Interviewing Candidates in Tech

Interviewing is a scary time at any point of your career. Nerves are jumping wild for those moments that will transpire, but how well you’re prepared on the hiring end can be just as frightening. Here are some things to think about when you the interviewer take that leap of faith with a potential candidate.

Have Empathy, Give a Shit

When asking candidates to travel or even chat keep the following in mind; candidates are putting their time in your hands and making room for you as well. Have empathy for the candidate because chances are they’ve been sweating bullets prior to the encounter. It’s huge for them and it’s huge for you so take the time to give a shit and show you care.

Have a process, Make it sensible

I’ve been through a few multi-phase processes with companies that told me in the millionth hour that they’re sorry for sending me through an incorrect process. This is just no good in my book and deserves several lashes with a whip. Once again the candidates are taking valuable time as well and you being the one hiring should be in control to have your “ducks in a row” before a candidate arrives. Having nothing prepared says you don’t care about the time of your candidate and sees the process as mundane. Candidates are generally there to earn a living and support a family and not caring about the process along with everyone involved is simply disrespectful.

Location, location, location

Don’t go thinking a video call from the bed of the Ramada Inn is a good place to interview a candidate. Find a cozy place within a hotel or maybe even find a co-work facility nearby. Candidates have taken the time to prepare and so should you. Be a pro, find a library or a proper spot where things can be intimate and conversational (cozy coffee shop anyone?).

Be up Front

Are you primarily interested in a seriously skilled JS developer? Then ask those questions to candidates. Don’t ask questions that are unrelated to your concerns throughout the entire interview and tell candidates at the end that skill isn’t met and the reason why they didn’t get the job. If you have a concern then be absolutely sure to state it in the beginning phases as well as in the job description and always remember never judge a book by it’s cover.

Be Professional

When you first meet someone it’s not the time nor the place to bring in your off color comments that are said to one another in private. Make candidates feel comfortable and give them a chance to open up. Off color -or- more importantly inappropriate comments can be held for the moment when you both really know one another and feel like you can do so. Some ideas for casual discussions are topics like movies, music, weather and sports just to name a few. Keep it light and steer clear of politics/religion for now.

Going Further

Have you been through a process or see ways in which employers can be better prepared? Let me know in the comments. Also make sure to checkout Front-end Developer-Interview Questions.

Dennis Gaebel

Design Technologist passionate for Open Source, SVG, Typography, Web Animation, Interaction Development & Pattern Based Design. http://droidpinkman.io.

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  1. John Doe shouted this comment preview:
    2014/12/27