What 50+ ML Interviews (as an Interviewer) Have Taught Me | by Thushan Ganegedara | Jul, 2023

If you thought facing a technical interview is hard, try conducting an interview. I’m not talking about the awkward interviewers who left a scathing impression, watching you condescendingly, while you’re wishing for the pain to end. I’m talking about interviewers that have left a positive impression you cherish.

Doing an interview is a huge responsibility. You are the gatekeeper for someone’s career. So you must do everything in your capacity to do them as much justice as you can.

All of the points I’m going to be mentioning revolve around one key value:


If you’ve mastered empathy, you probably don’t even need to read this. Everything I talk about here are my personal thoughts and opinions and do not reflect the view of my employer.

For context, I’m a machine learning engineer and these are technical or coding interviews I’m talking about.

After reading this article, you’ll (hopefully) take away a few lessons that will make you a better interviewer, who leaves a positive lasting impression on the candidates (regardless of the outcome).

Let’s skip the obvious checks for a candidate and clear the air first:

  • Showing sound technical knowledge of the language & tools
  • Thinking out loud while working through the problem
  • Being friendly and cooperative

Any of these that don’t get a tick is a concern.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

The style in which interviewers conduct the interview plays a massive role on how an interview plays out. If the interviewer appears as an authoritative figure that cannot be pleased in anyway, even the best candidates may fold and get nervous. The candidates are at their best when they have someone approachable…

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