Hiring Software Engineers – How To Find The Right Candidate?

As a recruiter, hiring great software engineers is a daunting task. What do you do when you have more applicants than positions available?

Adam Spencer
by Adam Spencer
Cover Image for Hiring Software Engineers – How To Find The Right Candidate?

Hiring software engineers is the most critical decision you’ll make as a company. The personnel in charge of hiring, on the other hand, rarely have specific experience in conducting interviews for remote software engineers. This results in a difficult and ineffective hiring process for both the employer and the candidates.

Recruitment agencies spend hours searching through resumes and interviewing candidates in order to find the right candidate for the job. They use tools to help them sort through all of the applications that come in. These tools include resume scanners, applicant tracking systems (ATS), and recruitment software.

The right people must be hired and trusted to complete the assigned tasks. In addition, you must ensure that you have the proper equipment and technology.

That fundamental philosophy does not change even if you are working completely remote. Instead of weakening your team, it strengthens it by forcing you to constantly rethink how you engage, educate, and assess your team members.

Automating the hiring process

Many businesses are excited about the idea of automating the process of hiring software engineers, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Sad to say, the best person for your job has not yet been chosen by an algorithm. In algorithmic approaches, there aren’t enough things to take into account. But, even so, it would be great if they could.

Some software developers do well working from home because they have the skills and experience to do so. Others aren’t as organized or well-prepared, and they might end up hurting your project more than helping it. If you do a thorough analysis of what your company needs, remote development could be a good idea.

At the moment, a remote interview is the most effective way to find a good candidate. There are so many tools out there to help you run those video conferencing calls. In this article, we will talk about how to do a good first screening interview. You’ll discover how we at Talendor interview candidates to evaluate if they’re a good fit and how they stack up against other candidates. Our team of talent scouts has been using this method for a while, and the results have been amazing. Consider the following things when choosing remote partners to make sure that your journey is as smooth as possible.

The problem with the FAANG interview process

If you don’t know what FAANG means, it’s an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. The big ones out there that everyone in the entire world is familiar with.

Team of people recruiting candidate on video call job interview in business office. Women talking to applicant about work employment and hiring, using remote videoconference on computer.

When it comes to interviewing new employees, Google, for example, encourages the use of uniform questions and scoring for all applicants. This makes it simple to compare and contrast prospects.

Candidates for Google should prepare for the interview rather than for the role. You will employ a brilliant test-taker, but not necessarily a good coder in this manner. And perhaps most crucially for us, standardized tests do not provide a whole picture of a candidate’s unique abilities, motivations, and experiences that make them a good match for a particular position. We at Talendor believe that these characteristics are critical to a candidate’s success in a certain position.

When interviewers ask open-ended questions, they get a lot more useful information. This helps the interviewer get a real sense of how well a person understands a subject during the interview. When interviewers use this method, they often run into trouble because the long answers make it hard to compare candidates, which is fine.

Know Your Company’s Culture

The shared values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and practices of an organization make up its company culture. Keep in mind that you’re not just judging a candidate. He is also judging you and your business.

People find it hard to judge and understand their own culture. When the average person is at work every day, they don’t notice many of the ways culture shows up. If you try to teach someone how to tie their shoes, it’s like telling them how to judge their own culture. You’re so used to doing it that you don’t even think about it anymore.

A view from the outside can help you see your staff and how they work together in a new way. Imagine you are an anthropologist who just moved to a new town to study a group you have never met before.

Think about how people interact with each other. For example, if there are conflicts, how are they solved? How do upper-level tech leaders, product managers, and software engineers work together? How do intermediate managers and their non-tech subordinates work together?

You can also learn about the culture of your company by talking to your employees in small groups. During these interviews, you should also pay close attention to how people behave and talk to each other, as well as what they have to say about the culture.

The power of indirect questions when hiring software engineers

Indirect questions are the best way to learn about a culture because it is difficult to put into words what it is like. When doing a culture interview, you can ask these kinds of questions.

  • Is there anything you’d tell a potential new employee about your company before they came to work for you?
  • In what way would you wish to see this organization improve?
  • Who is the local hero? Why?
  • Whom do you tell about your company while trying to persuade others to join you?
  • What is the most appealing aspect of your workplace?
  • What types of people are most likely to fail in your company?
  • When hiring software engineers for a position at your organization, what is the most common question you ask?

Understand the candidate’s goals

When looking for a job in a tight labor market, there are big differences in the kinds of personal goals that can help them stand out. In a loose job market, the main goal of most people looking for work is to make enough money to meet their basic needs. In a market like this, a job offer that basically says, “We have money and you don’t, so if you do what we want, we’ll pay you,” may be acceptable.

When there is a lot of competition for jobs, this changes. People can now tell employers, “A lot of jobs will pay me what I want. What else can you give me?”

People have very different ideas about what they want from their jobs, depending on their personal situations and where they are in their careers. Most of the time, a candidate’s goals fall into one of the seven categories below:

Benefits and remuneration

“Does this job pay enough to meet my financial needs and goals?” This will matter if a candidate wants a better standard of living or if they are the main caregiver in their family. For some applicants, this may have more to do with their social standing than their real need for money.


“Does the work and travel schedule of the job work with my other plans?” When you’re hiring software engineers on an hourly basis, it’s important to keep an eye on the schedule.


“Does my job give me the freedom to live where I want?” Candidates are less willing than ever to move, so this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.


“Are the perks good enough to keep me working?” Many people who are looking for work care a lot about how stable their job will be. This is in contrast to what the popular press says, which is that employee turnover is on the rise and “lifelong employment” is coming to an end. One could compare this to getting married. Even though there are a lot of divorces, people still want loving relationships that last.

Potential for growth

“How likely am I to learn new skills and know-how?” This goal is especially important for high-performing engineers, whether the job is an entry-level hourly position or a senior-level role.

Work in progress

“Does the job give me enough freedom to do the things I like?” This applies to both the work itself and the way it is done. Software engineers can do the same job by themselves or with a lot of help from other people in a team-oriented setting. Most of the time, they choose where they want to work based on what they like.

Company’s culture

“Does the company’s mission and image fit with who I am?” The importance of this goal varies from one candidate to another. Some people are less likely to work for a company if its public image doesn’t reflect its own values and beliefs. Some job seekers make sure to keep their own ideas separate from the business’s values and public image.

Determine the candidate’s soft skills

Ability to express yourself. Getting along as a group. Being able to think carefully. Adaptability. Understanding the differences between cultures. These are the top five skills that all applicants must have. When hiring software engineers, make a list of the soft (people skills) and hard (skills that can’t be taught) skills that are needed. But in a virtual interview, it’s hard to tell what skills a candidate has.

Now that we all work from home and do all of our hiring online, it’s more important than ever for interviewers to be able to do video interviews. You can find out more about a candidate’s soft skills in a video interview than from their resume or cover letter.

At the end of the day, an interview is an interview, whether it happens in person or online. Still, with the following tips, you’ll be able to do an effective video interview and extract the most valuable information from the candidate.

Ask the right questions when hiring software engineers

Male indian hr, recruiter or employer holding cv having online virtual job interview meeting with african candidate on video call. Distance remote recruitment conference chat. Over shoulder view.

When hiring software engineers, if you don’t ask questions, you won’t find out anything about the candidate. You should ask them about their past jobs, where they went to school, and their goals for their careers. This tells you something about how well they think and talk.

If you hold a live video interview, you can see how your prospects answer in real-time, and the right questions can help you weed out weak candidates by narrowing the field. Here is a list of questions that will help you figure out if a candidate has the five most important soft skills.


“Do you like a certain subject or hobby a lot?” The better the passion is, the more it fits with the job. If a candidate answers a question with personal details, it shows that they are willing to build a stronger relationship with others. And it’s also a sign of honesty.


“Has your team ever not been able to reach its goals? What exactly went wrong, if this is true?” If a candidate often says “our” or “we” in their answers, that’s a good sign that they work well with others. This question will also give you an idea of why your prospect thinks teams work or don’t work, as well as what kind of coaching the candidate might need in a team-based environment.

Taking a critical stance

“Tell me about a time when someone asked you to do something for which you didn’t have any training or experience. How did you do it?” When it comes to thinking critically, being open is very important. Ask this question to find out if your prospects are open to new ideas and willing to learn from others. Think about how they have accepted or come up with new ideas in the past.


“What kind of place to work do you like best?” Ask this question to find out if the prospect is a good fit for your business. Also, in an age when working from home is the norm, you need a candidate who can do a good job both in the office and from afar, so make sure you get an answer to this question as well.

Understanding cultural differences

“How would you describe the best manager or group you’ve ever worked with? What do you like the least?” The success and contribution of your staff depend on how well they fit in with your culture. You want to hire a software engineer who not only has the right skills and experience for the job but also fits well with the company’s values and way of doing things. To get the best answer, look for one that includes a story or anecdote about the culture of your company. You’ll know right away if the candidate will get along with the rest of your staff.

Interpersonal abilities when hiring software engineers

When interviewing a new employee for the first time, you should put a lot of emphasis on how well you can talk to them. Employers often put these skills at the top of their list of the most important things to look for.

A good communicator must be able to listen well and say what they think and feel in a clear and concise way. Watch how they answer questions, but also pay attention to whether or not they are answering the question and not going off in a different direction. This happens a lot when junior developers try to sound like senior developers by using a lot of tech jargon that isn’t relevant, so pay close attention.

Give the candidate a question that is directly related to a situation at your company or project and is relevant to the job they want, and then look at how they answer. Role-playing will never go out of style! You could ask a potential employee, “How would you tell a client or your manager that you couldn’t meet a deadline?”

If a candidate gives you a clear, confident answer instead of an explanation or tries to avoid uncomfortable situations and the hard conversations that come with them, you can tell they are a good communicator.

Understand the candidate’s body language

Virtual Conversation. Portrait of young manager having online video call on laptop, talking to webcam. Cheerful man explaining something to client and gesturing, sitting on the sofa at his house

Body language is often more important than words. Before you start the session, keep in mind that not everyone is used to video interviews, so you’ll need to be patient. Applicants who have prepared for the interview will be able to answer questions with confidence no matter what.

Interviewers should look out for these five signs:

Body language. Does the candidate sound excited? Does the candidate’s body language show that they want to succeed or that they don’t care? When answering questions, applicants who are excited often lean forward.

What is the level of their gaze? Video interviews can make it hard to look at the camera instead of the screen, so candidates who have practiced this will have a leg up. When answering questions, they should make good eye contact to show that they are honest and sure of themselves.

Making faces or playing with the hair. This can show both confidence and nerves. So, keep in mind that an interview can be nerve-wracking even when things are going well.

Does the candidate know a lot? Does the candidate take notes during the interview, or does he or she use a computer to do research? Was the interview room clean and free of clutter? Was it a quiet place with no other things going on? Look for someone who comes to the interview well-prepared.

Keep an eye out for places where you can’t see.

You cannot afford to make a poor hire. It is imperative that your video interviewing process be objective so that you do not end up hiring the wrong person. In-person interview blind spots transfer over to video interviews, so be on the lookout for the following blind spots when you’re preparing for your virtual interview.

Having a preconceived notion of what is right or wrong

In many cases, you’ve had a blind hiring procedure up to your video interview. Don’t let elements like age, gender, clothing, or even an accent influence your opinion of the candidate when you’re in front of the screen with them.

Cues that aren’t vocal

Remember that some candidates will be more confident than others when it comes to video interviews. If you’re in a noisy or cluttered setting, your decision may be affected. The difference between a video interview candidate who is unprepared and one who is “green” can be subtle. So, take a thorough look at the problem.

Sense of humor

In a video interview, some candidates may come out as kind and approachable. Despite the fact that video interviewing can be daunting for some, others find that being behind a screen makes them more at ease. So don’t forget to ask behavioral questions to get a sense of how they’ve behaved in the past.

Remember that video interviewing is a relatively recent procedure that has become a necessity for firms that work and hire remotely. There is still a lot to learn in the future, and we’re likely to discover even more blind spots.

Use video interviews to identify the candidates’ skills

In-person interviews are being replaced with video interviews. By adopting the utilization of on-demand and live interviews, hiring teams have been able to increase their reach and save time and money. Adding video interviews to your hiring process is a simple process that just requires a few modifications and a little practice.

To locate the perfect person for your vacant position, you need to identify the candidate skill sets that are most relevant to the job and focus on the correct questions and nonverbal candidate clues to find them.

We can find you the best software engineer

In order to find the best candidate, we post most of our positions in multiple countries. We can attract a wide range of people with a wide range of experiences by hiring software engineers globally.

Because we know they are experts in their field, we can rely on the people we decide to be part of our marketplace. Cultural fit and ability to work from home are also assessed during an interview.

Here at Talendor, we aim to find the best candidates to match the role you’re promoting. We take the burden out of determining the hard and soft skills. We only recommend to our customers candidates that are part of our marketplace and that meet the most high-quality metrics of software development.

Click here to start hiring now!

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Adam Spencer
Adam Spencer
Talendor's CEO and founder. Programming since 1996. A dog's owner. The Mighty Thor. Pizza, polenta, and cheese boards.
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