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Why We're Bad At Hiring (And How To Fix It)

Why We're Bad At Hiring (And How To Fix It)

An interview too often feels like a first date - awkward, strange, and not entirely predictive of what’s to follow. There are countless books and websites to help you when you’re a job seeker, but what about when you’re the one doing the hiring? Will you just ask the same puzzle questions or sort algorithm problems? What are your metrics for evaluating or contextualizing the answers? In this talk, I’ll describe successful practices and techniques to help you find someone who will innovate your business, bring new energy to your team, get the work done, AND be someone you’ll want to work with.

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Kerri Miller

April 22, 2015
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  1. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 WHY WE’RE BAD AT HIRING (AND HOW

    TO FIX IT)
  2. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 WHY WE’RE BAD AT HIRING (AND HOW

    TO FIX IT)
  3. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  4. Lead Software Development Engineer @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  5. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

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  7. AdaDevelopersAcademy.org @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

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  14. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 HOW TO BE AWESOME AT INTERVIEWING Know

    What You’re Looking For Find People Who Have It Keep Improving Your Process
  15. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

  16. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  17. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  18. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 DEFINE YOUR CULTURE • Start the conversation

    early • Refuse to accept vagueness • Generate “Belief/ Therefore” statements
  19. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 "WE BELIEVE IN RESPECT, THEREFORE WE WILL

    SHOW UP ON TIME FOR ALL MEETINGS."
  20. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  21. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 FIND PEOPLE WHO HAVE IT

  22. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 TYPICAL HIRING PROCESS 1) Job posted 2)

    Resumé and/or code samples reviewed 3) Initial phone screen(s) 4) Technical phone screen(s) 5) Interview
  23. Interview Day! @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  24. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 INTERVIEW DAY! • Have a schedule •

    Set expectations • Have diverse interviewers • Allow for breaks
  25. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 MAKE A GAME PLAN • Assign areas

    of focus • Have a hand-off plan • Coordinate questions
  26. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 SETTLING IN • Start with a simple

    conversation • Double-check for red flags • Learn how they communicate
  27. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING • Hypothetical questions are game-able

    • Ask for the story of specific situations • Keep in mind they want to get hired!
  28. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 COLLABORATION AUDITION • Plan an app •

    Focus on high-level design • Jr - simple MVC app • Mid/Sr - OO game • Sr/Lead - distributed API
  29. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 PAIRING AUDITION • Not everyone pairs •

    Let them use their setup • Pick a kata or project you’re both familiar (but not intimate) with
  30. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 PRESENTATION AUDITION • Have candidate teach you

    something • It needn't be technical • Set clear expectations about length, format, and investment of time
  31. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 INTERVIEW LUNCH - AN OPPORTUNITY!

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  37. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 AFTER THE INTERVIEW • Record impressions immediately

    • What would change your mind?
  38. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 DECISIONS, DECISIONS.. • Gather all feedback, then

    discuss as a group • Find a consensus • Follow-up interviews can be problematic • Set candidate expectations for response and meet them
  39. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 • Don’t make it personal • Be

    respectful • Explain potential for reapplication HANDLING REJECTION
  40. KEEP IMPROVING YOUR PROCESS @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

  41. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 WE IMPROVE WHAT WE MEASURE • Register

    predictions ahead of time • Discover your biases • Keep tabs on people you turn down
  42. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 7 INTERVIEW ANTI-PATTERNS

  43. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 GPA, SAT, GRE • GPA useless after

    2-3 years • More interesting to see what was studied than test results • SAT and GRE are for judging academic performance only • High School transcripts = LOL
  44. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 “NEGGING” • “You’re not qualified for this

    job -- I’m not sure how you got this interview” • “You’re qualified but I’m not feeling a spark. Convince me you’re the right person for this job.”
  45. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 “SUBMIT A PR TO APPLY” • What

    about the well- documented barriers to OSS? • You’re asking for free work for the CHANCE of a job • Many people can’t tip their hand that they’re looking for new employment
  46. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 GROUP/SPEED INTERVIEWS • Disrespectful of individuals •

    Filters for people who can attract your attention
  47. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 PUZZLE QUESTIONS • Google on puzzle questions:

    “a complete waste of time” • Filter for people who have the same context as you • Only serve to make you feel smart
  48. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 WHITEBOARD CODING • It is artificial to

    code by writing on the wall • Adversarial rather than collaborative
  49. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 FIZZBUZZ • At best: a time waster

    • At worst: an insult
  50. Steven Mullin @kerrizor RailsConf 2015

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  52. @kerrizor RailsConf 2015 KERRI MILLER (@KERRIZOR) • glass artist •

    Vespa mechanic • lighting designer • author & teacher • player of games • software developer
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