The Journey of InterviewStreet: From NIT Trichy to the White House

How two young college graduates persisted with their idea and have made it big…

It’s not every day that you hear the White House turning to an Indian Startup for a project. Founded by Vivek Ravisankar and Harishankaran K, InterviewStreet is the second Indian startup after Pallav Nadhani’s Fusion Charts to win a project from the White House. The programme to promote equal pay for women in corporate America will be powered with technology from InterviewStreet.

InterviewStreet focuses on and makes the hiring process simpler. During recruitment, filtering the right set of candidates from countless resumes has always been a tough job and this is the problem InterviewStreet aims to solve.  Interviewstreet is basically a place for programmers to hang out, solve interesting challenges and also get connected to amazing tech companies if interested.

The two techies have a very interesting journey to success. Graduating from National Institute of Technology, Trichy, they joined IT companies but the idea which had germinated during their colleges’ placement season kept on tugging. They quit their jobs and started working on the idea. Being a part of the Batch 3 at The Morpheus, Vivek and Hari went on to become the first Indian company to be selected by YCombinator, arguably the best place for a startup to get incubated in. “The path has been arduous and highly rewarding at the same time,” says Vivek. The two locked themselves in a room for 10 days before launching InterviewStreet! “Yes, we worked out of Hari’s basement and didn’t get out until the product was in a workable state,” informs Vivek.

CoFounder, Vivek

Generating initial traction was quite a stretch but the pugnacious duo kept at it. What keeps one motivated in these times?  “I don’t know. I keep asking myself this and never found a clear answer. But I know how you can easily be demotivated” he says and gives these points:

  • When your co-founder gives up
  • When your family (parents/gf/wife) feels pity on what you’re doing and asks you to switch to a more comfortable life
  • When you have the wrong advisors/mentors around you – mostly the kind who’ve never done startups in the past.

Fortunately for Vivek, he had the support of his parents all along and he’s also kept himself grounded which can be gauged by his straightforward retort, “Never” when asked “Have you ever though that you’ve hit the jackpot?”

Coming out with a new product very soon, Vivek believes it would be more powerful in terms of impact and fun. “I wrote a list of mistakes that we made at Interviewstreet and stuff that users complained about. They’ve all been phased out and is going to come out as a well-polished product. Of course, there will be mistakes but at least it’ll be a different bucket.” he mentions.

In terms of diversification, Vivek says, “Not right now. Programming is a big enough market (not really conquer the world types) but big enough to keep me busy for a couple of years at least J “

Sign off Quote

To be honest, I’ve not been following anything around me except Interviewstreet. This might come as a very flaunting statement but that’s the truth. I’ve no idea what’s the scene in India/Bay-area.

Note the focus here! Expect a lot more from this startup in the future!

Jubin Mehta

Jubin Mehta

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