When interviewing a developer

I need to have a very specific skill set (AngularJS/NodeJS) within a Linux environment. I have seemingly interviewed several that claim to have Linux experience, but they really don’t. What interview questions would you guys use to decipher this? Or even what kind of tests would you give?

On a side note, if anyone knows a Javascript developer with this experience - I’d love to talk to them. :slight_smile:

I have similar dev needs, but haven’t encountered that specific problem when hiring. The people that I’ve hired to do linux work have always known it. Asking linux questions might or might not help, because they can often just Google for reasonable answers.

How are you finding & vetting people now? I’ve had great luck with oDesk. There are a lot of benefits to that platform, not the least of which is feedback history. I only hire people who fit the criteria, write well, and have a solid feedback history (not quantitative – I just read it and make a gut decision).

(Also, I’m happy to refer my node.js/linux guy if you want. He was looking for additional work, at least a few weeks ago. PM me if you want to pursue it.)

Yep - I am also using oDesk and have had great success in the past. Lately though, can’t seem to find the right node.js/javascript guy WITH availability.

Would love the intro…I’ll PM you. Thanks @coreysnipes

After interviewing candidates for various roles in the past, I found that just asking questions about skills, discussing candidate’s experience etc. is usually not that useful, as candidates often overstate their abilities. In the end, working on a few typical tasks of the role provides a much better and faster way to see if a candidate is a good fit.

E.g. with a support position you might want to answer some typical customer requests together, troubleshoot a common a problem, maybe do a customer call etc. For a developer position you might want to work on a small project as part of the interview process, do some architecture design, pair programming and so on. Reviewing open source contributions of candidates e.g. on GitHub can also useful.

The thing that always bugged me about odesk is you had to provide feedback to terminate a contract. Back when I was hiring lots of developers I often found it easier to hire multiple developers to perform the same small task (3-10 hours work). At the end I would terminate the developers that I didn’t want to continue with. You don’t really want to trash someones reputation based on a short job but if they were really 5 star material then I would have kept them on.

Could you have gotten around that by using mini projects? So you hire 4-5 people for mini projects, and when the project ends, start a new one with the developer you liked?

Personally I shortlist to three or so candidates then invent a 2-4 hour task which tests what you want (even better if this task actually needs doing!) and get them to work on it, paying all of them at their hourly rate.

Then select the best candidate.