Selecting the ideal candidates

Ruby Kolesky & Laura-Jane Booker
Ruby Kolesky & Laura-Jane Booker

18: Selecting the ideal candidates

Find candidates with strong capabilities

Candidates who have some experience writing code are more likely to be effective. Favour people who have completed or are nearing the end of a reputable course.

Filter out first-time coders

Try to avoid candidates who are using the internship as their first-ever exposure to writing code. Having candidates with strong capabilities ensures they can come into the role and work with the other engineers as peers.

Seek diversity

Because internships are a great way to diversify your team, we recommend talking to minority candidates first to try and get them interested and invested. Look at CVs, portfolios, grades, GitHub, and any other relevant activities to help you create a shortlist.

Provide a take-home exercise

Email shortlisted candidates a take-home exercise. The exercise should reflect the skills that you want to see in a candidate.

For example, if you work with large data sets, or complex data shapes, then an exercise that gets them to do something simple, such as producing a graph, using that kind of data would be appropriate.

If you consistently solve similar types of problems, then a simplified problem of that type would be worthwhile.

Interview successful candidates

If your candidates successfully complete the take-home exercise, set up an interview. We run a 90 minute technical interview that’s similar to our normal engineer interview process.

We get our junior engineers involved in reviewing applications and running interviews for interns. They have a good understanding of what’s required at a junior level as they are doing the job, so are well placed to help find the people at the right level.

It also gives them experience in being part of hiring and creating the kind of team they want to be part of.

Send your offers

From there, you can send offers to your best candidates. We use the Employment Agreement Builder tool for our intern contracts. We find it really easy to use.

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