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GayleL. McDowell | Founder/CEO, CareerCup
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
Preventing Disasters
Before They Happen
PreppingYourCandi...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 2
Hi! I’m Gayle LaakmannMcDowell
</dev>
Author Interview Coach Interview Con...
But there’s one more thing…
gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 4
One more thing…
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 5gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
Here’s the Problem
Process is biased towards falsenegatives
 “Better to ...
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 6gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
Prep to Reduce FalseNegatives
Even playing field
Reduces anxiety
Remove...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 7
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
How
to
Solve
DesignYour
Process
TrainYour
Interviewers
PrepYour
Candida...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 8
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Need
to
Prep
Structure
Style of Questions
WhatYou’re Looking For
Ho...
Structure
What Happens When
01
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 10gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
Structure
How many interviews?
Whois interviewing?(What roles)
How doe...
Types of
Questions
What are you going to ask?
02
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 12gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
Types of Questions
Recruiter call?
 Ask about projects, interest, etc.
...
What You’re
Looking For
Why do you ask this? What makes a
good candidate?
03
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 14gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
What To Tell Candidates
Examples of question
How much focus
How to pre...
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 15gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
Types of Questions
Experience
Knowledge
Design
Algorithms
Coding
Prior Experience
The things they’ve built
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 17gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
How to Do It Right
Primarily focus on technicalexperience
Avoid cheesy ...
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 18gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
1 Minute Pitch/Walk-Through
Chronological order
Mentionhobbies, especia...
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 19gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
ExperienceQuestions
Prepare 2 – 3 technicalprojects to discuss in detail...
Knowledge Questions
What do they really need to know?
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 21gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
How to Do It Right
Basicknowledge isn’t very useful
 If they can learn ...
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 22gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
How to Prepare
What topics you’ll cover
Be open about what you do and d...
Design
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 24gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
How to Do It Right
Ask open-ended questions
Don’t expect knowledge of y...
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 25gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
How to Prep
Problem-solving evaluation, not knowledge
Read about design...
Algorithm Questions
Gayle Laakmann McDowell 27gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
How to Do It Right
Medium / hard problems.
Uncommon problems.
Don’t lo...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 28
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
What
They
Think
Testing obscure knowledge
Need to solve immediately
...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 29
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
What
You
Want
 Assess problem-solving skills
 Evaluate CS fundamenta...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 30
Preparation
Review & implementDS/Algorithms
Be very comfortable with bi...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 31
How ToDo Well
Keeptrying
 Problemsare hard.That’sokay!
Talkout loud
A...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 32
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
How
To
Approach
CrackingTheCodingInterview.com“Resources”
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 33
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
How
To
Tackle
1. Listen carefully.
 Ask if you’re confused
2. Example...
Coding
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 35
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
What
They
Think
Some: Must be flawless!
Others: Pseudocode is fine.
...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 36
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
What
Really
Happens
Bugs are normal
Write real code
Designmatters
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 37
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
How
To
Tackle
1. Walkthrough algorithmagain
 Don’trushintocoding
2. T...
How to ExecuteThis
How doyou actually prepcandidates?
04
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 39
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Ways
to
Prep
Classes
 Ideal,butneedlotsofcandidates
Videos
Books
...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 40
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
How
To
Implement
A “contract” withinterviewers
 Decidewhatinterviews...
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 41
z
Gayle Laakmann McDowell
How
to
Solve
DesignYour
Process
TrainYour
Interviewers
PrepYour
Candid...
THANK YOU
gayle@gayle.com
gayle in/gaylemcdgayle
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Prepping Your Engineering Candidates to Reduce Your False Negatives

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Have you ever sourced the perfect software developer, only to have him or her bomb the interview? What should programmers expect when asked to go to the whiteboard? How “buttoned up” should their code be? How do your hiring managers assess problem solving capabilities? What key behaviors are highly valued at your company? You will learn how to coach your tech candidates effectively, helping more of them survive the interview process, and increase your recruiting ROI.

Published in: Technology
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Prepping Your Engineering Candidates to Reduce Your False Negatives

  1. 1. GayleL. McDowell | Founder/CEO, CareerCup gayle in/gaylemcdgayle Preventing Disasters Before They Happen PreppingYourCandidatesto ReduceYour FalseNegatives June9,2015 |Talent42
  2. 2. gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 2 Hi! I’m Gayle LaakmannMcDowell </dev> Author Interview Coach Interview Consulting (CS) (MBA) <dev>
  3. 3. But there’s one more thing…
  4. 4. gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 4 One more thing…
  5. 5. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 5gayle in/gaylemcdgayle Here’s the Problem Process is biased towards falsenegatives  “Better to reject a good candidate than hire a bad one”  Lots of myths about interviews Good candidates often fail Your recruiting costs go up
  6. 6. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 6gayle in/gaylemcdgayle Prep to Reduce FalseNegatives Even playing field Reduces anxiety Removes randomness More consistentprocess Higherquality answers
  7. 7. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 7 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell How to Solve DesignYour Process TrainYour Interviewers PrepYour Candidates Hire More.Spend Less.
  8. 8. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 8 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell Need to Prep Structure Style of Questions WhatYou’re Looking For How to Prepare Wearenotteaching tothetest!
  9. 9. Structure What Happens When 01
  10. 10. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 10gayle in/gaylemcdgayle Structure How many interviews? Whois interviewing?(What roles) How does the decision get made?
  11. 11. Types of Questions What are you going to ask? 02
  12. 12. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 12gayle in/gaylemcdgayle Types of Questions Recruiter call?  Ask about projects, interest, etc. Technicalphone screen?  Design? Algorithms? Coding? Knowledge?  Shared document? Read aloud? Onsite?  Design? Algorithms? Coding? Knowledge?  Whiteboard? Computer?
  13. 13. What You’re Looking For Why do you ask this? What makes a good candidate? 03
  14. 14. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 14gayle in/gaylemcdgayle What To Tell Candidates Examples of question How much focus How to prepare How to do well What you do/don’t expect Sitdownwithyourengineers&discuss!
  15. 15. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 15gayle in/gaylemcdgayle Types of Questions Experience Knowledge Design Algorithms Coding
  16. 16. Prior Experience The things they’ve built
  17. 17. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 17gayle in/gaylemcdgayle How to Do It Right Primarily focus on technicalexperience Avoid cheesy questions Probe deeper  Don’tacceptanswersatfacevalue
  18. 18. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 18gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 1 Minute Pitch/Walk-Through Chronological order Mentionhobbies, especially technical Mentionthe cool or interestingparts
  19. 19. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 19gayle in/gaylemcdgayle ExperienceQuestions Prepare 2 – 3 technicalprojects to discuss in detail  Hard/cool  Candidatedidcoreparts Be comfortable diagraming at the whiteboard Consider:  Challenges, tradeoffs, technology choices, successes, what you’d do differently, etc
  20. 20. Knowledge Questions What do they really need to know?
  21. 21. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 21gayle in/gaylemcdgayle How to Do It Right Basicknowledge isn’t very useful  If they can learn it quickly, why does it matter? Knowledge should be:  Hard to acquire OR  A red flagto lack
  22. 22. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 22gayle in/gaylemcdgayle How to Prepare What topics you’ll cover Be open about what you do and don’t know  Derive/guess at answers if you don’t know  But admit that you’re notsure It’sokaytonot know everything!
  23. 23. Design
  24. 24. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 24gayle in/gaylemcdgayle How to Do It Right Ask open-ended questions Don’t expect knowledge of your systems Look for howthey solve Encourage questions & discussion
  25. 25. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 25gayle in/gaylemcdgayle How to Prep Problem-solving evaluation, not knowledge Read about design of other systems How would you act at work?  Scopethe problem. Ask questions.  Get a basic design.  Improve from there.  Beopen about issues. DRIVE& LISTEN
  26. 26. Algorithm Questions
  27. 27. Gayle Laakmann McDowell 27gayle in/gaylemcdgayle How to Do It Right Medium / hard problems. Uncommon problems. Don’t look for just correctness. Encourage the candidate. Be nice.
  28. 28. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 28 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell What They Think Testing obscure knowledge Need to solve immediately Must get everything right Just correct is good enough Hints = you’re doing badly
  29. 29. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 29 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell What You Want  Assess problem-solving skills  Evaluate CS fundamentals  Push through hard problems  Communication
  30. 30. gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 30 Preparation Review & implementDS/Algorithms Be very comfortable with bigO Practice with interviewquestions  (Givethem examples!) Code on paper/whiteboard
  31. 31. gayle in/gaylemcdgayleGayle Laakmann McDowell 31 How ToDo Well Keeptrying  Problemsare hard.That’sokay! Talkout loud A slow solution is a good start But keep optimizing fromthere
  32. 32. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 32 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell How To Approach CrackingTheCodingInterview.com“Resources”
  33. 33. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 33 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell How To Tackle 1. Listen carefully.  Ask if you’re confused 2. Examples help a lot. 3. Start with slow solution. 4. Optimize from there.  Your interviewer may help you.
  34. 34. Coding
  35. 35. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 35 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell What They Think Some: Must be flawless! Others: Pseudocode is fine. Designdoesn’t matter.Just correct is good enough.
  36. 36. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 36 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell What Really Happens Bugs are normal Write real code Designmatters
  37. 37. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 37 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell How To Tackle 1. Walkthrough algorithmagain  Don’trushintocoding 2. Take your time 3. Write real code 4. Test it
  38. 38. How to ExecuteThis How doyou actually prepcandidates? 04
  39. 39. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 39 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell Ways to Prep Classes  Ideal,butneedlotsofcandidates Videos Books Handouts Discussion Emails
  40. 40. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 40 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell How To Implement A “contract” withinterviewers  Decidewhatinterviewslooklike  Yougetthembetterprepared candidates  Theysticktovision Interview training Bonus: more consistency.
  41. 41. gayle in/gaylemcdgayle 41 z Gayle Laakmann McDowell How to Solve DesignYour Process TrainYour Interviewers PrepYour Candidates Hire More.Spend Less.
  42. 42. THANK YOU gayle@gayle.com gayle in/gaylemcdgayle

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