Management Hour - Interviewing
Interviews should be:
As such, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Ensure that at least 80% of your questions overlap between different candidates. Otherwise, you create an uneven playing field.
- A memory of an experience fades extremely quickly, so make sure to jot down your feedback ASAP—ideally, on the same day. I usually block off my calendar right after the interview for feedback.
- If you interview in tandem - discuss the candidate after you submit the feedback so you don’t bias each other. If your scores are radically different - it will at least create a learning opportunity for both.
- If you know that you will be biased for or against the candidate - make sure you interview at least in tandem or recuse yourself from the process.
- No trick or “Aha!” questions should be present in interviews. They just bin candidates into 2 buckets: those who know and do not. More often than not, such binning is not very useful to see who would make a good candidate.
- When making an overall recommendation, start with the at - a lot of confusion often happens during the interview process, and this reduces ambiguity in hiring committees regarding role, level, etc. E.g., “HIRE at L4 SRE”, “BORDERLINE at L3 Delivery Lead”, or “STRONG NO HIRE at L5 Principal Engineer”.
- Often, interviews are back to back - always ask the candidate if they need a second to get comfortable - get water, turn on AC, go to the bathroom. You’d be surprised just how shy some people are and then sit there uncomfortable, which impacts their interview performance.