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Interview Techniques (Java) – For Interviewers – Part II

Hello and welcome to my new blog. This is Pruthwiraj Ghadge and I have come up with another new blog on Interview Techniques – For Interviewers. I have written another blog on the same topic and this is an extension to the same blog. If you want to read the previous blog, please Click Here. In the last blog, we discussed what are different Interview Techniques and how interviewers should conduct face-to-face interviews. In this blog, we will discuss Phone-in or Telephonic Interview and Video Conferencing.

When a company decides to conduct interviews, it must decide what should be the method used? Most of the time, it is a Face-to-face and walk-in-interview. However, some times, some candidates are unable to walk-in or attend the interview in a face-to-face manner. In such cases, the company may choose to conduct interviews of such candidates in Telephonic Round or maybe through Video Conferencing.

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If a candidate is unable to travel to Interview Location due to a long-distance or maybe if s/he is working and cannot attend the interview at a walk-in place, the interview can be taken either on Telephone or on a Video Call. In today’s hectic schedules both interviewer and interviewees prefer these kinds of interviews, as they save time and money. The interviewer and interviewee both have to decide on a mutual timing and be available at the same time for the interview process.

Even though the process looks very easy and simple, we may face technical issues like network failure, poor connectivity, disturbance during the call or such other problems. And hence we must take care of these things while scheduling the interview. When conducting Telephonic or Internet Call Interview we must make sure that we have a good quality network connection and take care that the connection will not break during the call. The voice quality should be good enough and we should be able to hear the candidate and vice-versa. Make one thing very clear to yourself, that Telephonic Interviews some times may become headaches due to poor network or connection.

Now, let us talk about some other things too. When arranging a Telephonic Interview we must be sure about the candidate’s originality. In some situations, it may happen that a candidate who is actually appearing for an interview is a dummy candidate and not the real. Here in such cases, you must identify the voice of the candidate as that is the only identification criteria you have. Although this could happen very rarely, prevention is always better than cure.

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It’s a very crucial thing, that one should always be ready for challenges. Telephonic interviews are the real challenges because you can not see the candidate in real and you cannot see his/her facial expressions or reactions on a particular question, which you can easily see in a face-to-face interview. Understanding the psychological effect on a candidate in an interview is very necessary. However, there is another angle to this. In a telephonic interview, the candidate may feel free of any burden and may answer more precisely and correctly as the interviewer is not in front of him. In most of the face-to-face interviews, candidates feel pressurized seeing the interviewer’s expressions. Yes, expressions!!! Many a time, interviewers keep staring at the interviewees and make them feel stressed. This may unnecessarily burden them and make them feel insecure about their capabilities. In such cases, telephonic interviews are much better for the candidate as they are not able to see the interviewer and will have no stress in this situation.

As I said in my last blog, it is important to have a list of questions with a proper sequence. In a telephonic interview as well we must have a set of ordered questions. It becomes easy to conduct the interview when we already know what we are going to ask next. In a case, if the candidate answers a question but uses certain terms that may be used to ask some other questions which are not there in the list, you may ask. But in such cases, you should be able to return back to the original flow. We can also make a list of questions that may be asked after a certain question and use one of those questions.

Now, lets us talk about Video Conferencing. This is one of the common and popular ways of interviewing as Telephonic rounds may have certain limitations. In a video conference, the candidate may see the interviewer and can talk to them directly. The problem of counterfeiting or dummy candidate is resolved. Video conferencing is almost like a face-to-face interview. Although these techniques are very useful, there may be technical problems and if those problems are overcome, we may successfully conduct the interview.

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Another part of the technical interview is the Programming or Codding test. In most companies, the candidates have to appear for a coding round where they need to write code for one of the given set of problems. This is one of the difficult rounds of all because it tests the real capacity of the candidate in a pressure situation. The interviewer has no role in this round actually but the setter of the test has to be very careful while setting the test or choosing the right set of questions.

In this round, we must select the questions in such a manner that they all should require approximately an equivalent amount of time to complete the solution. Accordingly, the time for the test should be planned. When conducting the coding test if you want the candidates to use certain Coding and Naming Conventions, you must inform them about it in the beginning. Mostly the candidates are aware of the IDEs but to be on the safer side we must provide the required IDE to the candidates that they need or they prefer.

Lastly, I would like to talk about the Demonstration. This method of evaluation is generally used in the case of Trainer recruitment. When recruiting a Trainer we need to know the interpersonal skills of the trainer as well. And for this reason, we generally conduct the demonstration for trainers. A demonstration is nothing but a presentation of a topic in front of students or maybe technical experts. When conducting this round we have to be more careful because the candidate is more stressed as he has to showcase his knowledge as well as himself to the audience.

In this round, we should take care that we do show respect to the candidate that he deserves. When a candidate is presenting a topic, we must sit as students and not as evaluators. We should allow students to ask questions and let the candidate solve their doubts. In a demonstration, we should not interfere with them. In presentation rounds, it is better, if we sit at the backside. The demonstration is basically for the purpose of testing the presentation skills and query handling capabilities. This round also tests the situation management abilities of the candidate as they may face various kinds of challenges in this round.

Facing new challenges is the way of improving yourself. Interviews basically are meant to test a candidate’s basic skills and abilities. We try to find out whether the candidate has enough knowledge of the subject, whether he has the capabilities to solve the critical situations, can he handle the abnormal situations if they arise, how are his explanation skills, what is his level of understanding of the subject? Technical interviews are generally knowledge testing and not interpersonal skill analyzers. We as technical interviewers should always stick to the technical know-how of the candidate and not his personality.

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But as an interviewer what are the prerequisites we need to have? We as interviewers have a great responsibility of choosing the right candidate for the organization. When conducting interviews for any technology we must know that technology in-depth and we should be able to handle the queries of the candidates. In an interview, the candidate should be given a chance to ask questions. If the candidate’s possibility of getting hired is less then he must be given the right kind of inputs for his next interviews. He should be asked to prepare hard and should be told where did s/he went wrong. If the chances of a candidate getting hired are high, then too he must be given a chance to ask questions. He also should be told the questions he answered wrong and what he needs to prepare for betterment.

Although we think that conducting an interview is a simple thing, it is in fact not. We have to be very careful while conducting the interviews and also be prepared for it. Interview techniques are not only useful for Interviewees but also for interviewers. So next time when conducting an interview, think about the factors discussed here and then go for an interview.

I again state that whatever discussed in this blog are not standard interview techniques but these are the things I have experienced and learned over time. I do not claim that these techniques will surely be the best but definitely will help you.

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So that’s for now. I will again come back with another topic and another blog next month till then keep reading and keep coding.

Happy Coding…!!!


Ghadge, Pruthwiraj | SevenMentor Pvt. Ltd.

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