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Not sure exactly what happened but I did personally interview the first hundred employees so that means I probably interviewed him or her and would have done so regardless of how the other interviewers felt about the candidate. My interview feedback was treated like the rest and I rarely if ever vetoed a hire if everyone else was unanimously in support.

And you are right, I did hire people regardless of their answers to some questions and I would then assess how they turned out to figure out if my questions were any good. I basically gave everyone I interviewed a pass on at least one question even if they bombed it abysmally. Some of those folks turned out to be our best employees so I learned to never hold one bad answer against someone. It also gave me a dataset to improve my questions for the next wave of candidates.




Of all the questions I've been asked in interviews over the course of my career, this is the only one I can actually still remember to this day. Partially because it's extremely unique. And partially because I was fairly certain at the time, judging by the look on your face, that I'd completely bombed it. (Also reading your explanation above, I now KNOW that I bombed it.)

Anyway, I'll attest to the fact that Dan at least didn't veto all candidates purely on the basis of their response to this question (unless I was the result of a massive clerical error).

Outcomes aside, I'm very thankful for my experience at Optimizely. My time there was a major inflection point for me both personally and professionally. I wouldn't be as effective in the workplace as I am today—nor would I have some of my most meaningful friendships—had I not cut my teeth at 631 Howard — thanks Dan (and Pete, if you're reading this too).

EDIT: Also considering the timeline and the role described in the OP's message, there's a nonzero chance we were interviewing for the same role. Small world!




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