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Hiring your next Senior Developer usually doesn’t come to fruition after one single interview. It’s more likely that your interview process is lengthy and involves multiple employees across different teams within the organization. To effectively predict the success of a candidate, your team should work on implementing a structured job interview process.

What are Structured Job Interviews?

Structured job interviews are crafted to ensure candidate’s competencies are measured effectively in an accurate and consistent manner. Structured job interviews are often characterized by being personal, inquiring about a candidate’s behavior in past/future experiences, and ensuring interviewers are in agreement on acceptable or preferred answers.

How to Create a Structured Interview Process

  • Clearly define what you’re looking for in a candidate. This should obviously be outlined in the job listing, but you need to convey it to your hiring team as well. Anyone who is evaluating a technical candidate for a role should be familiar with a set of skills, attributes, and personal characteristics that the hiring manager is looking for. Have these written down and clearly communicated with the team before the interview so they can evaluate the candidate on the right criteria – especially for engineering roles where the skillsets required can be very specific. One way companies can put this together is by conducting a job analysis, which identifies the job’s responsibilities and what skills are required to get the job done.
  • Choose the interview format(s). Set up a plan for the interview process from start to finish. This includes everything from the initial cultural fit phone screen with a recruiter to a technical interview with live coding exercises. Lay out who will participate in each interview, what they will be assessing, and how long the interview should last. This is also the time to create standard interview questions and address any that aren’t working or aren’t helpful to evaluate the candidate.
  • Train your interviewers. There’s nothing worse than untrained interviewers – they can ask illegal or irrelevant questions, portray the organization as unprofessional, and end up being a complete waste of time. Make sure your employees go through formal interview training before meeting with any new candidates and that they are briefed on the role and candidate each time. Remember, developers want to talk to other developers or technical-minded people, so be sure to train any non-technical interviews properly.
  • Develop a scale or evaluation process. This can take form in multiple ways, including a simple “hire/no hire” evaluation or a more in-depth rating scale that gives the candidate a score on each competency. The point of this is for all interviewers to have the same standards in mind and work toward the same goal.
  • Discuss feedback. Gather all the interviewers together to go over two things: how the candidate did and how the interview process worked. This feedback loop is essential to hiring the right candidate, as well as keeping your company’s interviews structured well for the future.

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