If I could change one thing about tech interviews

📅️ Published: July 1, 2022  • 🕣 4 min read

If I could change one thing about tech interviews

So I have been interviewing for a while for my next role in tech. I have given all type of interviews by now. Take home assignments, DSA, solution write-ups you name it. I am fine with all kinds of interviews, honestly at this moment I don’t even care about what style of interviews are good or bad.

What I would like to see a change in our ecosystem is to GIVE FEEDBACK AFTER INTERVIEWS.

Yes I am screaming because I can’t even believe this simple and most minimal amount of decency is not followed anywhere, and nobody seems to give a shit about it?

I say forget about giving feedback at application stage, but what about when a candidate sits in your 3-round and 1-hour long tech interviews & you don’t even bother to say why they were rejected? Is this what our industry have come down to?

We talk about upskilling and continuous learning from candidate, but is your company upskilling & learning from your interview taking skills? Or is it always about filling the funnel & hiring the best-of-best?

One personal anecdote

Even among all this non-sense & chaotic style of interviewing, I happen to have one of my best interviewing experience with deepsource.

3 rounds of interview:

  1. Intro call about my work & what I do?
  2. Code Pairing session (sort of pair-programming) where we built something meaningful in 1.2 hrs.
  3. A traditional system design round.

Even though I got rejected, but upon asking for feedback this is what I got in reply.

deepsource-interview-feedback


I whole heartedly agree 💯 with both the points, My system-design skills have always been in a gray area and I try to improve them form time-to-time. Atleast now I have some concrete proof that I need to work in that area.

Some polite feedback for Senior Engineers/Managers/CTOs/Founders

For folks who are in-charge of taking interviews. How do you communicate to the HR that this candidate is not good enough? You obviously have some good reasons right? You know them at the back of your head, what’s stopping you from writing one 2 line paragraph about it?

Aren’t we told that a “good software engineer” has good communication skills apart from coding skills. If that’s the case take a step back and ponder how you folks communicate “during” and “after” the interview process is over. Can you try to improve it?

If you say you don’t have time to write down your thoughts because of large number of interviews, Or maybe back-to-back interviews or maybe tight deadlines etc. Here are some minimal tips you could follow

(Full disclosure: I am not an interviewer, never have I ever interviewed anyone but I believe this is how would I go about doing it).

  1. Reserve some 5-10 minutes before the interview to go through candidate’s resume/portfolio. Get an understanding what do they write about themselves, read every resume as a short story, this would probably take 5 mins max.
  2. During the interview when they are busy solving problems (and there is a awkward silence), write your understanding of the candidate.
  3. After the interview is over, and you have made your mind not to move forward with them, Take 2 mins to write what caused you to make that decision and ask your HR to “copy-paste” and send it to the candidate with the obvious “rejection-template-copy”.

That’s all we ask. Literally how hard is it?

Advice for candidates

Just keep giving your best in all rounds. One thing I have learned recently is that even if everything goes great from your end, there is always a probability of you not getting selected. It’s not a fair game (it never will be). Just don’t give up and keep learning. Hope you get that job 👍

Adios 👋