Interviewing for your tech team can be overwhelming if you’re not technical or don’t have the specific skillset you’re hiring for. Fortunately, we believe that building a tech team isn’t all about what technology you know, but instead whether you have the right skills to interact with humans, are an effective problem solver, and if you’re hiring for a small company/startup, able to wear many hats, jump in and figure it out, and take initiative.
Tech is less about what programming language you know and more about knowing how to work with other humans and to empathize with them. While the programming language and the tech are important, many technologists are in tech because they love to learn and want make an impact with technology. Any technology.
We use this set of questions when we first meet with technologists to get a high level sense of who they are, what they are looking for, and how they go about solving problems. This does not get into deep technical skills and we usually don’t do that in our first meeting with a candidate.
These are questions you can ask and should have answers you can assess on your own without another trusted developer or engineer along side you. If you are not comfortable asking tech questions or don’t know what questions to ask after these, that’s ok! If you feel you need to continue asking more technical questions after these, you can work with a trusted third-party to ask more relevant technical questions of the candidate. We also strongly encourage trying this person out first before making a big commitment and hiring them full-time.
Feel free to add, adjust, remove questions as they pertain to your company and the candidate’s experience level. Have they been out of school for more than 5 years? That’s probably not super relevant here, so no need to ask about that. Did they not go to college? Ask more about how they got into tech and self-trained instead.
Tell me about your current school and work experience
What are your career aspirations/what are you most interested in doing after college?
Tell me about your most recent project and what were your responsibilities?
Tell me about a project you are most proud of, what was your contribution, and why?
Why do you want to work with us?
If a project you are working on requires you to learn a new technology or approach to solve a problem how do you go about doing that?
How do you handle a situation when there are multiple ways to solve a problem? What goes through your mind?
Tell me about something that didn’t go well? Why? How did you handle it? What did you learn from it? What did you do differently the next time?
What is your favorite and least favorite tech and why?
What do you do when you get stuck on a problem? How and when do you ask for help?
What do you like about working alone? Working as a team?