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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.

Eric Weinstein

May 02, 2019
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  1. $ ps aux | grep wat | awk '{print $2}'

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

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  3. Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

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  4. Asynchronous JSON and... Xmascript?

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  5. Asynchronous JSON and... cript?

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  6. "This isn't hard"

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

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  8. Interviewing is broken.
    How do we fix it?

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

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  10. > DoubleAgent.find 49
    => #id: 49,
    name: "Eric Weinstein",
    employer: "Test Double",
    email: "[email protected]",
    github: "ericqweinstein",
    twitter: "ericqweinstein",
    website: "https://ericweinste.in">

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  11. Find the people we need to grow
    our teams

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  12. Optimize for demonstrating
    competencies

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  13. "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."

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  14. 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

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  15. 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

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  16. 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

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  17. 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

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  18. 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

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  19. 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

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  20. 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

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  21. 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

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  22. 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

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  23. 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

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  24. "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."

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

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  26. This includes how you
    measure success

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  27. "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

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  28. "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

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  29. Strengths
    f(x)

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  30. Made-to-measure
    interviews

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  31. Strengths
    > > ✨

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  32. Strengths

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  33. Look for strengths rather
    than prod for weaknesses

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  34. Meet Charlie
    ;

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  35. Doesn't this introduce
    bias?

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  36. Uniform != Unbiased

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

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  38. Try made-to-measure
    interviews

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  39. Look for strengths rather
    than prod for weaknesses

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  40. An interview fails the interviewee
    when that interview does not
    anticipate candidates like them

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  41. 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

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