Part 2 of 4: Personal skills. How to interview a web developer. Top questions to ask and why.

INTRODUCTION

Hiring a web developer nowadays is not that easy. To give you the tools how to hire the best developer for the work and your team, we enlisted the top questions to ask and why. We ordered the questions in four categories: technical skills, personal skills, organizational skills and motivational skills. Use these questions in your next interview and you know exactly what the candidate is capable of.

If you are not comfortable by interviewing candidates, if you need some help with interviewing or if you just want assistance in extending your team… Give us a call and our team will inform you about the possibilities.

Last week we published part 1, the technical skills interview. This week we inform you about the second part: Personal Skills. So let’s continue with the interview!

Personal skills

What personal skills do you need to improve? And why?
  • Self-knowledge is a very important skill. If people are able to take a fair look at themselves and at their skills, they are often more likely to accept feedback.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Same reason as the above question. Self-knowledge! But also, if somebody is not good at finishing projects or in working in a disciplined way, you know it right away. And vice versa of course. So you can use this in your selection.
Do you like working alone? Or in a group? What do you prefer?
  • Sometimes the structure of a team asks for new members able and like to work in a group. The other way around, projects sometimes require a developer able and like to work alone. Try to figure out what the team, the company or the project need and ask this question.
    If you don’t ask this question and you have another team player who is not capable of working alone, or not able to finish projects without the others, you waste your precious time and energy. You probably even lost the best candidate…
How do you handle a conflict in a group?
  • Is he a troublemaker or a troubleshooter? What do you prefer in your team? Do you need someone who can shake things up or who can cool down conflicts once in a while?
How would the developers/project managers you’ve worked with describe you?
  • This question is again related to self-knowledge. Does he really knows how people think about him. And how does he cope with that? Is he only using positive feedback or can he also be critical to himself?
If I spoke with your previous boss, what in which areas would he or she say you need improvement?
  • Compare this answer with the previous skills improvement question above. Is he consistent in his answers? And what is his primary reaction?
Is there one project in particular you are proud of?
  • How well can he explain why? Is he good in analyzing? It doesn’t matter if it is a large or a small project. What is it at this project that makes him proud: well explaining, analyzing and motivating are the most important skills in this question.
Is there one project in particular that you are everything but proud of? Why is that and what would you change when you could start all over again?
  • Can the developer take the blame? Or is he defending himself and blaming others? This question can give you a lot of insight in the personality of the developer. This question gives you also the insight in the before mentioned skills: motivation, explaining, analyzing and motivating.
What has been your biggest professional achievement?
  • This question gives the candidate the opportunity to shine. What is he proud of? Why? This is the time where he can showcase his participation in the project. Another plus of this question is that he can show his skills that made an advancement in his career.
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