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How to give a good Informational
What are the steps needed to give someone a great experience.

Informationals at Artsy


We don't do phone screens at Artsy. We strive for informationals with engineers. These are usually a coffee/tea with someone at Artsy who will be there to answer questions about the business and try to understand whether you've likely to succeed at Artsy.

If you're going to start an informational from scratch, you're probably going to want to start the conversation using the greenhouse "Email [name]" button, then choose the "Engineering - Invite to Coffee template".

If you're going to do it on-site in NYC, ask them to met you at Artsy, and give them a tour. Then take them down to La Colombe for an hour or so.

Then do some back-and-forth to eventually find a time. Make a calendar event for the two of you. Maybe even send them a link to this doc.


For the person on the other end of the informational this is a big event. You may do these for Artsy with regularity, so it's important to always take time to do research on the person you're talking to and not get complacent that you can just sell Artsy.

  • Take the time to read through their CV
  • Google them, see check out their public internet presence (so you know what are good topics of conversation)
  • See if their current engineering team has a public presence
  • Try to see the arc of their work (was it always the same type of work?)
  • Check out their GitHub profile and see what they've been working on (if they do OSS)

Showing that you've taken the time to prepare for the meeting helps reenforce the candidate feel important (which they are, otherwise you wouldn't be in this situation ) and can help you orient the conversation in a way that's respectful of their time.


Your aims as an Artsy representative is to predominantly come out with a feel for these questions:

  • Are they a culture add?
  • Could they get through the interview process?
  • What's their relationship to the art world?

You want to have a sense of how to describe Artsy, this talk by dB should give some ideas on how that works. Almost everything you know about Artsy is pretty safe to talk about, try to avoid future roadmap things outside of this quarter, and definitely avoid raw stats if you're unsure of whether they're public or not. If you want to know what you can say stats-wise, the talking points are here.

Here's the TL:DR (in mid-2018):

Artsy is the global platform for collecting and discovering art. Artsy partners with leading museums, international galleries, auction houses, and art fairs to create the world’s largest art marketplace. Artsy expands the entire art market by using best-in-class technology to effectively connecting supply and demand at a global scale. With 2,500+ partners across 90+ countries and the most-read art publication online, Artsy empowers a global audience to learn about, discover, and collect art. Launched in 2012, Artsy is headquartered in New York City with offices in London, Berlin, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

Wrapping Up

Try to repeatedly wrap up by asking if someone has more questions, usually mine end up a long string of "OK, so do you have anymore questions?". This ensures someone has had a lot of opportunities to dig in and get everything they want to know.

Once you're certain that you've answered all their questions you should let them know the next steps:

  • If you think they'll get through interviewing, and that Artsy is likely to make an offer. Let them know the next step is that you'll send them an email today/tomorrow after you've moved them to the next stage in Greenhouse to start finding the an interview date.

  • If you're not sure, but leaning towards yes, you could hedge your bet and ask the candidate to have a informational chat with someone else. The earlier we make the call on whether someone should be interviewing the better for everyone.

  • Otherwise thank them for their time, and let them know that there aren't any openings for their fit right now and that they can/should re-apply if their (or our) context changes. Honestly, this is really hard to do, you've just answered questions for ~30-45m on why Artsy is an interesting place, then you've turned around and said we don't have a fit for you yet.

    Putting it into a larger context, interviewing at Artsy is a 3 hour session, so that's a half/full day of work that someone would skip. They'd spend a lot of time thinking and preparing, and if you're only half sure they'll make it then you're potentially wasting a lot of their time.

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