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Suppose you have to interview a developer for a (not senior) developer position. The catch is that the developer is not from your country and your company would have to invest some money and time to bring him to your country. You have to make the interview. What skills would you look for in such a candidate?

For the sake of context, suppose it is a position of a web developer or desktop developer.

Thanks in advance

EDIT: This question is related to the developer point of view, so in this case, the answers should be oriented to help the developer in which to expect...

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closed as too broad by gnat, GlenH7, MichaelT, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Martijn Pieters Feb 18 '14 at 0:12

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It is not quite clear from your question whether you're looking for a dev. who is currently abroad, and you wish to bring him to work to your country, or whether you're interviewing a developer who will work from (where he currently is). –  Rook Apr 14 '11 at 17:27
Im talking about the first one, interviewing a developer which lives in a different country to move to your country –  David Conde Apr 15 '11 at 13:36
You might find answers here: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/48100/… –  Alex Feinman Apr 15 '11 at 16:51

7 Answers 7

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would really make sure I have the correct candidate before I invest alot of the companies time, effort money

I would recommend things like:

  1. Phone Interviews
  2. Company Culture fit ( alot people overlook this)
  3. Sample work
  4. Letters of recommendation (not a must)
  5. Usual things like community interaction like places like here.

I hope this helps.

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If not letters of recommendation, then at least reference checks. I've seen a good-seeming candidate completely lie about their background. A very cursory check of their submitted resume turned up the problem very quickly. Unfortunately, the company only did the check AFTER the candidate left under a cloud (as they say). –  Peter K. Apr 14 '11 at 16:57
@Peter exactly. Even if they are the best developer in the world, do you really want such a liar working for you? "hey did you show the prototype to the clients?" "yep, did it this morning as scheduled" /actually slept in and goofed off all morning/ –  Earlz Apr 14 '11 at 23:13

Communication, communication, and communication.

I've had co-located developers with poor communication skills (either lack of organization or just poor grasp of english) that were a nightmare. If they'd been offshore... fail.

Normally I look for the "smart and gets things done" personality, but with offshore, communication is #1.

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  1. Effective knowledge of english (meaning, not only he knows how to read/and write it, but also how to speak it - without mumbling or stopping every half a minute trying to remember the "english word for .... uhmm ..."

  2. Core competences - 'nuff said :)

  3. Social and living aspects - How does he fit into your social culture (company-wise)? Married/single? Does he have any idea where he is gonna live? (Is his pay covering this?) ... things like that. These things usually relate to his pay requirements in the next few years.

  4. Is he planning to return one day to ... or stay here (long term investment).

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In addition to the much useful advice you've received and will receive yet I would like to suggest you also communication a detailed picture of you back to that candidate developer. It would only be fair.

  • What's your everyday like
  • Work process
  • Hierarchy
  • Environment - noisy/quiet office, location, transport connections
  • People's attitude and mentality
  • Relationship model among colleagues
  • Values of the company
  • Do's and dont's
  • Desired behavior model
  • Some general background about your team members, cultures, interests etc.

So that the poor (or happy) guy can assess for himself whether it will suit him or he'd better run away as fast as he can.

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Could you hire them for a short-term project and see how they get on? You can then look at how they code, how hard-working they are, their ability to follow instructions, etc.

Of course, they could get somebody else to do the work for them and you would never know, so you would have to combine this with phone interviews, discussions about the work they had done, etc.

If they are already working in their own country, and therefore unable to commit much time to do this, just make it a fairly small project that could be completed in one day.

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A lot people will not want to move to another country for a short-term project. You either offer them a permanent job or none. –  quant_dev Apr 15 '11 at 21:57
You don't necessarily need them to move country - perhaps I was vague, but I specifically meant getting them to work on the project in their own country. And besides, while a lot of people would not want to move short-term, I would guess that a lot of others (myself included) wouldn't mind an all-expenses-paid working holiday in another country. –  Blowski Apr 15 '11 at 22:12
It is all different when you have a family. –  quant_dev Apr 16 '11 at 9:55
I'm pretty sure there's no mention of a family in the question... –  Blowski Apr 16 '11 at 10:05


If that's not working, even if the guy's a genius - you'll fail. trust me. I had to learn the hard way.

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I would look for the same skills as a candidate from my current country. Also, they would need to be able to communicate effectively in my country's language, and would have to be authorized to work legally.

The only other difference might be a lower pay if my company had to pay to relocate the individual.

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Don't go for lower pay, they may even accept it but later will surely grow resentful over the fact they are consistently paid less than their peers, because you had to make a one-off expense. If you can't afford to relocate them, don't offer relocation. –  quant_dev Apr 15 '11 at 21:58

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