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Case Study: Interview Cake

Interview Cake is a study tool that preps software engineering candidates for programming interviews.

June 20th, 2018

Parker Phinney founded Interview Cake after helping his friend Alice prepare for her programming interviews. “Alice was kicking butt at coding, but to land her dream job she needed to kick butt at coding interviews. She came to me for some extra tutoring,” said Parker. Parker worked with Alice and helped her land a job at Facebook, completely changing her life. That’s when he decided to help people ace programming interviews full time.

“As a self-identified ‘cool boss,’ I love that I'm able to help everyone stay focused without having to use more adversarial-feeling tactics .” - Parker Phinney, Founder

Fast forward 5 years and Parker has a team in Brooklyn and he’s helped thousands of candidates land dream jobs at companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

  • Founded in 2013
  • 3 employees and a mix of remote contractors
  • Thousands of accepted job offers
  • Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY
  • Site: Interview Cake

But he recently noticed his team was stuck in a rut. “We were coming into the office and puttering around with emails and stuff until the day was over. We weren’t making real progress.”

Parker decided that his team needed to try something different to get them focused and prevent “days where you show up, open your email, and suddenly the day is gone and all you’ve done are emails and random odds and ends.”

Parker Phinney
Parker Phinney

Parker even considered building a solution until he came across Status Hero. “I knew exactly what I wanted, and I almost just built it myself until I saw that Status Hero had it exactly. I looked at some other tools that were focused on saying what you did that day. That felt reactive, rather than proactive. I wanted something that would tell us at the end of the day to decide what to focus on the next day, and remind us of those choices the next morning.”

Parker signed up for a free Status Hero trial and invited his team. Although a little skeptical at first, they gave it a try. “Now each of us ends each day by opening up Status Hero and reflecting on what we got done that day and what we want to focus on the next day. We start each day with a standing meeting where each person reads their Status Hero check in from the end of the previous day.”

Parker has seen improvement in his team since day one. “You don’t want to have to say ‘I didn’t even touch the one thing I said I was going to do yesterday’ during the standing meeting. So it’s just the right amount of structure to keep you focused on what actually matters each day.”

And as a self-identified “cool boss,” Parker loves that he’s able to help everyone stay focused without having to micromanage or make his team feel like he’s squeezing them.

“We’re making real progress again, and I still get to be a cool boss. Thanks, Status Hero!”

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I'm Henry Poydar, founder of Status Hero. I've been writing software and leading both co-located and remote software teams for 20+ years.

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