Letter to all the SharePoint Interviewers

Hi all,

I hope you are doing good in your job and career and I feel good for you that you are in a position to decide which candidate can go in your company. I hope and wish this letter will help you a little bit more  in your process of selection.

Disclaimer: The below is purely my own opinion based on my own experience and I am not trying to insist on anything.

In this highly technological world, finding a best SharePoint professional is the most difficult task for anyone. First and foremost, there should be some job description with a title of the person you are looking for. It has to be too clear so that you get suitable resumes flowing in. I got a resume for SharePoint Developer and when I called her, she said she wants to become a manager. Then I asked why did you send your resume here? She said she wanted to find out if there is an opening for a manager!

First and foremost step I think should be, to decide the role you are looking for and what could be the best job scope for a person to fit into that role. You can never expect a Developer to be an Administrator unless or otherwise he is an Architect. You cannot expect an Architect to be a Developer unless or otherwise he is willing to do anything that is given to him.

Second will be to check through the resumes and filter effectively for your interview. With such an advanced networking world, the names can be googled to find some basic information about the person you are going to interview. Ask around or google! You might think if this is really necessary to do? Trust me, we had a very bad experience of taking someone who said he/she had worked in a well-known company for 7 years in .net but did not know how to open a solution file in Visual Studio. When I did some basic checks through my friend who was working in that company as a HR for a long time, found that this person was not in that company ever. This does not mean every one cheats but there are people who do this. Close one eye for all those that can, like the last day of work in his previous company if that does not differ too much.

Third, always do not prepare any technical questions and it has to be on the prompt if you are a good SharePoint Professional ;). When you go through the resume, you can decide on which questions you want to ask and again this is based on the role that the person is being interviewed for.

  1. If the person is a developer or an administrator, then ask questions related to his developing experience, how well he solves issues, what he did for performance tuning or what is his practice of coding if he is a developer and what is his day to day activity as an administrator or somewhat related questions if he is an administrator. You can sure ask one or two basic questions like how many site collections can be there in a content database or how many content databases can be used for a site collection. But don’t go beyond the basics as there is no one who knows the answer for everything that you ask and even if he answers it does not mean he will work effectively.

I will list down what I want to see in a person who is being interviewed for a developer and see if this list makes sense to you too.

  1. Can he communicate properly?
  2. Can he answer basic SharePoint questions?
  3. Can he do what he is asked to do? Attitude is the most important thing I want to see
  4. Can he answer at least one situational question based on his previous experience that he has mentioned in his resume?
  5. I always ask this question: What is the best thing you like about SharePoint, and what is the thing that you hate the most. Trust me I had decided based on the answer given to this question too.

More than enough to judge a person and I hope everyone will accept that these are the only thing we can see or get from a telephonic interview. When this is cleared then you can call him or her for a face to face interview. One advantage of face to face is that you can see how confident the person is when answering even though the telephonic will also help us to know by the shivering of the voice.

  1. If the person who is interviewed for an Architect, he or she should be very good in communication. Cannot proceed further if he or she fails in communicating properly. The questions need to be more situational and functional rather than technical. An architect is a person who is too sound theoretically. That does not mean he is not good in practical knowledge, he has to cross development first to become a good architect so he should be not bad in practical knowledge too. Need to check on his knowledge a little bit and then discuss about his approach to implementation of a project. His experience in SDLC process and how he will manage if there are many requests coming in at the same time. More on situational questions. This will sure help to know a person more than just asking technical questions.

I hope all these or at the least few are agreeable.

There are a few “completely don’t do this list” in my book.

  1. Do not ever talk about races when you are interviewing. Cannot and should not ask, “So! What was your previous company’s manager’s nationality? Were you ok with working along this particular race?”
  2. Don’t ask about SDLC if the person says I have been doing support only all along and my part is to develop what my team lead asks me to. Please don’t keep asking him the same questions again and again.
  3. Don’t ask the person if he has leaded a team before if that’s not mentioned in the resume and more over if the resume only talks about his job scope as developing web parts.

If you want a best person to be working with you, look for a good person and make him the best.

Positive Attitude and a Learning Interest are the only ones which cannot be taught, rest all can be. So find a person who has a good attitude towards work and with a positive learning interest and some working knowledge in SharePoint (this is a must too!!) and a little bit of passion towards SharePoint which might be travelling with him for long. All the best in your search…


A SharePoint Interviewer who loves to interact, share and learn.


About gai3kannan

I am working with NCS Pte Ltd as a Lead Consultant I have taken SharePoint as my full time action and thoughts.
This entry was posted in Interviews, My Own Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s