And focus in particular on algorithms and data structures.
I Hire Engineers At Google — Here’s What I Look For (And Why)
Fast Company

Because that’s what you’re going to be hiring us to do right- stand at white boards in front of strangers reordering elements in linked lists and recursively traversing exotic trees? I still can’t wrap my head around the inefficiency of the “tech interview” as it stands now with you big companies. In a lot of ways I’d consider you as disconnected from what constitutes a good developer as Donald Trump is disconnected from what constitutes a complete sentence.

Surely having a successful developer who has been shipping award winning work for a decade take three hours out of her day for a few weeks to study for a tech interview (Why are you studying for a job interview in the first place? Either something is horribly wrong with the candidate or the hiring company. One of them is fraudulent because if I’ve been doing my job for a decade plus, what the hell am I studying for?) — which skews towards recent grads in the most extreme and unfair sense, is the best use of said devs time.

Giving them a task in the environment that they’ve been working in for those 10 years on a task that isn’t copy-pasted from some textbook or “latest interview questions” article makes no sense. It’d almost be like posting a job for a painter and then calling in a prospective hire and actually having them paint as a part of the interview process instead of quoting the periodic table from memory since some of those elements exist in paint and we just want you to cram study them and write them on a white board because we had to. That’s a real efficient way to hire a painter, especially when you do actually hire them you have them paint neat circles all day, not create new chemical compounds on whiteboards on the fly.

I’ve got a hiring algorithm for you. Why not put down your pretentious out of touch mechanical whiteboarding exercises, take your noses out from behind your clipboards and meticulously timed 3.5 minute “personality exchanges” and stop treating people like they’re some new form of diarrhea to study in a Petri dish. Why not give a candidate an environment where they can truly shine and show their values and not some cold, cookie cutter process where those who cram the hardest win? It baffles me that a company can claim to be so futuristic and forward thinking but at the same time cling to ornamental out of touch evaluation processes that rival the American education system’s obsession with test scores in their uselessness.

Read their code. Have them talk about their code. Simulate a real life work situation and evaluate. Ask them real life human questions.

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