In addition to all the technical questions you should be asking job candidates for developer positions, there are also a number of important questions you should ask regarding candidates’ soft skills.
What do they think is hard about coding? Are there any programming blogs they follow to keep up on current news and trends?
These soft skill questions are crucial to identifying best-fit developer candidates for your open positions.
What is the most important skill for being a great coder?
This question is a riff on the standard “What is your biggest strength?” question because candidates will typically mention their strongest attribute as the most important skill for a coder. That being said, it’s important their response matches up with one of the top skills you are looking for in a candidate.
Be sure to follow up on this question by asking candidates how they keep this skill current. Do they seek the advice of others? Or do they “go it alone” and tackle the issue themselves. Ideal responses here should also fit into the work environment at your organization.
How do you balance coding speed with quality?
The faster a developer writes code, the more rapidly updates could be released to clients. However, this carries a trade off: the danger of liberating untested, buggy code. Asking a web developer about their capacity to balance what clients needed “yesterday” with maintaining quality will reveal a great deal of information on who they are as a professional.
Who do you follow on social media?
This question isn’t about what meme accounts a person follows or the latest political opinion they have read. This question is meant to uncover what programming blogs or professionals they can’t wait to read.
There’s a great deal to follow on the cutting edge of web development and a lot of the methods discussed on social media are not yet applicable in commercial applications. However, top professionals always keep their eyes on what could be coming next.
That being said, a big risk among developers is getting sidetracked with the most recent trend or process. Good developers always think about long-term sustainability and the need to write code that is accessible to a broad range of people, not just those who follow the latest fads.
What are your best nontechnical qualities?
By asking your candidates about their soft skills in a general way, you can see which of their soft skills are top of mind, as these are the most likely to be their strongest skills. Soft skills vital to success in the typical developer position include a desire to keep learning; passion for the profession; good communication; problem solving; and the willingness to take risks.
Of all these soft skills, a desire to continue learning is probably the most important. Finding yourself outside your comfort zone is part and parcel with the job of a web developer. Any developer will tell you, once you get comfortable with your skill set, the landscape shifts and there are new concepts, tactics and best practices to consider. Hence, individuals who have a constant desire to learn will do quite well at any company.
At Thompson Technologies, we help our client companies find the best-fit talent for their open positions. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your organization.