Practical assessment of a new web developer

Our work place is currently looking for a new web developer. Can anyone provide any information/useful links on how to conduct a practical assessment to guage the actual skills of a web developer during a job interview?

The core skills required of the web developer is HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver and JavaScript. Secondary skills required are at least basic graphic design/desktop publishing in Photoshop/Fireworks, Adobe Acrobat and some fundamental knowledge of databases.

Of course a good knowlege of the relevant web standards, accessibility guidelines, etc is important as well.
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Hi EduDeveloper,

I am just making this up as I go:
1. Ask for a portfolio!
2. Ask what programs, if any, they have used for development of websites.  This give little information on their skill but lets them open up on the details of their developing process.  They might use 3 different programs just to get a site on its feet.  You never know =)

Joe P
Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
You would absoltely as for a portfolio as BogoJoker mentioned.  Most god developers will have their portfolio made up with references (to sites they created).  Some will even have a personal websites for your review.  Also depending on what tye of website you're looking for (dynamic, static, brochure-like, etc) will also be important as a lot of the tools out their can make up for some of the difficiencies he developer may have.  In other words, someone who is great at java, javascript, perl, php, asp, maynot be so good at actual design, hoever tools like Dreamweaver and Fireworks could help in that department.
Here is another idea:

Show them a website, ask them what they would change!  Just a simple webpage, maybe a form so you can see what their javascript skills are.  See if some go and look at the page source, maybe they will check for CSS styles rather then a table built page.  Someting that again, shows how they work with situations.

Joe P
Hi EduDeveloper,

Recently, I had to interview for a new Junior Web Developer at my workplace.

In interview, all candidates seemed on-par with each other and it was going to be close to choose one of the 5 shortlisted.

In order to know their current level of ability (in order to understand what I needed to teach him/her), I needed to quiz them to see how good their HTML and ASP (VBScript) coding was, and ended up printing out some sample code on seperate pieces of paper.  e.g.

1. Table drawing skills
From the raw HTML code, the candidates had to draw the 3x3 table that I had thrown together, putting in the text in the right row/column for bonus points.

2. VB Coding
I had some relatively simple VBScript code printed out, and asked them to give me the answer to some simple questions, like adding/multiplying variables.

3. ASP (HTML with VBScript integration)
A more complicated question whereby I asked the candidate to tell me the output on the resulting page, with a red herring to tell the men from the boys.

I found this helped, as all said on their CVs and in interview that they were good at this or that, and the tests really helped me to divide them up.

I know its harsh to test candidates on paper, but it really helped me and probably them, as I think I employed the right person.  (He's still there, so I guess he's ok!!)

I hope this helps you.

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