Job interview - A perspective from the interviewer side

So, recently I was asked by my manager to join him in going to interview for a new entry level Developer to help assist in our application development (Training would be given on-site). I’ve seen a few threads on experience from the person being interviewed but I wanted to share the perspective from the other side.

We didn’t have many planned technical question but thought I would still share the experience.

As someone who has keen interest in tech, my perception of hiring a developer was more on how enthusiastic they are and their will to continue learning, not purely on the degree(s) they have.

There were three candidates to be interviewed. A little about the three candidates:

Candidate 1

Degree in Psychology. Learnt programming in own time. It is their hobby and they have a curiosity to try new things, including exploring the potential of a Raspberry Pi. This candidate has used FCC too and we did speak about learning online. :smiley:

Candidate 2

Fresh graduate. Degree in Computer Science. Programming knowledge all from the course.

Candidate 3

No degree. Previously worked in an engineering firm. Also, in terms of programming skills, knew Matlab and expanded programming skills by working with IT teams in his previous role to implement UNIX script jobs. Looked to transition to IT full time.

This is the order they came in. We asked the following questions:

  • Tell us about yourself? - The everyday started question. It’s supposed to break the ice.
  • What made you apply for this role? – This was to understand what they wanted from us and whether their perception of the role is what we’ve said it to be.
  • [Brief explanation of our application]. So, this is essentially how the application functions. How could this be expanded? – This was to see if the candidate were able to think outside the box.

And then we went onto technical discussion based on the answer to the previous question.

Candidate 2/3 spoke more of the back-end changes possible. But, Candidate 1 did talk about connections to front end and discussed using react. When asked why this was preferred, the response was ‘Because, I’ve learnt this and it has great potential’. For the fact that it was an honest answer, this is definitely appreciated than someone just making up comparisons without actually knowing much about the other.

The duration of the interview ranged from 45 minutes to an hour. Candidate 1 was very enthusiastic. His drive for tech came across. Candidate 2 was the most knowledgeable, knew his technologies well. Candidate 3 was concise and direct.

In the end of it all, we have decided to hire both Candidate 1 and 3 as they could both bring something to the team and felt they were the right fit.

So, take home note from all this is… Passion in this field wins above all. At the interview point in time, you may be up against candidates who have better knowledge in this field but if you have the passion, you can still get the role. Use the content you know to your advantage and speak it with confidence. In this case, Candidate 2 may have better knowledge but the other two candidates felt like they were willing to do anything to exceed in this field. So, learn the content and the hard work that is being put in now will definitely pay off. :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing this insight, it’s incredibly interesting and valuable, specially because I see a lot of myself in both candidate 1 and 2 (no degree, programming as a passion and hobby, collaboration with current IT team in company) and this gives me a tiny bit of hope !

I’ve still got a long road ahead of me, but I’ll make sure to keep this words in mind !

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I’m glad it was helpful. There may be difficult interviews and hurdles to overcome too but the outcome in the end will always be positive if you stick to it.

Continue building portfolio, continue to code and continue to learn. All this leads to topics that can be bought up in the interview.

EDIT: Also, from a learner perspective, I don’t have a computer science degree either but I have a Developer role so it’s definitely possible. The way I see it is, if I can do it then anyone can. :slight_smile:


I’ve conducted tons of interviews and Devina has some great points here. I’d also like to add that passion for"what our company does" is even more helpful than having passion and wanting to learn as a developer alone.

Build a project that echoes what we do. Include our API into something you make. Show us why you care about our specific part of the industry and our customers, and I’m WAY more likely to call you for that interview in the first place.

Of course, passion isn’t everything, you also need some level of skill. :slight_smile: