I recently interviewed a candidate for a position that requires quick learning ability on multiple technical area. I have to assess if the candidate can understand a given problem quickly, learn new technical concepts and apply them to debug a problem. The need is not so much to build a deep understanding but just enough to help understand issues.
I wanted to try something different during my interview process. So during the interview, I gave the candidate a sample problem to debug in an area where he had some familiarity. But instead of running a usual interview, I gave him a laptop and access to internet – a practical and real way that many of us use to find solutions to new problems. And my evaluation focused on – approach, learning ability, structuring and breaking down the problem etc. It was an open-book interview!
I feel there is a need to re-look at the way majority of job interviews are conducted by breaking a template approach to hiring and bringing more real and practical aspects in identifying skills, capability, competency and cope-ability.
The process of setting up the support team continues to provide me more opportunities to try out different styles of interviewing. I already shared some of the approaches that I tried out earlier in another article innovative approach to support hiring.