Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Our Hiring Process

Guidance for interviewers in the Technical Program Management Team Edit

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Step 0: Hiring Manager vets candidate Edit

  • The Hiring Manager selects candidates from applicant pool.
  • The Hiring Manager asks a set of predefined questions and determines if the candidate should move to interview panels.

Step 1: Panels prep for interview Edit

  • Interviewers must complete interview bias training from Recruiting before conducting an interview.
  • There are two panels (pairs or trios) and interviewers are generally assigned to a distinct panel, though the process is designed to allow for reallocation, including repeating interviewers, if necessary.
  • Interviewers that know the candidate should recuse themselves.
  • Interviewers receive notification of candidate name, resume/CV/cover letter, and videoconferencing info. Interviewers should review the candidate's application before the interview.

Step 2: The interview(s) Edit

  • Rotate/alternate questions between interviewers. Take notes under each question, take turns taking notes (e.g. don’t take notes if you asked the question).
  • At the start of the interview, introduce yourself including your pronouns (e.g. she/her), ask the candidate how their name is pronounced and let them know how long the interview will be, including 10-15 minutes for them to ask questions at the end.
  • Remind the candidate that this is not a test (there are no trick questions, and anything vague should be clarified), but rather about gathering data on their experience. Reassure them that any apparent rigidity of the process is meant to promote fairness across candidates. It is tempting to make this feel more casual, just be careful about creating distinct conversations between candidates.
  • Before asking questions, check that the candidate can hear you and that they are comfortable. It is not required that the candidate show themselves with their camera.
  • Panel interviewers take turns asking pre-determined and vetted questions. As of 2021-09-23, Panel 1 interviewers use this doc. Panel 2 interviewers should use this doc. If interviewing multiple candidates, move down the notes in the docs for past candidates to make room for new interview notes.
  • Consider pasting contexts and questions into the videoconferencing chat as you state them, so that the candidate doesn't get lost.
  • Listen actively. Make sure your question was answered (it's easy to assume it was just because the talking has stopped, and it's equally easy for the candidate to forget to address a part of the question).
  • The person who is not asking a question should take notes on the responses, writing the candidate's answers as close to verbatim as possible. Rotate these responsibilities question-by-question.

Step 3: Greenhouse scorecard Edit

Use the email prompt from Greenhouse to add in your Scorecard. Ideally, aim to complete your Scorecard within an hour of the interview. Writing a thoughtful Scorecard might take up to 30 minutes, so account for that time. An example Scorecard could look something like:

  • Summary: "My interpretation of whether or not this candidate is qualified, based on the following."
  • Answers we expected and got
    • E.g. "X candidate demonstrated an understanding of the role"
  • Answers we expected and didn't get
    • E.g. "X candidate demonstrated technical ability"
  • Answers we did not expect
    • E.g., a red flag: "X candidate said Y offensive thing"
    • E.g. an iterative improvement to the rubric: "X candidate answered well with something we hadn't considered"
  • Raw interview notes
    • [verbatim]

A simple, if tedious way to do this is to simply copy and paste the expected answers into the above sections. This will result in a long scorecard, but generally shouldn't require too much thought if the notes are thorough. The Summary will be much shorter and should suffice for decisions, and the allocation+raw notes exist for reference. This is analogous to, for instance, open-source security software: you probably won't check the source code, but you can if needed.

Step 4: Survey - optional but recommended Edit

Fill out the internal survey to indicate how you think the candidate did on predefined characteristics. If you want more context on how the interview questions are bucketed into characteristics for the survey, go here. This survey probably shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.

Step 5: Discussion Edit

Hiring manager meets with the all panels following interviews and prior to making a decision.