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Questions to Determine Team Fit-ability.

david_j_eddy profile image David J Eddy Updated on ・1 min read

During the hiring process the battery of administrative and technical questions can be overwhelming; yet do little to determine if someone will be a good fit for a team. What are some of the questions you do / would ask to determine if someone would integrate well with your team?

Here is some questions I have / would ask if hiring:

1. What's the greatest day of your life?

2. What was the best way you delegated a task?

3. What was a time you didn't know how to do something, how did you deal with it?

4. What is teamwork to you?

5. Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer, or Lorca?

6. What can your hobbies tell me that your resume can’t?

7. What are your 3 ideal job qualities?

8. If you received a million dollars tax free; what would you do with it?

9. If you could open your own business, what would it do?

10. What is one thing you believe that most people do not?

11. How well do you adopt changes in work flows and design patterns?

12. What personality traits do not get along well with?

13. What are two things you passionate about?

14. Favorite display technology not CRT or LCD?

15. How did you feel the very first time you got a program to work?

Posted on Nov 30 '17 by:

david_j_eddy profile

David J Eddy

@david_j_eddy

AWS Certified (x4), Automated Testing / Continuous Integration / Delivery / Deployment (CI/CDs), Cloud, Containers, Dev(Sec)Ops, Software Engineer.

Discussion

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I would take out question 5. That assumes that whoever you're hiring is familiar with the franchise, which might not always be the case. Are you hiring for fit, or monoculture? Is diversity important? Would you judge someone poorly if their answer to 5 was "I have no idea who they are"?

Also, what's the point of asking 14? Are you hiring for a role that's in display hardware?

 

Would you judge someone poorly if their answer to 5 was "I have no idea who they are"? Absolutely, in fact the most recent is sitting right across from me now :). It is meant to be a conversation / opinion trigger.

Are you hiring for a role that's in display hardware? Opinion question. More interested in how or what they think rather than just agreeing w/ the popular masses or expected question / answer cycle.

 

I think what's strong about most of your questions is that they get at what a candidate values, and don't push in any particular direction. And what doesn't sit right with me about the Trek question is that it kind of veers away from values and gets into interests, and makes an implied statement that shared Trek interest (and stereotypical geek culture) is part of your team's culture.

That said, you seem like a totally reasonable, personable guy, and I have no trouble believing that if a candidate said they didn't watch Trek, you'd simply pivot to something else. I just think the Trek question isn't nearly as strong a choice as most of the other questions on your list.

Excellent point; exactly the type of discussion I'm looking for!

 

My answer to #5: Reynolds

In general, I try to avoid pop/programmer/geek culture type references in interviews for the typical corporate developer roles where I've been involved in interviewing candidates. I could see it being different if you were hiring someone for a game development shop or something like that.

I'd also avoid asking about hobbies, beliefs and such since they could tread on thin ice from a HR perspective. This could easily get into religious, political or other hot button topics that could cause problems.

To determine fit, I've usually described the current working conditions/environment at the company (chaotic, laid back, etc) and asked if they have worked anywhere else like that and how they felt about it. I'd also ask about how they felt about the kind of business the company does. If they don't like the business, maybe feeling that it's unethical for some reason, that's a good reason not to hire them.

 

Would you hire someone who had never watched Star Trek? If you would, why ask a question that would make that person feel excluded?

 

We very much would, and do. It's a question to instigate an opinion based response. We do not ask every question every time, it's simply an example set.

 

I'd honestly be wondering if this were a team I'd want to be on. I believe you that knowledge of a particular corner of pop culture isn't important on your team, but I don't know that as an interviewee. I just know you're awaiting my answer about a series of TV shows I stopped watching in high school.

I also wouldn't know what to say about the display one. I don't keep up on display technology.

 

Question number 5 needs to add Lorca