HOW TO INTERVIEW A DEVELOPER WHEN YOU LACK TECH SKILLS
In the early stages of a business or a startup, you may not have a tech recruiter on the HR team. Even without technical knowledge it is possible to interview tech candidates. So before you rush out to find a specialist tech recruiter, let’s save you some money and time in this simple and systematic interview workout plan that will ensure a consistent quality of hires. Check out this cool Tech Alphabet for all tech terms you may want to get to know, you don’t need these in the interview, we got you covered below.
Decide what skills you are looking for
Before conducting the interview, decide what the business needs. You come up with a criteria for the interview which eliminates repetition except for the few improvised interactions. Do you need an innovator or tech wizard? Do you someone motivated to solving technical problems or product building? Do you need a particular expert knowledge? All these narrow down your candidate quite easily and prevents unnecessary grilling.
Face up to your lack of knowledge
Nope, do not tell the candidate about this, rather, ask the candidate to talk about what they do as if they are talking to someone without technical knowledge, the ease with which someone handles this reflects so much on their communication skills, patience and other soft skills that make a well rounded candidate.
Find out about their network
Is the candidate on LinkedIn? What other professional networking media are they involved in? A little professional stalking never hurt anybody (or did it?) find out the characteristics of their network, tech people know other tech people and a good network portrays flexibility and experience in the candidate’s career. Connections, recommendations and industry projects.
Passion and interest
Find out about what the candidate does with their skills and knowledge outside of work. A candidate who invests time and energy in improving their skills is one you can trust to roll with the punches in an ever changing industry. This is a candidate who adapts easily to change and is able to learn on the job. What does the candidate see him or herself doing in five years? Is their interest in being top skilled in their field or more money? Find out what drives the candidate in this line of work.
Their worst projects
If someone has spent enough time in the industry there is a high chance they have encountered a troublesome project or dysfunctional team and even failure. Ask the candidate about their worst projects and how they survived them. Resilience and responsibility are indispensable traits.
Give them a challenge
Give constructive challenges, get the candidate to work with another on a short project. This helps you assess all their skills in action from communication to technical skills. Whiteboarding is overrated and actually brings the opposite of the intended goal. It is also used as a means of intimidating and a breeding ground for unhealthy competition and it might scare off good candidates.
Give them a chance to ask you questions
Free up communication lines and be on the receiving end of their questions. You test curiosity, their understanding of the position and what is required of them. Their compatibility with your company’s culture and their expectations.
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