Interviewing Software Engineers: What You Need to Know

photo by Creative Art

An in-person interview is a physical presence of our characters and behavior to a panel of interviewers. As part of my interviewing experience, I sat with a team of 400 brilliant engineers and learned how to do it.

 Adaface, a company that automates the screening process using the chatbot, will interview engineers. The company product Ada is a friendly interviewing tool that will make interviewers enjoy the process. This paper has incorporated a detailed summary of my lessons as the interview process is concerned. 

Technical interview

As far as our lessons are concerned, a technical interview aims to extract the candidate’s in-person character and skills. To have a successful interviewing process, choose wisely the questions. They should not be too hard for the candidate to answer or too simple. Both the panelists and the candidates should be happy about the process. 

All the interviewers on the panel should be able to solve the questions before presenting them to interviewees. A candidate who cannot answer a medium-difficult question can be given a simpler one to extract his/her competence in a particular field. As a hiring manager, you should not allow every interviewer to ask questions randomly. 

A congruous scoring mechanism should be designed before the interview. Interviewers should use a more appealing system that will encourage candidates. An example of a scoring tool is when an interviewer gives a candidate a five and uses a negative for incompetence areas. Allow candidates to judge themselves by providing a scale and allow them to grade it. Choose one difficult question and present it to the candidate to test how he/she can handle complicated problems.

Making a decision

To ensure a successful interview process, revisit the scorecards later to check for biases. During the interview, you may be tempted to over or under-grade candidates because of gender or welcoming facial expressions, which is very wrong. Give all candidates equal chances for winning the post. 

As a hiring manager, don’t take too long to settle on one candidate. Sometimes you can make “maybe” hires and proceed to the next step. After making the maybe hiring, revisit the hiring framework to evaluate the “maybe” hired candidate’s progress. Allow the applicants to familiarize themselves with the company’s employees to taste the culture and mode of operation. The employees will report on the behavior of the candidates. 

Interview Etiquette

Interviewers should prepare a brief document on the pre-requisite skills and share it with the candidates before the interview. The pre-requisite document should be accompanied by the interview invitation email to evaluate themselves before the interview.

On the interview day and probably on the panel, don’t hesitate to start the process. Let the candidates choose the language that they are comfortable with and express their ideas with ease. At the end of the interview, inspire the candidates by telling them about its success, ongoing projects, and contribution to its triumph. 

In conclusion, candidates should leave the interview with a smile despite being hired or not. So it is the responsibility of interviewers to create a conducive environment and avoid intimidation. Lastly, appreciate them for their interview with you.