So I am going through the strangest job process I have ever gone through in my life. It feels like its to work for the CIA, but it is not, its just a small tech company.

I have passed the initial phone screening, the technical questions, the coding challenge, the meeting the team and I thought that was it, but then there was a motivational and emotional intelligence assessment and I did a background check.

Now I have been invited to meet to debrief on both of these assessments I took.

Honestly, I don't know where this is all going I have yet to hear anything that sounds like an offer.

Not sure what to think, definitely don't know what to expect next.

How do I best prepare for this latest meeting? What would be some good questions to ask here that are professional and yet would put my mind at ease here?

  • 2
    If this is programming, walk away and get one of the other 100 billion jobs where they're desperately trying to find a programmer, any programmer.
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 18:56
  • 1
    @Fattie Eh? Entrance interview weirdness doesn't need to be a deal-killer, and often the weirder places are the ones with the really interesting work.
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 14:16
  • Do you really want the job?
    – Neil
    Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


So, I've actually been through a process like this. It happened once, and I've been to a lot of interviews. The first thing to realize is that small tech businesses are almost invariably weird. Everyone who founds a small tech business is weird somehow or other, and until and unless they lose that majority stake in the company, the company will be controlled by their weirdness. In this case, most likely what's happening is that one or more founders decided that motivational/emotional assessments were in some way valuable.

The second thing to realize is that this is likely a good sign, as far as what they think of you. If they didn't like what you were showing them, they wouldn't keep calling you back. No small tech company has the time to burn on endless hiring cycles.

As for how to prep for the debrief, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just spend a bit of time thinking about the two assessments, and be sure that you remember them reasonably clearly. If you can think of anything that you think might be improved about the process... well, that's up to you, really. Being able to state such things in a clear, coherent, and respectful manner is reasonably likely to help, but might hurt, depending on the specifics of the company weirdness. On the flip side, it's worth noting that the interview process should also involve you determining if the company is the right fit for you. These sorts of things can be useful for you to judge how accepting they are of things like suggestions and constructive criticism.


I have never heard of a "motivational and emotional intelligence assessment", but personally I would just go in cold.

These sound like a lot of fancy of words to say "a multiple choice questionnaire to see if we like you". If you score well, just figure out what the next steps are and leave. If you score low, I would ask (nicely) what the purpose of the assessment was. Maybe you can earn points after the fact by demonstrating first hand what they tried to assess with this silly test.

  • The motivational one doesn't seem to have a high-low score, I got the results, it just sees what motivates me is 1. collaborate, 2. make it work, 3. experience the ideal, to which I have no clue how they would interpret this. Most people filter information based on their fears and past experiences. The emotional one I did no get any kind of score sent to me.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 14:18
  • In the debrief though, they should go over the results. You should be able to tell based on what tell you if you scored high or low (without ever seeing the score). Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 14:19
  • You may want to hold off on accepting this answer. There are a lot of very experienced users on this stack who may have much better answers. A good rule of thumb is wait 24H before accepting. Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 14:22
  • The benefits package is pretty sweet so if I ran the place I would use some of that benefits package money to do this more organically. For example, at a former job I was once invited to lunch to meet with the team in a more informal setting. Or do a temporary paid trial, but whatever.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 14:22
  • @Daniel yeah, typically places will use the probation period as a way to get this information. Unfortunately, a lot of places want to be cool and hip. So they use silly assessments that don't mean anything to make them look more legit. Doesn't mean the job is good or bad, just a different hiring style. Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 14:26

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