Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 Tips on interviewing for distributed development team

Distributed software development can drive the company’s productivity – given that the dedicated team is comprised of the right people.
How is interviewing virtual team members different from ordinary staff hiring? When the personal meeting is impossible, what are the key actions that help find the best developers for the distributed team?



There are plenty of opinions to be found. Some would warn you against hiring people who smile too much, some claim Twitter to be a great tool for interviewing. However, most valuable set of advices can be gathered into following five tips:

  1. Autonomy: Virtual team is most productive when comprised of people who want and are able to successfully work on their own. Give an impossible-to-solve task to see the reaction of your future employee.
  2. Motivation: Ask questions to evaluate the candidate’s desire to work.
  3. Skills matrix: gathering the possessed skills into a matrix would simplify the data processing.
  4. Reference check: check selected references out of provided. Be concrete to mention the problems that you are willing to avoid. It is useful to check the references via social networks such as Linkedin or Xing.
  5. Salary: Do not hesitate to ask the candidate’s expectations during the first conversation. Although you might encounter the candidate’s resistance on naming the number, it is better to negotiate the financial part at once as it influences all the further steps.

It would be great to hear about readers' experience for interviewing dedicated developers. Which are your favorite questions? Is voice or chat communication enough or do you use video conferencing?
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