We spoke to 2 developers on the Tech Interview Panel about their experience as an interviewer. Here’s what they shared:
Joydeep Bhattacharya, Sr. Developer and Technical Interviewer
How has been your experience of being on the interview panel?
I’ve been on the interview panel for over year now, and have completed 100+ interviews. It’s been a good experience. The best part being on the panel is that the way GT does interviews – code pairing and extension – I get to see a lot of code, a lot of innovative thinking that candidates are putting into solving those challenges and learn from them.
Can you elaborate more on the learning experience?
In the interview, we ask people who have solved a coding challenge to explain the thought process behind their solution. They also work on an extension of the coding problem. Different candidates have different approaches and it’s interesting to see the learning and thought processes from different angles. As an interviewer, I need to know how to solve the same problem in different ways to be able to recognise good solutions. There have been multiple instances of people coming up with excellent solutions.
Initially I agreed to be an interviewer because it’s always good to talk to people. I was an introvert personally and saw this as an opportunity to interact with like-minded people. Turned out well.
It’s been a great learning experience and I look forward to learning more things from how other people tackle a problem. I will definitely continue doing it because it’s a win-win scenario for both sides – the candidate and the interviewer.
More on the learning
- It keeps me up-to-date: To interview a candidate with a certain skill I have to be prepared and if not, I have to learn and get up to date.
- I see it as a good platform to teach: When I am interviewing a candidate, I often get to explain an alternative approach to how they are thinking. And we have a good discussion around why this approach works or it might be better than what the candidate interviewed. We both end up learning from each other.
- Looking at it through a candidate’s POV: I get to learn what it’s like to be a candidate being interviewed, and see things that I shouldn’t be doing if I’m at the other end of the interview. It prepares you to face future interviews as a candidate
Does it take a lot of your time and energy?
It’s kind of like a chilled-out experience. I enjoy and look forward to every interview.
Most memorable interview you have ever done?
A candidate had 3 months of experience and came up with a very good solution that impressed me and I took that logic and implemented it somewhere else in my own work
Read Joy’s Dev Story here.
Aneesh, Developer, Interview Panelist
What was the good experience of being on the interview panel?
It was a bit challenging in the beginning, I felt. You see, if I am interviewing someone, I have to be sure about a lot or all of the questions that I was going to ask the candidate. I think it is a very good opportunity to learn. Brings more clarity to my concepts too. I grow as a developer and as a result I am better at interviewing folks based on their skills and ability.
Why did you agree to do it?
Initially, I wasn’t asked, I just received an email invite. So, I asked Dhanush. Dhanush asked me to tag along just to observe. I sat for some interviews and then I started interviewing. So, yeah as soon as I understood what a great learning opportunity it is – I went for it.
What is one positive and one negative aspect from the interviews you have taken till now?
Positive is again – get to learn a lot, Some candidates are like very good, we don’t have to pull them for an answer, we ask a question and thay are the one who carry the whole interview forward.
Negative – It was more of a surprise- so the guy I was interviewing had 2 years of experience in Java, but he could barely write one line of code without mistake. So, any question to him, he had the same answer. And I understand, even if he was not able to answer, I moved to practical questions but he was not able to come through on that too. So, I just struggle to go to the end of the interview as soon as I can.
Does it take a lot of your time and energy? – Not really. It just involves a lot of preparations which is imperative if I have to make sure a candidate is fit for the job.
How do you prioritize and manage your workload effectively?
There is no prioritization as such – it is like if I have to work on a feature today and have the interview too, I will go ahead and skip the interview.
Can you walk me through the process you typically follow when interviewing a developer?
Mostly I start with a very formal introduction about myself. I don’t want to listen to their hobby or anything so, I try to keep it crisp and then I switch to the tech stack part and then the usual things about refactoring, SQL, and all the things are a part of the resume/code.
I give more weightage on practical skills rather than theoretical knowledge. Like whatever theory you have, that’s okay, I would rather like to know the justification behind it because ultimately at the end of the day it’s about the code you are going to write to build a feature. And of course I also try to keep language fluency and problem solving at the core of my interviews. Like through some questions – I try to understand how good they are at it.
So, if you ask me overall – yes it is a very good experience to interview developers. Some come through, some don’t. But taking interviews is not just me selecting good developers, I am also getting better with each interview I take.
Would you like to be a part of the interview panel? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reach out with more details.