Other side of the Interviewing Loop (The Interviewer)

By the time we get to this point in our careers, most people have participated in plenty of interviews as the candidate. We know what it’s like to be interviewed, but do you really know how to do the interviewing? If you think back, do you know what made an interview horrible and soured the idea of working at a company? The key to being a great interviewer is to treat the candidate like a customer. You want to make sure that they leave loving your company even if they didn’t get the job.

Some helpful tips I’ve received for interviewing in the Software Space:

  • Ask about problems that you or your teammates had to code and solve. This allows you to fully understand the problem you are posing, how you would solve it, and understand their thought process/tradeoffs and maybe even get new ideas on how it could have been solved.
  • Classify them and your team (these don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but most people tend to be stronger in one):
    • System Dev: Developers more adept at creating the system and building blocks for others to use. They can understand their users/developers and the possible scenarios in order to build an elegant structure that supports the correct usage.
    • App Dev: Developers that are able to use existing APIs and take the building blocks given to them to solve a problem and build a robust solution.
  • The candidate should be flexible. It’s great if someone is a master at one thing and one language, but this is a fast paced development space. You need to be able to enhance your skills and learn on the fly.
  • Analyze the candidate with respect to the job that they will have within your team in the near future and what your daily interaction will be like with them, but also keep a broader idea of whether the person would be a great hire for the company.