How to assess a candidate's skills during a technical interview in startup
As a startup founder, assessing a candidate's technical skills during the interview is critical to the success of your business. Finding the right person for the job can make all the difference, and technical interviews are essential to the hiring process. In this blog post, we will cover how to assess a candidate's skills during a technical interview at a startup.
Planning technical interview
Before starting the interview, planning and structuring the interview process is essential.
Here are some steps you can take:
1. Review a candidate's resume and job application to learn about their experience and skills. Seek candidates with diverse backgrounds who can bring unique perspectives to your team.
2. Create a structured interview plan with specific questions and tasks to assess the candidate's technical skills. This will help you stay on track during the interview and ensure you have covered all the essential topics.
3. Set realistic performance expectations and benchmarks for the candidate. As a startup, you need someone who can jump right in and contribute to your company's success. While relevant experience can be necessary, you are also being assessed on factors such as adaptability, critical thinking and communication skills.
Technical Interview Questions and Job Types
You can use a variety of technical interview questions and tasks to assess a candidate's skills. Here are a few examples:
Coding Challenges: These exercises test candidates' ability to write code and solve problems. Look for candidates who can think creatively and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.
System Design Exercises: These tasks aim to assess the candidate's ability to design and implement a complex system. Look for candidates who can work on systems with limited resources and design scalable solutions.
Debugging Scenarios: These tasks test the candidate's ability to diagnose and fix problems in an existing codebase. Look for candidates who can work collaboratively with other developers and troubleshoot problems quickly.
Each type of question or task has its pros and cons:
Coding challenges are significant for evaluating candidates' coding abilities but don't necessarily test their ability to work in a team or communicate effectively.
System design exercises are great for evaluating a candidate's ability to design and implement a complex system, but they can take a long time to complete.
Debugging scenarios are great for evaluating a candidate's ability to diagnose and fix problems in an existing codebase, but they don't necessarily test their ability to write code from scratch.
The coding interview evaluates critical thinking, problem-solving and adaptability - all essential factors when hiring for a startup environment.
Conduct of Technical Interview
The candidate must create a comfortable and supportive environment during the interview.
Here are some tips:
Create a relaxed atmosphere: Start the interview with small talk and try to make the candidate comfortable. It will enhance their performance and help them relax.
Ask open-ended questions: Ask questions that don't require a simple yes or no answer. This will allow the candidate to showcase their knowledge and experience.
Focus on the candidate's problem-solving skills: Focus on the candidate's problem-solving approach. Are they organized? Do they think outside the box? Do they ask good questions?
Evaluate the candidate's communication skills: Technical and communication skills are also essential. Examine how the candidate communicates their thought process and collaborates with others.