Be opinionated, but be willing to listen

At work when I am interviewing for candidates to join my team for Engineering Productivity, I look for certain attributes.

Having an opinion based on authority and experience

I am looking for someone with one or two areas of deep expertise. Also you should have a strong opinion but here is the kicker, you need to be willing to listen to another opinion. Diversity of opinion, recognizing that there is another perspective and be willing to listen.

Be able to talk about a topic and deep dive.

When answering a question, I will continue to push you to explain or expand deeper. I want to discover how deep you know a subject matter.

Know how to communicate which means listening

I will let you talk and respond for as long as you want, in the meantime I am looking for how long you talk non stop before checking in and see if you have answered my questions. Part of communication is listening.

Tony Tam

Senior Principal Engineer @ Splunk, ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org