How M1 hires: A look inside our interview process
At M1, we strive to make our hiring process as team oriented as our company. We do our best to maintain a low ego, make everyone feel welcome, trust one another, and seek out and respect different perspectives. In practice, that means providing candidates with as many resources as possible, so they’re prepared and excited for every interview.
No interview at M1 should feel like a pop quiz, and no part of the process should catch anyone off guard.
So, we created this guide on the M1 interview process as a way to help you prepare. In it, you’ll find tips on what to expect from our People team and personal interview experiences from M1 employees. And for those looking to ace an interview, make sure to check out our core company values.
We designed this guide to give you valuable insight into our process and team, whether you’re getting ready for your first call with an M1 recruiter or are wondering if M1 is the right fit.
How to prepare for M1 interviews
Our People team conducts interviews almost every day across all departments. No matter the role or level, we use a standardized scorecard to ensure every candidate has a fair chance to showcase their skills and experience.
Here are two tips from our recruiters to prep for interviews.
1. Connect your experience to the role description.
There are multiple ways to ace an interview at M1, according to Arden Friend, one of our Corporate Recruiters.
- Look to the “What You’ll Do” section for ideas on what information to highlight.
- Align your skills, wins, or experiences from past work to the role to show how they relate.
- Talk or write out each point so you can give clear, succinct answers.
2. Research the company and interviewers
“Know the company!” said our Recruiting Manager Genna Glick. “M1, more than any other company I have recruited for, values people who are just as excited about the product as our team. Sometimes excitement about what we do can be as important as someone’s skills for the role they’re applying for.”
- Learn about our company history, why M1 focuses on financial well-being, the role, and the interviewers.
- Share what makes you excited about M1. We’re always happy to hear ideas, opportunities, and feedback.
A look at the M1 hiring process
Now that you know our interview essentials, let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at the M1 hiring process.
Step 1: Intro phone call
The first step, no matter the role, is a 30-minute introduction call. Our People team uses this time to learn about you and answer any questions you have about M1.
This call helps our team better understand if you’re a good fit, so we’re curious to learn more about what motivated you to apply. Besides meeting qualifications, our team loves to see a passion for financial well-being and M1.
Let’s look at this process from M1 employees who have been on the other end of the call.
- “The hiring specialist was kind and made sure all of my questions were answered about the role. The response time and communication after the initial interview was also better than expected.” – Gia Zampardo, Communications Coordinator
- “My first interview was a phone screening, and it went pretty smoothly. I shared my passion about M1, my skills, and my experience. All suited the job description, and I was off and running.” – Matt Soehren, Operations Strategy Analyst
Step 2: Second call
If the intro call goes well, the People team coordinates a second call to meet the hiring manager for the role. This video call is designed to dive deeper into the job’s responsibilities and required skills. Meeting your potential manager also allows an opportunity for both the candidates and manager to get to know one another.
Insider Tip: Be prepared to demonstrate your skills by providing detailed results on previous work that relates to the role.
Step 3: Audition
For roles that require technical proficiency, an audition or technical assessment takes place after the second call.
Auditions help our team assess and differentiate candidates in creative roles, like copywriters or marketers. So, we often ask candidates to perform an assessment or put together a case study. The goal of an audition is to showcase how candidates can make an impact at M1 and give insight into their technical capabilities and problem-solving skills.
Here’s what this step can look like for different teams:
- Acquisition: An assessment with high-level questions pertaining to a specific marketing channel
- Communications and Content: Writing and editing samples or take-home assignments
- Creative, Brand, or Product: Portfolio review
Let’s dive into specific examples from past auditions.
- “I was asked to build a sample communication plan for various M1 audiences. I focused on how I would engage journalists and the media, as well as M1 employees, with key company messaging, initiatives, and announcements. Completing the audition helped me get to know M1 better and show the interview team more about the way I think and approach work.” – Claire Holland, Director of Communications
- “I was assigned an analysis of a data set of my choosing and was asked to provide an analysis with recommendations in presentation format via PDF. I love this type of thing as it gives me a chance to be creative and show off a little.” – Matt Soehren, Operations Strategy Analyst
Other M1ers said auditions are a great way for both the interviewer and interviewee to see what work is like at M1. We’ve also found that it helps squash imposter syndrome because it’s a chance for new hires to prove their skills before they start.
Step 4: Final interview
Made it through the first few rounds? It’s time for the final interview! This call focuses on what it’s like to be a member of the M1 team, so interviewers share how M1’s values play out in day-to-day work and answer any remaining questions about the role.
“The final call is a virtual face-to-face panel meeting, typically organized for the candidate to meet the team and those they’ll collaborate with every day,” said Genna. “We focus on the core competencies for the role and evaluate if the candidate embodies them.”
How to prepare:
- Come with questions about day-to-day schedules, meetings, and responsibilities.
- Discuss what you would enjoy about the role or department.
- Ask M1 employees what they enjoy about the company and their roles.
Insider tip: It helps to research the interviewers beforehand. We always let candidates know who they’ll be speaking with so they can prepare specific questions.
Here’s what M1ers have to say about their final interviews:
- “I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t a stress test about what I know or what I need to know. It ended with a one-on-one discussion with my team lead about objectives, personal goals, and team building.” – Adeel Alam, Client Development Associate
- “The interview was more of a conversation, and the interviewer really eased my nerves with her humor and interest in who I was as a person, not just as an employee.” – Gia Zampardo, Communications Coordinator
Step 5: Following up
We encourage everyone on our team to have a bias for action, and that includes making sure the next steps are clear.
During the interview
At the end of every interview, we share when you can expect to hear from us next. If a recruiter tells you to wait until Friday and you don’t hear back by then, follow up on Monday.
Within 24 hours of an interview
Reflect on your interviews, write down follow-up questions, and thank people for their insight and time. We recommend sending a thank you email to interviewers within 24 hours.
If the timeline has passed
Email a follow-up within five to seven business days if you haven’t heard from us. As a growing team, we have a lot going on and always appreciate thoughtful reminders.
“There was constant communication between me and the hiring manger. They made sure I was aware of every step of the hiring process and kept me regularly updated with their timeline.” – Gia Zampardo, Communications Coordinator
Step 6: Extending a job offer
A lot of work goes into a job search and the M1 interview process. But when it’s a great fit, everyone is thrilled to bring a new hire onboard the team.
Once an offer is extended, you’ll receive an email with all the information you need. If you accept the offer, you’ll have to sign a few forms to get the onboarding process started. Once everything checks out, your time at M1 has officially started!
How does it feel to receive a job offer? Our team had a range of emotions.
- “I cried! Moving to the United States from New Zealand was such a big goal of ours. Having the opportunity to step forward in my career and have an awesome job offer prior to getting on the plane was massive. It honestly turned a dream into a reality.” – Nathan Harlow, Client Success Specialist
- “I felt excited! It fired me up as a new hire to the company, and I haven’t stopped being obsessed with my team and what I do today. M1 gave me an opportunity to change my career path and take ownership of my professional development.” – Julie Lee, Client Success Lead
- “I honestly was on the back nine when I found out and nailed a birdie on the next hole. Can’t make that up.” – Adeel Alam, Client Development Associate
- “I was so excited by the fact that I’d be able to work at a company that I already promoted to friends and family. It was like a marriage of personal and professional lives. This is the perfect place for me.” – Matt Soehren, Operations Strategy Analyst
- As a recruiter, you build a rapport with your candidates, and the highlight of my job is definitely when I get to give them a call and tell the good news.” – Arden Friend, Corporate Recruiter
How do M1ers feel as part of the team?
- “Super happy with my decision. I love seeing the wide variety of talent brought together to cultivate ideas in an emerging industry. Working for a young CEO who has a big vision for the future has been inspirational.” – Adeel Alam, Client Development Associate
- “I feel ecstatic about my current role and my decision to work for M1. It allowed me to step into a leadership role knowing that I have no prior leadership experience. M1 empowers me while challenging me every single day!” – Julie Lee, Client Success Lead
- “I very much like and feel good in my role and think it was the best decision to accept this offer over the others I was considering at the time. It’s definitely a lot more demanding than my previous role, which has its challenges, but five stars would recommend!” – Lindsay Jernegan, Creative Project Manager
- “I find the role great. The expectations are clear and I enjoy that I have all the support and opportunities to build my career here. Not only is it a customer-centric business, M1 genuinely cares for its people too – I am grateful for making the decision to work at M1.” – Nathan Harlow, Client Success Specialist
Come join us!
You’ve heard from our People Team and our teammates about what it’s like to interview at M1. If you’ve already applied for a role, hopefully you feel inspired and ready to hop on a call.
Looking for more information? Learn why we’ve been named a 2021 Top Workplace by the Chicago Tribune and listed on Built In’s 2021 Best Places to Work in Chicago. You can also explore what a meaningful career at M1 could look like for you.
- Team and Culture