Interviewer patterns and antipatterns
aka how to lose candidates before you even make an offer
Not all from the same company. Experiences collected over various phases of past 2 months of interviewing, before I ultimately decided to stay at Google when moving to NYC.
* Interviewer walks into room unprepared, and starts reading candidate resume for the first time with the candidate sitting right there, then hesitantly asks questions about "what was your favorite project at [foo]?"
** Bonus points for previous interview before that being about work history, and this interview supposedly being about coding/algo
* Interviewer pitches wildly unrealistically planned project ("we're starting a team of six engineers to implement mapreduce!")
* Interview loop has zero women
* Interview loop for SRE fails to test systems design
* Interview loop for SRE fails to test troubleshooting
* Hiring manager states a desire to hire only senior candidates, then blames the pipeline for poor diversity.
* Initial contact is a lukewarm unscheduled phonecall with no prior email coordination
* Screening process for SWE-focused SRE begins with a pure Chef exercise
* Hiring manager answers question about diversity with "I wish we could all just be people..."
* Recruiter goes on vacation for a week with no alternate contact listed in autoresponder
* No set interview schedule, with candidate left alone by themself for 5-10 minutes while previous interviewer fetched next interviewer
Some innovative and great things I saw:
* Allowing candidate to write code on their own device in their own IDE and looking over shoulder to see how they develop during an onsite interview
* Actually having organized training to build a pipeline by bringing people up into SWE/SRE roles through from support or hwops roles
Some things I had mixed feelings about:
* Screening involving multiple hours of preparation/coding/exam-taking. Some of these were fun, but some of these were so frustrating and discouraging that I gave up because I couldn't be bothered due to lack of spoons after I'd gotten home from work.
The only company I interviewed with that got every single aspect of the candidate experience right was Dropbox. Every other company I spoke with hit at least one of the antipatterns, sometimes multiple.
NB: I reckon Google probably isn't perfect either (especially on the latency between phone screen and onsite or onsite and offer), but obviously I didn't have to interview for anything other than informal project matching for an internal transfer.