I have a question for you all. If you are asked to interview a candidate with 5 years of experience in PHP and you are allowed to ask only 3 theoretical questions and based on the answers of those 3 questions you have to select / reject the candidate. What would be those 3 questions?
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I question the validity of this approach, to be honest. I don't think that good programmers are measured by their ability to answer theoretical questions on the spot, but by their ability to find solutions to challenging problems; far better to judge them by the quality of their code. Using this approach, you're liable to take on the people that are best at bull****ting...
Apart from what you said, I think that if we ask some logical /troubleshooting questions, it will also help us understand the ability of the candidate.
For example, i'd like to ask them if there is a hotel booking system to be developed and a scenario where there is only 1 room available for a day, how would you prevent more than one user to book the room?
Personally, if I was to use such an approach, I would base the 3 questions on common types of problems/scenarios that your company faces in programming.
For example, if you often build booking systems, then your question about how to prevent multiple people from booking a room would be relevant to the work a potential programmer might end up doing for you.
That being said, I would never use this approach, mainly because of what daihuws said. I like an approach closer to Charles questionnaire, as seeing what they like to do, where they have failed before, and where they have succeeded before is a much better indicator of how they could be useful to you.
Not beeing a recruiter, i will give you 3 questions I would ask before starting a project with a new (and unknown) partner.
1. When you devellop a new functionnality on a site/webapp, do you start from scratch, search for an existing app and simply include it or do you spend time in writing a reusable class that could be reimplemented in any further production?
2. How much importance do you give to best practices as those given by the w3c or Kent Beck's extreme programming values?
3. In wich situation would you recommend usage of CMS?
Based on that, I would already have a good idea of the mentality of the candidate. Of course, before I take any decision I would have to examin some code to see if reality matches the talk.