We're in it together

Hiring for Tech
March 16, 2020

Two people at a whiteboard. One of them is writing on the board.

If collaboration is part of your work culture, it should be part of your interview. Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

Whenever I’ve faced a challenging problem at work, I’ve had help. Help can come in many forms:

The reality is that we bring out our best work when we collaborate. No one is out to attack my proposals, so the criticism is constructive. The goal is to produce something better than one person could on their own.

So why do so many interviews measure the ability to work on your own? In an effort to weed out candidates who don’t meet the bar, interviews tend to be antagonistic, a battle between the candidate and the interviewer, to see who comes out on top.

If our best work happens collaboratively, the interview should also happen collaboratively. As an interviewer, you need to set the candidate up for success, which you can do in the following ways:

All of this doubles for less experienced candidates, who you expect to be mentoring on the job anyway. For them, you probably want to help them even with the big stuff. The evaluation criteria is much on how they respond to your collaboration than on the specific pieces of knowledge they have.

I’ll go over these and other ways to help the candidate succeed in future editions. In fact, I’ve already talked about clear expectations in a previous post.

As an added benefit, this process allows both you and the candidate to understand what it’s like to work with each other. This is good for you as an interviewer, because if the candidate passes the interview, you’ll be working with them in the future. But this is also great for the candidate: an antagonistic interview may be an indicator of an antagonistic work culture.

This post was sent out on the March 16, 2020 edition of the Hiring For Tech newsletter. Subscribe to get future editions sent to you by email, once a week.

powered by TinyLetter