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Discussion on: Let's face it, we have a broken technical interview process in our industry

190245 profile image

On that subject, we'll agree to disagree.

Two of my children are on the autistic spectrum, and while it's not everyone's choice, our choice has been to raise them in the way that we expect them to put in the appropriate effort required to be successful in society. Unfortunately for them, that means probably putting in more effort than the average person, just to get a level playing field. I've reminded them a few times that if they use their condition as an excuse for anything, they really won't like the way I handle whatever situation it is, but if they put too much effort in and pander to the whims of others, they'll wish they made an excuse and didn't bother trying at all.

One, for example, simply could not hold a pen/pencil. Should I have let him never learn handwriting, maybe skipping straight to a keyboard? Or should I have put the work in with him, enrolled him in extra (specialist) classes, and bought a 3D printer to custom make a few grips that he could hold to use pens/pencils?

This is the point I was trying to make before in our discussion - in my opinion - there must be some middle ground that's achievable. I don't know what it is, and I don't know how to completely eliminate things like performance anxiety from the interview, I don't know if I'll ever know. But that won't stop me trying to figure it out.

Lets say in some hypothetical situation, a candidate (or their recruiter) tells me that they have severe anxiety issues. I think (and like to hope) that my response there would be "ok, tell me what you need, to minimise that issue." Somewhere in the ensuing discussion, there would be a point that either they'd agree to the flexibility that I was willing to put in, or I'd thank them for their time & wish them luck. As a starting point, I'd probably lay out the kind of things we'd be talking about, and tell them that I would be putting code up on the screen and they'd have to talk me through a couple of minor bug fixes etc. I'd probably advise that they spoke to a medical professional (eg., their regular doctor), and suggest that if they wanted, they'd be welcome to bring someone into the Skype call to help relax their nerves etc.

Finally, as some of the other commentors have mentioned, I think probably the article could be worded better. Yes, some interviews are horrendous (a friend is about to do a paired programming exercise with someone for stage 3 of 7 at a company). Sometimes take home tests demand too much time etc. But much like mental health issues are incredibly specific to the person, the interview process is incredibly specific to the hiring manager or company, and they exist on a spectrum.

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deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan Author

Well its ok that we don't agree on everything. I'm glad we agree on somethings and I'm even more glad the post generated this conversations.