Hiring is broken

The 3 things that diversity hiring initiatives get wrong

I’ve been hiring engineers in some capacity for the past decade. Five years ago I founded interviewing.io, a technical recruiting marketplace that provides engineers with anonymous mock interviews and then fast-tracks top performers—regardless of who they are or how they look on paper—at top companies. We’ve hosted close to 100K technical interviews on our platform and have helped thousands of engineers find jobs. For the last year or so, we’ve also been running a Fellowship program specifically for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds. That’s all to say that even though I have developed some strong opinions about “diversity hiring” initiatives, my opinions are based not on anecdotes but on cold, hard data. And the data points …

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The technical interview practice gap, and how it keeps underrepresented groups out of software engineering

I’ve been hiring engineers in some capacity for the past decade, and five years ago I founded interviewing.io, a technical recruiting marketplace that provides engineers with anonymous mock interviews and then fast-tracks top performers—regardless of who they are or how they look on paper—at top companies. We’ve hosted close to 100K technical interviews on our platform and have helped thousands of engineers find jobs. Since last year, we’ve also been running a Fellowship program specifically for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds. All that is to say that even though I have strong opinions about “diversity hiring” initiatives, I’ve acquired them the honest way, through laboratory experience.

interviewing.io is finally out of beta. Anonymous technical interview practice for all!

I started interviewing.io 5 years ago. After working as both an engineer and a recruiter, my frustration with how inefficient and unfair hiring had reached a boiling point. What made me especially angry was that despite mounting evidence that resumes are poor predictors of aptitude, employers were obsessed with where people had gone to school and worked previously. In my mind, any great engineer, regardless of how they look on paper, should have the opportunity to get their foot in the door wherever they choose. So, we set out to build a better system. On interviewing.io, software engineers can book anonymous mock interviews with senior engineers from companies like Facebook, Google, and others, and if …

interviewing.io is finally out of beta. Anonymous technical interview practice for all! Read more »

The Eng Hiring Bar: What the hell is it?

Recursive Cactus has been working as a full-stack engineer at a well-known tech company for the past 5 years, but he’s now considering a career move. Over the past 6 months, Recursive Cactus (that’s his anonymous handle on interviewing.io) has been preparing himself to succeed in future interviews, dedicating as much as 20-30 hours/week plowing through LeetCode exercises, digesting algorithms textbooks, and of course, practicing interviews on our platform to benchmark his progress. Recursive Cactus’s typical weekday schedule Time Activity 6:30am – 7:00am Wake up 7:00am – 7:30am Meditate 7:30am – 9:30am Practice algorithmic questions 9:30am – 10:00am Commute to work 10:00am – 6:30pm Work 6:30pm – 7:00pm Commute from work 7:00pm – 7:30pm Hang …

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No engineer has ever sued a company because of constructive post-interview feedback. So why don’t employers do it?

One of the things that sucks most about technical interviews is that they’re a black box—candidates (usually) get told whether they made it to the next round, but they’re rarely told why they got the outcome that they did. Lack of feedback, or feedback that doesn’t come right away, isn’t just frustrating to candidates. It’s bad for business. We did a whole study on this. It turns out that candidates chronically underrate and overrate their technical interview performance, like so: Where this finding starts to get actionable is that there’s a statistically significant relationship between whether people think they did well in an interview and whether they’d want to work with you. In other words, …

No engineer has ever sued a company because of constructive post-interview feedback. So why don’t employers do it? Read more »

We ran the numbers, and there really is a pipeline problem in eng hiring.

If you say the words “there’s a pipeline problem” to explain why we’ve failed to make meaningful progress toward gender parity in software engineering, you probably won’t make many friends (or many hires). The pipeline problem argument goes something like this: “There aren’t enough qualified women out there, so it’s not our fault if we don’t hire them.” Many people don’t like this reductive line of thinking because it ignores the growing body of research that points to unwelcoming environments that drive underrepresented talent out of tech: STEM in early education being unfriendly to children from underrepresented backgrounds, lack of a level playing field and unequal access to quality STEM education (see this study on …

We ran the numbers, and there really is a pipeline problem in eng hiring. Read more »

We looked at how a thousand college students performed in technical interviews to see if where they went to school mattered. It didn’t.

interviewing.io is a platform where engineers practice technical interviewing anonymously. If things go well, they can unlock the ability to participate in real, still anonymous, interviews with top companies like Twitch, Lyft and more. Earlier this year, we launched an offering specifically for university students, with the intent of helping level the playing field right at the start of people’s careers. The sad truth is that with the state of college recruiting today, if you don’t attend one of very few top schools, your chances of interacting with companies on campus are slim. It’s not fair, and it sucks, but university recruiting is still dominated by career fairs. Companies pragmatically choose to visit the same …

We looked at how a thousand college students performed in technical interviews to see if where they went to school mattered. It didn’t. Read more »

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