How to screen and interview software developers at scale

Erik Fiala
Erik Fiala
Founder, CEO at Source
Jan 13, 2023
4 min read
Woman working on her laptop

As a manager at a fast-growing tech company, you know how important it is to quickly and effectively screen and interview software engineers. After all, a strong engineering team is crucial to the success of your business. But when you're dealing with a high volume of applicants and a tight deadline, it can be challenging to find the right balance between speed and thoroughness.

So how can you screen and interview software engineers at speed and scale? Here are a few tips to help you streamline the process while still finding top-quality candidates.

1. Clearly define the role and requirements

Before you start reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you're looking for in a software engineer. This includes the specific skills and experiences that are necessary for the role, as well as any preferred qualifications. Having a clear job description will help you quickly identify candidates who are a good fit, and it will also give you a framework for evaluating their qualifications during the interview process.

2. Use automated tools to pre-screen candidates

There are several tools available that can help you quickly review resumes and identify candidates who meet your minimum qualifications. For example, you could use a tool that scans resumes for keywords related to the role, or one that assesses coding skills through online challenges. These tools can save you a lot of time and help you quickly narrow down your list of candidates.

3. Conduct phone screens to get a sense of fit

Once you've identified a group of potential candidates, the next step is to conduct a brief phone screen to get a sense of their fit for the role. This is a great opportunity to ask about their work experience, technical skills, and career goals, as well as to gauge their enthusiasm for the position. You should also ask about any projects they've worked on that are relevant to the role, as this will give you a sense of their problem-solving skills and experience.

4. Schedule in-person or video interviews for top candidates

After the phone screen, you should have a good sense of which candidates are the strongest contenders for the role. At this point, you should schedule in-person or video interviews with these top candidates. During the interview, be sure to ask questions that will help you assess their technical skills and fit for the team. You might also consider giving them a coding challenge or asking them to walk through a sample problem to see how they approach and solve technical issues.

5. Don't forget the importance of culture fit

While technical skills are obviously important for a software engineer, it's also crucial to find candidates who are a good fit for your company's culture. During the interview process, be sure to ask questions that will help you gauge whether a candidate will thrive in your company's environment. You might also consider involving team members from different departments in the interview process, as they can provide valuable insights into a candidate's fit with the company.


Screening and interviewing software engineers at speed and scale can be a challenge, but by following these tips, you can streamline the process and find top-quality candidates who will help your business succeed.

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