Mindstorm is a tool that can be useful but there are others out there. No one understands what your company needs better than you. Think about how you can keep your applicant thinking and on their toes.
5. Do They Play Nice?
Why is this important? Because more often than not developers work on a team--gauging how candidates work in a team environment is another great way to gain insight into their real personality.
Lilly suggests several techniques for this: "Play Pictionary with a group of people from your office, toss the football or Frisbee around outside." Get them involved and then watch and answer these questions:
Do they participate?
Do they wait for instructions?
Are they communicative?
Are they dictatorial?
Knowing how a person reacts to a team setting will help you understand more about the person behind the resume and that type of information is invaluable.
6. Practice Coding Tests
Anyone who works in IT will tell you, there are a lot of programmers out there who have no business in the IT field. The simplest way to sort the riff-raff from the players is a simple coding test. This should be an integral part of the process whenever you are interviewing a programmer. The goal is to eliminate the candidates who aren't qualified and gauge the level of candidates who are.
Each organization is unique so many choose to create their programming test in-house. However, there are several places online that offer practice coding tests. Here is a sample of sites that offer these:
These tests should be short about or hour or so. The information they yield can be telling about your candidate.
How do they code?
Do they use "best practices"?
Is their code clean?
How much time did they take?
After a quick review of the programming test you will gain clarity into the candidate's aptitude vs. ability and find more follow-up questions. The real beauty of this evolution is the capability to identify quickly and up front developers who can't write good code. This can save you a lot of time and effort.
7. Make Them Audition
So you've identified your top pick, his/her portfolio is solid, he/she has the experience and knowledge about the technologies that are important and the phone interview went off without a hitch. Some contend that it's time to have a face-to-face interview but there is another option. Assign them a task and handle it as though they were a consultant. Pay them just as you would a consultant for their work.