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3 Mistakes to Avoid When Interviewing Developers

Finding qualified candidates may seem like the hardest part of the hiring funnel, but what about the grueling and lengthy interview process? It’s no surprise that most candidates find the process broken or inefficient, and this rings especially true for developers.

Stack Overflow’s Annual Developer Survey provided us with specific information regarding developer’s feelings on interviews, allowing us to convey to recruiters and hiring managers alike what changes they can make to effectively interview technical candidates. Here are just a few mistakes to avoid when interviewing developer candidates for your company.

1. Ignoring the Pre-Interview Stage

35% of developers we surveyed said they wanted to be better prepared for the interview ahead of time, including being informed of who they will be speaking with. In the grand scheme of things, this is an easy fix for most recruiters and hiring managers. Sending out a quick email with the basic details (who they will be speaking with, how long the interviews are expected to last, etc.) ensures that the candidate is well-prepared and content, and only takes a few minutes on your end. Modern applicant tracking systems like SmartRecruiters even allow you to send the interview agenda and details to the candidate automatically, right after scheduling the interview, making this step easy and effortless. This pre-interview preparation also allows the candidate to ask questions before the interview, saving you both time and confusion in the long run.

2. Not Introducing Them to Anyone

47% of developers we surveyed said they wanted to be introduced to the team during the interview process. Programmers will pay very close attention to the people they meet, focusing on things like “Are they nice?” and “Are they smart?” While they don’t expect to meet everyone during their first interview, developers would ideally like to meet a few of their potential engineering team members and maybe even their future boss. Introducing them to members of the team is an easy way for candidates to get a feel of what the company culture is like as well as see if they can see themselves working closely with these people.

3. Taking Too Long to Follow Up After an Interview

We can all agree that no one likes being left hanging after a job interview. But with developers, this rings especially true. If the candidate didn’t get the job, communicating early on eliminates stress and uncertainty and allows the candidate to continue their job search. On the flip side, if you are interested in moving forward with a candidate you need to do it quickly – developers are in high demand and likely to have offers from multiple companies on their plate. Developers who are proactively searching for their next job don’t stay available for very long, and those who aren’t looking are constantly being recruited.

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This article was written by Rachel Maleady, Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow, where she covers topics ranging from recruiting to employer branding in the tech industry.

Rachel Maleady