Recently I did a lot of interviews for my developer team and I thought a summary might helps interviewers and/or candidates alike.
1. Calm down, we are all just humans
- The candidate will be nervous because it’s a not-so-common situation for him/her. Just because you interviewed a lot people already you can’t expect that everyone is doing well in that situation.
- Candidates usually have some sort of doubt about their person and/or their skills. Try to talk with them or even make some jokes before the interview to break the ice; that way you can satisfy their need to get accepted as a person and they can focus on their skills during the interview.
- Don’t stress yourself to much. You’re gonna talk with people that are just like you and me.
- If you’re lucky you will talk with your future colleagues and they want to see someone who they would love to work with.
- Just be yourself and don’t freak out. Keep your hands calm and your voice steady and smooth.
2. You can not bore them more than they are already
- I know it’s the n’th person you see in this week / month but please, show respect; everyone deserves it.
- If you need to draw a picture to keep you busy during the introduction, please do it in a way you don’t disturb anyone else’s attention.
- You have to stick out somehow. I don’t say you should act like a moron, I say you should shine with your behavior and knowledge.
- Show you’re well educated and that your mother / father did a good job raising you up.
- Respond to the questions you get asked with fully informative answers.
3. What is that all about?
- Do a good introduction to the job. Don’t stop just because you think you waste time on this! It’s important to make your point and show off what this position is all about.
- What’s the daily schedule, why does your product exists, why should / must people work with it and show off your excitement about it.
- Explain why quality matters, how your team communicates and what educational experience you can offer.
- If it’s not clear to you what you gonna work, ask for it! It’s the first contact with your new workplace and you should know at the end of the interview if you want to talk to them ever again.
- The interview is essentially a business talk: what can you offer them (expertise, good team player, etc) vs. what they can offer you (good team, learning, salary, etc.)
- Be honest to yourself. If you don’t like it, don’t accept the position. You gonna regret it every day.
4. Know your stuff
- Pay attention how much you have to ask for information. How communicative is that guy? Does he fit into the current team? Try to imagine how difficult / pleasant it would be to work with him/her on a daily base.
- You can spot a real talent if the candidate does his job in his/her spare time just because he/she loves it.
- It’s important that you show what you know. No one likes to pull everything out of your nose.
- Talk about your work experience, what you have learned and what challenges you had to face.
- Maybe tell it as a story! People like to get entertained, an interview is no exception to that. Imagine you would see your interview on TV, would you switch the channel?
- Be honest and tell if you don’t know something or need more learning in an area. You will look like a moron if you guess the right answer bore your oponent(s).
5. Don’t spam with information
- Pay attention if someone just talks about stuff he read / watched or if he really knows his stuff. There are so called “Information Tourists” which read a lot but never or seldom experiment with the stuff they learned.
- Please don’t throw abbreviations at the wall and hope it draws a picture. It’s ok to use a few and explain what they mean but please keep in mind that the interviewer is interested to hear how you work with the technologies, not how much abbreviations you suck up in the past years.
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