Interviewing someone with a decade's worth of experience over me




  • So, tomorrow morning I'm going to be interviewing a consultant who essentially would be my boss/project lead for an upcoming project. As noted, he has about 10 years more experience than me. Other than looking at some of "multiple award-winning web sites" that he's worked on and a few basic programming tasks (think Fizzbuzz level, but I'm also considering something slightly more difficult - maybe something from Project Euler?), how else can I vet this candidate?

    Over-all his resume looks okay. There are a few things that stand out ("Areas of Strength and Proficiency" has both "Cutting Edge Technology" and "Bleeding Edge Technology"), and it's heavy on the buzzwords, but it's a resume. Seeing as 1) I've never had to interview anyone before and 2) I'm the only person in the company with any sort of technical knowledge, are there any tips and tricks that might be good to know about? Obviously, personality is going to be a big factor as well, seeing as how I'm more or less picking my boss, but from a technical standpoint what should I be looking for?



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    how else can I vet this candidate?
     

    "What can you teach me?"

    Have him give you a quick lesson in anything he's a 10-year expert in. Bullshit is very easy to spot, even for a "junior".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mikeTheLiar said:

    So, tomorrow morning I'm going to be interviewing a consultant who essentially would be my boss/project lead for an upcoming project.
    @mikeTheLiar said:
    Seeing as 1) I've never had to interview anyone before
    Can we assume that you won't be (1) the only interviewer and (2) alone when you do your interview?



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @mikeTheLiar said:

    how else can I vet this candidate?
     

    "What can you teach me?"

    Have him give you a quick lesson in anything he's a 10-year expert in. Bullshit is very easy to spot, even for a "junior".

    Very yes to Lorne's comment.  It not only lets you spot BS, but if the guy knows his stuff while being a jerk you still get a free lesson in something.



  • @PJH said:

    @mikeTheLiar said:
    So, tomorrow morning I'm going to be interviewing a consultant who essentially would be my boss/project lead for an upcoming project.
    @mikeTheLiar said:
    Seeing as 1) I've never had to interview anyone before
    Can we assume that you won't be (1) the only interviewer and (2) alone when you do your interview?

    I'll be the only technical interviewer, but he will be meeting with other people. I will probably be alone when interviewing, since no one else is remotely qualified to assess his programming/design skills.



  • Take him out for lunch, order a beer, and see if you hate him or not by the end of the meal.

    If you don't hate him, hire.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Bullshit is very easy to spot, even for a "junior".
     

    I am not sure. Any one of you could bullshit me about C#, I think, and I have indeed a decade of experience programming things-- just not in C#.



  • @dhromed said:

    I am not sure. Any one of you could bullshit me about C#, I think, and I have indeed a decade of experience programming things-- just not in C#.
     

    1) Maybe on the forum we could. In real life, it'd be much harder. Even if you suck at reading people, you'll see him put on his bullshit face.  Struggling to give you details, or expand on something. Unable to apply a buzzword to an actual situation. Lack of confidence.

    2) Be more specific. Ask him to teach you something, but pick a topic you already know or have a reasonable knowledge base in. Ask him how he'd implement a data layer in C#. 

    If he can expand on any detail you dig into, and can communicate a difficult concept to you in multiple ways, he knows his stuff. If he keeps repeating the same thing, and dodges details ("y'know, right? That's just how it works"), he's bullshitting.



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    So, tomorrow morning I'm going to be interviewing a consultant who essentially would be my boss/project lead for an upcoming project.

    So how did the interview go and what methods did you use?



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    but pick a topic you already know or have a reasonable knowledge base in.
     

    I'd give him a short snippet with a hand-crafted case switch and ask him the result.

    And that's all I know!

    hint: C# switches don't apply fallthrough if there's a statement in the way



  • @dhromed said:

    @Lorne Kates said:

    but pick a topic you already know or have a reasonable knowledge base in.
     

    I'd give him a short snippet with a hand-crafted case switch and ask him the result.

    And that's all I know!

    hint: C# switches don't apply fallthrough if there's a statement in the way

    I am complete confused.

    switch (i)
    		{
    		    case 0:
    		    case 1:
    		    case 2:
    			{
    			    System.Console.WriteLine("Low number");
    			    break;
    			}
    		    case 3:
    		    case 4:
    		    case 5:
    			{
    			    System.Console.WriteLine("Medium number");
    			    break;
    			}
    		    default:
    			{
    			    System.Console.WriteLine("Other number");
    			    break;
    			}
    		}
    


  • @mikeTheLiar said:


    So, tomorrow morning I'm going to be interviewing a consultant who essentially would be my boss/project lead for an upcoming project. As noted, he has about 10 years more experience than me. Other than looking at some of "multiple award-winning web sites" that he's worked on and a few basic programming tasks (think Fizzbuzz level, but I'm also considering something slightly more difficult - maybe something from Project Euler?), how else can I vet this candidate?

    Over-all his resume looks okay. There are a few things that stand out ("Areas of Strength and Proficiency" has both "Cutting Edge Technology" and "Bleeding Edge Technology"), and it's heavy on the buzzwords, but it's a resume. Seeing as 1) I've never had to interview anyone before and 2) I'm the only person in the company with any sort of technical knowledge, are there any tips and tricks that might be good to know about? Obviously, personality is going to be a big factor as well, seeing as how I'm more or less picking my boss, but from a technical standpoint what should I be looking for?

    20 year experience is difficult to judge. You could be doing similar thing every day or you could be Thomas Kite or Scott Hanselmann. Most people in my company keep moving from 1 tech to another tech. So they are not having complete knowhow of any single tech, but they can do many things. You have to get good feel from candidate.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dhromed said:

    hint: C# switches don't apply fallthrough if there's a statement in the way
    It's a compile error if you try to fall through (you must break, continue, return, throw, or goto [you can goto case to accomplish fall through]). If you want that behavior, you have to explicitly opt-in, in a way that calls attention to the fact. I am convinced this is a Good Thing.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @dhromed said:
    hint: C# switches don't apply fallthrough if there's a statement in the way
    It's a compile error if you try to fall through (you must break, continue, return, throw, or goto [you can goto case to accomplish fall through]). If you want that behavior, you have to explicitly opt-in, in a way that calls attention to the fact. I am convinced this is a Good Thing.

    how about yeild?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Nagesh said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    @dhromed said:
    hint: C# switches don't apply fallthrough if there's a statement in the way
    It's a compile error if you try to fall through (you must break, continue, return, throw, or goto [you can goto case to accomplish fall through]). If you want that behavior, you have to explicitly opt-in, in a way that calls attention to the fact. I am convinced this is a Good Thing.

    how about yeild?


    I thought about it but no, I don't think yield works here because execution would resume at the same place on a later call, where it would illegally fall through.


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