Tag: developers

Recruit Developers: Must-Ask Questions

Recruit Developers: Must-Ask Questions

Have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s not the idea, it’s the people”? Every startup needs top talent to survive – especially top developers. But how do you find them? Interviews of course! I’ve interviewed multiple rounds of people to join an intensive coding community. We are looking for people that we can place into full-time developer positions at the end.

It is easy enough to find tough coding questions to test interviewees’ technical skills, but what about questions to determine characteristics that are hard to measure? Here are a list of questions to help you find those key people who will make your team a success. Many of these questions are good for non-developer roles as well. Print them out and bring them to your next interview!


  • Tell me about a project you worked on by yourself? What resources did you use? What was the outcome?
  • What skills do you want to gain but don’t have yet? How do you plan to get them?
  • When in your life did you first learn the value of independence? How have you used that knowledge since then?


  • Tell us about a manager you liked, what did you learn from them?
  • Tell me about a project that you led? What worked? What was hard?
  • What do you do when there is a disagreement between group members? How did you learn these skills?
  • If you could lead any project, what would it be? Why?


  • Growing up, what was the activity that taught you the most about the value of teamwork?
  • What role do you normally take in a team environment?
  • What role is hardest for you?
  • What would past team members say about you?
  • What would you want your next manager to know about you?
  • What skills do you have that others may not? How do you normally teach other team members this skill? How do you utilize it to benefit a team?

Problem Solving

  • Tell us about a time that nothing worked, what did you do?
  • What online resource is your favorite for solving problems (other than stack overflow)?
  • Tell me about a time you had to ask for help? Who gave it to you and what happened?


  • What do you do to prepare for deadlines?
  • How do you de-stress?
  • What are your tips for handling pressure?
  • Tell me about a time you missed a deadline? What happened? What did you do to fix it?
  • Who do you know who handles pressure well? How do they do it? What do you admire about it?


  • Tell us about the longest project you ever worked on?
  • How do you decide it is time to move on to another opportunity?
  • What project at our company would you like to be doing in 6 months? 1 year?
  • Where can you see room for improvement in our startup that you can own? How long do you think it would take?


  • Who is someone you admire? Why?
  • Tell us about a friend or colleague who is the most different from you. How did you work together? What did you like about them? What was hard?
  • What was one of the most transformative experiences in your life? What were you like before? How are you different after?
  • What personality skill do you want to develop?
  • What personality characteristics are hard for you to work with? Which are easier for you?


  • What are the common characteristics of good managers?
  • How do you give feedback to people with more responsibilities than you?
  • How do you give feedback to people with fewer responsibilities than you?
  • What tips do you follow to stay organized? What other systems have you seen work?
  • We have this project coming up, how would you organize it? Who would you assign to what tasks? What extra resources would you need?


Ultimately, go with your instincts. Did you enjoy talking to the person? Don’t overlook red flags, dive in. Invite other people on your team to join the interview or have them talk later and focus on anything that gives you pause. Be approachable and respectful. Even if this person is not a good fit for your company, they may have a close friend who is. It is essential to leave things on a good note!




Lauren Glass is an entrepreneur, data scientist, & developer living in Tel Aviv.

Check out more of her writing at CodingStartups

Follow her adventures on Instagram @ljglass