The Five Stages of Interviewing Offshore Software Engineers

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The Five Stages of Interviewing Offshore Software Engineers

When I first started out interviewing offshore software engineering candidates in Malaysia, I wasted a lot of time looking at their CVs and using those as the basis for the first stages of interviews. This resulted in the candidates doing a lot of talking about projects they (claimed) they had done and skills they (thought) they had before I even started measuring their technical ability. Some CVs looked very impressive indeed, their authors claiming Malaysia phone number list  almost endless lists of skills acquired, many to “advanced” standards. Now, back in the UK, for the most part when talking about highly skilled jobs there is an unspoken rule when it comes to CVs, candidates only listing skills that are really worth listing and certainly being prepared to back up any claims of “advanced” levels of proficiency in any of those claimed skills. It is no surprise that upon receiving such impressive CVs in Malaysia I assumed the candidates were very high quality indeed and decided that the first hour of the interview should be about them talking about their experience (to help them relax into the interview) and me doing a bit of a sell on the role and company. Only after that would we dive into the technical questions, which looked like they would a breeze for them. Unfortunately, the aforementioned CV “rule” that applies in the UK does not apply in Malaysia, nor does it at any other offshore location that I have interviewed candidates from thus far. I could therefore quite easily waste the first hour of an interview talking to a candidate about their CV,

and perhaps spending some time talking about the role and the company, before even thinking about getting their hands dirty with some technical questions. When the technical phase began, many candidates were turned down because it quickly became apparent that the person I had talked to for the previous hour or so was not the person who was on the piece of paper (the CV) in front of me; they had exaggerated wildly and in some cases blatantly lied on their CV.

  1. When only recruiting for one or two positions, wasting an hour here and there talking to a candidate who has deliberately fabricated their CV is not a big deal. Indeed, many candidates I talked to were truthful and I subsequently hired them. However, when recruiting on a larger scale offshore, the numbers go against you and such an approach can be hugely inefficient. Given that I b2c phone list was recruiting on a larger scale, I had to find a way to determine as quickly as possible if a candidate I was interviewing was worth talking to further. I therefore put aside their CVs and piles of certificates and jumped straight into a bunch of logic and problem solving activities (which involve writing code) on the whiteboard; I was quietly amazed with the results.

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