You have spent hours sifting through resumes and spent forever on social networks researching applicants. Next up is the video interview and the chance to see if the person reflects the application.
But how can you tell if your mobile app developer is really capable of what they say? How can you tell if they would be a good fit for your company? How can you be sure you’re making the right hiring decision?
There is no sure fire way to guarantee you hire the right person for the role. What we can do is help you minimise the chances of a bad hire. For that we’ll share these 7 things to look for during the interview.
They help you decide whether the person on the screen in front of you is going to be a good fit, or not.
1. Poor timekeeping (bad sign)
It might seem obvious to cite poor timekeeping as a bad sign in a candidate but few recruiters look past that momentary inconvenience to see the bigger picture. Unless there is a very good reason and the candidate informed you they were going to be late, it’s not a great way to start a relationship.
Not only does it suggest poor organization, it also suggests the applicant thinks their time is more important than yours.
If they were willing to be late for you, would they also be late for the customer? Would they also be late for client meetings? Would that poor organization leak into their code too?
2. Engaging in online interviews (good sign)
Most professionals realize that the remote interview begins the moment you click Join. Engaging with everyone on screen right away is a great sign. It means they are personable and should have the same attitude with clients and at client meetings too.
People who can adapt between real life meetings and video interviews are few and far between. Soft skills are also something of a rarity among app developers.
If you find an applicant that has both these things, you’re going to want to keep them!
3. Being low on detail (bad sign)
Anyone can say anything on a resume but when it comes down to it, only those who tell the truth can back up their claims. We can all say we know our Java, objective-C or Swift, but only those that truly know it can talk about it endlessly.
You can assess this knowledge by having a developer you trust sit in on the interview and ask action-based questions. For example, some classics like ‘What is a ThreadPool and is it more effective than using several separate Threads?’ or ‘What is an ANR error and how can you prevent them from occurring in your app?’
Only someone who knows their stuff will be able to provide an in-depth answer to a question such as that. Having another developer on hand to sanity check the answer is vital here.
4. Can answer the ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ question (good sign)
We all like to see ambition in candidates. Let’s be honest, mobile app development requires driven people as it’s such a demanding occupation. It is always changing and always evolving and it takes a certain type of person with a lot of ambition to succeed.
Which is where the interview classic question comes into play. It may seem like a throwaway question ready for a rehearsed answer but it gives insight to how driven the candidate is.
If they answer satisfactorily, you’re onto a winner. If they pause too long, hedge or avoid answering, you may want to push a little harder or look elsewhere.
5. Social media etiquette (good or bad depending on what you find)
You might feel guilty trawling a candidate’s social media but everyone does it. Recruiters do it all the time and most agencies do it before they do anything else as it can provide valuable insight into the character and personality of the person sitting in front of you.
If their social media is mature, sensible and something you wouldn’t mind your mother or child seeing, you’re on solid ground.
If their social media is full of drunk pics, silly comments and general immaturity, you’re not on such solid ground.
Most mobile app developers know their social media activity is going to come under scrutiny when applying for jobs. The very good developers will keep things clean and keep their antics off social media. The good ones will clean up their social media before they apply and the not-so good ones will either forget or not bother.
6. Can view themselves critically (good sign)
The vast majority of interview questions are framed positively and openly to encourage answers. Try a couple of negative questions too. Questions like ‘Give me an example of when you messed up badly at work and what you did to fix it’. Or ‘Tell us about a bad career decision you have made and what you did about it’.
This will give you insight into how the candidate views themselves and how critically they can view their behaviours. All can provide insight into their personality.
Answering clearly and honestly while taking responsibility is always a good sign. If they can view themselves critically, they should be able to view their code critically too.
7. Is not a team player (bad sign)
We know lots of app developers that are solitary animals, yet they can still work in a team and cooperate with others. That’s the kind of candidate you want. When you don’t see those traits in a candidate, it’s time to dig deeper.
Look at their social media for friends and colleagues. Ask them a team-based question like ‘Give me an example of when you had to take control of a situation or had to lead a team’, or ‘Give me an example of when you had to manage conflict within a team and tell me what you did about it’.
You will soon get an idea of what type of personality they are. Team player, egoist, glory hound or selfless. We know which we would want to hire!
None of these signs are definitive and none will guarantee success. What they will do is lower the chances of hiring an app developer you’re going to regret hiring in the near future.
Got any other signs a mobile app developer isn’t the right fit for a position? Tell us about it below if you do!