Conducting Effective Tech Interviews: A Comprehensive Guide

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Conducting Tech Interviews

Conducting tech interviews is a critical process in building a strong development team. To successfully evaluate candidates, you must go beyond assessing their technical skills and also understand their motivations, background, and potential fit within your team. This guide will provide you with a structured approach to conducting tech interviews, from preparing questions to providing feedback.

Assess the Candidate’s Motivation and Background

Start by understanding the candidate’s motivation for being a developer. Their reasons will give you insights into their passion, dedication, and potential for growth. Next, take a deep dive into their background and experience. Compare their accomplishments to your own experiences, and assess how complex their projects have been and their enthusiasm when discussing their work.

Set the Stage and Build Rapport

Begin the interview by breaking the ice and creating a friendly atmosphere. This will help the candidate feel more at ease and encourage them to share their thoughts openly. Remember, even highly experienced developers may not have groundbreaking accomplishments, so be prepared to listen attentively and engage in conversation.

Define the Role and Identify Needs

Before starting the interview process, analyze your team’s needs and identify the type of developer you are looking for. Are you seeking a leader, an expert coder, or a rising star? Keep in mind that finding the perfect candidate for every role is not always possible, so be flexible and open to discovering potential in unexpected places.

Match the Candidate to a Role

During the interview, try to match the candidate to one of three potential roles: leader, expert coder, or rising star. This will help you better evaluate their suitability for your team and streamline the decision-making process.

Take Notes and Stay Focused

Maintain focus during the interview by taking brief, keyword-based notes. Inform the candidate that you will be doing so to ensure they understand that your note-taking is not a sign of disinterest. These notes will help you remember crucial details and provide valuable input when making your final decision.

Example notes:

  • Knows SQL
  • Good at ReactJS
  • Lacks knowledge of Unit testing
  • Unfamiliar with Cookies, Ports, Sessions

Prepare and Customize Questions

Create a list of questions specific to the tech stack you are searching for and use it as a guide during the interview. You may need to modify questions based on the candidate’s responses, and that is perfectly fine. Focus on quality over quantity, as 10-20 well-chosen questions can be just as informative as 100.

Assess the Candidate’s Knowledge

Evaluate the candidate’s knowledge by asking key questions related to their field and areas of expertise. This will help you determine their technical proficiency and identify any potential knowledge gaps.

Follow a Structured Agenda

To ensure a smooth interview process, follow a structured agenda and move through sections systematically. Once you have exhausted questions in one area, move on to the next without revisiting previous topics.

Provide Feedback to the Recruitment Team

Lastly, be professional and share your feedback on the candidate with the recruitment team. While not all companies collect this information, providing constructive input can help improve the overall interview process and assist in making better hiring decisions.


Conducting effective tech interviews requires a combination of thorough preparation, clear communication, and thoughtful evaluation. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be well-equipped to identify strong candidates and build a successful development team.

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