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Creating an Effective Developer Interview Process

Lesson 2 of 16

Core Hiring Philosophy

Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Creating an Effective Developer Interview Process

Gayle Laakmann McDowell

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Lesson Info

2. Core Hiring Philosophy

Lesson Info

Core Hiring Philosophy

we'll talk about so things that I've come to believe since doing a lot of interviewing and coaching and being a candid myself. 1st 1 is good. Can experiences matter? Yeah, this one obvious reason for this, which is that you know, if you're hiring, you know, you have this great hiring process that people walk away thinking I don't like this company. All your great Candace, that you just you just given offer to are not actually gonna join. And this is very, very, very much the reality I part of a couple different groups on Facebook, that talk, talk about coding and it's a lot of its early call. You new college grads and some more experience people, and they will go up and say, Don't interview for this company. This company was great and you'll hear surprising things. We have companies that have maybe could have great hiring processes, that they have a lot smart people, and they're just really candid. They're just really not happy experience. And they talk to other companies which, you kn...

ow aren't don't really have a big a big name that often big draw and candidates and say, Wow, this is an awesome thing. I really like talking to these people. And now you know, those people are going out and talk about your company. So you have to think about you can experience both in perspective of making the candidates who you want, you making them happy, but also making sure that when they go and they talk to their friends, they post on Facebook groups. Or they go post on sites like Glassdoor on their blogged that they're walking away saying good things you also. I really am a believer that I'd rather if push comes to shove. You know, of course, I'd love to get someone who is so smart and super knowledgeable. But when push comes to stretch, I will take generally speaking, a smart person who has a little bit less active skills immediately over somebody who maybe isn't as bright but has a lot of skills because when the company's change, that's more personal to grow and develop them. But also the person who's smart and not that skilled. You know what they well, you know, they will tow, learn those skills. People get hired and, uh, have never worked with the programming language of that company, and in a week or two they're able to start churning out some stuff and six months down the road, that person's gonna be better higher than somebody who maybe isn't very bright. But had a lot of, you know, knowledge. That person won't grow as quickly. So I'm a big believer in hiring people who are smart. Next I This is something I've seen from doing a lot of coaching. I want to talk a lot about this, But I want people you want to hire people who are good employees, not good candidates. So you know that's wrong. Bad to be a good candid. But there's an art to interviewing. I know because I teach this. I take hand. It's who maybe are not giving great answers, and I develop them and I teach them how to twist the stuff around. And you're nothing numbers being at all dishonest. But I teach them how to become good employees, and fortunately, not everybody is going to work with me, and I can't go and take coach every single person. And so you want. When you're interviewing people to try to ignore all that stuff, that's like, Yeah, they should have known to do X, y and Z during their question during their response. You want to try to eliminate that stuff as much as possible, and I really tried to look at what their fundamental employees skills are. Will they be good employees? Not. Do they know this art of interviewing? Because that's not what you're hiding. Before you want to hire people who are good employees. Not good, Not not just good candidates. You also leading into that. I really believe that you need to have a mentality that it is on the interviewer to get the information out that they want and so little things will happen where a candidate will get some question, you know, cause some question about a, uh, hard challenges like that. And they won't really articulate what they did in the interview Walk waving like I know they don't. And that just tells me that the candidate didn't know how to don't know the art of interviewing it doesn't mean that they didn't do hard stuff. And so you really need to have a mentality yourself. And when you're talking to interview team that look your responsibility to get out the right information that is your responsibility is your responsibility to do the time management when cancer coding, all that kind of stuff. Don't push it on the this, like interview stuff on the candidate. The candidate there too, you know, hopefully be a good employee. Your job is to figure out if they are not to test their skills as a candidate. And then this is something I really want. Toe. You'll see them to come back this overnight again. But nothing is perfect. So I'm gonna talking. I have my beliefs on hiring and my belief that this thing works well on this thing doesn't work well, but I will never you never really hear me stand up and defend something absolute. Every single hiring process, everything the world arguably. But it certainly everything Heil process is flawed in some way. There's some section of candidates who won't do well this hiring process and I can set up, stand up here and say, This is this is great and it's a good system, but they're still gonna be some problems with it. And what I really want to encourage you to do is just be very self reflective in that way. And, you know, I worry when I talk to people who are very, very dogmatic about their hiring process or the question. So this is that and they will sit there and tell me this process is broken because it has this problem and this is the way to do it. And maybe they're right, that that's broken those way. Maybe they're right about this. Maybe better way in certain things. But they should be able to admit that this hiring process is broken in certain ways. So even the things that I'm saying you I like this. This is a good idea. I'm also gonna talk about where this isn't a good idea because nothing is completely perfect. And few things or even, you know, the best thing all around. There's only certain companies that maybe should be doing something else, and you'll hear me talk about when you when you might wanna be doing something else. And how do you roll? It thinks the best way and how to try to be aware of the different damages or tradeoff, so certain things and how to mitigate those as much as possible. But I really want to walk away with an understanding that you should always be self critical about your process, about your questions about everything. Okay, so, um, next time to go and talk about kind of laid out a very standard structure for a hiring process.

Class Description

In this workshop led by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, former Google software engineer, interviewer and the author of the bestselling book Cracking the Coding Interview, you'll be hands-on, covering all the specifics you'll need to know about coding interviews. It will start with an overview of the hiring process and dive into more detail about types of interview questions (behavioral, knowledge, algorithms/coding, and design). You will learn how to create a hiring process that is efficient, sets a high and consistent bar, and attracts strong candidates.

Although sections of the workshop will be highly technical, non-technical people are encouraged to attend. You will learn:

  • Differences between assessing senior candidates and junior candidates
  • The goals and limitations of technology-specific questions
  • Selecting and asking appropriate algorithm questions
  • Mechanisms to evaluate coding skills, including whiteboards, laptops and code assessment tools
This class is your comprehensive guide to hiring the right developer for your company. 

In Partnership with Greylock Partners 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Cracking The Coding Interview Book Excerpt

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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What an awesome opportunity to learn from one of the best on the topic! This course has value for anyone who's looking to hire or work with technical talent! I've attended tons of talent conferences and this course succinctly and tactically address how to effectively interview engineers. Highly recommended.

Kevin Scott

Terrific class with unique eye opening content. This class applies for any Dev. hiring team, whether startups or large, established companies. I recommend this training tool to anyone wanting to help others improve their own interviewing skill set and build dynamic hiring processes / plans.


This class was exactly as billed - I received in depth knowledge of how to create great developer interviews. Gayle was very organized and presented her info in a dynamic, inter-active environment. It was really great to be part of the studio audience.