Episode 413: Is my interview candidate cheating and my product owner is getting WRECKED by the client


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. This is my first time conducting technical interviews (most of which have been virtual), and I had one interview where I had a strong feeling that the candidate was cheating. They breezed through the short problems I gave them, and they were able to explain their reasoning. But during the live coding problem, they sat in silence for five minutes, and when I asked them what they were thinking, they didn’t respond. Then they started cranking out perfect code without explaining anything.

    How do you address cheating in interviews? What if it turns out to be just nerves? I don’t want to assume anything, but I also wouldn’t feel comfortable confronting them about it either.

  2. I work as a team lead for a small group of 4 other devs. Our Product Owner is currently handling the requirements for new features to onboard a new large client. This involves them attending client meetings and generally isolating the development team from client shenanigans which is normally great, but it’s becoming INCREASINGLY obvious that someone on the client team has his number and he’s getting HORRIBLY out-negotiated. This has resulted in a bunch of missing requirements, changing requirements, last minute feature adds, and general confusion. I’m trying to push back, but the leadership team is coming back with “Well we promised…” and my entire team is stressing out. Note that this is AFTER we were already pressured to overcommit on capacity to get these “absolutely necessary” features developed for the client to go live.

    I like my PO, he’s a good guy and normally does good work, what can I do to help him stop from getting his butt kicked in these meetings?

    (Note: the POs are neither above nor below us in the org tree, our closest shared higher-up is the VP and I obviously don’t want to escalate it that far)

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