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Discussion on: What does your Junior interview process involve?

sleeplessbyte profile image
Derk-Jan Karrenbeld

We recently hired new juniors and this was the process:

  • In the job description I gave a list of 10+ word groups and they have to tell us if they have used it (0), know it (1), know of it (2), don't know it (3).
  • I (+1) talk to them during a video call and quickly give an explanation of the project(s) they'll work on. We ask them if they have questions about the project. We answer anything they ask (unless it's a company secret).

During this pre-screening we invite them to ask questions because in our experience, the candidates that are enthusiastic about what we have to tell and ask questions are the candidates turn out to be the best colleagues. Some candidates definitely are shy or are afraid to speak up, which is why I usually have a few questions that will result in them asking the question anyway without them knowing. It's not about the (quality of the) execution but the willingness.

If the person on my side agrees (almost always yes), I invite them to come to the office (if need be, fly them in) and tell them to bring their CV (not resume) if they have any.

At the office, there is a short interview:

  • Walk me through your CV! I want to know what you loved and didn't like, and why you did what you did. Most of this is just to make someone feel comfortable telling about their experience and answering questions.
  • I ask them about their goals, what they want to achieve, learn, produce, accomplish.
  • I ask them about the product they'll be working on and ask for their opinion. In our working culture interns and juniors have a say and are invited to most to all meetings and can contribute. This is the first time they can do that.

Finally I ask if they have time to stay for ~4 more hours, or if they have time in the next few days to come for about 4 hours. They can give me their day-rate or I will decide it based on what we pay other candidates if they feel uncomfortable.

This is when we'll work with them, usually with more people from the team they'll actually work with. And they get paid for that work.

  • No take home
  • No code interview

If there is consensus after this first half-day by the team, they can come on-board, with a month as try-out so that both they and we can separate ties without any obligations. Fire at will doesn't exist here.

tim0807 profile image

That's great! I recently began a career change (from 7+ years in the commercial construction sector) with the goal of becoming a full stack developer. I am currently in the JS phase of learning and am loving it! CSS definitely provided some hiccups but managed to solve them with patience. Can I ask, would you guys hire a junior with html, CSS and JavaScript knowledge (portfolio obviously)? Also would node.js be sufficient on the backend or would it be better for me to learn something like python? Appreciate any info at this stage, just trying to feel my way into this new space.