Q&A: Forrest Lymburner, VP of Marketing at Severalnines

Being remote sometimes means different things to different companies. What does being remote mean for Severalnines?

Severalnines has never not been a remote company. Since its founding in 2011, we have followed the philosophy of hiring the right people no matter where in the world they work. 

What does a stand out candidate during the application process look like? What most impresses you about a prospective hire?

Hiring for an exclusively remote position requires a particular type of individual. We do not have the luxury of being able to supervise constantly, so an applicant must be able to demonstrate discipline and self motivation. In some cases, employees might not be able to meet their boss in person until year two of their employment.

What are some common traits amongst the most successful candidates after you've hired them?

The perfect candidate is skilled both technically as well as being a clear communicator. Working remote requires individuals to communicate at 2X the amount needed for a traditional, in-office, role.

What do unsuccessful candidates didn’t make it past the initial resume screen have in common?

Most positions generally get hundreds of resumes. As someone who has screened resumes most of my career, I can tell you that no matter what people say no one reads them all. Its critical to keep your resume short and concise and to introduce yourself quickly at the top if you wish to make an impression.

Same question but for the interview process. What do unsuccessful candidates that didn’t make it past the interview process have in common?

It does not matter what it is, but an applicant who does not show a passion in something never makes it past the first interview. As we are a technology company, a passion for tech stack is great, but being a small company we also need folks who are passionate about a variety of other areas, some may be presenters, others passionate about staying on top of the latest tech news. When passion fits nicely with a job, that's when magic happens.

Offering stock options cross border is often difficult because of local regulations. Does the company offer stock options to remote employees? And if not, is it that web of local regulations that’s holding the company back?

Our company is privately owned so rewarding our employees takes other forms. For example, our team has met annually (every employee from around the world) in a new city in Europe of the Middle East since 2015.

What timezones/geographies do you hire in? 

At last count we had employees from 20 different countries. We hire across the world and across all timezones.