Nobody likes them, and most people I respect don't believe they're good indicators of success on the job. It's a set of ceremonies we all perform to collectively convince ourselves:
i’m kidding myself—no-one hires senior engs, they hire friends — tef
Navigating this on either side is a bear.🐻 Here are a bunch of links that help me most in making sense to this (a lot of them taken from when I did a round in 2016, but I'll keep this one updated).
Part of what makes interviews such a weird and painful process is the lack of clarity on expectations for the hire and what success looks like in the process. Clarifying our thoughts is hard! Humans generally amble through life and want things to feel good without applying intention behind it; if you can invest some time, you'll have a much better idea of what you're shooting for.
I found these helpful on getting clarity.
Ann Harter wrote and expanded on a fabulous series of tweets on how to engineer a tech interview using SCIENCE. Most processes are cargo-culted from what Big Companies do or what we ourselves have been subjected to, without much critical examination; it's especially jarring when tiny startups that build boring apps insist! you hire someone who can write code fit for a space shuttle.
Pssst… past a certain point, the writing of your code is probably not what the success of your business hinges on.
Peter Seibel, likely inspired by the above bullet point, published a Gist of what he wants in a candidate. If you're looking to hire: on which do you agree? Is your process hitting some/any of those points? How?
Lara Hogan's Onsite Interview Loop Template is also worth reading through and trying at your org.
Our industry sucks at including people. I like these articles for including that perspective when considering how to run and approach interviews at a high level.
Cate Huston's How I Interview is pretty fabulous, as is her Things You Don't Learn In Technical Interviews. She also wrote this essay for Model View Culture. She's one of my favorite people to blog on tech and the industry, and hiring is no exception.
I think diversity matters. Most Engineering teams are terrible at it. Carlos Bueno has written wonderfully about it on Inside the Mirrortocracy and Refactoring the Mirrortocracy.
A few more in terms of execution:
An excellent treatment of mistakes made during phone screens by Jocelyn Goldfein is here.
I find a lot to like in Dan Luu's Developer hiring and the market for lemons and We only hire the best means we only hire the trendiest.