What is been expected during an interview?

The interview culture has been dramatically changed now. It has become more of exchanging conversations and understanding each other over different level of discussions. The same old criteria of asking the major questions as-

Tell me about yourself

what is your strength & weakness?

where do you want to see yourself in next 5 years etc.? have gone now.

The scenario has been more focused on candidate needs. Since, it is more of candidate choosing the company, role and the team rather than the company choosing the candidate. In the changing scenario, the typical interview process has also changed drastically. Let me list down the criteria’s in which the candidates are more inclined to get into the role and happy to experience the entire journey from providing the opportunity/ role to complete the entire loop of interview sessions.

Discuss More in Detail

When we connect with any candidates, they would be more interested to talk to us when we provide them more details about the role like if it is a Senior Software Engineer role, we can let them know:

  • What it takes if they join the company for the role?
  • What will be their contribution towards the role, the challenges which they are going to work on?
  • What the team does, about the Business Unit?
  • The key people in the team, their background, what they can learn from the team.
  • Most importantly, we need to understand what their aspirations is or what is been missing in their current/previous roles which they may look for.

This will make the candidates think to look up to the role and know the importance of the role as how the role is going to be the added value for their career.

Discuss about the challenges which they worked on/ major contributions

Rather than getting into conversations like what are your strength & weakness, we can have a discussion as what kind of challenges have, they faced in their current/ previous roles and how did they resolve it.

By asking these kinds of questions, we can analyze them more on problem solving, situational based and also behavioral based. For example, if they can able to explain the entire scenario of how the team had a challenge to build the platform highly scalable from monolithic to microservices. As an individual, what was their contribution for providing the solution as developing any feasible algorithm/ introducing any new system/ technology innovations etc. When they can provide a lot of information and data about the challenges and they can understand the entire system what they are working on, they can adopt any kind of new platforms.

If they come-up stating, they have not faced any solid challenges still they can able to provide the fundamentals and basic of how the system works and how he can contribute according to the needs then he is looking for the right opportunity to pick-up the things. Having said, everything boils down to one major factor that candidates needs to be fundamentally strong in basics, should be a great problem solver than a coder/programmer, clear in data structures & algorithms and logical thinking.

We cannot reject the candidates just that he did not work the particular kind of platforms/systems/programming languages. We need to see how strong problem solver he is and how clean his thought process in his approach towards the problem.

Discuss more about the impact of the role

During the interview, we need to discuss more on the business issues and the transformation what needs to be bring in which will provide a clear picture to the candidate as what the business need is. For example, if we are looking for an Architect or Engineering Manager role, we need to discuss more in detail on:

  • How the role is going to impact more within the business and globally.
  • How their business and technology decisions will influence the team/ business.
  • How they are going to manage the transformation of the business in terms of system/ product.
  • When the team/business is in difficult form, how are they going to help them to resolve the things by bring the impact and influence the team to move ahead.
  • How their thought process is, when they have to take some of the tough decisions or bring in some tough strategy to make the team/business a huge success.

These kinds of discussions will provide the candidates to think in terms of all possible ways as what they have already done or what they could have done based on their experiences.

It is absolutely unfair to expect the candidates to provide the exact kind of answering which we are expecting since not everyone is working on the same system/culture/business/domain. Everyone comes from different set of environments, we need to look upon what can they bring to the team/business and how the business can grow if we bring them.

Discuss about what next?

Everyone will love to discuss about what is there for them as a career growth and what next is there for them. When we are able to impress them and set their path along with their aspirations then nothing can stop them to join us. This is the actual fact why candidates love to take up the role. Every candidate is different. Some may look for role, some for money, some for designation, some for work culture etc. Understand what they need and inline the role and offer them accordingly. Not everyone is looking only for MONEY.

Definitely, interviews are not done the way it was happening initially. Everything has been changed. There are a lot of candidates who are passive but open to take up the opportunity. It is just that the pitch and right role needs to be mapped. Interviews have been termed as “discussions” now since it is more of a two-way conversation rather than just a question-answer session. When we get through the entire set of discussion in a structured way and more detailed way, none of the candidates can reject the role & offer.Since it creates a fabulous candidate experience as a whole.

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