far, but we are now planning to take our show on the road, so to speak. Our first baby step in this direction is in working with universities in Guaymas and other nearby cities. By the end of the year or early next year, we hope to have a presence with universities outside Sonora.

But, why wait for us to come to you? Just send us your CV, short as it may be, and a recruiter will contact you. And this is not just any recruiter, but one who specializes in working with interns like you.

Close

What if Nearsoft is not making a campus visit to my university?

Then, take the lead! Don’t wait for us to come to you! Send us your CV, short as it may be, and a recruiter will contact you. And this is not just any recruiter, but one who specializes in working with interns like you.

Close

Can I get a tour or schedule an informational interview?

By all means. You are always welcome to come by the office. Just talk with your recruiter (i.e., if you don’t have one, send us your CV and one of our recruiters will contact you).

Close

What are the goals of the internship program at Nearsoft?

The first and obvious goal is to help shape future Nearsofians.

The other goal is to help the technical community in Mexico (and elsewhere in Latin America).

We have learned, and continue to learn, a lot by working closely with leading software companies in the US and we want to share what we have learned. And not just the raw technology and tools, but also about good practices, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Close

Which Nearsoft location offer internships?

The one and only, in Hermosillo, Sonora.

Close

Which Nearsoft departments offer intern opportunities?

We don’t have “departments.” And we don’t have walls in our office, either. Or, for that matter, anything that gets in the way of collaboration and having a good time.

But to answer your question, we are primarily looking for developers and QA automation engineers, particularly the stellar kind. We also look for Manual Testers, Graphics designers, UI designers, Marketing.

But, again, don’t ask and tell us what you are passionate about and we’ll work help you get there.

Close

What types of student majors does Nearsoft recruit for?

Computer Science and similar programs. Graphics and UI design. Marketing.

Close

What will my internship experience at Nearsoft be like?

During your internship, you’ll work with one or more developers as mentors. You’ll do a lot of reading and not just on technical subjects (e.g.Start with Why). On the technical front, you’ll be working various projects, writing blog posts aobut them, and giving talks on your work (and posting videos of them), contributing to Open Source projects, building your StackOverflow Reputatio, and much more. Certainly, you won’t be making copies or fetching coffee for anybody.

Also, like everybody else in the company, you’ll be part of celebrations, birthdays, Friday Talks, Food Friday, etc.

Close

Are interns paid?

No, sorry. Although in certain cases, we may pay a stipend. If this is an issue for you, please talk to your recruiter (i.e., you’ll know who that is as soon as you send us your CV).

Close

Do you provide relocation assistance for interns?

Not for interns, sorry. At least, that’s the “rule” but we love to find good reasons to break the rules.

Close

When are my start and end dates?

The internship program lasts for a full semester. The start and end dates will generally coincide with regular semesters.

How long you stay in the program is completely up to you. You may decide that the program is not for you and, if so, you can drop out at any time, of course. Alternatively, if you are not meeting our expectations or otherwise show us that you are not serious about it, we’ll ask you to leave the program.

Close

Context

The Context for these Answers

Many of these answers may sound like platitudes, lies, or just plain crazy. For example, on the topic of time off part of our answer is,

BTW, if you have a family emergency, go take care of your family. Take whatever time you need. We’ll worry about the formalities later.

Most people will read this and think, “This cannot be true. They can’t mean this.” People would most certainly abuse it, right? Well, not at Nearsoft.

We put a lot time, money, and energy into hiring smart, responsible adults, people who personify our values of commitment, leadership, long-term relationships, and teamwork. Given that, the answers in this document make more sense.

For example, on the issue of family emergencies, we trust that a smart responsible adult will let the rest of us know what’s going on, as appropriate. Once things calm down a bit for her, she will try and let her team know how long she might stay away; whether she’ll be able to work remotely or if she’s going to be completely off, to focus on her family. Once the emergency passes and she’s fully back at work, she’ll make up the lost time in some way, shape, or form. Of if that’s not possible, she’ll make other arrangements to make things right. This is what a smart, responsible, committed adult will naturally do, for her own sake and the sake of the team. As she did for her family, she will do for her team when she gets back.

Those are a lot of assumptions but we’ve found that it does work. Sometimes a person may forget to tell us how long they think they’ll be away taking care of their family. So, somebody will ask. Next time, she’ll know to bring it up on her own. And the time after that, she may be the person asking and helping somebody else act responsibly.

We have found that leading with trust works much better and it’s less stressful for all. It is even better for business since we don’t have to hire managers to run around and “make sure that people follow do their job.”

Close

Send your resume!

Allowed formats are PDF, DOC and DOCX.