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Let’s face it – searching for a job isn’t exactly “fun.” This rings especially true for developers, who often have to go through a longer and more intensive interview process (*cough* whiteboard exercises) than other candidates. And while this declaration isn’t exactly breaking news, the topic of the broken developer interview process is still popping up on blogs, forums, and our annual survey.

Here’s a snapshot of what respondents thought were the most annoying aspects of the developer job search (and what you can do to fix that).


The Interview Process

Ah, the interview process -- where should we start? First off, developers respond better to a structured interview process. Structured job interviews are crafted to ensure that a candidate’s competencies are measured effectively in a 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.

Secondly, they’d like to see an interview agenda. This includes things like who they’ll be interviewing with, what their potential assignments will be, and any other expectations. Giving this agenda isn’t just a kind thing to do; it also could result in better-prepared candidates who in turn give better interviews.

Lastly, developers don’t want to deal with typical interview fluff. This includes things like personality tests, asking them to recite their entire CV to you, and brainteasers.

Writing and Updating CVs

Developers prefer to spend their time coding, not formatting and updating a list of their previous jobs. Instead of relying strictly on a developer's CV or resume, try taking a look at their GitHub profile, Stack Overflow profile, open source projects, online portfolio, or even social media. You’ll be able to gain a better understanding of the candidate (and, most importantly, their programming ability) on those platforms than on an outdated Word document.

Writing Cover Letters

More and more companies are forgoing their once-strict cover letting requirement for technical candidates. One stat even shows that 90% of hiring professionals didn’t even read them – yikes! Much like the advice we gave above regarding developer CVs and resumes, try to focus on the candidate’s other projects and profiles instead.

Finding an Interesting Job

14% of developers we surveyed said they had a hard time searching for a job that seems interesting. As a company, the last thing you want is for potential candidates to see you as a snooze fest, which is where employer branding comes into play. Instead of simply listing the job requirements for your open role, try incorporating a bit more about the company, its mission, and the current technical team. Developers should be able to read your job listing or company careers page and see themselves working there, coding interesting things and solving unique challenges.

Finding a Job They’re Qualified For

A common annoyance developers face when they are applying to jobs is being turned down for being underqualified. This could be because they are, in fact, underqualified for the role, or it could be that the job requirements are a bit too strict. If you notice that you’re turning away lots of candidates and are having a hard time finding that perfect developer, you may want to analyze your job listing’s requirements. Remember, your job posting should reflect a real, attainable person and not a fictional ninja or rockstar.

Interesting Companies Rarely Respond

It can be impossible to physically respond to every candidate you interviewed and explain why they didn’t get the job. But a nice rejection email would be nice for developers to have. This way, they can focus their time and energy on other open jobs and companies.

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