My group did a lot of interviews in the past few months. Somehow we developed our own “style” with it and a typical way of questions and games.
It all starts with an application and the documents handed in. The next step is a telephone interview. Here I try to check the technical skills and the passion to talk. Then we have the team interview…
When visiting Corp last time I found a book called “How would you move Mount Fuji” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316919160/qid=1136795073/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl/002-9635754-3002418?n=283155). It tells stories how Microsoft interviews – at least according to the author – happen. I did not know this book when we designed our interview but somehow we did some things according to the book. But more often we didn’t.
Why? In the book a situation like this http://www.bugbash.net/comic/4.html is very likely. Yes, there are some very tricky logical questions but we are not in search of a puzzle mastermind. Our questing goes more after rhetorical and technical skills, beside something called the ability to work in a group.
Last and not least for me it is very important to have guys of the team sitting next to me. Yes, in the end I will have to decide. But having the insight of others, smart guys doing the job everyday is very, very valuable.
So at least we are doing some things according to the book, e.g. testing the Out-of-the-box-thinking. The positions in our team makes it necessary to talk to customers, learn their problem, their business, how deep they are in technical aspects and what is the goal behind it all for them. This mustn’t be to deep, but deep enough to understand. And we don’t have months, weeks or days we have maybe hours or minutes to do so. Therefore it is necessary to drill in a totally unknown field very quick, to ask the right questions and to make up your mind. Most of the times this is discovering patterns and synergies…
As I heard some rumours that our interview made its way in the community 😉 and we received positive feedback so far. Thank you for the good testimonial.
All in all it is a very challanging process for all of us. But afterall it is rewarding... Welcome to the team, Oliver Scheer and Lars Beckmann !!!