Mercari India

Mercari’s Recruitment Journey at IIT Kharagpur

Jan 11, 2024


Hello, I’m Sanu Satyadarshi, currently working as a Lead Software Engineer at Mercari India.

Mercari stands as a beacon of tech innovation, consistently upholding rigorous engineering standards. We firmly believe in the infusion of fresh perspectives, and our new graduate hires—often referred to as freshers—play a key role in infusing new ideas and dynamism into our systems.

India’s burgeoning tech landscape has become a magnet for companies scouting world-class engineering talent. Recognizing this trend, Mercari has cultivated relationships with top-tier Indian engineering institutions for several years.

As part of our annual recruitment strategy, we recently visited the esteemed IIT Kharagpur, a global powerhouse in engineering education.

While our hiring process might appear simple, it’s anything but that. Planning commences a minimum of 6–8 months in advance, with our new-grad talent acquisition team meticulously orchestrating every detail.

This time around, the hiring was being done for positions in Japan. However, since Mercari has a software development center in India, I was nominated by my manager to visit IIT Kharagpur directly and conduct interviews in support of the hiring team from Japan. At Mercari, we believe in working together toward common goals, and this is just one embodiment of our company value “All for One.”

Here’s where the logistics get interesting: I was in Tokyo, Japan, until November 29th, with interviews scheduled in Kharagpur on December 1st. This tight schedule required quick transitions, including flights from Tokyo to Bangalore and then to Kolkata, followed by an early morning drive to Kharagpur.

During the morning drive from Kolkata to Kharagpur, I was able to discuss a lot of technical topics with Mercari’s CTO Ken Wakasa, VP of Engineering Carlos Donderis, and other senior engineering leaders who had traveled from Japan for the hiring initiative.

Upon reaching IIT Kharagpur, we were accommodated at the campus guest house. Soon after, we were led to designated interview rooms, marking the onset of an exhilarating interview marathon. Tech interviews are a crucible, demanding swift yet thorough assessments of candidates’ technical prowess, problem-solving acumen, and cultural fit.

At Mercari, our interviewers undergo rigorous training to ensure unbiased, objective evaluations and provide constructive feedback, prioritizing fairness and objectivity in our hiring process. This approach facilitates prompt feedback, allows successful candidates to engage with engineering leaders in subsequent rounds, and ensures a thorough evaluation of each candidate’s suitability for the role and alignment with our values, culminating in a comprehensive offer rollout orchestrated by the talent acquisition team.

Over the course of the day, I conducted eight interviews, interspersed with brief breaks. The experience, though taxing, was incredibly gratifying. Observing a senior leader shadow some of my interviews underscored Mercari’s commitment to meticulous candidate assessment.

Our streamlined interview process, curated by our talent acquisition team, fosters transparency and coherence, enabling interviewers to relay comprehensive feedback. This framework empowers engineering leaders to ascertain alignment with Mercari’s core values and mission.

By the end of the day, we extended offers to several candidates, marking the successful culmination of our efforts. Engaging with these candidates, answering their questions, and sharing insights about Mercari’s culture were key steps in finalizing our selections.

Witnessing senior leaders like Vish, our India Site Lead, virtually participate in the final rounds underscored the gravity and collaborative spirit of our hiring endeavor.

As evening approached, we headed back to Kolkata after a busy day, ending with a satisfying dinner. The team spirit was evident as we discussed our achievements. The next day, we had a chance to explore Kolkata before saying goodbye.

Throughout this hiring odyssey, one realization stood out: Mercari’s esteemed reputation resonates deeply with aspiring talents, fueling their enthusiasm to contribute and innovate alongside us.

The other big learning for me came about through meeting many engineers and leaders across Mercari. We discussed the many challenges and opportunities where teams in India and Japan can collaborate to achieve further engineering excellence.