You can be someone looking to hire vetted software engineers but may not be familiar with the right questions to evaluate their aptitudes. Remember, you shouldn’t just be looking at the purely technical aspects of things; it is equally important to be mindful of the soft skills that one possesses as well.
The following article lists down a few questions as recommended, a firm that recruits, vets and provides augmented teams of software engineers to businesses.
Q1: Provide a comprehensive overview of any of the previous projects you worked on and elaborate how you ensured its success.
This question gives you a really good idea of a candidate’s technical and soft skills. They will have do demonstrate an understanding of the project they worked on, the technical expertise they applied and how they handled challenges.
Not only this, they will also need to talk about how they collaborated with others, took control in times of uncertainty, and managed their time. The answer to this question familiarizes you with what the interviewee is like and sets you up well for further questions.
Q2: What, in your view, is some principles of good software engineering?
In answer to this question, the candidate should prove themselves to be familiar with efficient software engineering practices that they have learnt from experience.
In addition to this, they also need to appreciate the importance of teamwork, good management skills, dealing with urgent situations and other soft skills required of a programmer.
Q3: What is your way of organizing your class modules and assets?
A technical question, but not one that has one right answer. This gives you an idea of how efficient they are at programming and preparing well-maintained work for future reference and documentation. It also gives you the chance to compare their ways with the ones followed by your company.
Q4: How do you debug an application?
Another technical question that gives you sneak peak into how efficiently the candidate deals with problematic code. Ideally they should use debugging tool on each line of the code and then have a way to fix that code without unnecessarily affecting the rest of it. Also, make sure you get an idea of the length of time they spend, on average, on debugging. If it’s a lot, they either write poor code, or follow inefficient debugging practices – or both.
Q5: Do your preferences and work ethics align more with working for a startup, or an already-established firm?
Don’t turn this into a leading question. The candidate should not feel like they have to give you a specific answer, they should answer it honestly. If their experiences or preferences don’t match with the nature of your company, you should still look at how determined, flexible and adaptive they are.
As long as the candidate appears prepared and capable of dealing with the workload of your company, you should also be flexible in determining whether they are a good fit for your company or not.
Q6: How did/would you manage remote work?
This question is essential. Gaper’s teams are mostly distributed which means their engineers need to be very adept at using appropriate digital tools to manage their work, collaborate with team members and clients, and maintain accountability.
It does not matter if a candidate has not used the same tools and project management practices as your firm – they only need to appreciate the importance of good WFH ethics and incorporate them in their work. A good follow-up question would be to ask them to outline the steps they would take in remotely resolving any conflicts that may arise.
The article outlines some of the major questions that employers should seek answers for when interviewing software engineers. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it enables you to have an idea of how well-suited someone is to your company, how determined to learn, adapt and grow they are and whether it is worth your efforts to assimilate them into your team.