HM0880 + interviewing   3

Competency based questions - Oxford Knight
For technical candidates technical skills matter most. However, this is not always the case, especially in smaller start-up companies where entrepreneurial flair, team fit, client management, communication and invocation matter.
Here is some basic insight into how to prepare for competency based interviews, along with example competency questions. However, for more detailed advice and advance questions, please get in touch with us here at Oxford Knight… We really do have some targeted material that can really make the difference between landing that dream job, or not.
interviewing 
may 2017 by HM0880
Ask What Set Previous Employees Apart to Get a Better Idea of What the Role Entails
A job interview is a time to both present yourself as an excellent candidate and to find out more about the company, team, and role so you can make an educated decision if you receive an offer. Part of that education is figuring out what you need to excel in the role.

You can find that out with just one question, laid out by Alison Green on Ask a Manager. You can tweak the question to fit the conversation, but you want to focus on finding out what made previous employees stand out and exceed expectations of the role.

Thinking back to people who have been in this position previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great?
Besides setting yourself apart from other candidates by not asking a cookie cutter question, the interviewer’s answer highlights the effort you’d need to put in to be great at the position, and the level you’d need to meet to move forward in the company. The bonus is that if you do get an offer and accept it, you know from day one what you need to succeed.
interviewing 
february 2017 by HM0880
Broken record: startups are also probably rejecting a *lot* of engineering candi... | Hacker News
Broken record: startups are also probably rejecting a lot of engineering candidates that would perform as well or better than anyone on their existing team, because tech industry hiring processes are folkloric and irrational.
I co-manage a consultancy. We operate in the valley. We're in a very specialized niche that is especially demanding of software development skills. Our skills needs also track the market, because we have to play on our clients turf. Consultancies running in steady state have an especially direct relationship between recruiting and revenue.
A few years ago, we found ourselves crunched. We turned a lot of different knobs to try to solve the problem. For a while, Hacker News was our #1 recruiting vehicle. We ran ads. We went to events at schools. We shook down our networks and those of our team (by offering larger and larger recruiting bonuses, among other things).
We have since resolved this problem. My current perspective is that we have little trouble filling slots as we add them, in any market --- we operate in Chicago (where it is trivially easy to recruit), SFBA (harder), and NYC (hardest). We've been in a comfortable place with recruiting for almost a year now (ie, about half the lifetime of a typical startup).
I attribute our success to just a few things:
* We created long-running outreach events (the Watsi-pledging crypto challenges, the joint Square MSP CTF) that are graded so that large numbers of people can engage and get value from them, but people who are especially interested in them can self-select their way to talking to us about a job. Worth mentioning: the crypto challenges, which are currently by far our most successful recruiting vehicle (followed by Stripe's CTF #2) are just a series of emails we send; they're essentially a blog post that we weaponized instead of wasting on a blog.
* We totally overhauled our interview process, with three main goals: (1) we over-communicate and sell our roles before we ever get selective with candidates, (2) we use quantifiable work-sample tests as the most important weighted component in selecting candidates, and (3) we standardize interviews so we can track what is and isn't predictive of success.
Both of these approaches have paid off, but improving interviews has been the more important of the two. Compare the first 2/3rds of Matasano's lifetime to the last 1/3rd. The typical candidate we've hired lately would never have gotten hired at early Matasano, because (a) they wouldn't have had the resume for it, and (b) we over-weighted intangibles like how convincing candidates were in face-to-face interviews. But the candidates we've hired lately compare extremely well to our earlier teams! It's actually kind of magical: we interview people whose only prior work experience is "Line of Business .NET Developer", and they end up showing us how to write exploits for elliptic curve partial nonce bias attacks that involve Fourier transforms and BKZ lattice reduction steps that take 6 hours to run.
How? By running an outreach program that attracts people who are interested in crypto, and building an interview process that doesn't care what your resume says or how slick you are in an interview.
Matasano  interviewing 
december 2016 by HM0880

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