I am a Tech Lead in a recent startup which is in for the long haul, and we are currently in an aggressive hiring spree. As a result I get 2-3 interviews to sit in the panel (mostly of two) per week. Even though I am new to interviewing, with my hybrid background of both in software engineering and academia I am doing okay for a beginner interviewer and most of all I enjoy the thing. Due to the pandemic, we are operating full remote and so are the interviews. This week myself and the other panel member (who is a senior tech lead of a different pod) found ourselves in a bizarre situation with a candidate, whom we were interviewing for a Senior Software Engineer position. Let me outline his profile and what I flagged red during the process.
- Frequent job hopper: He said his first job as he was laid off during the pandemic (I read this as he was a frontrunner in the line of layoffs, but I may be wrong). In the second job, he was asked to resign due to performance issues. Since then he's been to two positions within less than a year. His current position was not on the CV. It's been only two months since he started with his current position and now he's interviewing with us.
- He had a funky hairstyle and he had smoker's lips. Amidst of some answers he giggled for no apparent reasons which made me and the other interviewer think if he was high during the interview. But I have no solid proof of this.
- His answers constantly demoed that he knew stuff about programming and SE. But his answers were all over the place. Looks like he didn't prepare himself for this at all.
- When he shared the screen, I saw some sticky notes (Windows application) visible on screen. This was another reason for me to think that he was not prepared for a remote interview.
- I felt like his attitudes are way too casual for a professional in senior level. The reason I felt so was, his approach to answers, almost all answers being incomplete and so forth.
There are some other major issues which I will not go into details. Due to these, we decided not to move forward with him. But, he was from one of the Ivy-League universities in my country, and had solid academic performance. Apart from this, he had a really good exposure to a wide array of technologies in different projects. I felt like he is a brainy fellow who somehow has lost his way. We gave some verbal feedback to him post-interview, said that our HR will reach out to him and we parted ways.
Even though we did not hire him, I would like to let him know of what I observed he is currently doing wrong, and tell him to put himself together and fix the career crisis he is facing at the moment. I have a few ways of doing that.
- Keeping my mouth shut and move forward - easiest and personally most convenient for me. But, I feel like it would be a waste of talent if I let this go.
- Telling HR the story and asking them to carry my feedback - I don't trust our HR to do this in any reasonably effective manner.
- Reach out to one of the referees and tell them - I think this is the most viable option, if I am not going with the first. One of the referees is a visiting faculty member of the masters course that I am currently following. I can anyway reach out to him as if I am doing a referee check and tell him to reach out to the candidate.
- Reach out to the candidate himself - This is also okay from the way I see it. But, I am not sure how effective this is going to be, because I will be nothing but a stranger preaching to him.
Am I overthinking this? Should I keep my mouth shut and move on? Or is this question just opinion-based and should be closed? Appreciate if someone can shed some light on what would be the most fruitful and least invasive approach for this.