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What happened in the Technical Interviewers Workshop for the QA team

November 28, 2021

He has an amazing experience in his field, and we are glad that starting this year he is Head of QA Functional Area within CGM Romania. Last week, he initiated a quite interesting workshop about Technical Interviewers, held with the help of our talented Roxana Crețu, Senior HR Consultant, so today we are presenting you to Ciprian Topală and we are revealing a little more about him, his team and his work.  

Ciprian joined us in June 2021, making us win one of the best professionals in QA, and one of the best people-oriented persons. As Head of QA Functional Area, he is responsible of workshops and trainings for his team, of coordinating the team leads and the people, and of managing the QA process on all the CGM projects. He held hundreds of technical interviews along the years, and now he coordinates over 40 people inside CGM. Last week, 9 of them participated in the Technical Interviewers Workshop and here is how it went.

Ciprian Topală, Head of QA Functional Area
I decided to organize this workshop for two main reasons: 1. To work together and to establish some rules and basic process for the technical interviews, where we participate in teams; 2. To bring people together face to face and let them know each other better, because the pandemic kept them apart and they missed all this good networking and socializing. Plus, they were very delighted to help the team, to bring new professionals and to raise the team together

Ciprian Topală, Head of QA Functional Area

Technical Interviewers Workshop for the QA team

Ciprian sees the interviews like open cool discussions, not as tests for the candidates. He explained how important it is to make the candidates feel comfortable and offer them a pleasant experience, even if there is no match at that point. Maybe it will be a match in the future, or maybe it will be a match with some of their friends or colleagues.  

One of the main objectives of this workshop was to make the technical interviewers understand and adapt to the CGM style of interviewing and, more importantly, to create some common rules together: to let beside the CV and to focus more on the people, to find out more about them and what they like, to have an open discussion with them on relevant topics, to give them proper feedback, so, shortly, not concentrating only on validating some technical skills.  

We also asked Ciprian how his experience was within CGM during this half a year, since he joined us, and he quickly responded what he likes more about CGM and why it is different from other companies: 

  • We have Functional Leads for each team, so you know that there is a person for you to speak with, whenever you need;
  • We have learning budgets, stimulating our people to participate in trainings, courses and IT events, without conditioning them in any way;
  • We give our people the opportunity to certificate in any area connected to IT that they are interested in, not only in the area that they work in;
  • We have budgets for having meals together and spending time with the team during lunch;
  • We organize internal workshops and trainings, focused both on evolving on technical level and connecting the people;
  • Many benefits that you can find on our website.

What the participants are saying

We also wanted to see how it was for the participants at the Technical Interviewers Workshop, so we discussed a little with two of them.  

Marina Dan is a QA Engineer and she is working with us for almost a year and a half. Back in the days, Marina graduated from Faculty of Letters and her dream was to be an interpreter for the European Union. Her first job was as a content writer on software topics, and that is when she realized that the IT industry is much more challenging and attractive than the translations area. She began working on manual testing and never stopped learning.

Marina Dan, QA Engineer
This workshop helped me a lot and offered me a wider perspective regarding technical interviews. I am an introvert and I don`t find very appealing to evaluate people, but this workshop made me realize how to do this and to actually like it. I really admire Ciprian for his vast experience in QA and in working with people. And even if I know that he is quite intimidating before you get to know him, he is one of the calmest, coolest and best professionals that I have ever met

Marina Dan, QA Engineer

Mircea Alexandrescu was also at the workshop, and he was more than happy to share with us his thoughts. Like Marina, Mircea graduated from a different faculty than Informatics. He went to the Faculty of Law and study hard to become a lawyer. But, also like Marina, he realized that he wanted something else, so he began working in IT soon after graduating. Since then, he continued to study and to evolve and he will always continue to do so, because he knows how important is to strike to perfection. For one year and a half, he is QA Engineer within CGM, and he is both learning and mentoring, being happy every time he has the chance to participate in a new workshop.  

Mircea Alexandrescu, QA Engineer
Ciprian is one of the professionals that I respect and admire the most and it is a real honor and pleasure to work with him. It`s like he came from another dimension. He is extremely well-prepared, he has some amazing people skills, and he really knows how to convey the information. This workshop with Roxana and Ciprian really opened some new horizons for me, made me better understand what a technical interview means, and it helped me connect with my colleagues, both on personal and professional level.

Mircea Alexandrescu, QA Engineer

It was a full-day workshop, where the participants got to do a lot of practical exercises, they found out specific situations from each other`s experiences, and they got to know each other better. They learned how to make the interview flow like a good story, what to do and what not to do during an interview and many tips and tricks from our HR Specialist, Roxana.  

As she told the participants, an interview is not just a meeting of people for consultation, it should be a unique experience, a good story to be remembered and to be told. Because the interviews are about people and their stories, and this is what we like to do here, at CGM: to focus on people, to listen to their stories and to create good memories together.  

More workshops like this are programmed for the next months, so if you want to experience them from inside our company, apply for a job in Ciprian`s team and come to the interview. It will surely be a unique experience and a good open discussion. Check this out. 

And if you want to see how it is like to be a CGMer, watch Roxana Crețu in this good-vibing TV show explaining more about what we do and what is it like to work with us.

Roxana Crețu, Senior HR Consultant at CGM

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