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The Best Interview Question

Christophe Pierret

VP Engineering at SUBLIME

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Problem

When hiring people, it's important to ensure you ask the right questions, so that you hire the right people. Interviews are useful because they let you learn about a candidate's experience and skills, but what are the best questions to ask to gather this information?

Actions taken

My favorite interview question is "What is the most complex/difficult problem you have had to solve professionally? Explain to me how you solved it." These questions allow you to learn two things. Firstly, you learn about the most important problem they have solved. Sometimes the problem they discuss is so simple it indicates that they have never fixed a problem that is complicated. If this is the case, and you have a complex job position, this will indicate that they are not the right person for the role. The second question allows you to understand how they go about solving problems, which is useful as engineering is all about problem solving. You'll learn whether the engineer is structured in how they go about solving problems, and also how efficient they are.

Lessons learned

This is a great question to ask when you are wanting to delve into a candidate's experience and strengths. You can also ask questions around how much time it took to solve a problem, whether they got help from others, what sources of information they used, and the time they spent on diagnostics to gather further information.


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Christophe Pierret

VP Engineering at SUBLIME


Engineering LeadershipLeadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementTechnical ExpertiseTechnical SkillsProgramming

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