I always loved a good problem. I used to keep myself ever busy with challenges, questions, puzzles, and whatnot. Maybe this stemmed from the fact that after spending hours coding, I always felt happier with every technique I mastered. When I entered the workforce, this habit of mine got lost in work. I couldn’t take the time to stay on top of problem-solving and it always bugged me. I started thinking of ways I could pursue coding but also help some students to make it more meaningful. I thought of the most natural next step — tutoring. And so I set up my coaching center for data structures and algorithms. I was pretty excited for the venture but it wasn’t as simple as that. Tutoring aspirants required more resources than I could muster while working at my regular job. At that point in my life, it just wasn’t working out, and I gave up on it.
It wasn’t until I was in a tough spot in my life and needed extra work that I talked to one of my close friends. He told me about one of his school friends who was one of the co-founders of a start-up that was making a platform for recruiting. They needed interviewers with a strong coding background to evaluate candidates and in the process also help them improve. This sounded exactly like what I wanted but most importantly, what I needed. And so I contacted them for an interview myself.
I had to undergo a training procedure before I could graduate and start taking interviews. At first, I had to shadow some actual interviews, which meant that I had to observe exactly how the interviewers behaved and conducted the entire process. After that, I had a question and answer rounds with the qualified interviewers. Finally, I could take mock interview sessions for which I would get feedback on my conduction. I graduated from the program after about 1–2 weeks and started working at once. I was among the earliest interviewers EntHire had.
As of July 2022, I had interviewed over 500 candidates. And the extra pay helped me to get out of my tough spot a lot faster. When I started my career, I didn’t have any platform where I could give an interview with an actual industry expert, let alone get decent feedback from anyone! In retrospect, such an experience could have led me to my goals much faster. But now, I was on the other side. I was responsible for writing feedback that could guide someone and actually help them improve.
It helped that the entire interview process is extremely smooth and rarely consumes much time. At first, I was taken aback by the feedback system because it was new for me. I’ve worked for many good companies but I’ve never seen such a well-cultivated one. After reading the feedback of a candidate you can get an exact idea of how the interview went, and the skill set of the candidate without ever interacting with them. My skill for evaluating candidates has also gotten much better. It was for all these reasons and the fact that I enjoyed leading interviews that I decided to continue.
I have always believed that the most basic requirement for an interviewer is that they should be bias-free. And I’ve never been big on attaching importance to resumes. It’s easy to give brownie points to someone if you know they’re in a senior position or at a good company. But even someone with less experience could be talented and knowledgeable. That’s why I’ve never looked at the candidate’s resume before starting an interview. This way I can focus on their code solving abilities.
This confidentiality works for everyone, especially the interviewers.