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@seancorfield I couldn't find this in the zulip / clojurians-log record. I was hoping you could take us through how you use your interview.pdf that's pinned in this channel? The topics list is really useful, but some of the pieces I'm not sure how I'd approach for example. Is it more of a tickbox of conversation topics?


Sure. It's mostly a memory aid for making sure I cover topics in an interview but it's also an ordered guide. I start at the top right and work my way down that side. I drill into the branches if a) the candidate is enthusiastic about a topic or b) they are very reticent. Once I get down the right hand side (mostly "soft" skills stuff), I move to the top left and work my way down that side (more technical/process skills stuff). I skip any topic they've already covered. I print out a fresh map for each candidate and make brief notes around the edge of the page.

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The "conflict resolution" branch tends to come up in the "worst project" area but it's there as a reminder to make sure it's covered if they haven't mentioned it elsewhere.


Overall, it was written as a general guide, not specific to any particular programming language, so you have to play it by ear somewhat if you're interviewing for a senior FP role and you're only interested in FP, for example, or if you're interviewing for, say, a scrum master, or an ops role -- anything really specialized.


Prior to the interview, I'll also use the map as a guide for highlighting things on their resume/CV that I want to dig into during the interview -- I may highlight parts of the resume or add "pre-notes" to their map, and use both side-by-side.


I try to couch all of it in "tell me about ..." open-ended questions and avoid quizzing them on specific technology as much as possible. If they don't mention some of the specific tech organically that I want to hear about, I will "guide" them back to that at appropriate points.


> add "pre-notes" to their map, and use both side-by-side. Love this idea! Totally stealing that.


@seancorfield Curious to know how you drill into the conflict resolution, that seems tough. Also, the favorite blogs seems like it might feel a little awkward at times?


Yeah, the blogs thing dates back to when blogs were really big and lots of people used RSS readers etc. I tend to ask more about how/where they get their tech news, what books they've been reading, what they think of certain online communities.

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Conflict resolution is hard to bring up standalone -- you kind of have to look for hints of it in other areas. Often they bring it up unprompted as part of the "worst project" conversation 🙂


Sometimes it comes up under languages/process/tools that they've been "forced" to use too...

Michael J Dorian16:04:46

I've gotten in feedback that I haven't had enough conflict to be a candidate simple_smile

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Isn’t that a little like the Army saying, “You don’t have enough wounds to go into battle. Here, have this desk job for awhile.“?

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What sort of thing are you looking for in that area?


I'm mostly looking for how they describe conflict situations and how they dealt with it, in their own words (guided a bit by me).


Some candidates seem to get into a lot of conflict and will speak ill of their peers/managers in such situations. Some go out of their way to work through it to consensus. Some just try to avoid it. You have to look at it through the lens of your own company's culture.


Some just sullenly do whatever they're told by a manager/senior dev but they make it clear they have no respect for said "leader".