Lessons for the Interviewer

10 May

Last weekend I had the opportunity to partake in some interviews for ThoughtWorks’ STEP programme – a really cool initiative here in India offering education coupled with internship experiences.

Don’t you already have a job? I do, I was *dundundun* the interviewer.
And this was … on the weekend? Yeah, I was in the office for most of the weekend.
What about sleeping in? Nonsense, no rest for the wicked! I was in the office from 8.30 in the a.m.
But … why? I saw it as an opportunity to explore alternative skill sets, to help out ThoughtWorks, and to potentially change a candidate’s life. So really, why not?

This was my first time being an interviewer, not an interviewee, and I was surprised to learn a number of things:

  • Interviewers get nervous too.
  • We actually do want candidates to do their best, and will go out of our way to make questions easier (like maths challenges).
  • However, trying to make things more simple often confuses interviewee and interviewers alike.
  • Everyone here knows far too much about cricket.
  • First impressions were wrong more often than not.
  • Post interview decisions are tough. Very tough.

Unfortunately there’s not much more that I can say without breaching some form of assumed-privacy-agreement.
Although, I can happily confirm that it was a fun learning experience, and that being able to assess someone’s passion, expertise and capabilities is definitely something I will aim to build upon, as I foresee it has applications beyond that of recruiting – in particular, being able to assess someone’s passions, along with their capabilities for learning, is most definitely useful when working within a team and when mentoring – as it can aid in determining the best way to help someone else 🙂


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