Great interviewing is work. It takes time to prepare,conduct the interview and then de-brief in an effective way. If you don’t wantto do the work, don’t interview.
Once you form an initial impression of someone - whichusually happens within the first 60 seconds - you should spend the rest theinterview trying to invalidate that impression.
The Right Way to Read Resumes& Design Questions
While current wisdom suggests that resumes aren’t allthat important compared to what a candidate actually knows, Roseman arguesthere’s a lot to be gained through careful review.
The things that most teams have the least experience in is how to read aresume, identify the areas worth probing, and determining how to probe intothem.
While screening resumes, Roseman keeps an eye out forareas where he can push candidates. “I always look for things where they have ameasure of their success, especially if they make comparisons or usepercentages.” For example, "grew revenue by 50% or decreased downtime by30%."
“You want tofind out what somebody really did, as opposed to just being an observer or aparticipant. Even at the greatest companies, there’s a gap between those whoget the most stuff done and those who don’t get much done. You need to try andfigure that out during an interview.”
In many cases, this can be a litmus test for howclearly they think about themselves and their role as well. “They might thinkit sounds good to say 'I improved system availability by 50%', but if we’rehiring someone for a system engineering role, I need to know they actually didthat. In most cases with high level statements like this — which appear onresumes all the time — the person actually hasn’t done it or was just aparticipant, and understands very little. They won’t have a very clear answer.”The good candidates will be able to explain and backup their claims no matterhow far you drill down.
Great interview questions focus on specific examplesof the candidate’s unique contributions, actions, decisions and impact.Ideally, you want to:
Probe: give me an example…
Dig: who, what, where,when, why and how on every accomplishment or project
Differentiate: we vs. I, good vs. great, exposure vs. expertise, participant vs. owner/leader,20 yard line vs. 80 yard line
I look for past projects and accomplishments that seemto have enough weight and depth that I can apply STAR questions — STAR standsfor situation, task, actions and results.” Roseman subscribes heavily to anapproach called Behavioral Interviewing, in which STAR questions are a staple.They include:
Roseman会去寻找那些足够有分量和深度的项目按照 STAR 的方法进行提问—STAR 代表“情况”（Situation），“任务”（Task），“行动” (Actions) 和“结果”（Results）。具体问题就是：
What was the background of what you were working on?
What tasks were you given?
What actions did you take?
What results did you measure?
Technical Questions& the Interview
All too often Roseman hears hiring managers begin aninterview by asking candidates to walk through their resume. “That is not ahighly valuable question to ask unless you’ve already decided you’re not hiringthis person,” he says. You can set a candidate at ease without this warmupsoftball.
Roseman recommends introducing yourself so they knowwhere you’re coming from, and clearly stating what his goal of the interviewis. “
After a quick intro, Roseman begins an interview withthe most hands-on technical questions.
When asking a question, you have to know what to consider a very good,good, poor or very poor answer and why.
To Roseman, this is the most important tenet ofcrafting smart interview questions. “One of the things that really pisses meoff is people asking questions that they don’t even have a good handle onthemselves,” he says. “They don’t have a good distinction between a greatanswer and a crappy answer. They decide to try out a new question they heardfrom somebody or make something up themselves."
This is especially important today, when there areinfinite resources on the web for interview questions. Candidates can look uppast interview experiences on Glassdoor or Quora and have an inside track. Evenso, Roseman says it’s okay to borrow questions from these resources as long asyou make them your own. “Your whole team should sit down and discuss what’s agood coding question, what’s a good answer and why you should use this one.”
要知道，网络上的面试题库丰富。候选人完全可以从 Glassdoor 或者 Quora 等网站上得到大量信息。
For example, Roseman often asks candidates topalindrome the words in a string, then digs a little deeper by asking them toimagine they’re on a limited memory machine and they have to do this in place.“You can always push them so they might have gotten one level of the answerfrom the web. If they’ve gotten all the levels then they’re pretty darn smart.”Again, the key is to start high-level and then begin to dig deeper. Even if acandidate has seen the question before, if you dig, you can learn something.
To create one-of-a-kind questions, he suggests askingcandidates how they would solve the kinds of problems your company actuallyfaces. “While at Amazon, I often asked a design question that’s based on therecommendation system — the ‘people who bought also bought feature.’ It’salways best if I cast this in terms of a product that people know. That way yousee if they’re both product focused and solution focused.”
在 Amazon 时，Roseman 经常会提一个关于”推荐”系统（根据用户的购买历史而向他们推荐他们更有可能会买的其他产品产品）的设计问题。Roseman 认为，一个人们都有所熟悉的产品的问题，能看出应聘者是否既关注产品又关注解决方案。
Roseman especially likes to press engineeringcandidates on product design. Great engineers should not simply be ordertakers, but actively part of product development. Design questions also allowyou to better understand how someone thinks. To get to the heart of thisability, Roseman drills candidates on past products they have been involved in,and may ask them to write a small portfolio management program. Roseman alsooften asks the candidate to walk through a more generic design question like“design an ATM/Elevator for blind people” or something more technical,depending on the role.
Roseman 尤其关注产品设计方面的问题。他认为，卓越的工程师不仅只会接任务，更应该能够参与到产品开发的过程中来。而设计上的问题则能让你得知应聘者的思考方式。Roseman 会让应聘者给他们曾参与过的项目写一个小的项目管理计划，或是提出一个通用的设计问题例如，怎样设计一台给盲人用的 ATM/ 电梯。
When it comes to soft skills and culture fit, Rosemanis a big fan of one question — he asks everyone, no matter the position: Do youconsider yourself lucky?
“If you look atwhat you’ve done, would you put yourself in the camp of people who say they’vebeen lucky in their career?” Roseman explains. “I find a lot of people who willsay I would have gotten that promotion but my manager cancelled my product, orthey find other reasons for failure. Those are the ones who say they don’tthink of themselves as lucky. I’m looking for the people who embody the phrase‘fortune favors the prepared.’ It’s the willingness to be ready and takeadvantage of every opportunity that presents itself. At a startup, this isparticularly valuable.”
他遇到过许多不认为自己是幸运的，那些人会抱怨，自己差一点就升职，可惜最后一刻被上级取消了自己在做的项目；或是会找到一些失败的其他原因。而 Roseman 要寻找的则是坚信”机会只给有准备的人”的求职者。他们懂得未雨绸缪，继而抓住一切能够展示自己的机会。对于创业公司而言这点尤其可贵。
Even if you know a candidate is a no-go 15 minutesinto an interaction, it’s important to get through all these phases of theinterview. “You want to do close to a full interview because it’s a small worldout there, and even if someone doesn’t get hired, my theory is it’s a goodthing if the person believes they just had a great interview, even if theydon’t get the offer.”
另外Roseman 坚持的一点是，不要轻易缩短面试的时间。即使你在 15 分钟的时候已经决定这不是个合适的候选人，也应该完成整个面试过程。对应聘者来说，他们依然会有所受益。
At the other end of the spectrum, if someone is aclear winner, selling them on the position at the end of the session iscritical. “You better do a good job both answering their questions andcommunicating your enthusiasm about the place and the opportunity,” saysRoseman. “I’ve been very clear with the people on my teams that even if theydon’t have an excitable personality, they have to be very positive about thecompany. If you can’t be, then don’t interview people.”
To keep this tendency front-of-mind, he’s set a moreexplicit bar: “The expectation is that the people you hire are better than whenyou were hired. So that in fact if you left and came back, you might not behired again in that position. You want to improve your overall bar up with eachhire.
Roseman uses this same logic to encourage quality referralsfrom current employees. “You better be good with referrals, and it’s alwaysnice to give referral bonuses,” he says. “It’s a lot cheaper than any othernetwork you’re going to use to hire people, and it’s the best way to get someof that already hired talent that has some experience.”
Here’s a distilledlist of Roseman’s Rules:
Pick specifics out of a resume to determine what thecandidate actually did. Remember, you want people who get stuff done. Period.
Make sure you have them write code! This is too oftenskipped.
Dig into algorithms, data structures, codeorganization, simplicity.
Ask a design question. See how people think about abigger picture problem.
Make it tough but fun. Good developers want to knowthey’re talking to smart folks.