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5 Tips to Conduct Killer Technical Interviews

Aug 2, 2022
5 Tips to Conduct Killer Technical Interviews

3-minute read - enough time for a quick expresso between your meetings

So, you need to prepare a candidate for an interview but you’re not sure where to start. That’s totally understandable! Maybe you haven’t interviewed many candidates before, or usually prefer sticking to the technical parts of your job.

There’s no need to worry! We’ve gathered up our best 5 tips to conduct a killer interview.

#1: More than Tech

Remember that even though you’re interviewing a potential developer or engineer, they need skills that go beyond their technical prowess. These include soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. 

Ask questions that will allow the candidate to showcase these skills such as “When was the last time you missed a deadline and how did you handle it?”

A question like this also shows that you understand life happens and deadlines can be missed every once in a while. The important thing is seeing how the candidate bounces back! 

Self-awareness is key, so a person identifying a time they fell short and worked to solve it will show you a lot about their personality.

#2: Do Your Research

When you interview a candidate, you want to know that they’ve done research on your company, right? It shows that they’re serious about the job and are willing to go that extra mile. 

Candidates feel the same appreciation when they can tell you’ve done your research, too. 

Make sure you’ve read through their resume before the interview (instead of reading it for the first time right in front of them!)

It could be helpful to do some research on the companies listed and note how long they stayed in previous roles. 

This also helps you raise potential red flags before you sit down with them.

#3: Can they explain the “why”?

Nowadays, lots of people know how to code and the technical how-to behind it. 

What you really want to look for is a candidate who knows why they’re choosing to code a certain way–being a good coder is not enough.

Can they explain why they used a certain language or framework over another one? Have they conducted user research in the past to determine what they need, and changed their code to meet those needs? It’s really important for developers to be able to explain why they chose their methods. 

#4: Minimize the Number of Technical Assessments

Some companies have candidates do a take-home assessment, a live test, and more in their interview process. Unless you’re a hugely sought-after company like Google, you can’t get away with that anymore (and even Google is starting to do away with the multiple assessments!). 

Even with recent layoffs taking place, tech is still a candidate-led market, and candidates often have multiple offers out. 

If you have too many hoops to jump through in your interview process, they simply won’t finish the process or will take a different offer. 

#5: The Second Why: Why your company?

When we asked Senior Consultant Aaron Edwards for some tips on prepping for candidate interviews, he gave us his number one question not to ask: “Why are you interested in working for our company?”

As an interviewer, it’s your job to sell your company to this candidate! They are likely entertaining several job offers and have a lot to choose from, so you need to designate what sets your company apart. 

Especially if you’re going after top-level talent, your job is to sell them on the 'why', whether that’s benefits, company culture, mission, etc. 

Jobs are way more than salary!

Interviewing candidates isn’t the easiest job, but with these tips, we hope you rock your next interview out of the park. 

Best of luck with your candidate search, and always remember your selling points and your “why” when interviewing.

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