During a down economy when jobs are hard to come by, sometimes it’s the little things that can help someone get over the hump. Often, prospective candidates will make it to the interview only to be turned away because of poor interviewing skills. Enlisting the help of friends or colleagues can only get you so far, so Evisors was created to fulfill the need for on demand advice. With Evisors, users can select experts across many different fields and receive help with interviewing, admissions processes, business advice, and virtually anything else. Essentially, it’s a marketplace for expertise. We caught up with Co-founder Mark Weiner to talk about Evisors and their decision to use Twilio for their communications needs.
What is the backstory of Evisors?
Evisors was officially founded while all four founders were getting MBAs. Getting a job out of school is very important, so it was something that we and our peers were constantly faced with. Graduating in 2010, in the middle of a downturn, was a tough time to find a job, let apart your dream job. But there was a clear pattern, some got jobs, multiple jobs, and some people got interview after interview but had trouble actually landing the job. What was the difference? Often it was polish, or in recruitment speak, “people who show well.”
If you didn’t “show well,” you didn’t have anywhere to turn. We realized that despite there being an app for everything, there is no way to practice interviewing. It’s not an app, you need a roster of highly capable experts. You can practice by doing actual interviews and being rejected, but finding a non-evaluative place to get feedback on how you interview doesn’t exist. We all wanted to build a tool to solve that problem.
The next thing we recognized was that connections helped people make progress. For a traditional job, chatting with connections would help explain what the day to day job was like, or who’s hiring; or for alternative careers, like starting a business, connections helped identify real opportunity areas and helped founders avoid mistakes. The randomness of personal connections was another artificial barrier that we felt technology could breakdown. Instead of happening to “know somebody,” we wanted to provide that service.
Evisors was born. A technology-based company that helps people to connect with the people that they want, on their terms, and on demand, to help them advance professionally, from practice interviews to entrepreneurial advice.
What are your future plans for Evisors?
Our vision is to build the ultimate online consultation engine for professionals. We intend to continue to add collaboration and communications tools – for any professional with knowledge to impart, we will make it extremely easy to connect with those demanding that specific expertise. Today, our system is built on the Twilio backbone, traditional telephone calls that have great quality and can be taken while at home, at the office, or on the run. We’ll be rolling out the use of Twilio Client for in-browser conversations as well as a host of other collaboration tools to make it easy for experts to choose us as their online promotional platform.
What technologies are you using to build and support Evisors?
Twilio, Olark, Rackspace hosting, PHP, and MySQL
How did you get started developing with Twilio?
We offer clients a premium product and hence need to deliver the best technology. After toying around a lot with web-video, we realized that interaction quality is weak – the audio can be choppy and cut out and the video is low quality. Moreover, both people would have to be on their computers. So we decided that old school phone calls are still the way to go if quality is your top priority. That led us directly to Twilio, who has the best platform we could find for developing a premium telephone based app. I have to say, we’re very satisfied.
How was the experience of integrating Twilio with your chosen tools and technologies?
Twilio is an extremely powerful platform. Basic functionality can literally be built in a day; however, the platform is flexible enough to also enable complex executions.
Our system has many features enabled by Twilio. Our system calls both parties, the expert and the client, and keeps their private information (phone number and email) anonymous to one another to maintain privacy. Our system detects when calls have dropped (say because of a phone connection) and calls people back to continue their sessions. Our lead developer Cyrus even thought of and implemented a Turing Test to ensure we connected our customers not a voicemail. Building all these functions wasn’t as easy as a functional “call me” button, but still very practical with Twilio.
Thanks to Marc for taking the time to talk to us about Evisors! If you’re a professional of any type, it’s a great way to promote your expertise by helping others who could benefit from your advice. Likewise, check out Evisors if you find yourself needing help on an important topic. For more info, visit their website.