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Interviewing Developers at GDS

It was only three months ago that I was sitting opposite three people being interviewed at GDS. At the time, the one thing I didn’t think of is that three months on, I would be sitting in their place, helping run an interview for a potential developer just like me.

I remember being impressed that two of the three people interviewing me on the day were developers who were also new to the organisation. I was then also impressed that less then two months after joining GDS, I successfully applied to join the pool of developers who are happy to participate in CV sifting and telephone and face-to-face interviews.

For me, it is very important that developers and other digital professionals are interviewed by “their like” – as in, other such professionals who understand the work, processes and intricacies. Too many times, I have seen developers being interviewed by middle managers or HR/recruitment personnel who have no idea about development, and therefore either ask the wrong questions or don’t ask what they should be asking to really be able to judge whether a developer is competent or not.

For this reason, I think it’s every developer’s duty to become involved in the recruitment and training of other developers. On the one hand, you’re making sure that your organisation gets the best developer talent available, and on the other hand, you’re improving your own skills in interviewing others.

Based on this, I was very happy to do my first CV sift, telephone interview and face-to-face interview over the past two weeks. For the first time, I got to experience an interview from the other side of the table. I was able to ask questions and probe deeper into a developer’s experience and answers than someone without the hands-on experience in the field.

All in all, I think GDS understands that the best way to get the best developers on-board and working productively is to have them judged by their peers in an interview. Based on my experience of other developers on GOV.UK, I know that this strategy is paying off in the quality of work and thought that I see on a daily basis. Given that GDS is tax-payer funded and is doing work for the public good, this is something we should all be applauding.

If this sounds like a good place to work, take a look at Working for GDS - we’re usually in search of talented people to come and join the team.