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3 Things to Avoid When Interviewing Tech Candidates

Today’s labor market is extremely tight, and the tech labor market is even tighter. Employers no longer have the luxury of getting away with a slapdash hiring process.

If you want to hire top-quality candidates, you have to avoid the major pitfalls. In particular, you should stop “playing gotcha” with candidates, looking for the ‘perfect’ candidate and forcing candidates to do whiteboard work.

Stop Playing “Gotcha”

When you are responsible for making a hiring decision, you typically have to choose from multiple candidates all vying for the same position. When you decide to hire someone, you are essentially changing their life.

That type of authority can be a bit intoxicating and it can feed into a mentality that treats the hiring process like a contest. You may have the desire to ask tricky questions or have applicants perform odd tasks; all with the purpose of seeing if you can trip them up.

Unusual interview questions do have some value, but they should not be treated as some sort of “challenge” for applicants to complete. Everything you do in an interview should have a strong professional purpose behind it.

Simply put, you should not be playing games with candidates, especially in this job market.

Stop Seeking Perfection

If you’re interviewing for a position that relies heavily on JavaScript and you ask applicants about off-the-wall frameworks that aren’t vital to the position or fundraising ability, it’s going to throw them for a loop.

It’s reasonable for a potential employer to say they want a developer who knows the full stack, from top-to-bottom, but looking for a “master of everything” is a bit unnecessary. If an applicant is a spectacular fit, with respect to ability and culture, one minor drawback should not destroy their entire candidacy. As opposed to attempting to hire someone with every desirable skill, focus on hiring talented individuals who can demonstrate the capacity to learn new skills, frameworks or languages.

Stop Pushing Whiteboard Work

The typical tech interview will require candidates to sketch out algorithms or structures on a whiteboard, even though the job doesn’t require that at all.

Having candidates do work on a whiteboard does provide useful information, but effectively presenting material in this way leans heavily on public speaking ability. Unless the open position has a significant public speaking component, why push candidates into this extremely daunting situation?

A better approach is to offer candidates a number of ways to present the information you’re seeking. For instance, you could give candidates the option of sketching out information on paper or a tablet.

The point is to make sure you are testing for technical knowledge. Letting candidates choose how to present their knowledge is the best way to make that assessment.

Let Us Find Your Next Top Employee

At Thompson Technologies, we specialize in finding top talent for our clients. Please contact us today to find out how we can locate highly skilled candidates for your next open position.

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