Building Sinta

Quitting My Tech Job, Backpacking Through Europe, and Coding in Japan: The Story Behind Creating Sinta

Mohamed Shegow
CEO & Co-Founder

It all started with my first tech job, which set off a chain of events leading me away from my hometown in Canada and on a backpacking adventure across various countries. From the lively streets of Amsterdam to the innovative pulse of Europe's startup scene, my journey then took an unexpected turn into the world of software engineering while living in Japan's Meguro district. This unique blend of experiences, from tech sales to backpacking to coding, served as the unique groundwork for building Sinta. Sinta is more than just a tool; it's an interview co-pilot with the goal of making hiring more effective, efficient, and equitable. If you're curious about how these wide range of experiences influenced the creation of our startup, Sinta, I'll explain how they all came together to shape this project.

In the early years of my career, I was fortunate to join a tech startup back home. The open, dynamic workspace was a far cry from traditional corporate settings, sparking my interest in the tech world. Taking a leap of faith, I sent a cold email to the company, and to my surprise, they responded. The interview process was daunting – talking to team members, creating a prospecting email for a pretend company, and even meeting the CEO and President for the final round. Despite feeling out of my depth, I somehow made it through and landed the job.

On my first day, the reality of my role became clear. I was tasked with securing qualified sales meetings for sales reps, a challenge that involved numerous cold calls and crafting countless personalized emails. The learning curve was steep, and I often turned to Google for answers. My manager, who was stubborn and had no patience for excuses, pushed me to keep persevering.

Lessons Learned

This experience at the startup taught me two crucial lessons: (1) the power of determination, and (2) the importance of learning from those around me. I observed and imitated my colleagues, gradually improving my skills in sales and business development. Despite feeling like I was constantly catching up, my efforts began to pay off, and I started to see real progress.

Then came a new challenge: being part of the interview panel for hiring Sales Development Representatives. This experience was new to me and felt inefficient and isolating. I didn't give it much thought then, as I was focused on learning and excelling at sales. Fueled by determination and by learning from the best in the field, I rapidly rose to become one of the top performers in my new position, achieving a real sense of accomplishment.

However, after reaching a peak in my role, I started to feel stagnant. I wasn't sure what I wanted to pursue or work on anymore. So, I decided to pack up my life in a single backpack and, armed with a one-way ticket, I set off to figure it out. This meant spending the next few months travelling across countries starting in Europe.


This journey was a significant period of growth for me, meeting people from various backgrounds. Amsterdam, in particular, stood out with its beautiful architecture and balanced work-life culture. Settling there, I faced the challenge of finding a job as a tourist. My persistence paid off when I joined a small startup team at a new tech company.

In this new role, I was responsible for leading new business sales in Europe. I applied my previous experiences and quickly adapted to the new environment. I realized that letting go of ego was essential for learning and growth in sales. My first sales call at the new company didn't go well, but I learned from it and continued to reach out to potential clients.

Months of effort led to my first deal, and soon, I was closing numerous deals each month. I became the top seller in Europe, gaining recognition and participating in the hiring process for our European office.

However, participating in the interview panels not only reminded me of the inefficiencies in the process but also revealed them more clearly. This led me to research and discover the impact of bias in unstructured interviews. Realizing the potential for improvement, I decided to create a solution. However, my lack of technical knowledge would quickly become a significant barrier.

Determined to Make it Work

Determined to overcome this, I attended a boot camp in Japan to learn about application development. This experience was transformative, leading to the creation of Sinta, an interviewing co-pilot. The initial version of Sinta didn't meet user expectations, so we gathered feedback and continued iterating on the product.

During this period, I also stayed in touch with a close friend in Canada, a former colleague from that first tech job. In our conversations, which often revolved around Sinta and his own experiences at a large tech company, he recognized similar interview inefficiencies and expressed interest in the problem we were trying to solve. Our discussions evolved, and it became apparent that we shared a passion for addressing this issue. Eventually, he too became involved in the project.

In the weeks that followed, our team dove deep into understanding the nuances of the interview process. We reached out to recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers, seeking to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges they faced. From the feedback on our MVP and numerous discussions, we distilled it into three key insights:

  1. People want to spend less time preparing for interviews and more time focusing on the candidates. 
  2. They prefer using an existing framework or template instead of starting from scratch or creating one ad-hoc. 
  3. There was a clear need for a more collaborative approach in the interview process to facilitate better decision-making. 

Armed with these insights, we pivoted our goal towards developing a user-friendly tool that not only saves time but also enhances collaborative efforts during interviews. This vision led to the birth of the second version of Sinta, now in beta. We’re excited to invite you to try it out and welcome your feedback — feel free to sign up [here].

What’s Next

We recognize that we're still in the early stages of building a tool that interviewers & hiring teams would love to use and finding product-market fit. We remain open to discussions and insights, eager to hear from users and those facing interviewing challenges.

As this journey progresses, I can't help but wonder what the future holds. In the next chapter, I'll take you through the trials and tribulations of bringing Sinta to life, navigating unforeseen challenges, and the moments of triumph that kept us going. Stay tuned for an inside look at the rollercoaster ride of tech entrepreneurship.

And for those who have already signed up for our waitlist, we'll be sharing an update very soon 👀. Please stay tuned!

Sign-up for early access today!
Mohamed Shegow
Leading the innovative team at Sinta, a startup redefining the interview process, I blend my journey from tech professional to global traveller and coding enthusiast. Together, we're committed to transforming hiring experiences with our diverse insights and shared passion for progress.

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