6 common interview practices that can shake up engineers – and how to steer around them

Technical interviews are already highly imperfect measures of ability. And they drive engineers crazy. But on top of that, certain interview practices themselves can seriously challenge an engineer’s sense of legitimacy – even when they perform well enough to land the role. This blog hits on six technical interview practices that I’ve seen lead engineers to needlessly question their value, and how I think candidates can anticipate and steer around them..


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://triplebyte.com/blog/6-technical-interview-practices-that-breed-impostor-syndrome-and-how-to-steer-around-them

What are the worst engineering interview practices you’ve run into that you felt you could have better prepared for had you been given a heads-up. The idea is to get a helpful trading of tips :handshake: going.

Would love to hear about all your experiences and lessons learned here in the comments!

Ignored almost all of the experience on my resume and called me a “recent grad” because I graduated late and worked through college. (I graduated about 3 years ago and have held multiple senior engineering positions.)

3 Likes

Judging my ability to do web development or backend work by my ability to come up with a tabulation dynamic programming solution. They’re completely unrelated things.

4 Likes

The CEO and founder of a successful German company asked me if I was married - as a way to assess my future availability and my readiness to relocate for work.

Another case: I was scheduled a call with the CTO of a well-known German portal, without specifying that half of the call was a technical quiz. I replied nevertheless to the questions asked by the CTO, but I was anxious, of course, because I did not expect it to be already a technical call. At a certain point the CTO says “Sorry, we are not proceeding further”, smiles in an hypocritical way and closes the videocall, before I can even realize what is happening.

Third case worth mentioning: I am contacted by a recruiter on Linkedin for a freelance position in an early stage startup. The startup people apparently did not have much time (or experience) to lead the screenings, so they asked the recruiter to read out loud some technical questions during a videocall. The videocall would be recorded, so they could check how their candidates reply, without having actually to meet them.
The recruiter then confessed me " They want me to ask these technical questions, but honestly I don’t know what they mean". They could see me and judge me, but I could not meet them: I am left with the weird feeling of having applied for a job at Spectre or Freemasonry or some other esoteric entity.

3 Likes

Big Faang company started using CoderPad due to covid. Interviewer: “do you know how to use coderpad” Me: “yes” (we conducted interviews with coderpad). Halfway through the interview I realize that code execution has been disabled, so I can’t test my code.