Culture Matters

Recently, I spoke with a senior manager who’d outsourced new development to a non-local group. The development team has worked together in the past, and knows each other well. However, they are used to working on mature products, where you can actually write down the requirements and have them stand still for a few months. …

Hiring Stars

In It’s the People, Stupid!” David Hornick quotes an unnamed friend discussing hiring (it looks as if it’s a startup): [T]he best advice I have for you is this: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES make any one of your first ten hires anything less than an outstanding, 10’s from all judges, blow your head off superstar. Then …

Certifications Aren’t Useful for Filtering Candidates

Some hiring managers use certifications to filter resumes. I specifically caution against that practice in the book. I’m not a fan of certifications. Michael Schrage’s column Hiding Behind Certification is another article about why certifications are not a good predictor of job success. Here are two quotes I particularly liked: “The truth — as we …

Two Candidates. One Position.

© 2004 Johanna Rothman. This article was originally published in Better Software, February 2004. Scenario You have one open position to fill—two outstanding candidates. What do you do? Both candidates performed well in the interview and on a technical audition. You used behavior-description questions to understand what each candidate has accomplished professionally, and consensus decision-making to …

Faced with a Riddle or a Puzzle: Offer Problem-Solving or an Audition

I spoke at a graduate class last week, presenting my “Interview with Ease” (candidate version, not the hiring version) workshop to the class. One of the questions that arose was: What do I do when I’m faced with a puzzle? In Down with Games and Puzzles, I suggested using an audition instead of a game …