Behind the Slack channel: Holding a Slack job interview

woman looking at her phone and laptop simultaneously

“Why don’t you come down to the office for a chat?” isn’t likely something you’ll hear when interviewing with a remote company. While remote work provides an amazing number of benefits in many areas (see our guide to working remotely), it does pose a challenge when it comes to traditional hiring practices.

However, it also provides a significant opportunity. We are able to combine the interviewing process with an experience that gives the interviewee a taste of what it’s like to work remotely at Alley, which is especially important if they’ve never worked remotely before. And so, we’ve made the final interaction with our candidates a Slack-based group interview.

We use Slack as our primary vehicle for all internal communications (with Zoom coming in at a close second). As it’s a tool that our team uses every day, it’s important our potential hires are comfortable interacting through the platform. We’re not looking for deep Slack expertise or knowledge of keyboard shortcuts (that will come with time), but rather the ability to communicate through the tool, keeping track of many conversations and answering questions even when they’re coming from multiple angles.

That’s not to say we aim to make the final interview a stressful experience; it’s actually quite the opposite. With a tool like Slack, we can have many of our team members engage with a candidate at once — without the terrifying experience of sitting in front of a panel of employees. The experience still acts as a tool in gauging whether or not a candidate misses things or gets distracted when sitting in front of a computer on their own. After all, that’s an essential part of working remotely — keeping tabs on yourself (since people aren’t going to do it for you).

So how does it actually work?

The Slack interview comes as the fourth and final step in a process that includes an initial phone interview followed by two video interviews via Zoom, which all serve to vet the candidate on their fit for the role. Once they’ve made it to this step, we provide them with a basic overview of what they can expect during the interview, including how and when they will be invited to Slack. We then select the Alley interview participants – we aim to pick a group of about six people from a range of skill areas and teams — and provide some background information on the candidate to prepare the group for the interview.

On the day of the interview, we encourage our Alley interviewers to prep a few questions in advance, providing them with some common questions they can consider. Our team is invited to the interview Slack channel approximately 15 minutes in advance, while the candidate gets ten minutes to allow time to turn on two-factor authentication (security matters!) and get settled. When the interview begins, there’s a brief round of introductions, then the questioning commences. Once there are about 15 minutes left, we ask the candidate if they have any questions for the group. At the end of the scheduled time, we say our goodbyes and remove the candidate from Slack.

After the interview, we ask all participants to provide feedback, independent of one another, via a Google Form. Once all feedback is submitted, a final decision is made — taking into account feedback from the entire interview process.

If you’re interested in learning more about our remote hiring process, our Slack job interviews, or anything else, reach out to @alleyco on Twitter or send us your questions at Or, perhaps you can experience it firsthand – check to see if we have any open positions at! We hope you see something you like.