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What developer candidates need to know about the Karat interview.
Joshua Lewis is the Chief Technology Officer at forgood and a Karat Interview Engineer. He has been in the software development industry for over 15 years. Husband to one, father to two. He/his/him. Joshua recently sat down for a Q&A with the Karat team to chat about his experiences and what led him to consider conducting technical interviews as a profession.
There were several things that appealed to me about the opportunity. I’d had similar ideas in the past, as my own teams conducted interviews, but I’d never really acted on it. As a senior engineering leader, I’ve participated in many engineer interviews in the past, on both sides of the conversation, and almost every experience had a bad element.
It was quite evident to me that engineer interviewing was pretty bad generally, with not-great outcomes for both parties. It’s crazy if you think about the rigors that go into pretty much every engineering discipline except for interviewing, so the fact that Karat was applying that same quality and consistency to interviews was really appealing. The chance to improve my skills and experience as an interviewer was very attractive. I thought my experience as a developer, manager, consultant, and coach would stand me in good stead as an interviewer, and that I’d ‘fit the mold’ quite well.
Without question, I’ve become a better engineer. I’m much more aware of things like complexity, code readability, and communication of ideas. I’ve also had to become more disciplined in my day-to-day work since I interview through Karat after-hours, I no longer have that time available to catch up on the things I didn’t get to during the day.
Having access to such an engaged, helpful, and generous community of experienced engineers has been very fulfilling for me, both personally and professionally. The Interview Engineering community has become one of the places in which I feel really at home and safe.
How generous, kind and quick to help everyone is, including Interview Engineers, Customer Experience, interview question R&D folks, Karat engineers, and all of the support staff. Questions, concerns, suggestions are usually handled within minutes and are handled well. Everyone feels super-supported in their role and that they have a voice in terms of what happens at Karat. Also, one of the things that impressed me the most about joining the community is the thought and effort that is put into the tooling and processes used, from onboarding to invoicing and guidance. None of my previous roles had such smooth experiences.
I saw an ad for the job on the ZATech Slack (zatech.co.za) – a Slack for the tech community in South Africa.
Being able to specialize in conducting professional interviews as a job piqued my interest since it’s something I’d been interested in for a while. The fact that the role is remote-only, virtual, and that I can choose how much I want to work, and the generous USD-based remuneration made applying a no-brainer for me.
A good interview is one in which the candidate has enjoyed the experience, even if they haven’t done as well as they expected to. This sounds a bit like a contradiction but it happens quite frequently. If the candidate feels supported, heard, and that they’ve learned something, that makes for a good experience. For the Interview Engineer, a good interview is one in which they’ve crafted an experience like this for the candidate, and when they’ve brought the best out of a candidate.
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