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Balancing the Grind with Srividya Gopani, Co-Founder of Interviewer.AI

Srividya Gopani is the co-founder of Interviewer.AI, an AI-powered, smart video recruitment platform focused on building the penultimate step to hire great talent.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have spent time with technology companies for over 16 years, working with business & product teams across geographies. I started my career with Intel, followed by a stint with Directi.

I was working with LinkedIn for over 10 years, and most recently as the Director, Consumer and Brand Marketing for Asia-Pacific and China. I have spent my career in technology marketing, and understand the role of marketing and communications linked to business objectives to drive impact at scale.

I enjoy working on technology and understanding products in that domain is fascinating. After LinkedIn, I also spent time with tech startups for a brief period, consulting on product roadmap, PR and communications strategy, pricing strategy and content marketing. 

I am currently the co-founder, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Interviewer.AI. I believe that the pace of technology is fundamental to how fast businesses are changing.

Within that, the changes in HR tech become inevitable with recruitment processes and remote work and the vision to make a difference in this space is exciting. We are a smart video recruiting platform, helping businesses shortlist and hire better. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday? 

I am one of the co-founders and it is an early-stage business, which means our days are packed for the right reasons. I schedule for some of my early morning calls on select days, starting at 7:30 am since my other co-founders and the CEO are based in Singapore.

We are hiring for important roles in engineering, marketing, product and data science. Most days I schedule the interviews as one of the first meetings for the day. We have a daily tech stand-up meeting, followed by others.

I am wearing multiple hats through the day, working with design and product to working on our email and content marketing to communications and social media. At the moment, we are building content to help customers understand how our AI-based technology can help solve their hiring challenges and make their hiring processes faster. 

As for priorities, I plan for the whole week on Mondays, breaking up the functional work into smaller projects. Focused work which requires me to work independently is when I work in sprints of 30-mins or 60-mins, which allows me to sustain through longer hours.

As a startup, we are moving fast, pace of decision-making is much faster than larger organisations and that helps to bring focus on the top things that drive impact. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

I am based in Mumbai, India and the other co-founders and the CEO are based in Singapore. In fact, I have been working remotely with them for nearly a year and it fits into our working schedule very well.

We also work remotely with our teams, consultants and also with our agencies and freelancers, who are spread across the globe. We use Slack, Asana, UpWork, Google Drive and are actively connected. We do have plans to open our office in India, but it will continue to be a flexible/hybrid model. 

I am a mother to a 5 year-old, which also adds to the lovely and furious pace of the day. I have been working remotely for 2 years. I start my day around 5:30 / 6 am, and I try to begin with a workout or a run/walk. Since the commute time is now completely off, it gives me a headstart into some personal time before work.

I begin work calls as early as 7:30 am and then take an hour to get my son ready for school. Back again around 9:30 am to join work calls. I have evening and post-dinner calls on select days and I plan my week’s schedule in advance. The flexible hours have expanded my work day. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

There is no one answer to this question and I think work-life balance became integral to me around 5 years ago, when I became a mother. It has changed how I work, for the better.

In the last two years physical schools were not open and it was all virtual. I have gone through the professional experience from working full-time at LinkedIn, consulting with startups and to now working full-time in a startup.

All these changes happened professionally, while balancing my child’s virtual school. It wasn’t easy but I think it has helped me shape priorities and manage time infinitely better.

It has definitely changed how I think about my day, and work is a huge part of it. I no longer see it as a scheduled time, but work longer hours on some days and that actually helps. I also find that in our conversations with people we work with, this has become an important connection.

You find out more about people you work with, their daily lives and it wasn’t something that was as visible in the professional context earlier. But it has become integral and has improved work relationships, especially remote. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

The daily commute was a huge part of the work day, originally. I have now started scheduling my work day to begin earlier which accommodates time zones better and makes me far more productive. Saving that commute time has made me start my work at 7 am vs. 10 am. 

I was an avid reader but I never had enough energy. I have created a better routine for reading, ever since work timings have changed. I think the days have expanded and that has been an important factor in incorporating a better reading schedule. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

One of the best books I read recently was Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and it changed the way I think across many topics. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall is an absolute stunner of a book, in terms of inspiration and especially if you enjoy running.

Newsletters that I have recently enjoyed are The Growth Newsletter by Julian Shapiro and Demand Curve. I find the insights very relevant for startups and amazingly contemporary.

On podcasts I was recently introduced to the Huberman Lab podcasts, which discusses neuroscience and how our brain makes connections which control perceptions, health and more. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Fitbit has become an integral part of my workout and walking routine. For productivity apps, Google Keep and Notion have become indispensable tools from a personal goals, notes and organisation perspective. I totally enjoy Twitter to find a wide array of smart humour, topical memes and absolutely devastating insights. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I would love to read about Rafael Nadal and how he does it at the highest level of performance. 

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I have found that work and life have become interconnected and that is a good thing. It has forced us out of our habits. In the last two years, I have found these very positive in how I have made those changes, and it can only improve the quality of life from here on. There is an acceleration towards what’s meaningful and what drives us.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.