Pariti Talent

Best Practices For Interviewing And Assessing Tech Talent

December 6, 2023
Osato Asabor

We've witnessed firsthand the seismic shifts in how companies interview and assess potential candidates. The tech industry's rapid pace demands a recruitment strategy that not only identifies top talent but also aligns with the evolving technical and cultural landscape of your organization.

Here's a curated guide to best practices for interviewing and assessing tech talent, sprinkled with insights and recommendations on tools that can streamline the vetting process.

Starting with a Great Job Description

To ensure you have a great pool of candidates to assess, you must start with crafting an effective job description (JD). The JD is more than a list of requirements; it's a reflection of your company's understanding of the role and its importance within the team. However, a common misstep that can deter qualified candidates is a JD perceived as being without deep technical insight. This often happens due to two key issues:

  1. Overly Broad Requirements: A JD peppered with a multitude of tech buzzwords and unrelated skills can be overwhelming. It's a frequent misstep to compile a JD as a catch-all for every conceivable tech skill, especially for roles intended as entry or mid-level. It's essential to strike a balance – be specific and realistic about the technical skills needed, and ensure they align with the level of expertise appropriate for the role.
  2. Mismatch Between Job Title and Requirements: When the job title doesn't align with the responsibilities and qualifications listed, it sends mixed signals. For example, labeling a position as "Junior Software Engineer" but listing requirements suited for a more experienced or specialized candidate creates confusion. This disparity can make candidates question the organization's understanding of the role and, by extension, its overall grasp of the tech industry.

To avoid these pitfalls, it's vital to work closely with the technical team to curate a JD that accurately reflects the role's requirements and the level of expertise needed. This collaboration ensures that the JD resonates with the right audience – skilled professionals who not only fit the technical criteria but are also a good match for your team's culture and dynamics. Remember, the goal is to attract candidates who are both capable and excited about the opportunity to contribute to your organization's success.

Creating a Structured Interview Process

If a pre-call for the tech role is required, use that time to get a clear understanding of the following;

  • Candidates core responsibility (position overview).
  • Technical requirements: Tools, Frameworks, Stacks, Methodologies, and the kind of Infrastructure used.

1. Behavioral and background check:

  • Ask behavioral questions to understand the candidate's previous experiences and problem-solving approaches.
  • Explore their background, focusing on projects they've worked on, challenges faced, and their role in overcoming those challenges.

2. Technical interview:

  • Evaluate the candidate's knowledge of fundamental concepts related to the role, based on the pre-interview call.
  • Ask questions about specific stacks, languages, algorithms, frameworks, methodologies, or other relevant technical topics based on the answers.
  • Explore their understanding of industry best practices and coding standards.

3. Competency Frameworks:

Develop a competency framework for each role. This should include a balance of technical proficiencies, problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal skills. Tools like Codility or HackerRankprovide a platform for assessing coding abilities and problem-solving skills through customized tests.

Leverage Coding Assessments

  1. Coding Challenges: Integrate live coding challenges using platforms like CodeSignal or LeetCode, which allow candidates to demonstrate their coding ability in real-time.
  2. Project-Based Assessments: For a more in-depth analysis, provide take-home assignments that mirror real work scenarios. These projects should be concise to respect the candidate's time but detailed enough to gauge their expertise.

Cultural Fit Evaluation

  1. Culture Interviews: Ensure that a part of the interview process is dedicated to assessing how a candidate's values align with your company culture.
  2. Team Interaction: Involve potential team members in the interview process. This not only gives you a 360-degree view of the candidate's interpersonal skills but also helps in assessing the team's dynamic with the candidate.

Reference and Background Checks

  1. Automated Reference Checks: Use tools like Checkster to automate the reference-checking process, allowing you to collect more in-depth and candid feedback about your candidates.
  2. Background Screening: Employ comprehensive background screening services like Prembly to verify educational credentials, employment history, and any other pertinent information.

Maintain Transparency and Communication

Keep candidates informed throughout the interview process. A tool like TeamTailor provides an applicant tracking system that can streamline communication and provide updates to candidates at each stage.

Teamtailor is an HR software company that provides a user-friendly solution for managing recruitment, onboarding, and employee data. Members of our community get 3 months free on their Teamtailor license.* To redeem this offer, click here

In conclusion, interviewing and assessing tech talent is an art fine-tuned by the science of best practices and the right tools. By crafting a structured, comprehensive, and candidate-friendly interview process, you can significantly increase your chances of securing the tech industry’s brightest minds.

Remember, the tools you choose should not replace human intuition and decision-making but serve as an enhancement to the sophisticated recruiting process. With the right balance, you can transform the daunting task of tech recruitment into a rewarding journey that secures not just an employee, but a future advocate and asset for your organization.

If you need help finding the right tech talent or unlocking discounts on some of the tools mentioned, click this link to schedule a call and we’ll be in touch!