Interviewing for Front-End Engineers

Preparing Interview Questions

Jem Young

Jem Young

Interviewing for Front-End Engineers

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The "Preparing Interview Questions" Lesson is part of the full, Interviewing for Front-End Engineers course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jem again takes the perspective of the interviewer and discusses questions an interviewer should be familiar with. These questions show familiarity with the team, culture, competition, work life, demonstrate an understanding of what it’s like to work in the role being interviewed for so that candidates get a clear understanding if they are a fit for it.


Transcript from the "Preparing Interview Questions" Lesson

>> So if you're calling a candidate, these are questions they're gonna ask you, or you should be prepared to answer these. How many steps are in the interview process? I wanna know. There are companies that I've declined the interview for, I had a phone call, it was nice and cordial, and I said how many steps in the interview?

Well there's a phone screening and then there's another phone screen and then seven to eight rounds alongside. Let's say I'm pass. I'm just doing this for of course anyways, like I don't really wanna interview. But I certainly don't wanna take three, four days of my time. But they should know that after that, if they don't know them, they don't have a good process and that may not be the best interviewing experience.

And this is funny. Actually, it's funny to me, it'll be funny to you in a second. Would you think it's hard to interview at the big FAANG companies, so Google, Apple, Microsoft, or a startup? I think interviewing at the big companies is a little easier. Are the challenges harder?

Maybe but you know what you're going to get at the companies because they've done this for years, decades even. They have a process for the hiring manager talks to you. And then this person comes on, they have a whole panel of people, they have it down to a science.

Startups could be easy, could be hard. You don't know what you're going to get. Because it's usually some guy like me. It's like crap, I got an interview today. Let me Google interview questions for JavaScript engineers like, yeah, this one looks hard, cool. That's what you get a lot of time.

So understand the process and if you're giving the interview, please have a process. Like I will say this repeatedly because it's important. You are changing someone's life when you make them a job offer, when you interview them. You are changing the course of their life. Like, take it seriously.

Don't be arbitrary with your questions. If I had to start off, I would start and try to interview at Google or something like that. I would fail wildly probably the first time. But they have this process and I know that, okay, these are the types of questions that they ask, I can study for these.

A startup, you don't know what you're going to get. So as if you're working in a small company, like have a process have these questions you have in front of time. But above all, have know at least the number of steps you're going to be in the interview process.

That's not too unreasonable. Another question is how big is your engineering team? Probably know things like this. I wanna know, am I working with 20,000 other engineers or am I working with five engineers? It changes the dynamic. It changes the influence I'm gonna have on a company. Which team would I be interviewing for?

What am I gonna be doing? This one's pretty straightforward but you'd be surprised the number of people that couldn't tell you. They'll be like, we'll see. Why are you talking to me? You clearly have openings. What are the openings that you have? What is the culture like at your company?

Is it work hard, play hard? Is it it's very relaxed and easy going? Is it we celebrate wins together as a team? We go out for dinner every night. Some of these may vibe with you, some of them may not. You should be prepared for a candidate to ask you these questions.

What I like is, who are your competitors? That kind of tells you what sort of company it is. We're like we're going against the titans of industry. How big are you two people? You're like, cool. I'm waiting for that challenger. No, I've got a kid on the way.

I really don't want to take that risk in a small startup. That's fair, but be prepared that they're going to ask you these sort of questions and what sort of projects what I work on. As a hiring manager recruiter, you should probably know some of the things they're probably gonna work on, especially for hiring someone senior.

I like admittedly, I don't need to do, I don't want to do database migrations. I don't want to do them. And I don't want to do manually converting data into an Excel spreadsheet. You might have to do that though. You might say, hey, you know, we're going to do some of this and then we'll do the cool stuff.

That's fine, but have an idea about the sort of thing they're going to be working on in the future.

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