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Discussion on: Embrace How Random the Programming Interview Is

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Tariq Ali

This is a half-serious suggestion.

Why not do a cursory interview to check whether someone has the technical skills and cultural fit, and then randomly pick from the remaining pool of candidates? Such a system would be fair, since every candidate in that pool has an equal chance of getting accepted (after passing the initial check). It's also a formal process, which should please engineers' need for "order". And it's cheaper than calling people for repeated interviews and coming up with whiteboard puzzles, so you're saving the company money.

It's not an ideal solution. But it's better than pretending we know how to identify candidates' competencies accurately.

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Ben Halpern Author

You're also likely increasing your talent pool by not maximizing for people who are interested in preparing for and going through with the whiteboard interviews. Good programmers tend to have good jobs and lots of options already.