Get Hired

Get Hired: Rocket Internet

Written by Imran Yusuf | Get Hired | Wednesday 21st August 2013 07:00:00 GMT

Vera Termühlen is Head of HR at Rocket Internet. She discloses what it takes to work for one of the most dynamic companies in the world!

Vera Termühlen expects job applicants to be 'passionate entrepreneurs'.

Vera Termühlen expects job applicants to be 'passionate entrepreneurs'.

Does Rocket Internet hire engineers? If so, which kinds?
We are an IT company and our core competences are technology and software - around 60% of our employees work in the IT department. That’s why we are always looking for ambitious and talented engineers to join our team. We are recruiting all kind of engineers and our developer team consists of people from all over the world. We especially hire software engineers who are experienced in working with PHP as this is the programming language we use.
 
Aside from software engineers, do you prefer other engineers to have done an MBA before joining Rocket?
More important than having a particular degree is the right attitude. We are passionate entrepreneurs and that is what we expect from our applicants as well. We are looking for smart and ambitious people who get things done and always try to solve problems in a pragmatic way. We provide a workspace full of opportunities and we want our employees to make the most out of it. 
 
When you hire fresh engineering grads, do you prefer them to have done internships? Which kind of internships?
All sort of personal and professional experience is welcome if you want to join Rocket. We are looking for passionate people who are driven and take responsibility. So either you could have done an internship or you could have run your own business as well as being involved voluntarily in any sort of IT project. What we are looking for is passion and an entrepreneurial spirit. In general, we value intelligence more than experience.
 
What mistakes do candidates for jobs at Rocket Internet often make in their application or interview?
What we experience from time to time is that people are not well prepared. We want to see that candidates can identify with Rocket and that they know what we do. For potential developers we have a special test and a lot of candidates fail here. It’s absolutely necessary to be up-to-date regarding PHP development and the principle of clean code.
 
What is the hiring process at Rocket? Is there are window? What is the interview process like?
We are continuously hiring, either for our ventures or for our headquarters in Berlin. We receive 400-500 applications per week. The hiring process always works at high speed. Often we have interviews in the morning and if an applicant convinces us right away, he/she will receive the contract in the afternoon. For software developers the hiring process starts with a test. If you succeed here, you are going to have an interview with one of our directors. If his/her feedback is positive, you are going to talk to the project leader of the venture and then the final decision will be taken.
 
Rocket is known for expanding throughout many parts of the world? Where next? Are you hiring more in the US? India? The Far East? Europe?
We hire people from all over the world. We are active in more than 50 countries in five continents with a special focus on emerging markets. We recruit for our ventures, which operate on a global level, in Asia, Africa, Europe or Latin America, but also for our headquarters in Berlin. More than 30% of the employees who work in our Berlin-based headquarters have an international background and our company language is English.
 
What is the general career progression at Rocket?
Career progression at Rocket is definitely not schematic. At Rocket you have all the possibilities and most important is what you make out of it. You work on your projects and you will grow with them. You can see our company as an international stepping stone in which we are always searching for our employees’ perfect fit.
 
Any final tips for young engineers thinking of a career at Rocket?
Do an internship, start your own projects, show that you are driven and smart. Start connecting to other people who are working in the startup scene - a good network is an important basis for your career.

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