JCrete® Podcasts

Session recordings and material from the hottest Java unconference in the world.

RSS »iTunes »

Technical Interviews


Technical interviews, particularly coding stations, are a very labour-intensive part of the process of hiring skilled developers.  How important is it actually to have a coding station in the recruitment process?  What’s the best way of conducting a successful coding station?  How much time should be put into it?  How much flexibility should be given to the candidate in the choice of OS/IDE/language?  Are there other/better ways of determining that the candidate is a competent coder?


In this session, participants outlined and compared their technical/coding interview practices.  Several participants described a similar setup: having senior developers work together with the candidate for an hour or more on an interesting coding problem.  The consensus seemed to be that, if only for the purpose of weeding out frauds, some form of coding station was essential for all but the most experienced hires.  Opinions were divided on whether the coding station must involve actually sitting behind a keyboard and writing code. Several people stating a preference for simply trying to gauge passion in the candidate – just get the candidate to describe something they enjoy working on (this approach, while often being preferred by seasoned interviewers, is often frowned upon by HR, who tend to prefer more objective/repeatable interview stations).  Comparisons were made (and contrasts pointed out) between processes for recruiting for junior and senior positions.  The session also included a more general discussion of the recruitment process, the pros and cons of take-home- and automated coding tests (and also named a couple of good systems for implementing this, such as Codility), and comparisons of our different experiences with technical recruiters.


Overall, it was an interesting discussion. Although nothing ground-breaking was touched upon, it was nice to compare notes, and to learn that one’s own experience in conducting technical interviews was very similar to that of other participants.



Jonathan Ross (Topic initiator, moderator of sorts.)


Major contributions to the discussions came from:

Andrzej Grzesik

Tomasz Borek

Marcus Hirt

Rabea Gransberger

Kirk Pepperdine

And several others whose names I can’t recall.

Categories | Soft Skills


Filetype: MP3 - Size: 66.45MB - Duration: 48:23 m (192 kbps 44100 Hz)

All recordings from JCrete® are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.