I’ve interviewed many many people myself over the years and only hired two real duds in that time. Mostly I did it with gut rather than asking people to write code on a whiteboard or drilling them on software lifecycle. My aim was to get a sense of “can I work with this person?”, “does it look like they have a creative streak?” and “have they any interest in software outside of work?”.
Years ago, I even passed on the number one person in their year in Comp Sci in TCD because they ticked none of those boxes. They were just very smart, and I need a lot more.
I don’t know anything about the Google interview process apart from what I’ve heard about the crazy number of sessions and the silly logic puzzles. If true, I’d worry that you end up with a ton of people who all have a very similar profile.
Sugru’s post today about how Google commissioned them to do branded Sugru for Hiring Fairs suddenly made me realise that Sugru could totally change the way we all do interviews.
After the usual CV trawl with the person, hand them a few packets of sugru and a box of bits and pieces. Give them 20 minutes to do something interesting. If they come up with nothing, don’t hire.
What better way to see if someone really does have the type of creativity that is critical in this business?