Non-core interview questions
* attention, this is a very controversial and subjective text *
Sometimes interviews can turn into a boring routine and this can adversely affect the candidate’s experience and the candidate’s impression of you. For me, interviews have always been an opportunity to learn something new for myself in parallel with the process of assessing the knowledge of a candidate for a particular position. But in addition to purely specialized issues, I also want to know the candidate a little more. As a rule, this is done by the HR service, but in addition to the general characteristic, it is important to see how a person thinks and behaves in matters “not about the weather”.
Here are some of the questions I ask in the interview to diversify it.
Explain to your child what code obfuscation is, in simple words, so that it understands.
I act as a child myself. Instead of “code obfuscation” there can be any concept, depending on the position. This question helps to see if a person can make the complex simple. Often you have to communicate with people who are not in the subject of the project or technology in general, and maybe not familiar with computers. As a rule, this skill is most important for managers, but it will not hurt for other positions either. In this case, people often have to tell people not to be shy and not afraid to sound naive or silly, because the condition clearly states that the child needs to be explained.
Oddly enough, but managers usually skid, and the developers themselves are much more creative and enthusiastic in approaching the explanations. I remember two answers:
Obfuscation : "Imagine that you wrote a note to Masha in a nearby sandbox, but so that no one could read it, you reduced all the words, threw out the vowels in a couple of words, replaced a few words with a "poker" and removed the punctuation marks. Everything turned out - nobody could read the note ... Masha also couldn’t, and went to sculpt the Easter cakes with Vanya . ”
SSL : “ You need to transfer apples to your friend Dima, but around you hooligans who also want apples. Then, instead of passing apples to Dima on the street, you go into the house, and you transfer apples to him inside. Then you go out, you are satisfied, Dima with apples, and the hooligans do not know anything . ”
One of our interview rooms. Nothing extra.
Imagine that you have 1 minute while our company's CEO is waiting for his drink at the bar. You are not familiar, but you saw him and you must not miss the chance. Try to interest him, so that he suggests you join his company at the table.
This question was once asked me, and, to be honest, he baffled me. This is a rather provocative question and I asked him, as a rule, a senior to candidates for managerial positions. There is no clear right answer, it is important here what the candidate will do in general within a minute, what to say and how. 4 out of 5 people get lost, begin to blush, and with them I begin to blush because I put them in an awkward position, and now, we sit together as beetroots red and are silent for a minute, sweating. 1 out of 5 is really trying to interest in his candidacy, and even this is excellent, because he is trying to navigate within a very narrow framework, although almost any means of resolving this issue is available to him. This is exactly what is important - whether a person can apply complete freedom of action in solving one specific problem,I don’t know what to say . "Attempt is important.
You have a choice: a million dollars right now or every next working day for 4 years you will receive 2 dollars more than yesterday - first 2, then 4, 6, 8, 10 and so on. Which option impresses you more?
The question helps to see whether a person is impulsive in making decisions or not, and in fact the question consists of two parts. Very often they answer that they would have taken a million and invested, but if you ask the candidate next “what would you invest in?”, A gap occurs. As a rule, people have a very schematic view of investments and deposits and therefore are lost when they answer “ I don’t know ”. You can rephrase this question closer to reality: " You have a choice: 20 people per team right now or every week +2 ." By the way, what would you choose?
A couple of times, the candidates answered very clearly and point by point, what they would spend a million on and agreed that the money would run out very quickly - this is a normal point of view, I respect her. But most of all I liked this answer: "I would choose the second option, because then I will know exactly how much money will be in my pocket on any day of my life for 4 years - this is cool knowledge . ”
The most important question is a request, because this is how I find out what a person is interested in at work, what interests him in his own field, whether before PHP or testing. Someone asks about technologies, some particular cases that he himself has encountered, and someone asks questions about office life, bonuses, games, and so on. Almost everyone takes this chance to learn something not from HR, but from the person who interviews them.
Perhaps the funniest question I was asked was this: “ Do you have beautiful girls? I’m married, I don’t need temptations . ”
And finally, the question I ask the very first, regardless of position:
Why are you here today?
In some ways, this question is similar to the favorite question of psychologists-HR'ov " tell about yourself ." Oddly enough, but very many people stumble on this issue and cannot immediately formulate the reason why they are sitting opposite or next to me. I first heard this question in an interview conducted by my colleague, and I liked it because of its simplicity.
In response, I expect to hear any reason that prompted the person to come for an interview or even look for a new job. There is no right answer, and for me this question is an indicator that a person has a certain goal, and not just came to drink a cup of coffee with me. This may be a story about what does not suit the current place or why, along with other companies, a person sent a resume to us.
The most memorable answer to this question was the following, heard from a web developer, also about women: “I started dating a girl, she was sorely lacking money, I needed something more stable than freelance .”
I’m not HR, but the technical director, but I believe that the technical part of the interview can also be varied, so that the candidate has fun and he leaves happy even if he doesn’t suit us. You can draw on the board, you can look for bugs in the live code, and once in the office a couple of days my cat lived in the interview room and it was the most interesting experience during the interviews.
PSDear HR, a huge request, do not take these examples as necessary for use. This is just a personal experience and it should be used in a very careful dosage. These questions do not weed out people, they are in order to give an idea of not only the level of human knowledge. They sound mixed with technical issues and are not definitive.