How To Have A Compelling Interview Experience
Welcome to another edition of the Tech Career Growth newsletter – we help software engineers find career success faster than tech companies kill products , , .
Today we’ll cover:
How to create a compelling interview experience (as a candidate and interviewer)
Three reflections on Taro members so far
Meme of the week
A Compelling Interview Experience
If you’ve been an engineer in the same company for a while, you’ve probably conducted interviews. How much did you think about your role? (If you’ve only ever been interviewing, understanding the mindset of the interviewer is very valuable.)
Here were our main insights:
The tension of being a great interviewer: you need to get signal while maximizing candidate experience. Can the candidate enjoy the experience even if they failed?
The way you get signal from the candidate is by assessing their response to questions where you can calibrate performance against others. This means that you need to be very careful giving hints. Remember, interviews are supposed to be challenging (but that doesn’t mean they have to be uncomfortable).
Never ever end an interview early due to poor candidate performance, especially an onsite round. Turn the interview into a fun pair programming exercise where you build cool stuff and help them become a better engineer.
If you're the candidate, communicate as much as possible and don't fish for hints. This gives the interviewer more opportunities to help you out. Doing the opposite can doom your chances.
Catch the full session from the live session on Saturday here. This is for Premium members, but we’ll have the session cutouts in the Taro app within 2 weeks.
Why Do People Join Taro Premium?
We now have more than 200 Taro Premium members and it’s been great talking to so many ambitious engineers around the world (82% in the US/Canada, 8% in Europe, 6% in India, and a handful in 3 other continents!). Alex and I think a lot about the “trigger point” – what makes someone actually decide to purchase a membership? We’ve identified 3 common patterns:
Engineers who have several offers in hand and want feedback on the pros/cons of each company, and advice on negotiating. These are pivotal moments in anyone’s career.
Engineers who just joined a new company and want support/feedback on the onboarding process.
Engineers who have been within a company for a while and want to meaningfully prepare for a promotion.
We’re finding many interesting patterns as we understand the motivations and concerns of engineers at high-leverage moments in their career. Our goal is to be genuinely useful, and we’ll share our findings over time with the broader community.
Meme of the week
So many good ways to caption this :)
Finally, we’ll leave you with an interesting question from a Forward Deployed SWE at Palantir about average vs great engineers: https://app.jointaro.com/question/nMxx2EMVIlJbl1oK4SGu