Wondering Wanderer

Week Notes Vol 128

October 17, 2021

This year I have interviewed countless people for positions open on my team. In my previous role I started the team from zero. Yet I’m not one who likes talking to people in social settings. It seems puzzling but in my opinion interviewing is a skill. It’s not a well known fact but I worked as a journalist for a local tiny newspaper on and off during high school and dreamed of one day becoming a real one after getting my BA in journalism. Life didn’t quite work out that way but I still like asking questions, getting to know people and figuring out what motivates them.

The reality is that as an engineering manager you don’t have an recipe for what you need - you have a general sense what you’d like the candidate to be like but you will likely figure it out along the way (especially if you are filling multiple roles). There are some aspects of the hiring process I strongly believe in such as being upfront about interview stages and participants, always interviewing in pairs past initial hiring manager screen to avoid bias, each interview having a designated topic/questions to ask, leaving time for unstructured discussion, debriefing as a group after all the interviews are completed. Others have slightly different ideas around hiring but it all starts from having an agreement what hiring for team X at company Y looks like and then following it.

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Written by Katrin Valdre who has a permanent address in Portland, OR but does not believe in one physical location. You should follow her on Twitter