As experienced engineers, we were frustrated that when it came to technical interviews, we still had to spend a considerable amount of time and resources preparing. The interviews, which value memorization over the practical application of skills, felt overly performative and disjoint from actual engineering work. And, the flaws seemed to hit underrepresented groups more — research shows that nearly everyone has poor interview experiences, yet women are 7 times more likely than men to stop interviewing after a poor performance. On the flip side, as interviewers, we had to manage an ever-growing demand of interviews with limited guidance on how to effectively assess for skills. It was evident the process was in need of change.
Having personally experienced the ineffectiveness, inequity, and inefficiency of the process, we felt best equipped to build an interview that finally assesses for ability, not access and privilege.
Technical interviews aren’t great. They generate a lot of false positives and false negatives, are time-consuming to prepare for, and often don’t correlate to on-the-job success. And these negative impacts can be even more for underrepresented folks. Byteboard is one company looking to improve the technical interview.