How To Get a Job at HubSpot: The Ultimate Informational Interview

Remote work at HubSpot
Spirit Day at HubSpot for our LGBTQ Alliance
An amazing session for Spirit Day with our LGBTQ+ Alliance. Do not ask me why I am making this face because I truly cannot tell you, it’s really something. But the session with author Jen Manion was brilliant!
  • Do Your Homework: We actually make it pretty easy for candidates to brush up on HubSpot. A few of my favorite sources for information, context, employee stories, and specifics on roles include: HubSpotLife social accounts on both Twitter and Instagram, our Careers blog (which has a ton of tips and interviews with folks on specific teams), our Product and Engineering blog, our Culture Happens podcast, HubSpot Academy content (which is completely free and self-guided) for product knowledge and or learning more about how we help organizations grow better, the HubSpot Blog, and many of our executives regularly share updates, open roles, tips, tricks, and anecdotes on LinkedIn, so pick a few folks from the team you’re interested in joining and check out their content before applying.
  • Be Open to Feedback: Our recruiters and interviewers genuinely want to help you along the way, so listen to feedback they give you on video interviews, demos, role plays, and incorporate it in future interviews-this reflects humility and adaptability, which are two things we look for across the board.
  • Think Like a Customer: Regardless of whether you’re in a customer-facing role, understanding how our products are used, our mission, and the market we serve is super useful in the interview process. We’ve had great user experience researchers and designers make suggestions on free user onboarding based on their own experiences on our site, marketers share innovative ideas for future content based on what they see/read/listen to on our channels, and sales reps use our free CRM to organize their job search. All of those things help you develop the empathy and customer-centricity we look for in folks who join our team.
  • Do Fewer Things Better: We have folks apply for 12 roles and get super frustrated they don’t get interviews for any of them. That’s not actually your best approach to land a job at HubSpot. If you’re switching careers or haven’t worked in tech before, that’s okay — I didn’t either before I started at HubSpot. But rather than applying for as many jobs as possible, be really intentional about which roles fit your skill set the best and do a decent amount of research up front to help inform your application — doing so will make it easier to tailor your resume and application materials to the roles you’re most interested in. Related, a word on not applying for dozens of roles here for context.
  • Connect the Dots: When I’m applying for a role, I try to think about dividing a page into two equal parts: the first side (on the left) is the skills I bring to the table as an applicant. The second side (on the right) is what the job description says the role entails with specific bullets on the skills or attributes for a desired applicant. Then I ask myself if the application I’m submitting connects those dots directly. Often times there are gaps that don’t seem obvious to you because you live them every day. As an example, when I applied to HubSpot my personal social media wasn’t very active, so it wouldn’t be obvious in a quick Google search that that was something I was well-versed in, nor was it clear on my resume. I used this simple exercise to recraft the bullets on my application and cover letter to reflect that experience and skill so it wasn’t left to the recruiter or hiring manager to either glean that themselves or find out later in the process.
  • Show don’t tell: I always get a bit frustrated when a candidate tells me he is “really interested in writing more” or “super passionate about events.” Then you ask the last thing they published or the last event they organized (even if either was in their personal life) and get a blank stare. If you’re someone who is making a career leap, use what you can to demonstrate that your passion for this space converts to action. I don’t think people should overthink this exercise — in the examples below, I would simply consider publishing a Medium post or spending more time crafting content on LinkedIn leading up to my application so I have fresh relevant examples to share. Or in the events instance, I might write a quick outline on how I rethought an in-person event to be virtual during COVID-19 — those little gestures go a long way to show that you’re someone who matches intent with impact.
  • Don’t slack on the prep work — read the Culture Code and really do your homework prior to the initial phone screen or video interview as a chance to stand out.
  • Research your interviewers-an (awesome!) recent new hire suggested researching your interview panel to make your connection and conversation more personal in nature.
  • Look for articles from the team you’re seeking to join-a recent hire to our Customer Success Manager role said this article from the amazing Lisa Harte made him feel like he was reading a casual conversation with a friend, and referenced the HubSpot blog on this topic for additional context on terms and expectations.
  • Don’t count yourself out: imposter syndrome is real, don’t let it stand in your way from applying and from believing you can land the role.
  • Let your personality shine through on Zoom-don’t be afraid to be yourself and to convey your passion for the role in your interviews. On a similar note, make the conversation a true conversation, not just a one way street — doing so allows you to showcase critical thinking and thoughtful feedback.
  • HubSpot’s pace is not for everyone. We have monthly quotas for almost everything from retention to Support metrics to recruitment metrics, and just in general, our management team, founders operate at a velocity unlike other companies. I happen to like it — it’s energizing to me, but I think for some people it feels exhausting.
  • HubSpot’s commitment to autonomy is also not for everyone. To be clear, we provide a lot of resources and training and onboarding for folks to help them succeed in their role so this isn’t at all a sink or swim culture. If you read Glassdoor reviews or LinkedIn posts, you’ll see that our onboarding team is super friendly, intentional, thoughtful, and inclusive in training folks on our product and helping them learn about our company and our culture. But once you’re in role, we give people a lot of latitude in how they work and a lot of freedom to innovate. Some people love that; others wish we gave a lot more clear guidance and instruction and structure, so it’s worth noting it here in case that’s not your cup of tea.
  • Finally, we’re not a startup anymore. HubSpot is a scale-up. We are a global company and we move incredibly fast. But we are still a public company that is growing, and as a result you have to both be good at and enjoy cross-team collaboration, be able to manage stakeholders to get things done if you want to ship something company-wide, and be thoughtful about business implications for decisions you make. If you’re someone who dreams of a five person startup where you can always change things on a dime, HubSpot right now likely isn’t your dream gig. To me, we have the good things about a startup (speed, entrepreneurial spirit, lofty mission and goals) and the advantages of a scale-up (established brand and business, strong operating model, strong balance sheet to support our growth), but I recognize some people want a true garage-style startup experience, and that’s not us right now.
  • Everyone at HubSpot is a shareholder — we want to create long-term value for our customers, and in turn for our employees and shareholders as well, so equity is part of our compensation for all employees.
  • We reward exceptional performance in a wide variety of ways, ranging from peer bonuses ($100 each quarter you can give to anyone to reward great work)to kudos in Slack to team-based recognition and company-wide awards. Pay increases and equity grants are one component of that recognition strategy.
  • We look twice per year at compensation fairness on key metrics (including geographic location for fairness, but also inclusion metrics such as gender, race, age, and tenure) to ensure we are thoughtful and inclusive in our approach to compensation.
  • If I were looking for a job on our brand new Revenue Operations (RevOps) team, I would start by following Alison Elworthy, Channing Ferrer, Mark Znutas, Erik Swenson, Akia Obas, Bryan Hoy, Alex Burns, and Annie Ingram on LinkedIn-they are all leaders within that org, so learning what they post and how they are thinking about things will help me stay connected and hear about roles without refreshing the jobs page regularly. If I were applying for an analyst role, I’d take a closer look at the typical skill set required for a given role and consider topping off my knowledge with a quick refresher tutorial for example on Looker to keep my skills fresh and ready, particularly after a holiday break. I’d similarly considering either amplifying content from operational leaders I admire, creating my own, and or finding ways to help the leaders I follow at HubSpot based on my own network and connections, then apply for one key role that really fits my skill set and follow-up with a note to Erik if for example it was a sales operations role or with Annie if the role fell in Services Enablement.
  • If I were looking for a role as a Product Manager, just based on what I see on my social feed right now, I would consider joining this webinar and watch this video from Nancy Riley (VP of Ecosystem) and Kerry Munz (VP of our Revenue Product Org Engineering) to get a sense of how HubSpot prioritizes inclusion and celebrates International Women’s Day along with getting a sense of product leadership personally. Then I might check out the Product Blog for articles written by existing product managers at HubSpot and also to get a basic sense of how the product, UX, and engineering orgs partner before reading the HubSpot news blog to understand how the new marketing contacts model might feel to me if I were an existing customer. I would do that type of research before crafting my resume and cover letter, along with doing some basic research on a few of the General Managers (for example, Ying Chen or Nicholas Holland) to get a sense of the senior leaders I might work for in that role. Hope that helps for context, thanks Nick for the great question on LinkedIn!
Our co-founder Dharmesh at First Gens in Tech when it was in person. #memories
  • First Gens in Tech: this year was our fifth annual event celebrating First Generation folks considering careers in technology. We invite anyone who identifies as first generation to join us for Slack Q&As, panels, resume reviews, networking, and expert advice. This year was our first time doing the event virtually, and we had over 700 folks join us, so we’ll certainly be doing again even bigger and better next year.
  • The Center for Digital Business at Howard is going to be focused entirely on supporting the next generation of Black business leaders in marketing, sales, and services. We are proud to partner with Howard to ensure students get the access, content, networking, and support they need to consider careers in tech if they are interested in doing so.
  • Partnerships with Hack Diversity, Resilient Coders, and Treehouse, to name a few of the organizations we partner with specifically to support our Black and LatinX talent pipeline.
  • Marketing our roles on POCIT, Remote Woman, and sharing as much content as we possibly can on all of our channels to explain our roles, answer questions, and help familiarize folks with HubSpot and tech.
  • Finally, our entry level recruitment strategy has strong foundational roots in helping folks interested in networking with our team. As an example, Handshake is a great tool we use on campuses to connect with students in affinity groups to ensure they get to know our team.
  • Train our hiring managers: It’s not enough to hire for potential, you also have to coach for potential, and our managers play a critical role on both sides of this equation. Given that, we do regular self-paced trainings for hiring managers on how to source, interview, hire, and coach for potential to build a great and high performing team.
  • Interview for skills: Every role at HubSpot has associated competencies we are interviewing for, which allows us to really push people on what are “must haves” for a given role versus “nice to haves.” Skills-based interviewing, particularly when accompanied by opportunities for people to demonstrate potential (such as a role play, which we do for many roles, a quick exercise, which we do for Support, and a quick Loom or Google Doc summarizing how you might tackle an issue or challenge for the People Operations team) ideally sets the stage for a thoughtful, inclusive process globally for all of our candidates and allows us to actively identify great potential in our candidates.
  • Reward and recognize managers who do this well: Note that this is something we need to do a lot more of, so that’s on my personal list to spend more time doing this year. Hiring and promoting folks for potential is a critical ingredient to our ability to scale globally, so it’s personally and professionally so important to me, thanks for the thoughtful question!
  • Align Your Priorities: Before starting your job search it’s important to think about what matters most to you as you begin your career. When you picture your first full time job, what sort of things are you envisioning that bring you energy? This could include job location, autonomy, company values, use of a preferred skill, etc. As soon as you narrow down these core attributes it will be easier to evaluate all of the positions available to you and see where you would be able to provide the most value. A good example is “problem solving” in Support-it’s a key priority in the job description, so really think about whether you enjoy and thrive in solving challenges for others before you apply and tailor your resume accordingly with that interest.
  • Do Your Research Early: If you’re anything like me, you want to pretend that graduation is a mythical thing and that you’ll be able to stay in school forever. Either way, it’s important to include post-graduation planning early to make sure that you have as many opportunities available to you as possible. Every company has a slightly different hiring timeline for new grads. At HubSpot, we even have different hiring timelines by department, but in either situation planning ahead is your best bet. Start the summer before you graduate so you know exactly what you have to plan for and submit when: specifics on our approach by department, team, and role can be found here.
  • Adaptability is Key: You already know that adaptability is key at HubSpot, but it’s even more important for entry-level candidates. Make sure you prep well for your “why this role” question if you’re fortunate enough to get an interview, and if you do interview and the recruiter recommends considering another role, keep an open mind. We know this can feel frustrating, but our recruiters’ job is to work hard to find a great match for you within a wonderful team at HubSpot, so remaining adaptable to other roles will increase the likelihood we find you a role at HubSpot.
One of the last in-person events I got to attend, a women’s event in Dublin featuring our Chief Customer Yamini Rangan with our amazing EMEA female manager+ community last year.
  • Be kind to recruiters, coordinators, front desk team members, and folks kind enough to help you along the way: this is true at HubSpot, but also anywhere you interview. The world is smaller than it seems sometimes, and you never know when your kindness will come back to help you, even if it’s not for this role.
  • Be kind to yourself: We all (myself included) get our hopes up and attach a ton of importance to one dream role or thing, so much so that if it doesn’t work out, it feels crushing. It’s a global pandemic, an incredibly competitive job market, and you had the courage to go for a role-that’s a win unto itself.
  • Be realistic in your expectations for feedback: We get tens of thousands of applications each month along with a whole lot of Tweets, LinkedIn requests, emails, voicemails, you name it. In addition, folks request a ton of detailed feedback when they didn’t get a role, and that’s just not feasible. We do our very best to provide feedback for folks who interview face to face, but manage your expectations going in that no one can provide perfect and detailed feedback to everyone globally.

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Katie Burke

Katie Burke

Chief People Officer at HubSpot. Proud graduate of Bates College, MIT Sloan, and Space Camp. On the interwebs @katieburkie