First version of the website, with original logo and just a handful of articles

Early days

InterviewPenguin.com was established in April 2011, by Slovak recruitment consultant Matej Valuch.

Matej ran a successful recruitment consultancy called New Generation Recruitment, established back in 2008.  IRBIS, IBM, Orange Eemployment, Siemens, O’Donnel Griffin were all on the list of his clients, together with other smaller companies from different corners of the world.

While interviewing candidates for various job openings, Matej realized that most of them were poorly prepared, and often jeopardized their chances to get a job, either while talking to him, or in the final interview with the employer.

He decided to start a website, trying to help the job seekers to prepare better for their interview. On InterviewPenguin.com, he tries to combine his internet marketing skills with his recruitment knowledge. The website slowly grows in traffic during 2011….

 

Matej Valuch

An imprisoned recruiter

Matej would probably still work in the field of recruitment, if security police didn’t arrest him in Iran on 23rd August 2012, while he was working on one of his recruitment projects in the country.

Iranian authorities accused Matej of  spying for the CIA. He spent six months in notorious Evin Prison, facing harsh conditions of solitary confinement and a possibility of a death sentence.

Iranians eventually released Matej from prison in February 2013, but he couldn’t return to his former business activities anymore…. New Generation Recruitment was done for good.

During the next twelve months, Matej focused on building InterviewPenguin.com, and started many other, smaller specialized websites in the field of career advice (some of them he started on his own, some other in cooperation with other recruiters, and interviewers specializing in the field), trying to share his knowledge and recruitment experience with both employers and job candidates.

He invited several guest authors who wrote various articles for both InterviewPenguin.com and other websites in his portfolio, and Penguin soon reached more than 150 pages of content.

 

Experiments, audio recording, statistics

Matej experimented with the website in 2013-2014, trying various white hat and black hat SEO techniques to improve the position of Interview Penguin in the search results of Google. This led to both increases and decreases of the traffic, until he finally decided to focus on white hat techniques only, and building quality content that can deliver real value to the visitors.

The website has been enjoying steady flow of traffic ever since.

Back in 2014, Matej recorded ‘I Will Get a Job‘ (using an English pseudonym ‘Matthew Chulaw’), offering simple to use but effective interview tips and strategies for job seekers, in a form of an audio recording they can listen to on their way to the interview. Many copies have been sold ever since, and the recording is still available on the website, in the original form (with funny English here and there :)).

Some statistics (see screenshots below, click on the screen to see the full size picture):

  • More than 2,000,000 unique visitors have come to InterviewPenguin.com since April 2011, looking for interview/career advice.
  • The website welcomed visitors from more than 215 countries.
  • Various pages on InterviewPenguin.com were shared and linked to countless times, which resulted in receiving traffic from astonishing 3,354 various traffic sources over the years (social networks, bookmarking sites, forums, University websites, blogs, yahoo answers, etc. etc. )

We received more than 2,300,000 unique visitors over the years. (Between October 2012 and February 2013 the website disappeared from the internet completely, since the hosting expired and Matej could not renew it from Iranian prison.) It was brought back to life in February, when he was released from prison and returned back home.

 

We received hits from more than 220 countries and territories

 

Various pages on InterviewPenguin.com were shared, and linked to numerous times, which resulted in getting traffic from more than 3,300 various sources from all over the world wide web.

Matej’s book

Helping the others

Since returning from prison, Matej has always aimed to help the others, working mostly for non-profit, and sharing his knowledge with people from all corners of the world.

If you think that our website has helped you to get a job, consider purchasing University of Solitude (you can find the book also on every Amazon marketplace, just search for the name). The book is an authentic account of Matej’s imprisonment in Iran, told in his own words. Harrowing stories of other prisoners he met behind bars, both Iranian and international, are also narrated in the book, in their own words.

All money from the sales of the book is donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross, so you’ll support a good cause while purchasing.

 

To find out more about the founder of InterviewPenguin.com, you can check the following links: