The best candidates

I have noticed that the best candidates I have interacted with share a particular set of traits. And by “best” I mean the people I feel that are the most adequate for the roles we are hiring and the culture we have. This is a non-exhaustive list of things I have noticed:

  • They are unapologetic. When they notice something is broken with a process, or docs, or API, they tell us. They provide brutal feedback on why something doesn’t make sense. They are confident about doing so and don’t feel it’s awkward.
  • They are assertive. They are clear about what they want from the role and what’s important for them. Either it’s work / life balance, or stacks they want to work, or salary / perks.
  • They are ambitious. The best candidates I have interviewed are people that want to work on hard problems. They don’t want to do the same run-of-mill work they have done many times. They have a strong desire to be challenged and become better.
  • They work across the whole stack. They have deep knowledge in a particular part of the stack and tech, but they are happy to touch every part of the codebase. They don’t see this as a problem, but as an opportunity to not be dependent on others to complete a task.
  • They have multiple interests. Besides tech, they love to do other things. Either it’s playing an instrument, doing sports, painting or any other hobby. They are as passionate about it as they are with tech.