Web development interviews

Posted by on 7.12.22 in Web Development

Candidate being interviewed remotely
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

One of the questions that I always ask when being interviewed for a position is: “what are the qualities that you look for when hiring someone to join the team?”. The most common responses are: honesty, collaboration and enthusiasm. Technical knowledge is very rarely mentioned. I believe this is because the fundamental concepts of developing software change less frequently and developers are able to adapt to using new frontend frameworks and tools fairly quickly.

I have been on either side of the recruitment process both as a candidate and as an interviewer and I have found that I have had the best discussions when a technical exercise was requested in advance. After reviewing the exercise, the interviewing team can decide if they want to progress to the next stage and at that point they have a good base for a discussion. The candidate can give an overview of their solution and talk about the approach they decided on. They can talk about any improvements they would like to make (if they had more time) and the prospective employer can get an understanding of how the candidate would deal with any new requirements by asking them to add a new feature during the interview. This can be approached more as a pair programming session, which will also highlight the candidate’s collaboration skills.

I saw this tweet the other day and it really resonated with me. It is so difficult to say “I don’t know” during an interview, but I think that one of the ways that companies can help with this is by not guiding the conversation down a path that will lead to this. If a discussion is based around a technical exercise that the candidate has completed, they are more likely to know the answer to a question, which is pertinent to that. If questions about the quirks of JavaScript or specific concepts of certain frameworks pop up, the odds are stacked against them.

One final thing I wanted to comment on for now is; multiple interview stages. I generally think it’s good for both sides to meet as many of the people you will be working with as possible. As a candidate it is important that you have a good idea of whether you think you are going to enjoy working at the new company and one of the ways you can determine that is to try and understand how you would get on with your future colleagues.