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Getting more from your interviews

Martin Kelly
May 19
 - In 

One of the challenges of interviewing is getting all the info you need without it feeling too scripted or turning into an interrogation. Some interviews end up being a general chat and leave both interviewer and candidate feeling like ground hasn’t been covered. Perhaps it’s a project that the developer didn’t get to talk about or maybe you forgot to ask them about their reasons for leaving a particular role.

One of the companies we hire for has had success by following an interview template. Rather than a list of pre-determined questions they focus on the competencies that are important to them and make up the questions as they go. It’s a more natural experience for both parties and gives substance to post-interview feedback.

  • Background and experience - their career path, reasons for leaving and the decisions they have made
  • Technical knowledge required for the role
  • Passion and attitude - ask about side projects, “tell me about a time when…”
  • Collaboration and team fit - don’t hire brilliant jerks
  • Methodologies and tools - what’s their understanding of Agile, CI/CD, testing
  • Communication and presentation skills

Immediately after the interview, notes are compared and it’s decided whether the person progresses to the next stage. That’s usually a technical interview or code assessment.

Going in with a plan encourages thoroughness and ensures a consistent experience from interview to interview. It also gives the developer confidence that their potential colleagues have all been good enough to get through the same process!

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