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Hiring: The 5 Most Important Questions To Ask A Developer

Randy RayessRandy Rayess

When hiring a developer, it is important to ensure that a potential candidate is not only talented, but the right fit for your firm. From extensive personality tests to technical interviews, firms use a variety of tactics to find and attest top talent.

By asking the following questions you can gain insight into your potential new hire and their skill set.

What projects have you worked on in the past?

Asking about past projects will show if your candidate has relevant experience to your future endeavors. Asking this question also gives insight into their passion for software development. If a developer has many projects that they have built in their free time or for fun then you know they love to code.

What were the key decisions you had to make when developing these projects?

Inquiring about a candidate’s decision making process will demonstrate their ability to lead others and make informed decisions when problems arise. This question also helps identify which part of the projects they were involved in and how they made decisions.

What did you learn from that project?

As development is a constantly evolving industry, it’s important that your developer is always learning and constantly striving to be their best. Developers with insight on what they have learned and how they have improved are more likely to do better on future jobs.

Describe a time where you worked with a team of developers on a project. What did do well and where could you have improved?

Asking a candidate to describe their strengths and weaknesses invites a conversation around skill-set and areas for improvement. This insight offers a sense of how it is to work with the developer as part of a team. Sometimes developers are great individual developers but don’t work well within a team structure.

Here is a small project that should take around 30 minutes, please share your screen, choose an editor and language of your choice. You will be evaluated on both correct implementation and quality of code.

A task provides a demonstration of knowledge and thought process. This assignment can provide pertinent data about the developers attitude, technical skills and cultural fit. One company that uses this tactic in their hiring process is Stripe.

It is recommend to ask open ended questions inviting the candidate to offer in-depth information into their background, skill-set, and work ethic.

CoFounder at VenturePact Passionate about software, marketplace startups & remote work. Previously at SilverLake Partners, Ampush and Wharton.