John Papa's post with interviewing tips is an excellent read:
I also share John's belief that the tech skills won't get you the job. At least at telerik they won't. The tech skills are just a prerequisite to get you to an interview. Typically, at the interviews in our company we don't ask a lot of technical questions. We do so only in case we are not 100% certain that what the person has written in his/her resume is true. Once we get past that, we spend most of the time trying to understand the person on the other side of the table.
It has always been my belief that in an experienced and supportive team, even a person with little experience can quickly catch up and do a great job. It's a matter of time and dedication. What I've learned over the years, however, is that in contrast to tech skills, people have great difficulty to "learn" how to be nice, be self-starters and be responsible. These are things that you learn at a young age and it's unbelievably difficult to change your character when you are a mature person.
If you are hiring a person that will work isolated in a cell, 6 floors under the ground in a bunker, then personality may not matter that much. However, when you have a team of people working on a common set of deliverables where communication, coordination and taking of tough decisions are necessary, you'd better look for people that offer more than pure coding skills. Here's a list of what we look for:
And here's a list of what we at telerik consider as the "mortal sins":
My advice: regardless of the background and tech skills of potential candidates, DON'T hire them if they have the wrong attitude and you have even the slightest doubt that they could negatively affect the people dynamics in your team.
p.s. here's a classic on the matter of HR: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000073.html
As Chief Innovation Officer at Progress, Vassil Terziev is responsible for identifying growth strategies and new market opportunities, as well as promoting internal innovation.