I spent my summer as an engineering intern at Redfin, and it was a truly amazing experience. The culture at Redfin is unlike that of any other company that I had encountered before, and it was obvious from the minute I arrived at the office for my interview. By the time I visited the Redfin office, I had already been to a handful of interviews at other companies. All my other interviews were the typical type, where the interviewers see applicant after applicant and you get about 30 minutes to talk with the interviewers, solve some coding questions, and hope that you stand out from the dozens of other applicants they saw that day. My interview at Redfin was unlike any other, and it was just the beginning of an unforgettable journey.
The day started off with a chat with my recruiter. During our conversation, I was surprised to hear that I would be the only candidate interviewing that day. All my interviews at other companies were held on days that were dedicated to interviewing many applicants. This was my first interview where the interviewers would be solely focused on me and my abilities; I wouldn’t be just another face in the crowd. The day consisted of three separate interviews, and a lunch break where I had the chance to talk with Redfin’s engineers in a more personal setting. In total, I talked with five of Redfin’s engineers, while my interviews at other companies only involved one or two engineers. Having the chance to talk with so many engineers during my Redfin interview allowed me to get more insight on the company and learn about how great the company is. Every one of the engineers seemed passionate and excited about working at Redfin. After my interview day was over, I knew that this was where I wanted to work.
Redfin’s amazing culture continued to stand out throughout my entire summer internship. Everyone at the office treats each other more as friends than just coworkers. Everyone respects each other, regardless of their work title. Interns were encouraged to speak with C-level employees. It was not uncommon for the CEO, CTO, and other C-level employees to take a few minutes to chat with us when they saw us in the office, and they even remembered our names. In contrast, I once interviewed at a company where we were explicitly told to not approach the CEO if we saw him walking around. I interpreted that as though that company did not consider interns to be good enough to talk with the CEO. As an intern at Redfin, I was never treated differently than the permanent employees. Interns were trusted to work on important projects with complete autonomy, but everyone was willing to help if we had questions. We were invited to social gatherings along with the other employees, and we participated in all the office events. We were always treated as if we were part of the team. This difference in work culture is what makes Redfin such a special place to work.