On Technical Interviews
When the HCL Labs is hiring engineers, we conduct technical interviews. I had and have the priviledge to interview, hire and work with incredible talented individuals in the process. Lets look behind the curtain of the process.
What we are looking for
The technical interview is conducted by the interviewie's potential future colleagues. We try to gauge skills, conduct and team fit. Fit includes: does it improve diversity. You got a tatoo, tell me how you picked the design? You like tailored suits, who's your tailor? Punk is your thing, what's your favorite band? - You get the drift.
Can the candidate explain technology to peer engineers and understands the fundamental concepts? We found a surprising number of developers who don't know how their platform actually works. Topics like "The Node event loop" or "What does Maven do".
Knowing your environment is essential. Have you kept uptodate with latest changes, even your current role holds you back on applying them.
What we ask
Questions come from all areas: general project conducts, APIs, Code (mostly JS, TS & Java), HTTP and databases. We are looking not only for "I have x years experience", but also general awareness.
Example: you might not have a chance to work with a graph database, but you know they exist, what they are supposed to solve. etc.
A little taste:
- How much Scrum does one entertain to be agile and what's the essence of agile
- How to interact and resolve ambiguity in tasks and asks
- On object oriented vs functional programming styles
- Types of NoSQL databases and their uses
- How do the joins (left, right, inner, outer) in an RDBMS work
- Use cases for SQL and NoSQL
- HTTP Verbs: POST vs PUT vs PATCH
- REST experience including a tool or another
- HTTP return codes. Everyone knows 200, some 201 and the difference to 200, and a few 418
- CORS and CSP
- Callbacks vs. Promises
- Loops vs streams
- Testing: TDD, UnitTests and Integration Tests
- SQL Injection and prevention
- Maven & NPM
- Git & GitHub
- What do you use NodeJS for
Coding challenges in interviews are controversial and they are usefull.
We keep ours simple and explicitely allow questions, dialogue or googling for answers, with the warning label: you need to explain your solution, no matter what.
Being a little sneaky we keep the challenge requirements fuzzy to check if the candidate will ask for clarifications.
The exercises are light and not too far from practical use:
- talk to an API
- refactor code
- fix performance
Work with us
HCL in Manila is looking for engineers of all levels and career stages. Come join us, some current openings from Linkedin (links are temporary, grab them while they are hot):