A Possibly Perfect Interview Question

Jurgen has The Perfect Job Interview Question. It’s

When reviewing somebody else’s code, what is it that you usually find most disturbing?

This is a good question. If someone doesn’t review code, you’ll hear that. Jurgen goes on to discuss the syntax answers vs. the design/architecture answers.

He has a point. I would add some more questions, such as:

  • When was the last time you reviewed someone else’s code? I want to know how recent this experience is
  • When have you been prohibited from reviewing code? … What were the circumstances?
  • When did you fight to review code?
  • Have you ever reviewed unit tests and code? (a closed question to understand the context) What did you do? (a behavior-description question to understand what actions the candidate took or didn’t)

There may be even more questions to learn more about how a candidate is accustomed to working, and how well that experience might fit for you.

I don’t think this is the one and only perfect interview question, even for developers. But it’s a good start.

3 Replies to “A Possibly Perfect Interview Question”

  1. I’ve used this question (or something very similar). Unfortunately, many developer candidates can’t give a good answer. I’ve gotten comments of “not enough comments” and blank looks.

    I take that as an indication that the companies for whom I was interviewing were not offering enough money to attract qualified candidates.

  2. Pingback: HR World » Blog Archive » Friday Links:Departing Shots, Loving White Space

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