Posts Tagged ‘ jobs

Thoughts on interviewing software engineers

I was thinking earlier today about my past experiences as well as those that have been relayed to me from other colleagues in or entering the industry…

In my opinion, many companies when interviewing top candidates ask technical questions that do not effectively asses both the candidate as well as the company. As I have posted before on my blog, interviewing is a two-way street…..many companies forget this when vetting candidates. In an ideal world, companies would tailor the content of an interview to the candidate they are sitting down with. In my past experience, here are a few things that throw up red flags to me:

  • Questions that have answers that are designed to trick you
  • Questions that probe CS fundamentals (If you are looking for a job worthy of your skills, a company that is asking you these types of questions obviously has a bar lower than you want to work with)
  • Questions that come verbatim from classic textbook problems
  • Interviewers that walk in with a sheet of paper titled “Interview Questions”

I have never seen this, but in an ideal world, an interviewer would ask me a question that neither (s)he nor I knew the answer to. If both the interviewer and I need to work together to solve the problem, not only will the interviewer find out how I think and work on problems, but also at the same time I can judge for myself how the people at XYZ company think as well. You can also then judge the people that you would potentially be working with. A full time job is basically the same as moving into an apartment with a room mate. You need to be sure that the fit is right for you as much as the company needs to be sure the fit is right for them. If the questions they ask do not also help understand both sides of the equation, they do not do either the company or the candidate justice.

Let me know what you think….