A few notes on hiring

Lately I’ve been evaluating and interviewing quite a lot of candidates for the Junior and Senior Developer positions at Ombu Labs.

Here is what I’ve learned in the process.


In a software consulting business like mine, you must have a clear process to evaluate candidates. The people in your company have to be well aware of what you are looking for in each candidate.

If you have a pool of questions to ask each candidate, you should explain why you are asking them. You should explain what you are looking for with each question.

Having a well defined process will allow you to delegate it to someone else when you can’t participate in the interviews. This is our current process at Ombu Labs.

Rigorous filtering

There has to be an early stage of rigorous filtering. You must have some criteria that clearly defines deal breakers.

For example, if a candidate has been job hopping for the past 5 years and they haven’t stayed in a job for more than a year, then that’s a deal breaker.

Another example in our case: if a candidate doesn’t speak English fluently, then that’s a deal breaker. We program, do research and talk to clients in English. So this is very important to us.

Do a real live test

If you are looking for a UX Designer, have them work on a real project with you. Make sure that they are not just great at interviewing, but also great at delivering value right away.

When we look for a Developer, after the candidate passes the interview filter, we make sure to have at least 8 hours of paid pair programming time with them.

Don’t be afraid to have candidates complete sample projects. If the sample project is too long, pay for their time. It’s better to spend time and money before hiring, than to regret it later when you realize they are not the right fit.

After they’ve passed all the filters in your process, you should also have a culture fit interview. Here is a great article about culture fit interviews.

You must spend as much time as you need making a hiring decision. In the software business, bad hires cost a lot of time and money.