From CV to Interview: Navigating Unexpected Conversations at Thorgate as HR and Culture Assistant


Written by Teele-Riin

September 21, 2023 | 6 min read

Have you ever wondered what it's like to lead HR and culture in a tech-driven company like Thorgate? Join me on my eventful year since I joined the Thorgate team on July 14th, 2022. From managing recruitment to navigating unique interview experiences, my year has been intense. Get ready to get a sneak peek of the world of Thorgate.

Embarking on an Enchanting Journey into IT Recruitment at Thorgate

Just a year ago, I accepted Thorgate’s offer immediately because they exuded a hunger for knowledge, trustworthiness, open-mindedness, and resourcefulness that was truly enchanting. And it wasn't just the company's values that captivated me; it was the particular role itself. Having already trodden the path of HR for a year before in the manufacturing sector, I longed to venture into IT recruitment. The IT sector held promises of excitement and novelty, unlike the more conventional sectors.

In Thorgate, I discovered a vibrant community. It is a gathering of smart people united by a common purpose — to change the world with technology. Here, we build digital products, invest in and build new start-ups, promote Python language and shape a better tomorrow. And I, too, now have my place in this tech world. It isn't just a job; it is a journey where I can be part of something better.

My days here have been filled with configuring our new applicant tracking system, sourcing talents, screening resumes, conducting interviews, attending HR events, and guiding our new hires through onboarding.

Fast forward a whole year of recruiting ‘mayhem’; I have a rollercoaster of stories I would like to share and a few mishaps I had as a daring rookie recruiter.

1-star review on MeetFrank:

Has anyone received a 1-star review? Well, I have. This memorable incident happened in November 2022. Just four months into my role, I had returned from a short vacation and was catching up on Slack. Our marketing manager had posted a screenshot of a 1-star review we received on MeetFrank from a candidate. Curiosity piqued, I clicked on the review, and my heart sank as I read the disheartening words:

“One star. -Guys is not a good company one girl girl Call teele interview me and she don’t event understand what she want.

+I got interview and she don’t know anything (teele).”

It felt like a tidal wave of disappointment crashing over me. ‘’Am I the Teele they are talking about?‘’ I was wondering. I couldn’t recall negative encounters with candidates, so I wondered, “How could this happen? Did I miss something?”

To prevent such situations in the future, I decided to take extra precautions. From that day forward, I made it a point to document any questions I didn’t have a concrete answer for and promptly communicate them to the hiring manager through Slack. This way, I could double-check the information and confidently get back to the candidate.

A candidate who made me cry:


Some months later, I found myself in a hilariously bizarre situation. As an interviewer, I was accustomed to encountering various characters, but nothing prepared me for what was about to unfold.

It was a typical Monday morning, and I was ready to meet a candidate for our project manager position. Without any hesitation, the candidate’s first question was: “Who are your main investors, and what is the company's ownership structure?” I responded, slightly taken aback, “Well, we have a diverse group of investors, and the ownership is by 3 Estonian individuals. But I’d love to talk more about your experience and how it aligns with our project manager role.”

The candidate, however, was curious about our developer teams. Ignoring my attempt to refocus the conversation, the candidate persisted, “Why does your company prefer hiring developers from outside rather than hiring in Estonia?”

I figured the candidate might be extra curious, but they were going off on a tangent that wasn’t directly relevant to our position. Trying to steer the interview back on track, I said: “We highly value skills and not where people are from. Let’s discuss your career aspirations and how they would fit into Thorgate.” So, I found out that the candidate wanted a different position than what we currently have available, and I let them know it.

The candidate was undeterred, and their line of questioning took an unexpected personal turn. “You know. You seem hesitant about moving forward with me because of my age. Is that true?” Surprised and taken aback by this accusation, I assured him, “No, age is not a factor in our hiring decisions. Our focus is solely on the skills that candidates bring to the table. You wish to have a completely different path than a project manager.”

By the time the interview concluded, I couldn’t help but feel a mixture of bewilderment and disappointment. The candidate had an impressive background on their CV, but their unfocused questions and irrelevant accusations overshadowed their qualifications. The emotions took the best of me, and I couldn’t help but tear up from the unexpected conversation. I felt as if it was my fault for making the candidate feel unwelcome at Thorgate.

In the days that followed, I reflected on the encounter. While candidates should be able to ask questions to determine if a company is the right fit for them, it’s equally important to showcase their interest in the position at hand. The candidate’s approach had missed the mark entirely, I believe.

That one time when I didn’t speak up:

Once, during a video interview, I found myself in an absurdly amusing situation. As an interviewer, I have gotten used to the technical challenges that online interviews can bring, but this one was a real gem.

It was a rainy Wednesday afternoon, and I was ready to e-meet the next candidate. The candidate was using their phone for the interview, which is an important note for the story.

Everything was going smoothly, we exchanged greetings and how are you’s. But then, I noticed something peculiar happening. Instead of keeping the phone in front of them, — the candidate suddenly pressed it firmly against their ear!

Confused, I waited momentarily, thinking it might be a short circuit in their brain. Trying not to burst into laughter, I composed myself and started with the interview.

You might wonder why I didn’t say anything about the peculiar phone-to-ear situation. Honestly, I asked myself the same question. It wasn’t a lack of desire to address it; it simply felt like the moment had passed, and I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of our interview.

Submitting a love book instead of CV:

And then, one day, in the realm of diverse job applications, I encountered a truly unforgettable candidate. This candidate applied for our developer position, and their resume left me with more questions than answers.

As I opened their application, I expected to find the typical resume detailing their education, work experience, and programming skills. However, instead of a traditional CV, I was greeted by what seemed to be a love book — a cover with a picture of a woman and man and an intriguing title, “The Secret Language of Attraction: How to Communicate with Women and Make them irresistibly attracted to you”.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I began to scroll to see if it was a real book. Yes, yes, it was the full whole e-book. I sat in contemplative silence. The candidate’s love book was undoubtedly a great surprise and made me laugh.

WhatsApp number:


I have been conducting countless interviews for a developer position. Among the talented pool of candidates, there was one who stood out.

From the moment we started our call, it was evident that the candidate was passionate about their profession. He confidently discussed his past projects, and the interview progressed smoothly.

As the interview drew to a close, the candidate said with a warm smile, “I’ve really enjoyed our conversation, and I’d love to continue discussing this opportunity further. Could I have your number to chat on WhatsApp?”

I paused for a moment, contemplating how to respond. While I admired their enthusiasm, I knew that sharing personal contact numbers during the hiring process would blur professional boundaries. After a brief internal debate, I decided to be honest. Straightforward as I am, I said: “I’m glad to hear you enjoyed our conversation. I will keep you updated on the next steps via email.”

In recruitment, such instances are few and far between. However, amidst these rare gems, there are also countless heartwarming words of appreciation that I receive. Let me share with you one of the most recent ones:

‘’Hi Teele, thank you very much for your reply. Thorgate just gets a hundred of stars as you show that your process is human and transparent.’’

And this is what makes my job truly awesome!

Thorgate is a dynamic group of companies driven by a shared mission to change the world through technology. Founded 12 years ago, the company has evolved into a multifaceted organisation with diverse ventures, each contributing to advancing technology and innovation.

Our commitment to trust, hunger for excellence, open-mindedness, and resourcefulness, coupled with a strong emphasis on team effort, has positioned Thorgate as a leader in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Ready to embark on your own journey with Thorgate? Join us in shaping the future of technology! Explore our career opportunities and be part of something unique. Send us your CV at iwannajoin@thorgate.eu