3 Tips to Hiring Top Engineers (according to a Google engineer)

Casey Caruso
Nov 10, 2018 · 3 min read

1. Have an engineer find your engineer

Engineers know engineers. In order to properly convey a technical job description, it must be explained by someone who can talk the technical talk and have a conversation around the technology stack. If you don’t have any engineers on your team, ask an engineering friend to help you source and interview candidates. At a absolute minimum have an engineer post in one of the popular of engineering Facebook groups about your startup. Yes, these groups exist.

2. Stop asking classic technical interview questions

Classic technical interview questions test for memorization, not problem solving ability. I understand companies ask technical questions to see how a candidate thinks but unfortunately it isn’t that simple anymore. In the last decade the adoption of training books such as Cracking the Coding Interview have skyrocketed and become part of the standard interview preparation process. These books outline solutions for hundreds of technical questions and candidates spend hours memorizing the answers in order to regurgitate the correct solution when asked. This is the sad reality of the dynamic today so truly the best option is to stop asking the classic questions in the books. If you want to test someone’s problem solving ability, ask a unique question. Problem solving doesn’t have to overlap with technical ability and every job requires that skill so get creative in how you test for it! I promise you that asking a candidate to write the Fibonacci sequence iteratively and recursively is an extremely unreliable way to see how a candidate thinks.

3. Ask for a coding sample

Coding samples are underutilized period. They are rarely used for and often quickly scanned. I recommend focusing on coding samples because they show a whole lot about a candidate. Is their code organized? Do they comment code well? Do they use packages effectively? Is their code modular and reusable?

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Casey Caruso

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Engineer @Google | Crypto at @BVP | Twitter: @caseykcaruso

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org