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robencom
robencom

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Don't expect a change in IT

I've been in the IT sector, as a developer mainly, for about 10 years, and although new technologies arise every day, sadly some things aren't changing/improving such as job interviews.

From my latest experience, I did an interview with a company and they LOVED me, they became so desperate to get me. A few days later I did another interview with another company, and they gave me such a horrible feedback which equals to "is this person a developer even?".

How come some developers (interviewers) see that you are good and others think that you are bad, even when they ask almost exactly the same questions?

Maybe we finally need a STANDARD to qualify and rate developers skills. I wrote about this about 5 years ago, and now I am geting interviewed again, and I find this exact same problem still exists, exactly how it was 5 years ago.

I'm thankful that I have much more confidence now than before, but still, even if you have the confidence of the whole world, couple of rejections (and negative feedback) will hit your confidence (and psyche) hard.

We need to have this discussion more often so this problem gets fixed, especially to the newcomers who often complain about this annoying problem.

I do believe there are qualified people who can come up with SCIENTIFIC way to test the skills of a developer and through it determine if that person is junior/mid/senior, and also determine how much of the desired Tech the developer knows and so on. We need these people to gather up and figure it out.

Tell me, my friends, what STANDARDS do you want to see in IT, especially when it comes to job interviews? Maybe we can start this here together.

Discussion (13)

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natescode profile image
Nathan Hedglin • Edited on

No, there is no guaranteed scientific way. People who think that hold TERRIBLE interviews and ask riddles and dumb algorithm questions.

Here is what I care about when I hold interviews and when I'm interviewed.

  1. Can candidate solve typical day-to-day problems? DS and algs, trivia questions etc are worthless. Knowing the particular tech stack is only so important. Knowing version 13 vs 12. Doesn't make a difference.

  2. Can candidate ask clarifying questions about requirements?

  3. Can candidate think of edge cases, security, architecture?

I always ask some open ended questions that one cannot simply memorize. That usually gives me a good sense of their knowledge and experience.

Interviews are to evaluate if someone can do the job and work well with a team. They're not about solving riddles or timed problems on a whiteboard.

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robencom profile image
robencom Author • Edited on

I totally agree with you, but I do combine the type of questions that you ask with some "memorization" questions with almost zero emphasis on the memorization part, but I do ask such questions to see how they think: if they give me textbook answers, that tells me that they prepared well for the interview, but if they answer from their head and they make sense, even if they don't give a 100% answer, that still counts as a CORRECT answer to me.

I do disagree about one thing though, that "No, there is no guaranteed scientific way". Never say never, right? Programming thought me that there are always solutions to problems, you just need to keep looking for them.

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natescode profile image
Nathan Hedglin

Agreed. I too ask memorizable questions like "what is an interface?", "Why do we use dependency injection?". The answers tend to change with experience.

Unless you can mathematical quantify the qualities that make a candidate "good" there is no method to classify a candidate as good or bad.

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dezbrown profile image
deZbrown • Edited on

Thing is, no job or position is the same, they are comparable to some extent, but that is it. In that kind of environment, it makes a lot of sense that one candidate will be an excellent fit for one organization and a bad fit for another. Getting negative feedback is saying a lot about that company and little about the applicant. Even if we had some kind of scoring with excellent precision, two persons with the same score, would still get positive and negative feedback from same company.

I feel that you would get a better view of their opinion about you, if they were transparent about their exact person/skill/experience requirements. But then, they would be called biased and possibly expose themself to law suites.

It comes down to specific needs in that time, held by a specific person with specific experiences. The hiring manager and head of department. That is the reason they always say, it's not personal. It's not, it's just politics at that point in time and two years later ones bad candidate can be an excellent fit.

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robencom profile image
robencom Author

I just finished another interview with another company. This one takes the cake: LIVE coding.
They gave me a simple task, and gave me about 10 minutes (there was no timer), and they said that I cannot execute the code more than 1 time.

It feels sometimes that they are just messing with you. No one is testing your skills, asking you questions to know how you would think or solve a problem, which is the CORE of any developer.

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dezbrown profile image
deZbrown

I don't agree that no one is testing skills, but I do agree that you should skip that company. They made it very clear how the perceive reality. Obviously you would not enjoy that vision. Interview is always a two way street.

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robencom profile image
robencom Author • Edited on

I miswrote there, I wanted to say some companies (not all) like the one I was talking about are not testing your skills/mind.

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curiousdev profile image
CuriousDev

I think it is just hard to see, what the person actually is capable of and if she or he fits the job offer well. There are many possibilites of roles and people with different kinds of skills, so you have to "estimate" somehow, when trying to find the right developers.
If they are telling you in a bad and wrong way, that they think, that you are not what they look for, it maybe even is better not to get the job.

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robencom profile image
robencom Author

True, sometimes it is better to not get the job, but still we need a standard upon which we can determine the level and knowledge of a developer, don't you think?

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curiousdev profile image
CuriousDev • Edited on

If it would be (easily) possible, it of course would be better and more fair anway. But it does not seem to be easy and you still have to try to somehow decide, which people fit well.
Do you think, you know how this could be done? Just imagine you are hiring people for a company, maybe even your own one.

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tushcodes profile image
TushCodes • Edited on

I believe Data Scientists can do a really great job in this sector rather than developers. Why so? Because what standards you can see in an IT sector, this can be analyzed using data from various companies and also, data of employees' expectations from the industry. What you are proposing is finding trends in the requirement of employers and employees in IT sector when the recruitment process takes place. Where there is the talk of trend, there is data, and where there is data, there is data science.
I believe few websites like Triplebyte are already doing this. I guess, Turing.com also does this.

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robencom profile image
robencom Author

Data Scientists came to my mind as well for this task. Let's see how it goes.

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ijash profile image
Jastria Rahmat

Ask them with the unexpected. Such as:
"are you a weeaboo?" If yes, there's an 80% chance he's an IT professional.