Question: Tell me about a time you simplified the life of your customers, how did you do it?
Answer: Insurance claims are basically one giant paper form. I turned those paper forms into electronic forms.

Q: Who is the customer?
A: A person who works at the clinic who manages insurance claims.

Q: What drove you to implement this change?
A: Customers were submitting paper claims. The process was very inefficient, with long feedback loops. It wouldn’t know of a rejection for potentially a week and then might have to edit the form and send back for processing.

Q: How did you identify the problem? Did you talk with customers?
A: There were far too many rejections in the forms. They really needed to be able to reject on the spot. Helped product manager gathers requirements from customers.

Q: What was the impact for customers after you implemented your solution?
A: No metrics in regards to acceptance rate. Customer time. Customer sanity. Anecdotal evidence.

Analysis

Competency asserted: Invent and Simplify
Job title: Software Development Engineer (SDE II)

Vote: Mixed

The interviewer received mixed signals for this leadership principle. The examples provided demonstrated an ability to simplify processes and build solutions, but his answers did not demonstrate customer focus or a personal initiative to seek out problems to solve for customers.

The candidate didn’t have a great answer in terms of impact: no measurable impact, just anecdotal evidence.

The interviewer pushed on metrics and data regarding his workflow example, and he was consistently not able to provide any, both in terms of supporting the need for the workflow improvement as well as supporting the success metrics of his product.

The example given demonstrated an ability to deliver new features and improve an existing antiquated workflow. However, it didn’t sound like he was driving the ideas or problem solving and was not actively working with customers.

Learnings

Make sure the interviewer can evaluate the impact of your work and decisions. You need to demonstrate what the customer impact was. No matter what the medium was: you talked to the customers, emails, chat, from the customer service team, using metrics, etc.

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