You might be applying for a Junior, Intermediate, Senior Developer job, or maybe a Tech Lead – who knows – but in the back of my head, I’m evaluating you for a job that doesn’t exist yet. When you’re hiring someone you’re presumably doing it because your team is growing. Maybe your role has expanded, your project is growing, your product is doing well in the field, whatever the reason, there is an element of growth behind it – you need more awesome people to meet that growth.
As someone close to the problems, you are probably thinking further out as to what might come next – are we going to need more people this year? Will we have money for it? If the team gets to ten developers will I need team leads to lighten the load?
You get the idea, I’m looking for someone that has the potential to grow in our team – maybe they become a team lead, maybe a subject matter expert, maybe someone who could help other teams, etc, etc.
Case in point – I once interviewed a junior dev who went through our job description. They only knew half of the technologies. Before the interview, they did their best to learn as much as they could about these technologies and put together a demo geared towards our product line. They brought their laptop and it showed it to us, not everything worked, but the ideas were there.
I left the interview thinking – “We have to hire him” – in a week he learned the basics of what we are doing and put together a demo that somewhat worked. If we change our libraries, he’d be able to pick them up, if we ever need to do some research projects, he’s shown himself willing to dive in and learn on his, if we are having product discussions, he’s shown the propensity to learn our business model.
I don’t know what the next job is, where it is if it even exists, but I know at this time, that is the person I want to hire because they are the best one for the job.
Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US). I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.