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Can you share some concrete examples of techniques?

I can tell you something that has worked very well for me:

1. Grab a sub-set of the competencies that you NEED to have https://sijinjoseph.com/programmer-competency-matrix/

2. From that subset, setup questions for the different levels For example, for the VCS competency we have:

source code version control Lvl 1 questions: "- What is the difference between Git and Github? - What is a branch? - What is a pull or merge-request? - What is a commit?

Lvl 2 questions: - Mention other VCS besides Git - Mention good practices of a Commit (short title, description content, etc) - Describe one branching model (aka gitflow or other) - What is a cherry-pick? - Describe good practices of a Pull/Merge request

Lvl 3 questions - What is the difference between a Merge and a Rebase? When to use them? - What is Git Bisect? how to use it? - Git vs Mercural or other DVCS. - What is partial clone? - What is a Git Submodule? - What are Git Hooks

3. Split your 1 hour interview into 2 parts: Coding and Q&A. For the coding part, ask them to build something, in their machine, with the language of their choice, sharing screen. The problem should be something for 1 hour, and split in steps (I usually do 6). With this problem you will score coding ability, cleanliness, defensive coding and similar stuff. I usually score between 1 and 3 (1 - Below Average I have seen, 2 - Above Average I have seen, 3 - Amazing/Impressive)

The second 30min part is Q&A, use the questions to check whether they are a 1, 2 or 3 (or maybe 0 if they cannot answer a Lvl1 question).

Then combine those scores anyway you want (average, weighted average with extra weight for code or for some question) and see what % of the max score the candidate gets.

The key during the Q&A is that you start with 1 or 2 lvl1 questions, and then if they answer, you go to lvl2 questions, and if they get them, go to lvl3 questions. The idea is, to never make the candidate feel like they don't know. With experience you can get very good at seeing what levels of questions a specific candidate will answer.

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