I'm a programmer who's now in a management position, and I've recently gained a fair amount of experience interviewing programmers. I feel very comfortable with the interview process and conduct my interviews as follows:
- Programming quiz where the candidate hand-writes code.
- General questions (personality, problem solving, situational).
- "Whiteboard" type discussion about a hypothetical project assignment.
This process has worked very well so far, but I don't feel it would make sense to use for an upcoming interview I have with a former superior. I worked with him when I was a junior programmer and he was a senior programmer. I left to work for a different company, and we both moved into management positions, and now he's transitioning back to a senior programming role. He is older and more experienced than I am, and I'm unsure how to conduct a productive interview.
One idea I had was to re-gear the whiteboard discussion to put more emphasis on teamwork and conflict resolution and less on skill set evaluation, but overall, for the rest of the interview, I'm really struggling to identify what I should objectively be looking for. Since he was a former mentor of mine, I'm finding it difficult to remove myself from the situation and look at it objectively.
Can anyone offer advice for the following:
- What the main points of focus for evaluation should be.
- What "red flags" I should be looking for.
- Is there a way to give a programming quiz without being insulting?
- Should I even be concerned with a technical/skill set evaluation?
- What are some useful questions I can ask to learn if he would mesh well with our team?
To anyone who has been through this before, can you share your hindsight thoughts?