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Justin Cook
Justin Cook

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What questions would you ask, if you’re doing the interviewing?

I’ve seen a lot of articles around how to prepare as the candidate, but what about if you had the chance to be on the other side? What would you ask?

Discussion (3)

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bootcode profile image
Robin Palotai

Ask an open-ended question, tell candidate there are no bad answers, and to go into as deep as possible. For example: What happens if you type ls to the console and press enter?

A shallow answer would be: the directory listing is printed.

A deep answer could mention keyboard interrupts, command to builtin vs. executable lookup, disk IO, inodes..

The answer is a great starting point to see what could some strengths of the candidate be, and explore those in some more depth.

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mt3o • Edited on

Known technologies and use cases for them. In the end, they all are the same. Similar patterns here and there... Dependency injection, mvc, events and messages... They are all same patterns here and there.

Experience with markdown. I want to check if they are used to creating documentation.

Preferred working hours. Early bird or night owl?

To the developer - known testing frameworks.
To testers - known automation tools, known algorithms and data structures.
This is a prelude to question about TDD and CI/CD if they have some knowledge.

Role in the team, experience with scrum and agile (is about working methodology).

Biggest challenge, both successful and failed.

How they handle situations where they don't know what to do (for example checking with documentation or stackoverflow is better than the running to your manager each time).

Something to check if they will be able to work with tasks outside of their scope, for example give java code to the frontend guy. I can't have a teammember who can back up only another member of the same role, they must be versatile.

What do they want to do in 3/5/10 years. I don't want to have people in my team who obviously want to jump to another project next year. It's also useful to know where do they head, if someone wants to gain experience and then emigrate, you should be ready for that.

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Justin Cook Author

If the skills have already been validated, then I want to know more about the person. I’m asking “What’s your latest TV binge series?”