1. Hire for DNA first, then work experience.
When I hire web developers, their personal DNA is the most important consideration. While experience is important, the bigger predictor of success is someone’s innate DNA and how it fits your company.
2. Try out a new developer with a small project first.
Although you might think you’ve identified your ideal candidate, just to be sure you should give him or her a small, non-critical project. That can let you observe the person in action and provide additional information beyond the job interview.
3. Pick a developer with aptitude, not a particular skill set.
In the tech space, skills become obsolete every two years, give or take. So, it’s better to hire a web developer who can learn new technologies easily rather than someone who knows a specific technology now but may not adapt when a new one comes along.
The easiest way to detect whether someone will adapt well to change is to ask questions that will reveal whether a Web developer has a love for learning. For example:
What new programming languages did you learn recently?
What are your go-to places for learning new tech tips and tricks?
What are your favorite technology conferences?
4. Don’t ask trivia questions about programming.
These are examples of trivia questions you want to avoid asking when interviewing web developers:
Who is the primary creator of the Java programming language?
In what year was PHP released?
What is the origin of the Python scripting language’s name?
While such information may seem useful, trivia questions are often a terrible way to determine if someone is smart. They just single out people who can memorize things.
5. Hire slow, fire fast.
Take your time when hiring, but if you realize the person isn’t working out, let him or her go as fast as you can. An ineffective web developer can be disruptive to the entire team and potentially the entire project.
At Webgrrls.com, I made a significant hiring mistake a few years ago and let that person stay on for far too long. Although he was a talented lead developer, he’d sometimes disappear for days, missing important deadlines. Missing deadlines can be especially detrimental to startups where resources are tight and the ability to develop and improve products quickly and efficiently can make or break them.