Don’t ask interviewees to “speak” code over the phone

Don’t ask a potential candidate to “speak” code over the phone. I’ve had interviews like this before and they’re terrible. Any programmer worth their salt can see it’s very easy to write code like this:

But, it’s another thing to say it. “if space open parenthesis x percent five equal sign equal sign…”, you get the picture. You’d think it’d be obvious, but I’ve been asked to speak code on far too many interviews.

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“A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s” is a myth

There is this saying that “A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s”. The idea is that the best employees (A’s) are smart and want to be smarter. They also don’t want to be babysitting a bunch of bad employees (C’s) and cleaning up their messes. That’s why you can trust A’s to hire other A’s. The problem with average employees (B’s) is they feel insecure about their position on the totem pole. They are really concerned that their job is in jeopardy. That’s why, if given the chance, B’s would hire a bad employee (C’s) because it makes them look better. That’s the theory, at least.

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Should candidates be paid for time spent interviewing?

Everyone seems to agree that the way we interview people is broken.  I’ve heard the analogy that an interview is like asking someone to marry you after you’ve dated them for an hour.  I agree with this.  It’s a big commitment for both sides and there isn’t much time to figure out if you’re a good fit.  In an effort to avoid bad hires, a lot of companies are using longer interview processes:

  1. Some companies will give candidates an at home test to work on in their free time.  I’ve heard stories of these being side projects that take up to 2 weeks.
  2. Some companies want you to take a day off for a full day interview.
  3. Some companies want you to take a day off to actually work at the company for a day as a trail run.

Should a company pay for the time that a candidate spends interviewing?

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