The Interviewing Process
In the tech world, it is a given that you will be put through a behavioral interview and a technical interview when applying for a position. When going through bootcamp, there is an unspoken fear of the technical interview. You’re already going through imposter syndrome and the last thing you feel prepared for is an evaluation of your technical skills. I cannot even tell you how many times I have seen on LinkedIn where Senior level software engineers, themselves, are fearful to have to go through interviewing if they were laid off.
For whatever reason, the technical interview has become, in some cases, so irrelevant to the actual work to be performed on the job. Over and over again, I am hearing that it doesn’t translate to success in the workplace. So, why is this innovative industry so slow to innovate its hiring process? Is there a better way?
On every tech interview I’ve been on, I make it a point to ask the engineering manager what they are looking for. Each one of them assures me that they are not basing their decision 100% on the technical portion. They know they will have to invest and train up the junior engineer. Instead, they are looking for:
- The ability to ask questions when stuck
- Working well within a team
- Receiving constructive criticism
- Problem solving and creativity
- Strong interpersonal skills
So, what kind of interviewing process would actually translate to success? I have an idea….
What if, instead of asking the interviewee to solve a irrelevant problem, the interviewer showed them an existing problem they are currently working on or something similar. Then, they walk them through the code, teaching them along the way and allowing room to ask questions. Finally, they ask the interviewee to explain it back to them in their own words. This is essentially what would happen in the workplace where a Senior dev would walk alongside and train up the junior dev. If the junior dev is able to show competence in understanding and learning quickly, isn’t that a better marker of job success?