So, you are interviewing with HubSpot – first of – congratulations and great choice. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah have a great product, vision, and they sure do know how to entice great workers.
About a year ago, I interviewed with HubSpot for the Inbound Marketing Professor position. I was drawn to HubSpot because they were/are internet marketing geniuses. Their company culture is spot on, they have unlimited vacation, nap rooms, candy walls, free beer, and they are based out of Cambridge. Sounds great, huh?
More than the perks, I was drawn to the inbound marketing professor position. The position would allow me to work with and help customers, teach customers, and learn more along the way. Here were some of the highlights of that position (I don’t believe they hire for this specific position anymore):
- Marketing-y enough to know what transformation means. Maybe you have an MBA and know the Kodak case really well, or perhaps you’ve worked with marketing your entire career. You know enough to realize that this Inbound Marketing stuff is something special.
- Analytical enough to see patterns in data and make recommendations for the data.. You don’t need to be an Excel guru, but you do have to be able to help educate and train customers on how to draw conclusions and next steps from data
- Technical enough to not be scared of terms like HTML or CSS. You don’t need to be a software engineer or IT geek, but you have to be able to explain technical concepts to a non-technical audience—we are a software company.
Want to Interview with HubSpot? Here are 3 quick tips:
1. Make them come to you.
This is what inbound is all about, right? Drawing people in – instead of screaming messages that no one wants to hear. So how did I get an interview with HubSpot? I inbounded their recruiter.
I built a website – hubspotters.com – that was a blog all about my resume with a free download CTA, that went to a landing page with a form to download an ebook (that was basically my resume).
Once I had the recruiters information and attention, I contacted him. I inbounded the job process. Instead of sending out mass resumes, I personalized the process and made companies come to me. This also showed HubSpot I knew what I was talking about.
2. Know their product, processes, and people.
- I followed 300 of their employees on Twitter (and honestly – still follow most of them because they know what they are talking about). When I read an article I liked on HubSpot, I’d reach out to the writer via Twitter and let them know it. *Diana Urban is one of the best..
- I took a demo of their product, talked with the sales people, and connected with them on LinkedIn.
- I also hand wrote a letter to Brian Halligan. He got it and responded back. Cannot stress how rare this is.
3. Close Them
My recruiter at HubSpot gave me some great advice. He said, “You’ve made it this far – now all you have to do is close it. Close them, Eli.”
Great advice. You can’t really blow it with HubSpot. Either you know your stuff, or you don’t.
Once you send your application in, you’ll get a generic email.
I am assuming most don’t get past this step – thus, make your job application great. Once they receive your application and they like it, you’ll get an email from a HubSpot recruiter. I’m sure all emails vary, but I got this:
In my process, I had 2 chats with the recruiter, one 10 minute call with the manager, a fly up interview (that I ended up not taking), and a final project. The final project would have been to conduct a webinar. In all, it was a 5 stage process that would have only taken 2 weeks. If all went well, I’d have been there in a month.
Here is what I learned along the way.
1. They move quickly
My recruiter moved quickly (and just to protect his privacy – I’ll leave him nameless. He was great; I just want to provide him confidentiality). After my two interviews with him and my five minute chat with the department hiring manager, I got this:
I received this email on a Tuesday, and they wanted me in the office by Friday. The recruiter knew I had to come from Virginia. After this on-site interview, they also wanted to do a webinar the following Monday.
If you are interviewing with HubSpot, be prepared to get off of work within a week.
HubSpot moves fast. Once you impress the recruiter, be prepared to move very quickly. I thought this was great.
HubSpot doesn’t drag their feet.
2. HubSpot doesn’t pay for any interview expenses
Luckily, my recruiter was awesome, and I knew this bit of information going into the entire process. He told me the good and bad details upfront – one of which was – HubSpot does not pay for any interview expenses.
“Because we have the greatest talent within 5 miles of us”. HubSpot is surrounded by great colleges and talent, and thus, they don’t pay for interview expenses (not even a cab to the offices).
Sadly, I had to end my interview process with HubSpot because of this. I was gladly willing to pay a few hundred bucks to interview, to learn, and to get the job, but when I received the recruiter’s email above (about flying out in 3 days), the cheapest flight I could find was $750. It’s hard to find cheap flights within three days from the backwoods of Virginia.
I tried to push the interview off a few weeks, but the recruiter was adamant about getting me started ASAP.
3. HubSpot will not help with relocation
Yet again, “Because we have the greatest talent within 5 miles of us”, HubSpot doesn’t pay for any moving. And moving to Boston, Cambridge, or even Somerville, isn’t cheap. If you are single, you could find rent for $600-$900 monthly with 6 other guys and gals in the house.
For a family, we couldn’t swing it. HubSpot’s careers are built for young, single adults.
4. The salary may be lower than you expect
For the position I interviewed for, yet again, the recruiter was up-font and honest (of which I was so glad). The pay was 50-60k. Honestly, it’s not a lot for Boston. By the time you take taxes out (15%) and living (let’s modestly estimate 15k yearly), you are not making a lot.
Yet again, if you are single – you can do it. If you have a family, this becomes all the more difficult.
5. Be prepared for weird questions
I was prepared for the “weakness”, “strengths” or even “explain inbound” questions. What I was not prepared for was a 5 minute interview with weird questions. And by weird I mean:
“Describe a process for me – that has nothing to do with work, this job, or inbound?”
“Teach me something (again, outside of work, the job, etc)”
These weren’t questions I was expecting, but I understand the logic. He wanted to throw me off of my game, and see if I was a natural teacher. I taught him how to “make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich”. It went well, and I made it past the round.
6. Always be closing
Every job at HubSpot is about sales. Wether you are doing in-house SEO, managing operations, or teaching inbound marketing, you must be sales driven.
For HubSpot, this is huge – you must always be closing.
Be closing in your job application, be closing in your job interview, and be closing when you get the job. This “sales” driven ethic isn’t a bad thing – but if you can’t handle pressure, or don’t enjoy the “move up or move out mentality” – you may want to look at different companies.
Overall, I have no regrets. Even if I could have made it to the interview in Cambridge, I don’t think my wife and I could have swung a move to Boston without any help and on 50k (my wife stays home with our son).
At this stage in life, HubSpot seems like a better fit for single individuals.
I still love HubSpot. I do wonder if their policy to not relocate individuals will ever lead to a lack of solid talent or maturity. But for now, it doesn’t seem like it.
Best of Luck!