Evaluating Software Engineers: Tips for Hiring the Right Candidate

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Evaluating and hiring a software engineer can be a daunting task. As the demand for tech talent continues to grow, companies face significant challenges in finding and hiring the right candidates.

One of the biggest challenges is evaluating a candidate’s technical skills, especially when seniority levels and technical standards differ across countries. In addition, evaluating soft skills and fitting in with the team can be just as challenging.

This article will explore various approaches to evaluating a candidate’s technical and soft skills and the importance of incorporating psychological expertise in the hiring process. 

Technical Assessments: Assessing a Candidate’s Technical Skills

One of the most important aspects of evaluating software engineers is assessing their technical skills. There are different approaches you can take to evaluate a candidate’s programming skills, including live coding interviews, take-home coding assignments, and code reviews.

Live coding interviews can be a useful tool to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills in real-time. This approach allows you to see how the candidate thinks and works through problems, as well as how they communicate their thought process. However, this approach can be stressful for the candidate, and may not accurately reflect their true capabilities.

Take-home coding assignments allow the candidate to complete a coding task on their own time, which can be less stressful than a live coding interview. This approach can give you a better idea of how the candidate approaches problem-solving and how they write code. However, this approach can be time-consuming for both the candidate and the interviewer.

Code reviews are another approach to evaluate candidates’ technical skills. This approach allows you to see how the candidate writes code and how they approach problems. However, this approach may not give you a complete picture of the candidate’s technical abilities, as it only evaluates their ability to write code and not their ability to solve problems.

Psycho-Technical Evaluations: Evaluating a Candidate’s Soft Skills and Fit with the Team

Evaluating a candidate’s technical skills is only half the battle. While hard skills can be easily measured through coding assessments, evaluating soft skills can be a more challenging task. Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities, can be just as important as technical skills when it comes to creating an efficient and productive team.

One way to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills and fit with the team is through psycho-technical evaluations. These tests can provide insight into a candidate’s personality traits, values, and working style, which can help determine if they would be a good fit for the company culture and team dynamic. Incorporating psychological expertise in the hiring process can help identify red flags and ensure that the candidate not only has the necessary technical skills but also the soft skills required for success in the role.

A psychologist or similar role can assist in designing and administering these tests, as well as interpreting the results to identify potential issues that may arise. By incorporating psychological expertise in the hiring process, companies can reduce the risk of hiring someone who is not a good fit for the team, resulting in higher employee retention rates and a more productive work environment.

However, it is important to note that while these evaluations can provide valuable insights, they should not be used as the sole determining factor in the hiring process. Instead, they should be used in conjunction with technical assessments, interviews, and other evaluation methods to make a well-rounded decision.

By incorporating psychological expertise into the hiring process, you can ensure that you are hiring candidates who not only have the technical skills for the job but also have the soft skills and fit with the team to be successful in the role.


To conclude, finding the right software engineering candidates can prove to be a challenging task. However, by incorporating technical assessments, psycho-technical evaluations, and psychological expertise, you can assess the technical and soft skills necessary for success.

It is important to prioritize a candidate’s fit with your team’s culture and values as well as their technical abilities. By implementing effective hiring strategies, you can find the right person for your team and build a strong and cohesive engineering team.

As your team grows, the risks of managing a large team become increasingly apparent, from daunting administrative tasks to the challenge of effective people management.

Externalizing the Hiring Process: Partnering with StepUp

At StepUp, we specialize in providing top-tier staff augmentation services for software companies in the US. We have a proven track record of building and managing remote software engineering teams composed of the savviest Latin American tech talent.

By partnering with StepUp, you can reduce your time-to-market, hit important milestones, and scale your team quickly and efficiently. Plus, with our remote mindset and people management expertise, you can focus on what you do best while we take care of the rest.

Choose StepUp and take your software development to the next level.

Stay tuned for more tips on managing software engineering teams in future blog posts.