Interview Them Where They Are

Interview Them Where They Are

As engineers, we've spent years mastering the art of conducting technical interviews—or have we? Despite being on both sides of the table dozens of times, how often have we come away feeling that the interview didn't work as well as it could have? How many of our interviews have been just plain bad? How much time do we spend designing and improving our own interview processes, and what signals should we be looking for when it comes to making those improvements? In this talk, we'll examine the technical interview in depth, developing a framework for interviewing candidates "where they are" by focusing on answering two major questions: how can we ensure our interview process identifies the people and skillsets we need to grow our teams, and how can we interview candidates in an inclusive way that maximizes their ability to demonstrate their competencies? By the end, we'll have built out a rich new set of tools you can immediately apply to the hiring process in your own organization.

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Eric Weinstein

May 02, 2019
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Transcript

  1. None
  2. None
  3. $ ps aux | grep wat | awk '{print $2}'

  4. $ ps aux | grep wat | awk '{print $2}'

  5. Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

  6. Asynchronous JSON and... Xmascript?

  7. Asynchronous JSON and... cript?

  8. "This isn't hard"

  9. (We didn't get to the hard part)

  10. None
  11. %

  12. None
  13. &!='

  14. None
  15. Interviewing is broken. How do we fix it?

  16. Interview Them RailsConf 2019 Minneapolis, MN, USA Where They Are

  17. > DoubleAgent.find 49 => #<DoubleAgent:0x00007fc201f70150 id: 49, name: "Eric Weinstein",

    employer: "Test Double", email: "eric@testdouble.com", github: "ericqweinstein", twitter: "ericqweinstein", website: "https://ericweinste.in">
  18. None
  19. Find the people we need to grow our teams

  20. Optimize for demonstrating competencies

  21. None
  22. None
  23. "We're looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in computer

    science (or equivalent), one to three years of experience, and knows JavaScript + React and Go. Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes."
  24. We're looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in computer

    science (or equivalent) One to three years of experience Knows JavaScript + React and Go Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  25. We're looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in computer

    science (or equivalent) One to three years of experience Knows JavaScript + React and Go Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  26. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years One to

    three years of experience Knows JavaScript + React and Go Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  27. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years One to

    three years of experience Knows JavaScript + React and Go Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  28. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years Comfortable building

    features and looking to grow to own entire services Knows JavaScript + React and Go Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  29. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years Comfortable building

    features and looking to grow to own entire services Knows JavaScript + React and Go Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  30. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years Comfortable building

    features and looking to grow to own entire services Prefer knowing either JS + React or Go, but for more experienced candidates, not a hard requirement Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  31. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years Comfortable building

    features and looking to grow to own entire services Prefer knowing either JS + React or Go, but for more experienced candidates, not a hard requirement Bonus points for experience with PostgreSQL, microservices, and Kubernetes
  32. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years Comfortable building

    features and looking to grow to own entire services Prefer knowing either JS + React or Go, but for more experienced candidates, not a hard requirement Describe our stack: JS/React + Go, PG, microservices + Kubernetes
  33. No degree requirement, no "equivalent experience" or years Comfortable building

    features and looking to grow to own entire services Prefer knowing either JS + React or Go, but for more experienced candidates, not a hard requirement Describe our stack: JS/React + Go, PG, microservices + Kubernetes
  34. "We're looking for someone comfortable building features and looking to

    grow to own entire services. We prefer that candidates know either JavaScript and React or Go, but this is not a hard requirement. Our team uses JS/React, Go, and PostgreSQL, organized into microservices orchestrated by Kubernetes."
  35. Know who and what you're looking for before you interview

  36. This includes how you measure success

  37. %,-. /012

  38. %,-. /012

  39. 3

  40. None
  41. "They have to be short enough that they can be

    explained and solved reasonably quickly, yet complex enough that not everyone can solve them. Therefore, it's unlikely that you'll be asked any real-world problems." — Programming Interviews Exposed
  42. "They have to be short enough that they can be

    explained and solved reasonably quickly, yet complex enough that not everyone can solve them. Therefore, it's unlikely that you'll be asked any real-world problems." — Programming Interviews Exposed
  43. None
  44. Meet Ada 4

  45. Strengths

  46. Strengths

  47. Strengths f(x)

  48. 5

  49. Made-to-measure interviews

  50. Meet Ben 6

  51. Strengths 7

  52. Strengths </> </> ✨

  53. Strengths ⚖

  54. :

  55. Look for strengths rather than prod for weaknesses

  56. Meet Charlie ;

  57. Strengths

  58. Strengths

  59. Strengths

  60. Doesn't this introduce bias?

  61. Uniform != Unbiased

  62. Know who and what you're looking for before you interview

  63. Try made-to-measure interviews

  64. Look for strengths rather than prod for weaknesses

  65. An interview fails the interviewee when that interview does not

    anticipate candidates like them
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  68. Credits De Bruijn sequence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Bruijn_sequence Milton Bradley/Hasbro's "Operation": https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/GUEST_b0a7dc62- d987-4dae-84f6-4fabd53046a1

    Cover slide image: https://firebrandtalent.com/wp-content/uploads/BEnglish191018.png Quicksort: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quicksort Stack Overflow image: https://ih1.redbubble.net/image.316142692.7951/ap, 550x550,12x12,1,transparent,t.png "T. Hanks": https://www.redbubble.com/people/defendingdrealm/works/31688245-thanks-tom-hanks