The other side of the interview table
Who are the interviewers?
Well, most of us are programmers also.
What do we want / need?
We need cool new colleagues, that can help us with tasks.
Why do we hire?
- Business needs, expansion
- New project incoming
- More workload
- People are leaving
All of us wants the same thing. We called you to a technical interview on-site, so we definitely want to hire you.
What the technical interviews actually mean for the interviewers?
- Time spent not working
- Usually unpaid
- The work is still there when we get back to our desk
- It’s exhausting for us too
- We need to spend at least 10 minutes looking over the CV, prior to the interview
- We need to spent at least 30 minutes after the interview, to provide feedback to the HR
- Sometimes we need to be early in the office for an interview, and the interviewee cancels
- Sometimes we have to stay late in the office for an interview after working hours, while still arriving early in the office (personal reasons, meetings, etc.)
- …and so on
Tips for a successful interview – non-technical related
- Be professional with the HR and with the interviewers (in person and via mail)
- Relax and don’t worry that much of the outcome
- Be yourself!
- Do not speak 30 minutes over your personal experience – just mention a few strong points – 5 minutes should be more than enough
What we don’t care too much / at all
- CV is a good way of showing off your skills – but I’m interested in what you know, not in what’s written there
- Background: I don’t care what college you did, or how many years of experience you have
- Traits such as introversion/extroversion
What we’re not looking for
- Memorizing answers => We are aware when an answer is simply learned and not understood why it’s like this
What we’re looking for
- Thought process => Doesn’t matter if the problem is solved or not, I want to see how you thought about solving it
- Passion => It’s not a must, it’s not a minus, but it’s definitely a huge plus if it exists
- The wish to learn and improve => Continuous improvement
- Implication / involvement
- Not being afraid to ask questions
- Attention to detail
- Technical knowledge
In the end…
…You can still be told that you weren’t picked.
There are many reasons why that could happen.
Not being picked – Not Your fault
- The company had more options to choose from and you weren’t the first choice
- Sometimes there’s only one available position for the team, and we also struggle to figure out which candidate will fit the best in the current team
- The position was already closed
- Not needed anymore
- Someone internal wanted to change project / role (from integration to dev, for example)
- Misalignment between management / HR
Not being picked – Your fault
…And sometimes it’s your fault. And in 90% of the cases, it’s not about your technical knowledge.
- Something felt off during the interview (some people are good communicators and they can fool you by saying what they know you want to hear)
- You showed a bad attitude or lack of respect for your interviewers, by yelling at them or saying things such as ‘I don’t want to solve this problem’
- You showed lack of respect or talked badly about your previous team/company
Just be yourself and don’t try to fool anyone. Relax, and don’t be scared if you don’t know an answer to a question – we don’t expect you to know the answer the everything – we just want to have a clear picture of what you know and what you still need to learn more about.