Nowadays, the demand for human resources exceeds the supply in the IT market. And many companies strive to hire backend developers among ideal employees who can benefit the business and grow within the organization. Since the position of a backend developer is highly technical, it is extremely difficult to see and reveal the potential of every candidate in full. Typical theory questions in an interview often backfire. And you may be looking for an alternative approach and a pool of questions on how to hire backend developers to meet your business needs and team expectations.
Questions to Ask When You Hire Backend Developers
Anyone who manages to select the most promising employees will receive a serious advantage over those who conduct first-level interviews. If you are done with the first level, then it is the right time to ask practical questions to assess the level of the candidate. There is a pool of questions that you can use in the interview. So, if you have no idea of how to hire a backend developer, the below tips will come in handy and help you hire a backend developer in the short run.
#1 – Ask How They Keep up With the Latest Trends in Web Development
You need to know if the candidate is making an effort to remain in demand. For example, you can ask what technical publications one reads, what authors and professionals in the IT community one admires, and why. The field of web development is constantly changing, so it is essential for a specialist to be interested in the latest trends and form an opinion about them.
#2 – Ask About Their Preferred Development Environment
The environment where a candidate works doesn’t matter – you need to find someone who can adapt to different technologies and share their opinions. The answer to the question will also show one’s experience with different frameworks, version control systems, unit testing, and so on. So, you will hire backend engineer that meets project needs.
#3 – Ask About SEO, Performance, Security, and UX Aspects
This is a crucial question. The ability to understand and apply all these aspects at work is a key skill for any web developer. From the answer, you will understand what the candidate gives priority to in programming. For example, if you are a large financial company, security will be more important to you than SEO. If you are running an online news portal, website performance and SEO come first for you.
#4 – Give Real Tasks Using the Code Example
Typical backend interview questions, such as what methods there are in the object class and how ArrayList is different from LinkedList, are aimed at identifying the theoretical knowledge of the candidate. However, this hardly reflects practical knowledge and skills.
#5 – Ask Practice-Oriented Questions
You can prepare them based on the tech skills required for your project. Look at those who grew up in the company in the same position and reflect on the following:
- What code they work with every day;
- What problems they solve;
- What difficulties they face;
- What helps them learn.
#6 – Ask Them to Share Feedback on the Project as a Test Task
Not all programmers are willing to spend time and effort on a test task, especially if this means a large-scale project that will take most of the weekend. However, it is an effective approach from a hiring perspective. In a conversation, it will not be possible to reveal all the facets of the candidate’s professional competencies. Only a test task will help to find out more about an applicant. In addition, having passed a large circle of interviews, some candidates master the theory very well. Thus, it is difficult to identify their real level of knowledge and experience without the practical part.
Instead of asking backend developers for hire to write code, ask them to criticize someone else’s code. Share with them a small project full of bugs and anti-patterns. Such a task will allow you to assess whether the candidate is able to develop features and can help others with this task. In addition, you will find out how well a potential colleague copes with code reviews that are regularly held in IT companies.
It is a long and difficult path to understand how to hire backend developers. This task is complicated by the high competition of employers. To attract a promising colleague to the company, it is crucial to properly build the hiring process. Do not focus on theoretical knowledge – if the developer cannot name all the methods of the Object class, this does not mean that one cannot write a code. It is best to plan the interview ahead of time and focus on the practical tasks that a successful candidate will have to work with every day.