One day in the future, you’ll be asked to interview a potential hire. It’ll probably be an engineer, but it could also be for a position in sales, operations, or another department.

In either case, your job is to determine:

Can this person do this job well & improve my business?

Ask open-ended questions that help you assess the candidate’s problem solving skills, level of comfort with key technologies, and their willingness to work in a dynamic situation with changing boundaries.

In my experience, knowing a particular language isn’t important, but knowing how to solve a particular problem & being open to learning a new language is.

This is also an opportunity to identify and dig into red flags. If the candidate gives you vague answers, ask them to clarify and push for specifics. This is where a lot of candidates fall apart.

Ask what their particular contributions were to project X. How they used Y. What they learned from Z. You can do this with a whiteboard, or without. But please, don’t ask them to code right in front of you with zero prep.

If this is a sales, operations, or strategy role - don’t pretend to be an expert. Use this time trying to understand how this person can help you address company goals.

Let’s say your company OKR is to increase revenue by 15% next quarter. Ask how they’d approach the problem and how they’ve achieved similar results in the past.

Does this person understand what this job is & are they interested in it?

You’re the expert here. Talk to the candidate about what you do, how your company makes money, what they’ll be working on, who they’ll interact with, and most importantly how their performance will be measured.

Let the candidate ask questions and be as transparent as you can, without revealing any confidential information.

Ask what excites them about this role and how they’ll apply their skillset to it. Keep your questions open ended (no yes/no answers). Give them a chance to surprise you.

Protip: It’s your responsibility to come prepared too. Review the candidate’s resume & background at least 30 minutes beforehand.

Online hackathons

 

New!! Agora HolidayHack

Agora is closing out the year with a bonus online hackathon with $2,000 in cash prizes + lots of swag.

All you have to do is build an app or website that uses the Agora real-time-communications (RTC) platform. Use RTC to solve a real world problem, re-invent the future, or simply be creative!

This challenge ends Dec 30th!

 

NEW!! Microsoft Graph Security Hackathon

Corporate security is tough. While most companies use a variety of specialized tools to audit their attack surface, investigate attacks, and secure devices & user data, these tools aren't designed to communicate with each other.

Siloed software leads to hacky integrations which at best, don't work well and at worst, provide a false sense of security.

But, Microsoft believes you can solve these integration challenges using their new Graph Security API and is offering $15,000 in prizes to prove they're serious!

This API is a unified REST endpoint that makes it easy to access & act on security insights from an ecosystem of connected security solutions.

 

Amazon Alexa Multimodal Skills Challenge

Amazon has been rolling out new Alexa features all year. In-skill purchases & subscriptions? Check! New APIs for music skills & hosted skills? Check! A ton of new devices? You know it!

They've also been working on new tools like the Alexa Presentation Language (APL), which enables you to build visually-rich Skills for devices with screens.

Join our latest Alexa Challenge and build a new skill incorporating APL that delivers a multi-modal (voice & visuals) user experience.

There are $150,000 in prizes, with special awards for the best living room, kitchen, bedtime, morning, kids, and in-skill purchasing expriences.

 

Ends Dec 14: Quipu Blockchain Hackathon

Quipu creates local digital markets that trade through a mutual credit system. During this hackathon, you'll build a blockchain based solution that captures transaction info for local communities with transparency and traceability. There are $1,000 in prizes, so don't miss out!

 

Twitch AWS Extensions Challenge

First, Twitch turned the live streaming world upside down. Now they’re partnering with AWS to elevate the streaming experience with Twitch Extensions.

Extensions are apps that can interact with live streams as a panel on a channel or a video overlay, creating a fully interactive experience between content creators & their viewers.

Get your hands dirty and build your first Extension using the WYSIWYG Twitch Extensions Sandbox. Then, distribute it on the Twitch Developer Portal for a chance to win $26,500 in prizes.

 

Mobi Grand Challenge

The MOBI Grand Challenge's goal is to create a viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain / dlt connected vehicles and infrastructure that can coordinate, share data, and improve urban mobility.

Winning teams will demonstrate how blockchains and related technologies: distributed ledgers, cryptography, tokens, and consensus mechanisms can make getting from A to B safer, cleaner, faster, more efficient and accessible.

There are over $100,000 in prizes sponsored by Ocean Protocol.

 

Amazon Sumerian AR/VR Challenge

3D experiences are here, and Amazon Sumerian is the quickest and easiest way to build one! Amazon is challenging you to create AR, VR, or 3D apps using their browser-based IDE. Sumerian’s unmatched ease-of-use, you can build highly immersive and interactive scenes for a variety of headsets, and both iOS and Android devices. Plus, with one-click publishing, there's no need to build for each platform from scratch.

There are over $100,000 in prizes, so fire up your terminal, goggle into the Metaverse, and try not to snow crash.

BTW, all participants will get access to tutorials & training materials and will receive support throughout the challenge via our Slack community, Twitch, and webinars.

 

Agora Video SDK Hackathon

Agora just launched v2.5 of their Video SDK and they're giving $1,750 in prizes to three web apps which incorporate some of the following features:

• Quality Transparency - Monitor call quality with audio / video statistics

• Audio Mixing - Combine mic audio with pre-recorded audio files

• Device Management - Query device info, trigger callbacks on device state changes, and modify states

• Audio / Video Track Management - get / add / remove audio tracks from a call

• Volume indicator - monitor active speakers and their volume level

• IPV6 Support

If you've ever thought about building video into your app, this is a great opportunity. You can get started with 4 lines of code. BTW, this hackathon ends December 14, so get your app in soon!

 

Local hackathons in December–February