Hiring Techniques of Top Tech Companies

Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon spill the beans on their hiring secrets.

So, when I stumbled upon an article titled The ‘Secret’ Hiring Techniques of Top Tech Companies ‘. I was immediately hooked. With companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon apparently spilling the beans on their hiring secrets, I was ready to take notes.

I mean, if there’s one thing they know, it’s how to pick talent from the endless sea of applications they receive each year.

In this article, we explore:

  • The validity of advice found online regarding hiring practices, especially those purportedly used by leading tech companies.
  • Two specific interviewing techniques suggested in a popular article, critically evaluating why they may be more harmful than beneficial.
  • A potential ‘diamond in the rough’ technique that could work under the right circumstances, offering a different perspective on its implementation.

Dubious Interview Technique #1: The Unpredictable Interview Start

The interview technique suggested in the article was to commence the interview either 15 minutes early, 15 minutes late, or not at all.

The logic behind this? The notion that it uncovers those who are perpetually ready for the job.

The article’s reasoning painted a scenario where anyone could handle a series of penetrating questions when called at the pre-agreed time.

But the true test supposedly lies in their reaction when the call comes while they’re in the middle of their morning routine, exercising, or on the toilet.

(Yup, that’s actually what the article said… on the toilet)

This, they argue, is the key to finding people who are “ready for the job at any moment”, the idea is to catch them off-guard.

Interview Techniques

My take on this:

I must say, I find this approach more than just flawed; it’s terribly unprofessional. We all understand the need to test a candidate’s ability to adapt under pressure, but this is not the way.

The interview process should be a mutual respect street, where both parties value each other’s time.

Changing the interview time without prior notice is more likely to leave the candidate feeling disrespected rather than challenged.

This strategy brings back memories of when I was a sales rep, always showing up early for meetings, only to be kept waiting. It’s frustrating and feels incredibly dismissive.

If I were ever kept waiting for longer than 15 minutes, I’d often just leave. It’s a sign of disrespect and portrays an arrogance that your time is more valuable than theirs.

The bottom line? Don’t adopt this technique.

It’s unlikely to reveal the candidate’s real abilities and is more likely to alienate potential hires.

There are countless better, more respectful ways to assess a candidate’s adaptability and readiness for a role.

Playing the Long Game or Just Absurd? Interview Technique Suggestion #2

Suggested technique: Call the candidate three months later and offer them a job they didn’t apply for.

That’s right a different job??


Say whaaattt now!

WHY? To find determined people.

Suggested reasoning: Apparently, this strategy will uncover if you really want the job you applied for.

The assumption is that if you really wanted the job you applied for, then you’d dismiss the offer on the different role to prove your commitment to finding the right role.

My evaluation:

I have to question the sanity of this suggestion. Not only is it incredibly disrespectful, but it’s also highly likely to backfire.

A job seeker could easily reject the job offer, not out of a lack of determination, but because you never followed up and they’ve moved on.

They might have found another job in the interim, and who could blame them?

Waiting three months to extend a job offer, merely to gauge a candidate’s determination, is beyond ludicrous.

Secondly, offering them a job they never wanted in the first place just to see how they’ll react is pretty unethical. What if they accept?

Understand this: If you attempt this interview technique, you’ll likely lose out on talented individuals more often than not.

Finally, a Technique Worth Considering? Interview Technique Suggestion #3

Scenario Based Interview Testing

Suggested technique: Ask the candidate to solve a specific, real problem that you or your company is facing.


WHY? Because you need a solution.


Suggested reasoning: Many tech companies ask candidates to tackle genuine issues they’re grappling with.


It’s a clever way to get a bit of free help. (Yes, it actually said that)

My evaluation:

Before we go any further, let me clear something up.

The primary purpose of an interview shouldn’t be to exploit candidates to solve your dilemmas for free.

If a candidate can swiftly find a solution to your unsolved problem in an interview setting, perhaps you should consider giving them your job!

However, this technique isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be quite valuable.

By asking candidates to engage with real-life scenarios, you can gain deep insights into their problem-solving abilities, their thinking processes and their communication styles.

It’s a practical, meaningful way to evaluate potential fits for your team. Just remember, treat it as a test of their skills, not a quick fix for your problems.

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