Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Tag: interviewing

My interview kickoff script, annotated November 29th, 2018

When I interview, I say nearly the same thing at the beginning of the interview. It’s a script I’ve practiced and honed over the years . It’s only eleven sentences, but each has a specific purposes. I’ve iterated on this for years, and it’s pretty tightly honed at this point. I published this script in the guide to interviewing I wrote at 18F last year, but never got a chance to break down where it comes from…

IQ isn't enough to get hired April 3rd, 2019

I’ve interviewed hundreds of people for technical roles, and a pattern has emerged. In general, we reject many more candidates for social skills than for technical competence. In fact, most technical interview funnels are arranged so that technical screens are earlier. This means that if you reach an interview, you’ve probably (mostly) passed the technical part, and are now being judged mostly on EQ. If you get rejected at this point, it’s probably because of social skills.…

My questions for prospective employers (Director/VP roles) April 23rd, 2019

Last time I was looking for a job, I wrote up a list of questions I wanted to ask prospective employees. I just ran across the list again, and figured I’d share. I was looking for a senior management role (Director/VP-level) in Engineering or Security, so the questions are sloped in that direction. Also note that I was in a fairly strong position; I didn’t need the a job immediately. So, I was able to ask fairly direct, challenging questions.…

Training Interviewers September 8th, 2020

What’s the best way to train folks to conduct job interviews? I have a process I’ve used for about five years that seems to work well. It’s loosely based on the “see one, do one, teach one” methodology used by many medical schools.

Unpacking Interview Questions: “Explain a Topic At Multiple Levels…” February 8th, 2021

Part 1 of my Unpacking Interview Questions series, where I share one of the questions I use when I interview for technical roles. Today: asking candidates to explain a topic at multiple levels. This is one of my favorite questions to ask for engineering roles; strong performance on this question correlates very highly with high job performance on my teams.

Unpacking Interview Questions: “Tell Me About a Project You Led…” February 9th, 2021

Part 2 of my Unpacking Interview Questions series, where I share one of the questions I use when I interview for technical roles. Today: measuring a manager’s ability to lead projects and manage them effectively.

Unpacking Interview Questions: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion February 10th, 2021

Part 3 of my Unpacking Interview Questions series, where I share one of the questions I use when I interview for technical roles. Today: making sure candidates align with organizational values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Unpacking Interview Questions: “Tell Me About a Disagreement…” February 11th, 2021

Part 4 of my Unpacking Interview Questions series, where I share one of the questions I use when I interview for technical roles. Today, an oldie-but-goodie: looking into a candidate’s ability to disagree and resolve conflict professionally.

Unpacking Interview Questions: The Weakness Question February 12th, 2021

The fifth and final part of my Unpacking Interview Questions series, where I share one of the questions I use when I interview for technical roles. Today’s question is the most difficult-to-ask of the series, but also one of the most valuable: asking a candidate to discuss one of their weaknesses.

Unpacking Interview Questions: Interview Question Series Wrap Up February 15th, 2021

A summary and wrap-up of my Unpacking Interview Questions series, covering why I wrote this series in the first place, some advice on developing your own questions, and answers to a few questions.

Unpacking Interview Questions: Types of Interview Questions March 1st, 2021

There are three types of interview questions: behavioral, hypothetical, and trivia. Behavioral questions are the gold standard; they’re the most effective at predicting job performance. Hypothetical questions can be useful in certain circumstances, if used correctly. Avoid trivia.

“Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?” March 8th, 2021

Asking candidates why they left their last job is common… but should it be? I’m not sure. What do you think?

Mailbag: Adapting Interview Questions for Junior Candidates March 29th, 2021

Sébastien asks: “Would you say that your questions are equally applicable to junior and senior positions?”