My Favorite Interview Question

While I wouldn’t consider myself a master interviewer (I feel like I need to do just fifty or sixty more to really start getting into a groove), I have landed on what I think is my favorite question to ask potential software developers:

“I have two implementations of the same method. One is simple to read, but slower. The other is complex but faster. Which implementation should I use?”

Most potential candidates will answer quickly and typically the same way: “the faster one”. The tone in this whip-shot response often sounds almost confused: “this is…