This episode was published on 3 September 2020 and is approximately 59 minutes long. This episode made possible by Glow Your Soul and Anchor.fm.
Join us in this episode for a conversation about how to interview, recruit, and find the best people for your team. We’re not sharing a secret site, or a special code for Indeed. This is all about the process. We talk about how we approach the task, and share examples from more than twenty years in software management.
Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Anchor.fm
Listen on Spotify
Show Notes & Selected Links
An interview is essentially a structured conversation where one participant asks questions, and the other provides answers. In common parlance, the word “interview” refers to a one-on-one conversation between an interviewer and an interviewee. The interviewer asks questions to which the interviewee responds, usually so information is offered by the interviewee to interviewer – and that information may be used or provided to other audiences, whether in real time or later … read more on Wikipedia
Things to think about when starting your recruiting process
- What roles are you trying to recruit for?
- What constitutes a good engineer or resource?
- How do you institute culture?
- Use of recruiters/headhunters
- Contract vs direct hires
- Blended team - onshore/nearshore/offshore
- What do you need to build?
You have a lot of options to build a team!
- Internal referrals
- Contingent labor
- Full time
- Folks looking to change roles
- Off-shore partnership companies
- Near-shore partners
“The location of a resource should not be a deciding factor in todays recruiting environment!”—Steve Ledwith
How do you decide what to look for when staffing a project?
- Do you have a long ramp for the project? Think about full time.
- Is it a short term project you need done? Think about a contractor.
- Not sure what you’re going to have? Find a contract-to-hire resource.
When working with off-shore resources, consider:
- Up-front costs, or hourly costs will likely be cheaper
- Management and project overhead will be increased
- The time to prepare an off-shore resource to be successful will take time and input. Always.
“Resources are an exchange of energy and money.”—Imran Kasam
15 min: The Interview Process
Know what you want to achieve when interviewing. Have a plan going into the process.
- Culture questions
- Technical questions
- Skills test / practical test
Culture / Fit Questions
- If you could add any feature to the programming language you use the most, what would it be?
- Show me a cool project you’ve worked on. How did you do it?
- Tell a story about something you did that ended in a catastrophe.
- You are required to work with a huge chunk of code and you have no idea how it works and there’s no documentation and no tests. What do you do?
- Which books would you recommend as a must-read?
- What source control do you use?
- Tell me about some (programming/technical) issues that you feel passionately about.
- What are a few of your favorite development tools and why?
- Do you find any particular languages or technologies intimidating?
Technical Questions / Skills Tests
- Technical Inteview Thoughts
- Skills test
- Find a test which makes sense for your company, role, etc.
- You’re not trying to get the interviewee to write you a functional program
- A couple of stories which make sense for a project and a real world example
- Something the candidate can complete in less than 4 hours
- The test provides a baseline to review all sorts of activity by the candidate
- See the code, how they built the small application
- Shows the thought process, creativity, etc.
- Allows for questions about the output from the candidate and leads to a great conversation
- If you’re going to give a skills test, make sure the test allows the candidate to showcase the skills you’re looking for.
29 min: Imran tells a story about asking interviewees to tell him how to bake a cake!
Check out An Introduction to Systems Thinking and Wicked Problem Solving by Drawing How to Make Toast.
Jump ahead to the story about Magnets at 14:55.
Interview Pro Tips!
- Take a lot of notes!
- Ask every candidate the same questions!
- Listen to the answers, listen for key words, phrases, patterns.
Tricky or Gimick Questions in Interviews
Critical Thinking is a Great Skill!
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. - From Critical Thinking dot Org
How do you know the right candidate?
- What are you looking for?
- What sort of person do you think will be successful?
- Does the candidate need to have solved everything you’re trying to do?
- Does the candidate have the right expeience to be successful in the new role?
- Does the candidate have the ability to make tough decisions?
- Is the candidate willing to learn?
- Do you see relatable experiences in the candidate?
43 min: Myths in Interviewing
- Have you ever rejected a candidate because their resume was more than one page?
- Did you reject resumes because they weren’t on fancy paper?
- Did you reject resumes on fancy paper where the watermark was wrong?
Things to Consider when Submitting your Resume
- Typos are a red squiggle, and a red flag. Proof read.
- Is a cover letter required to get in the door?
- A follow-up email, or note, is required
You are much more than your resume. Make your online content available.
- Show your Linked In profile
- Show your github, or community profiles
“I'd like to spend an afternoon with you doing what you love the most, as your interview.”—Imran Kasam
Disclaimer: Some of the links provided are affiliate links meaning, at no additional charge to you, The Architect and the Executive may earn a commission if you make a purchase.