With the experience of interviewing 350+ candidates in the line of Performance Testing & Engineering during last 2 years for junior, mid-senior & senior roles, would like to share my observations & recommendations to have a pleasing experience for interviewer, interviewee & talent acquisition team involved in the hiring process.
Particularly in Performance Testing, the roles & responsibilities are ambiguous & often its confused with Engineering skills. Tester & Engineer are used interchangeably in many IT corporate leading to additional confusions.
My below recommendations will help in meeting the Interview Ethics of both corporate & candidate.
Interview Ethics For Interviewer:
Value the time & ensure you create a good learning experience for yourself & for the candidate while doing the technical assessment. You are not evaluating the candidate is good or bad, but assessing technical skills for their fitment against organization’s expectation on the available role.
- Always greet the candidate & start with a casual question. Starting your first conversation with questions like ‘How was your day?’ or ‘How long it took to travel down to the office location?’ This start will bring the candidate to comfort zone.
- Give space to understand the background & career history of the candidate by asking for self-introduction before you start your questions. This space will increase the confidence to speak out.
- Try to assess the conceptual knowledge level of the candidate before jumping into the tools knowledge.
- Quickly evaluate the performance bottleneck analysis skill level – assess whether candidate can understand tool reports only or can perform first level of end to end problem analysis or can perform deep dive analysis of specific tier or all tiers? This will clarify testing & engineering skillset he/she posses.
- Within first 20 minutes of your discussion, you will need to get the grip of candidate’s overall skillset on Performance Testing.
- Assess the practical knowledge of the candidate for next 10 minutes speaking about their responsibilities in projects mentioned in the resume. This evaluation will bring in whether they have only theoretical knowledge reading some articles or have really made their hands dirty in real projects.
- For the next 15 minutes, try assessing the problem solving capability for the given problem statement as expected to be handled by the role.
- It’s very important to end the discussion after spending at least 15 minutes to understand candidate’s interest areas, likes & dislikes of current organization, other activities apart from project experience, actual reason for leaving the current organization, key challenges he have in current team/project, expectations on his next job, etc followed by a quick brief on your organization, your team, technical responsibilities & expectations for the role.
- In majority of the interview discussions, you will know whether the candidate is worth interviewing for the role during first 15 minutes of your discussion itself. But remember, everyone is not lucky to get the right opportunities or good mentors to guide them at right time. Ensure you give good interview experience to the candidate instead of winding up your discussion abruptly. Atleast you can try to be a good mentor to speak to him for next 20 minutes in the interest of giving him some key take away from your meeting.
- Do not share any negative feedback to candidate directly. May be you can wrap End the discussion by saying, your HR folks will get back. Don’t extend a discussion more than 60-80 minutes (if required have multiple rounds).
Interview Ethics For Interviewee:
Always remember, your core technical skills is very important but at the same time , the other qualities you carry & your attitude towards work matters a lot for the corporate.
- Ensure your updated resume is made available for the interview discussion.
- Do a self study of what is your strength & weakness & how it has impacted your work style in your current organization before giving interview.
- Do not jump between jobs with pure motivation to increase your financial package. In long run, it will not help in having successful career.
- Do not make it a practice to deny the offer letter on the joining day. If you can have multiple offers, you can definitely take time to decided the best & deny the rest. Respect the organization that has spent time to assess & who has offered you a role in their team. Have courage to inform the HR team in advance notice about your plans.
- Just because you carry multiple offer letters, don’t spoil your attitude towards work. Learning is a continuous process & develop courage to work in un-comfort zone.
- Be honest while sharing reasons for job change, any intermediate breaks, your expectations in the next job, career aspirations, etc. Never ever add any fake details in your resume.
Interview Ethics For HR / Talent acquisition team:
Kindly value the time invested by both interviewer & interviewee.
- Clearly quote the job description in bullet points emphasizing upon the responsibilities & skill requirement expected, as there is a constant confusion between tester & engineer roles.
- If company policy permits, atleast have initial screening discussion over phone, so that interviewee need not make arrangements to come all the way to your premise to take up 30 mins of discussion.
- Do not just count of number of profiles shared with technical team, count the quality of the CVs shared. There have been some bad instances where in a walk-in drive with 100+ candidates, we ended up selecting 0 to 1 candidate.
- Amidst your busy schedule, if you can manage your time so well to schedule the interview with the candidate, understand their expectations & background, send multiple gentle reminders to have them at venue on time, etc, etc, can you make it a practice to spend additional 5 minutes of your time to inform or at least mail the candidate, if he/she is not selected in any of the rounds.