“Hamtips” stands for “Hiring Manager Technical Phone Screen.” This combines two calls: the Technical Phone Screen (TPS), which is a coding exercise that usually happens before the onsite, and the HMS call, which is a call with the Hiring Manager. By combining these two steps you shorten the intro-to-offer by ~1 week and reduce candidate dropoff by 5-10%. It’s also a lot less work for recruiters playing scheduling battleship. Finally, Hiring Managers will, on average, be better at selling working at the company – it’s kind of their job.
“The new VP wants us to double engineering’s headcount in the next six months. If we have a chance in hell to hit the hiring target, you seriously need to reconsider how fussy you’ve become.”
It’s never good to have a recruiter ask engineers to lower their hiring bar, but he had a point. It can take upwards of 100 engineering hours to hire a single candidate, and we had over 50 engineers to hire. Even with the majority of the team chipping in, engineers would often spend multiple hours a week in interviews. Folks began to complain about interview burnout. Also, fewer people were actually getting offers; the onsite pass rate had fallen by almost a third, from ~40% to under 30%. This meant we needed even more interviews for every hire. Visnu and I were early engineers bothered most by the state of our hiring process. We dug in. Within a few months, the onsite pass rate went back up, and interviewing burnout receded. We didn’t lower the hiring bar, though. There was a better way.
I recently conducted my 600th interview on interviewing.io (IIO). I’d like to share lessons learned, why I approach interviews the way that I do, and shed some light on common problem areas I see happen in technical interviews. Every interviewer on the platform is different, and so your results may vary. We have some excellent folks helping out on the platform, and have a wonderful community working to better ourselves.
What is the one thing you would look out for if you had to join a company? Sometime between January and February 2020, I wanted to change jobs and was looking to join a new company. This, among other reasons, led me to embark on a marathon of technical interviews – 60+ technical interviews in 30 days. Doing that many number of interviews in such a short time meant I had an interesting mix of experiences from the various companies I interviewed with, each with their unique culture and values that often reflected in the way their interviews were conducted, intentionally or not.