Thursday, December 3, 2009

Who I Want To Hire and Work With

There are a lot of articles, blogs, etc. written on interviews and interviewing and I am not sure what I have to say adds much to the discussion but I hope something.

When I stated thinking about this I thought I would right a simple blog post about this ... but it is not that simple. So I think I will start with my general thoughts on the subject at high level in this posts and then add detail on each area in follow up posts. Forgive me because I am also using this to learn and improve my own interviewing ability.

I am currently reading 'Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware' which is what lead me to think about this, Who do I want to hire and work with? For me the three most important areas I am interested in, with a few examples I consider when determing the skill level in the area, are below.

How will this person fit into the team?
  • Will they work in a collaborative environment?
  • Will they fit in and still add a new perspecive to the team?
  • Will they be challenged enough to be engaged with the team?

How does this person think and solve problem?
  • Given a situation where a common design principle is violated and is causing a problem can they identify it? The do not need to know need to know the text book principle name but they need to understand the cause of the issue.
  • If possible I want them to pair with a couple of team members?

What have they learned and what are they learning? (I would have worded this differently before reading the book)
  • What made successful projects successful? Why or What was the context? What did you have to over come for it to be successful?
  • What caused your failures? Who was responsible? (do they take blame or at least some of it) Why was it a failure? What did you learn?
  • What are you learning now? How are you learning? (reading, doing, writing, teaching) What is the goal?
  • What do you do other than software development? I learn a lot when I put down the keyboard and do something else.
Not included:
* What APIs/frameworks do they know? - For a long term hire APIs/Frameworks they know may have some importance but if they can learn I know am getting someone that has long term value.
* Trick questions. - Interviewing is a pressure and nerve racking situation for many people. You might be able to get how they react in a pressure situation from these questions, but only maybe.
* There are context specific issues but I am more concerned here about the concepts to cover. However, usually these context questions are applying my context to the areas above.

Sometimes I wonder if I would hire myself. What I tend to find and even find myself putting on my resume is all the languages, APIs and technologies I have worked with. But these are usually of lesser value when I am interviewing.

1 comment:

  1. Putting Languages, Tools, technologies, APIs etc on a C.V. is a way to get them through the recruiters filter, they only reason to ask about them in an interview is to see how much the candidate lied on their C.V. :)