Thursday, March 8, 2007

Job Interviews

Interviewing people for a developer position is an art form, and everyone has his own methods to test the candidate.

Scott Hanselman wrote "if you're hiring someone to sing, it's reasonable to have them sing at the interview".
I agree, but the problem is that most interviewers tend to ask that singer to write notes instead of singing them, or to escape the metaphor, people get a test composed of many multiple choice questions, or are asked to write some kind of algorithm instead of letting them actually code in front of a computer.

I understand that sometimes the person you are interviewing has simply no skill and you want to save time and resources, but to rule out those people a simple FizzBuzz question should be enough.

In a recent HanselMinutes podcast, Scott walked Carl Franklin (as a potential developer) through an actual problem he had, watching the steps he took to figure out the problem and solve it. I think you can get much more information on a person this way than by giving him all those written tests.

You can also do as Jeff Atwood wrote, and have the candidate give a 20 minute presentation to your team on their area of expertise, not as good as a test in front of a computer, but still a lot better than a written exam.

But if you do need written questions anyway, here is Scott's What Great .NET Developers Ought To Know, and you can find the answers here (and in previous posts).
More questions from Riley Perry here, and Rilov's FAQ file here.

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