Teach me to interview

Published on June 08, 2018

Teach me to interview

    It so happened that during a long-term career in IT, I conducted more than 200 interviews, hired and raised a large number of professionals from testing engineers to architects and managers. I often have to give interview tips to my employees, so I decided to summarize my experience and notes. As a result, the article you read is born.

    It does not have the golden grail, how to hire the best employees, only a sound approach to conducting interviews. Most likely the article will be useful to those who are just starting to interview people. However, it will also be useful for others to look at their approach to interviewing.

    So, simple tips:

    1. The man came for an interview, which means that he had already spent his time. Perhaps he was standing in traffic, he was freeing his work schedule to see you. Therefore, no matter how bad the candidate is, be respectful to him .

    2. You are the face of the company . Let this person not fit you or know nothing at all. However, if you offend a candidate, then regardless of the result, he can tell another top specialist who knows how bad things are in your company. With the right approach, you can so refuse the candidate that he wants to work with you in the future and will tell his friends that everything is super in this company.

    3. Prepare for the interview, come, having adjusted on the necessary wave. You do not need to find out at the interview the details that are already clear from the resume - you are wasting your time - yours and the candidate.

    4. Introduce yourself when you start the interview. This is a common mistake of all who begin to go to the interview. Often at the second interview to the question:
    - Who did you have the first interview?
    - I do not know, such a guy in a light shirt, asked strange questions about the templates ...

    5. The interview should take place without phones, laptops and other things. Spend your time most efficiently . We previously had a manager who sat in the iPhone for the first half with the missing appearance, then woke up and asked for some game. Fortunately, he no longer works with us.

    6. If you see that the candidate is clearly not pulling, then refuse right away, do not waste time . It is normal that the interview will end 15-20 minutes after it begins. Again, remember that you spend not only your time, but also the time of the candidate.

    7. Be consistent in the conversation, ask only on the case . To do this, you need to have a list of topical issues for each position and plan your interview in advance. See p.3 “Prepare for the interview”.

    8. Do not ask questions on the knowledge of manuals - all this can be found on Google in a couple of minutes. Usually such questions are asked by those interviewers who want to establish themselves in themselves at the expense of the candidate.

    9. Do not ask puzzles- they absolutely do not say anything about the skills and abilities of the candidate. If you're looking for a puzzle maker, then OK, this is your path.

    10. Ask only what is really needed at work . For example, you use a certain technology here and now, ask about the candidate’s knowledge of it. You do not need to invent complicated questions that you read on Habré or the profile forum. It is better to ask the solution of a real problem, which we faced recently in our work.

    11. Ask the candidate about his past projects , about his contribution to large projects. Carefully look at the number of years that the candidate spent in the profile field. Experience is measured not by time, but by events - a candidate with experience of 3 years may be more useful than a candidate with 10 years of experience.

    12. Evaluate the candidate's ability to learn , because the speed of mastering new knowledge is more important than the current knowledge of the candidate. It is clear that in the short time of the interview this is not done, so look at his experience and how quickly he learned new skills in the past.

    13. Look not only at what kind of specialist he is, but also at his soft skills, how you will work with him. It happens that a person knows everything, answers all questions and is simply cool, but he, for example, has a very authoritarian opinion, he doesn’t know how to work in a team, it may trivially smell bad from him (yes, it happened that :)). Ultimately, the decision to take you depending on your criteria for the candidate. From this it follows that the future colleagues of the candidate in question must be present at the interview.. They should give an independent assessment of whether they will be comfortable working with him or not.

    14. Ask if it is convenient for the candidate to get to work . For example, a person lives in the suburbs, then be sure to ask whether it will be a problem to drive to work through all traffic jams. Often the candidate himself does not think about this problem before going to work.

    15. Discuss the work schedule ; it must cross at least half the time when the rest of his team works.

    16. Sell ​​your project to him so that he wants to work with you and tell his friends. Let the person not suit you, but he certainly has friends and acquaintances from your target audience.

    17. Ask his goalsfor the next 1-3 years. I know that many candidates do not like this question and do not know what to answer. However, about half of the candidates confidently answer this question and for you the candidate’s motivation becomes clearer, you can offer him something suitable.

    18. Tell us about the benefits that a person will receive, working for you. For example, you understand that a candidate is interested in complex tasks and he wants to learn a lot in a particular area. Tell that working in your project, he will be able to pump well (only if it is really true). The collective and culture of the company is important to many, tell us about it. In the end, it all depends on the goals of each particular candidate.

    19. Ask why he is looking for a new job.. The answer to this question can largely describe the candidate from different sides.

    20. At the end of the interview, regardless of the result, summarize , give the candidate feedback. Perhaps the candidate is not right for you now, he needs to improve some skills or knowledge, offer a re-interview in a couple of months.

    21. Do not listen to the recommendations before the interview , otherwise you may have an incorrect assessment of the candidate.

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