Monday, February 14, 2005

Fresher Recruitment in my Organization

Before we start this post let me make something clear here. I am Sundar, an ex-colleague, ex-roomate and close friend of Suresh. Suresh works in ThoughWorks. I still work in Suresh's ex-company and this post is about the fresher recruitment process in my company.

Another disclaimer: Since we don't want another Mark Jen episode here, I want to say that if anybody feels I am writing something which hurts them or my company please tell me about it and after a reasonable conversation we can do something about it. All the information expressed here about this recruitment process is in public domain so I don't expect any problems to occur.

Last weekend I was invited by my company to be on the interview panel for freshers recruitment. The candidates have all given an written aptitude test and a computer-language specific multi-option written test. Then they were given a 24-hour notice that the next round of interview will be on design patterns in general and a particular design pattern whose information is supplied to them. They are also given a couple of pages info on that particular DP. The idea here was to check how a candidate is able to absord information and learn about an abstract topic in a short period of time, apply it to a problem and express his thoughts on the subject. In the interview they are asked to apply the design pattern they have learnt to real world non-software related topic. For example: Singleton patterm == Office of the President of US.

Initially I had hesitations regarding this methodology as I thought asking about DP to freshers would be futile as I didnt expect them to know much about it. But I was pleasantly surprised. There were lots of candidates who understood the procedure very well and came up with some real world examples which we had not thought of (like Osama Bin Laden being a subject and the world being observers in the Observer Pattern). They expressed the thoughts very well and we ended up selecting so many of them that we set a record for maximum number of selections in a session till now. All though the DPs were elementary ones it does indicate that sincerity, effort and ability make good candidates. Also this proves that exprience level is not necessary to get started on Design Patterns.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Johanna Rothman said...

This is a wonderful audition technique. How did you (or whomever was running the audition) debrief the candidates? (It sounds like you debriefed a bunch of candidates together.)

At 10:34 PM, Blogger sundar said...

hi johanna
basically we had to screen close to 100 candidates and come up with final candidates. we were 10 of us making up 5 panels with 2 in each. after asking some questions to put the candidate at ease baically we awsked questions to see if the candidate has understood what DPs and the DP they have been given in particular. then we aked them to apply what they have learnt to real world scenarioes. they had already been told what to expect in the interview so they had sufficient time to think. then we asked some questions to make sure they are not memorising concepts and they truly understand what they are supposed to. in some cases we asked the candidates to write code for that DP then and there.


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