Tips for interviewers

How to make a job interview effective and fun

This is mainly for interviewing software engineers, but most of the points are applicable to most intellectual jobs.

This is about the interviewer side. See also my tips for me as a candidate.

  • Make the interview situation psychologically safe. Alleviate stress as much as possible.
  • Make the time invested pretty much symmetrical to be fair with the candidate
  • Let them ask questions.
  • Discuss ballpark compensation early on.
  • Make the hiring process transparent and share it early.
  • Offer times via a Calendly link instead of asking "what time frames suit you".
  • Set up timing together with the candidate. Understand where they are in the interview process and how they progress, and make sure no one hires them first.
  • Ask for concrete examples, either about the past or, if it doesn't work out well, about an imaginary future scenario. Especially managers bullshit a lot, so don't allow bullshit, ask for concrete examples or plans in a factual situation.
  • Ask for a relevant, well-prepared, exciting project to be done, possibly async and with a soft time limit. Review it together.
  • Don't ask shitty nitpicking questions like what's the output of ---0x2 in JavaScript. It won't measure what you want.
  • Ask something other than unrelated deep tech questions. Don’t ask about the internals of MySQL DB sharding for a senior back-end developer (not a DevOps) role. If you do that, the most you'll learn is whether they are willing to admit that they don't know.
  • Record calls—with their consent—to make it easy for you to review the interview without distracting yourself with taking notes.