I asked him, “What do you look for to predict success at this job?”
He replied, “When someone comes for the interview we chat for a bit, and then I ask them to move a stack of 12′ lumber across the yard and stack it up.”
I was surprised. “Really? Why?” I asked.
“I want to see how they handle themselves, their physicality. I want to see how they lift, how they start, and how they turn around. You’d be surprised at how many people have construction experience on their resume but can’t safely move a couple dozen boards. The best way to tell is just to watch how they handle themselves.”
Lifting digital lumber
What kind of basic tasks could you have an interviewee do to see “how they handle themselves?” It doesn’t have to be a coding project but could be as simple as…
- Creating a new git repo, commit a few files, create a new branch with a change
- Replace the tab size from 4 to 2 spaces in their favorite editor
- Have them add “###” to the beginning of each line in a code file in their favorite editor using a regex
What other ideas do you have that would let you see how they “stack lumber”?