Why you should join DoorDash Design now
If someone asks me to describe what the rocketship journey in a company would look like, it’d look exactly like DoorDash. DoorDash has been the fastest-growing company that I’ve ever been a part of, and I feel so privileged.
We’ve been so busy team building to support the growth of the company and product that the Design team alone has grown 9x (from 9 to ~80) since I joined in January of 2019. As we scaled up fast, it was incredibly important to hold clear principles for hiring and establish effective processes.
In this article, I’d like to shed some light on our hiring strategy and interview philosophy and give a shameless plug as to why you should consider joining the DoorDash Design team now.
1. Our hiring principles
- Foremost importantly, we are purposeful and intentional about the team’s growth. The reason why designers want to join DoorDash is because of the big impact they will drive and the full end-to-end product ownership, and no one wants to become a cog in the wheel. As we continue to scale up the team, we never want to lose that merit. Every hire is ensured to have a clear definition of the role, responsibility, and career path.
- The hiring bar must be kept high. We’re up against a lot of pressure to hire fast, and as a hiring team, it’s easy to get desperate. When we’re desperate, hiring can be done hastily — we become more forgivable and forgettable. In my career, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way that wrong hiring is very costly for the company and the team. We should NEVER NEVER compromise the hiring bar. I’d like each member of the DoorDash Design team to feel proud to be a part of this amazing team.
- Different levels of people are hired for different reasons. For more junior talent, we hire because of their high potential. So their growth mindset and foundational skills are very important interview criteria. For the senior and leadership positions, we hire based on past impact and achievements. We want to benefit from their knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, it’s important to understand their direct impact on the team and the product, as well as their reputation as a leader.
- Diversity makes us stronger and richer. We think diversity is multi-dimensional and goes way beyond just skin-level deep. We deeply think about the unique dynamics and values each person brings from their different backgrounds, lifestyle, career levels, perspectives, personality, and strengths/weaknesses. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are something that all teams should think more proactively about, as opposed to reacting after the fact.
2. Our unique approach to the interview process
DoorDash has incredibly high ambitions and expectations for performance, but the way we achieve it is through maximizing everyone’s strengths and practicing an infinite growth mindset. As a team, we embrace a culture of empathy and humility, with a strong community of support around you. We apply the same supportive and empathetic approach in our interview process.
We believe that the first step into our lifelong relationship begins from the day 1 we meet you during the interview process. Hiring managers become the pacemaker for the candidates during the journey of the interview.
One unique thing about our interview process is the hands-on help from our hiring managers prior to the onsite. We genuinely try to understand the candidate’s career aspiration during the initial assessment: Why are they looking to leave the current company, and what are they looking for in the next position? What’s important to them? What makes them tick vs. frustrates them?
Besides the thorough assessment to understand them better, we also provide the candidates all the insights and constructive guidance about the interview panel, from who they will meet with and each panel’s focus area, and a prompt for problem-solving to feedback on their case study presentation. I have written an article on the interview tips for the candidates — although it was written 4 years ago while I worked at a different company, my philosophy around this hand-holding approach still remains the same. It’s all about clearly laying out the rules so that it’ll be fair for both sides.
Some might question whether such a transparent approach will beat the purpose of interviews where we should see how the candidates would react to hard pressure and think on their feet.
However, interestingly we have witnessed that the approach has been beneficial to not only the candidates but also the hiring team. Believe it or not, even if the hiring managers give all feedback in advance, some candidates still don’t incorporate the feedback in the final presentation or show up at the onsite unprepared. We can learn a lot about the candidate during this prep process — such as how they take feedback and collaborate with you — although they may not know that it’s all part of the evaluation. It’s better to find these flags before hiring than after.
Thankfully, our approach has been very well received by the candidates. A lot of candidates appreciated the recruiting team and hiring managers’ care and dedication in the process, whether they accepted the offer, declined the offer, or even got rejected after the onsite. Here are a few direct quotes from candidates:
“My experience with DoorDash was by far the best interview process I’ve ever had — it was really quite inspiring!”
“I really hope we can stay in touch, you were so nice and willing to help throughout the process, I hope there will be more opportunities for us to collaborate in the future!”
“You take the time out of your hectic day to actually give your candiants tips, tricks, advice, and feedback. If you do this for a designer outside your organization, I can only imagine the dedication your team receives. It’s such a unique way of engaging with your candiants and it made me feel welcomed, prepared, and set up for success.”
3. Why you should join us now
People and culture
People are our best assets at DoorDash. We have something truly special in our culture, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We constantly attract and hire people who are extremely talented and ambitious, yet humble and down to earth. There’s a strong support system and psychological safety within our team. There’s no ego and political drama — the culture is open and collaborative, and there’s a shared goal and strong momentum. You’ll get to innovate products that will be visible from space while having an opportunity to work with world-class leaders and talented cross-functional peers who will become your lifelong friends.
Empowered Design org
Unlike the large companies where your role is narrowly confined, DoorDash offers large end-to-end ownership and autonomy. Pretty much everyone who joined the company would tell you that their ownership and charter have grown much bigger than what they anticipated on their day one here.
Another thing is that Design plays a strategic role and has a seat at the table in DoorDash. We can proudly say we are a thought partner from the planning to execution. The company also believes that ideas can come from anywhere, which is empowering.
DoorDash is a truly mission-driven company. Our CEO, Tony Xu, built this company from his own personal mission of helping run his mom’s restaurant business. I’d highly encourage you to check out The How I Build This Podcast featuring his story. DoorDash is determined to help the local business, and its contribution to the local economy has been critical especially during the pandemic.
What we’re solving is real human problems for people like you and me. Whether you’re solving for hungry consumers, merchants who try to run their business, Dashers who want to earn extra money, or agents who need to resolve the support tickets, any improvement that we’re making in products helps someone.
We practice customer obsession seriously, and the culture trickles down from the top. It’s easy for a marketplace company to get into a pitfall of caring only about the short-term business gains, but it has been refreshing to see a 180-degree different culture in DoorDash, even as we scale. Our executive and cross-functional teams fight for the best UX alongside the Design. This is a magical place for any well-meaning UXers.
Dream big like no other
We have been already the #1 Food & Drink app in the US with the majority of market share. You will get to work on this #1 app with the world-class Design team and make a super app that empowers you to order anything in your neighborhood. What can be a better opportunity than this?
DoorDash marketplace is just the beginning of the journey, and we’re also building a multi-service platform for local merchants. Our Marketplace will also have much more than just food delivery. This means, there’re so many 0-to-1 innovation opportunities everywhere in DoorDash products. Despite the massive success of the business, no one in the company thinks we’re close to being done with achieving our mission yet.
Hope this article gives you a taste of our culture and what it’d feel like to work in the DoorDash Design team. If our rocketship story sounds intriguing, why wait? We have many positions open globally. Please check out our career page. Looking forward to hearing from you, and potentially working together soon!
Special thanks to Alana Rusonis, our amazing Design Ops Manager at DoorDash, for helping me with this article.
Helena Seo is the Head of Design at DoorDash. We’re actively hiring seasoned talents in all UX functions.
P.S. — Thanks for reading! If you found this article to be valuable, please clap! 👏👏👏