Build Systems that Drive Business
Sep 30–Oct 1, 2018: Training
Oct 1–3, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Strategies for better technical interviews

Moishe Lettvin (MailChimp)
11:35am–12:15pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Leadership and Career Growth
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Those involved in any aspect of hiring for technical roles

What you'll learn

  • Learn techniques and strategies for reducing bias and increasing the fidelity of your technical interviews


Hiring the right people is arguably the biggest factor in the success of your organization. Unfortunately, evaluating candidates for software engineering roles is a remarkably difficult problem. Software engineering requires a blend of concrete skills and vague characteristics such as creativity and problem solving that are difficult to define, let alone evaluate, in an unbiased way in limited time.

Moishe Lettvin discusses what he’s seen work (and fail) in his dozen years of hiring and interviewing at a handful of tech companies. Along the way, Moishe shares innovative hiring techniques used at MailChimp and strategies and principles to reduce bias and make interviewing as creative and interesting as software engineering itself at your organization.

Topics include:

  • Traditional tech interviews and their failure modes
  • Reducing bias in the face of ambiguity
  • Collaborative interviewing
  • Iterative improvement
Photo of Moishe Lettvin

Moishe Lettvin


Moishe Lettvin is a software engineer at MailChimp working on backend projects. Moishe has been writing software since the ‘80s, when he worked on DOS TSR written in a combination of Pascal and Assembly. Since then, he’s worked on projects from Microsoft Outlook to Google App Engine. Once upon a time, Moishe made a CRT explode with a software bug.