In this article we share few tips that will help you in interviewing developers even when you are not from a Technical Background.
As a non-tech founder you might have heard this statement multiple times -
“I wouldn’t advise you start a Software company”.
But is it really true?
There are many examples of companies that clearly show that non-technical people can also be successful (in starting a Software company). Few examples are Pinterest, Airbnb, Zynga, Product Hunt, LinkedIn etc. So clearly non-technical people can also be successful in starting a tech company.
However the journey isn’t that easy, especially when building a team.
The great developer shortage is turning into the great CTO shortage. I had 3 companies approach me this week about help with hiring a CTO. Are financial benefits of becoming a tech contractor upsetting the traditional career progression and creating a shortage at the top?— Dmitri Grabov ♠ (@dmitrigrabov) February 3, 2018
Most people will also recommend you to find a CTO. While having a CTO in your company is huge asset, the only problem is finding the right one is very difficult.
According to DA Primus Consulting -
Hiring a CTO too early can result in a loss of technical leadership. You can also end up losing precious time, money, and reputation.
Unfortunately, this article isn’t about “CTOs”. We’ll leave that discussion for a future article.
Let’s look at some other statistics.
According to YCombinator -
Among the 18 reasons that kill a startup, one of the main reasons is “Hiring Bad programmers”.
Also, over 69% of the companies have stated that Interviews had the most impact on the quality of hire. So clearly Interviews are very crucial in hiring great developers.
So, let’s look at some tips which will help interview developers more effectively -
1. Interview Filtered Candidates only
The journey of a Founder is quite challenging. There are lot of things that a founder needs to get accomplished each day. Hence there’s no use wasting time in interviewing unqualified candidates.
You can filter candidates by screening them. You can screen candidates manually or you can automate this process by using product like a HR Chatbot.
You'll love to read - Resume Screening - The Complete Guide
Screening can be done by questions like -
1. Candidate's Salary expectation
2. Candidate's skills
3. Notice period
So, more the number of questions you screen the candidates on, better the filtration process. This is because you don’t want to interview a candidate whose notice period is 90 days (if you are planning an urgent hire). Hope this clears the point here.
2. Prepare for the Interview in Advance
Conducting interviews, takes a lot of preparation, especially when you are conducting it for the first time.
The first step should be to choose only the best candidates for the interview. After choosing make sure to inform the candidates in advance about details like -
1. Data and time
3. Process of the Interview
The second step would be to go through the job description in detail. It's advisable to make notes of the key criterions if needed.
Make sure to also go through the work history of the candidates. Mark the candidate if you something weird like "gaps in the work history" etc. Also, try to prepare interview questions in advance. Feel free to take help from friends, connections or from your team.
Tip from Robert Half blog -
Develop your questions from the areas of the candidate's background that deserve the most attention, based on the job description and the hiring criteria.
It’s very important to have a methodical approach to make sure the interview is conducted properly.
3. Outsource the Coding Test
As a non-technical founder, it’s difficult to create a coding test . Hence it’s advisable to outsource the test to a different platforms.
In India you’ll find a lot of platforms which will help you assess candidates. This includes DoSelect, Skillenza, AirCTO Interviews and others.
These platforms are incredibly useful for testing the coding skills of a candidate. It will also help you in making better data driven decisions.
4. Approach of the candidate
Above everything else, the approach of the candidate to a specific problem is very important. It’s more important than “number of programming languages one knows” or "how fast one is able to code" etc.
Try to test the candidate by giving him a real life problem to solve. This way one can get a better idea if the candidate is creative or not.
5. Take help from a Developer in your team, Friend or Connections
It’s ok to take help from your friends and families too.
Though requesting your friend/ families to help you in the interview, is a very thankless job, it’s makes the whole process much more easier.
You can request your friend, connection or an existing developer (already in your team). Having an extra person in the interview, helps you make better decisions. This is irrespective the person is technical or not, as long as he has a decent experience.
6. Closing the interview
Closing the interview is also very crucial. This is the part of the interview where you give the candidates chance to ask questions.
Make sure to give the candidate enough time to address his/her concerns.
According to Recruiter.com -
The closing of the interview, when done well, allows for a smooth transition to either the next interviewer or the next step in the hiring process.
7. Evaluation of the Candidates
If you have attended interviews, you’ll rarely see interviewers shortlisting the candidates at that moment. It’s usually after a couple of days, sometime even after few weeks too.
This is because of the time taken in the evaluation process. Decisions are usually made after evaluating a lot of criterion.
These include -
1. Coding test results
2. Performance of the candidates in the Interview
3. Attitude of the candidate
4. You need to also check if the candidate is culturally fit or not.
Hope the article helps you conduct better interviews. If you have any questions feel free to mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also outsource your Interviews using AirCTO Interviews (used by companies like Shaadi, GrabOnRent and 100 other companies).