I’m currently in the process of preparing some interview questions to onboard developers to my team in my full-time job. I wanted to ask them some sensible questions instead of asking them the usual problems like Fibonacci series, palindrome and reverse a string, etc. These are some of the questions that have been in existence for the past few decades. I’m not going to blame these questions but from my understanding, I wish to have a team member who is inquisitive and good in analytical and problem solving skills. I wanted to ask some general questions to the candidates to see the depth but I’m not going to challenge them with syntax or anything.
For me, it is enough if the candidate has an open mind and thirst to learn. For this, I have been breaking my head for the past few days to prepare questions and think about how the interview should happen. As part of that activity, today I spent some considerable time in preparing some interview questions as well as some real-time problems. Something to do with JSON Arrays. As JSON is gaining more popularity and if we use No-SQL, JSON is the primary thing one should know, I decided to create questions about how outputs can be achieved by using the given JSON Arrays.
Using the internet during interviews
This is something that is not usually an option during the interview sessions. When questions are given to the candidates, they are supposed to work on the answers with their own knowledge and with no help from the internet. But I wanted to do things differently. The reason is that in the realtime scenario all the employees are given internet connections and they are anyway going to work with the internet connection. So, I and my manager felt that it is okay for us to give internet access to the candidates and make sure the question is set in such a way that we are able to easily evaluate the capabilities of the candidate.
For me, I’m happy to let the candidate do the test with the internet connection because in the real world scenario they are anyways going to get a reference from the internet and work. If they are sharp enough to steal code from the internet and complete the project, I’m okay with that because I personally feel that it is also a skill that many people lack. I personally have experience with people who don’t even know how to do a proper search on the internet to get answers for some questions they have in their mind. Some people are even hesitant to go to internet for self-learning and reading which I hate so much from people.
When I say there will be internet, I’ll also make sure that the questions that set will be sensible and not something that anyone can easily grab the code from the internet and complete it. I have thought about some of the real-time problems that I have in my projects and I have prepared that as questions.
Whole day went with Arrays
Today I spent lots of time preparing questions even though I have been doing that for nearly a week already. Today I wanted to focus more on Arrays and JSON objects. I prepared a few questions and gave them to my subordinate to solve. She told that from the looks of it, the problems look simple but it can be quite challenging after they start working. One of the questions was very challenging for her and she spent nearly 4 hours to come up with an answer to that. Though it took 4 hours for her, I’m still going to give that to the candidates who get shortlisted. The reason is that I will be able to get some idea based on how they progress with that.
When interviewing few candidates I will even know if the questions that I give them are working out well or not and based on the outcome I see from the candidates, maybe I can strengthen or relax a bit. I spent the whole day exploring Arrays because I wanted to make sure I have multiple answers to the question that I prepared. I spent a few hours to solve the questions by myself so that I will have multiple answers in my hand and will not be surprised by the approach the candidates take. While working on that, I also did some array related coding stuff for some of my projects as well. It was indeed a very busy day.