How to interview a dev candidate?

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Soon I will have to fill a couple full stack developer positions. I’ve done a couple interviews before, but I figured I would reach out to the Dev community to see if there are any suggestions for finding the best candidate.

So what are your best tips for interviewing dev candidates?

The candidates I’ll be interviewing probably won’t have much experience. I want someone who’s good at learning and solving unique problems, because every day is different here. When I say “Full Stack” I mean they’ll be working on everything from web dev to CLI tools to complex data processing. We don’t need someone who has x years of experience with some particular framework or language, just someone who’s bright and passionate.

Edit: 2019-08-17 added some details about what we’re looking for.

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I was in a similar position, for me the best results were achieved by doing easy coding challenges then solving together a less easy problem.

  • In the first part, the goal of the exercise was to see if the candidate knows how to use the programming language (in my case it was JS and the problems were solvable by using a bunch of high-order functions).
  • Then in the second part, the goal was to find out if the candidate thought about the time and space complexity.

If you are wondering what does these problems looks like, you could find them here.

Hope it helps :) see if there are any suggestions for finding the best candidate

Without a definition of what "the best canidate" is, it's difficult to know how to interview for them. No one is perfect, and the better they are the harder it is to recruit or retain them, so you need to figure out the minimum you realistically need and then go shopping for that. If all you need is someone recently out of a web dev code school that's within a 1-hour commute of your office, it's relatively straightforward to interview them. If you are looking for someone who can take over architectural responsibilities for a half-completed multi-year $30 million dollar legacy enterprise re-work project after you fired the previous architect, that requires a different style of interviewing.


Good point, I’ll add the basics of what I’m looking for above so I can get suggestions specific to that. Thanks!

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