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Interview Process From Scratch

Interview Process From Scratch

Interviewing potential candidates is hard. It is even harder if you don’t have a proper interviewing process. And even harder if you are not a manager, but a software engineer. You start by using intuition and whatever you think is best. This approach might work, but it is too chaotic and will eventually fail.

Interviewing more than 200 potential candidates in a 5-month period is a lot. You will hear how interview process evolution was made from nothing to the process that works in terms of speed, scale, and quality.

And of course, you will learn some useful tips for resume-building and going to interviews, too!


Sergey Kibish

November 11, 2018


  1. Interview
 Process From
 Scratch https://sergeykibish.com @s_kibish

  2. Experienced Multifunctional Software Engineer Sergey Kibish https://sergeykibish.com sergey@kibish.com Skilled in

    different languages / tools / technologies. Strong engineering professional with a Master of Science (Mg.Sc.Comp.) focused in Computer Science. Natural-born leader, full of passion and charisma. A hobby is music in all of its manifestations (listening, playing, writing). @s_kibish
  3. Motivation / Goal I really want you to think one

    more time about your interview process. Is it really good? Or you just do it, because you are a robot and don’t see any problems? After this talk you should have a will to change your interview process and how your view the candidates
  4. DISCLAIMER This talk is based on my personal experience. Something

    applied here might not work in your environment
  5. Story time

  6. Once upon a time, team of engineers was asked a

    question “Who want to help with interviews?” And only one hand raised up This was beginning of the end At some point it was like…
  7. None
  8. Facts • More than 200 interviews in total • More

    than 120 interviews done only by me • On average 12 interviews a week (it’s up to 4-5 interviews in some days) • Boys and Girls • From around the world • Online
  9. Why • New big shiny project was on the horizon

    • Workforce was needed • Office in a new location was opened • Company committed to provide 200100 engineers before the end of this year
  10. Recap Don’t sign contracts where is specified how many people

    you should provide. Success of your project is not about amount of people, but about quality of the work done
  11. Interview process

  12. In the beginning • Just check that person know something.

    General questions on understanding of things. • Interview — 1h long Agencies Interview Offer
  13. Recap • Such scheme will work only if agencies invite

    people that are really what you expect (which is, obviously, impossible) • Interview process is short. People do not expect to get offer right away and they think that something is wrong here • Because interviews are simple, it is difficult to check that it is not a cheater in front of you • I started to burnout
  14. In the middle • All from the beginning • Additional

    team members started to participate in the interviews from time to time
  15. In the middle

  16. In the middle • All from the beginning • Additional

    team members started to participate in the interviews from time to time • Classification
  17. Classification • Junior • Middle • Senior

  18. Classification • Overall technical impression • Junior — fluent in

    terminology • Middle — depth of knowledge • Senior — T-shaped knowledge, architectural intuition
  19. Classification • Self-sufficiency • Junior — requires help from teammates

    • Middle — independent • Senior — independent and can guide teammates
  20. Recap • Classify your candidates • Create framework with questions

    • Send candidate profiles (avatars) to the agencies • Still getting a lot of candidates that do not fit our expectations
  21. In the middle-2 • All from the middle • Added

    “code review” and “open ended” questions Agencies Interview Offer Internal CV screening
  22. Code review

  23. Open-ended • What do you love/hate about [technology]? • You’ve

    implemented a feature. How you will make sure, that it is working as expected?
  24. Recap • Less false positives with the candidates • Cheaters

    are recognised better • Problem to figure out seniority
  25. Current state Agencies Interview Offer Internal CV screening Homework Review

    Interview 2
  26. Homework • Should be something simple and connected with your

    domain in some sense. Should be real and not an algorithmic quiz. • Mandatory and additional requirements • Deadline is set by the candidate • Discuss homework on the second interview
  27. None
  28. Recap • Have a list of requirements for yourself —

    what do you expect from the candidate. Create avatar • Don’t send junk info to agencies • Tell candidate about your hiring process (respect time) • Homework is only for seniors • Timing: less than a week • Live coding interviews don’t work
  29. Candidate

  30. Candidate • Know the language in which you will speak

    • Check that your hardware / software is working before the interview • Refresh some fundamental knowledge (always good) • Talk. We don’t have ability to read your mind
  31. Resume • Don’t include personal information like: • Birthday •

    Marital status • Gender • GDPR
  32. Resume (Engineers) • Don’t include information like: • List of

    technologies • Tell, what you did. Add numbers. • Tell what you really want and how you can be helpful • Make your resume interesting (not Europass or simple black on white) • Add references
  33. Recap • Be prepared to the interview; refresh some basic

    knowledge • Think about your resume from point of recruiter. What you want them to see in it?
  34. Interviewer

  35. Interviewer • Listen to your candidate • Help your candidate

    • Make your candidate feel safe and comfortable • Create natural conversation • Don’t be aggressive • Don’t ask candidate to introduce themselves • Don’t use Skype
  36. Summary

  37. Summary • Interviews are not simple • They kill your

    engineers • Learn to listen • Create framework • Keep your mind cold • Respect
  38. Questions

  39. sergey@kibish.com
 @s_kibish It’s time to get in touch