Having been on both sides of the technical interview, I have to say that technical interviews are just terrible. Here is a typical scenario: a candidate finds this really awesome looking job posting online and decides it sounds really interesting! The candidate submits a resume, and somehow the resume ends up in a recruiter’s hand and long behold someone on the team is scheduled to do a phone screen with the candidate.

Here is what I’ve noticed: While everyone says an interview is a 2-way street, the technical interview almost always ends up with the company only asking the candidate technical questions.

Sometimes, I wonder how so many smart savvy developers allow this to be the case.

Here is what is so interesting about a typical 1-hour technical interview: 55 minutes is spent on asking a developer to do xyz in their favorite programming language then the developer at the end has 5 minutes to ask questions of the interviewer. Notice sometimes no introduction, etc…

Here is another interesting thing: ever asked the interviewer a really meaningful question? Like so what would I be working on at xyz company? The typical answer? “Well I don’t know, my boss wanted me to do this interview…we have blah blah blah…If you have more questions I can get back to you…”

Wait what? Noticed the double standard? What if a candidate said: “Well this is a hard question…never thought about it…I’ll get back to you in a couple days when I find out?” Or God forbid the candidate asks: “So what’s the company’s revenue? How many customers do you have?”

I’m sure what the response would be.

Unfortunately or fortunately, a few years ago, I found myself in this exact position. I had no clue what the candidate would be working on, but someone asked me if I could interview a few people for his team. Here is the sad part of that story: we found a really good developer who was just the right guy for the team, but the company all a sudden froze hiring!