Comment On Never Quite Made the Interview

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to review a handful of resumes, you’ve probably seen a few bad ones in the bunch. And if you’ve reviewed a whole lot of resumes, you’ve definitely seen some really bad ones. And if you’ve reviewed a whole crap ton of resumes, then chances are, some of ‘em definitely belong here. [expand full text]
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Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:03 • by Stupidumb (unregistered)
I would like to leave a comment.
I am an expert at writing comments.
I have a desk and would like to write comments from my desk.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:07 • by yet another Matt
Please tell me King of Prussia is a real place, somewhere. I want to work there too.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:10 • by gabba
Why is he limited to Pennsylvania if he can just park his RV anywhere and work?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:10 • by Fizz (unregistered)
172699 in reply to 172697
King of Prussia is a real place. It's out by Philly. All I know about it is there is a big mall out there.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:11 • by FredSaw
I want to program in CSS, web.config and JPG. I am an expert in JPG.
I would like to work for a company. First on a GIF and then on a JPG.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:12 • by Jason (unregistered)
King of Prussia is a real place about 30 minutes (no traffic) outside of Philadelphia. In fact, it is the home of the second biggest mall in the world, and the biggest mall in terms of sheer retail space. (Mall of America can suck it.)

I work there myself (sitting in a building in KoP right now), and it is a great place to live...although a tad expensive. The commute to the outer suburbs, however, is not fun.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:13 • by java.lang.Chris;
"Will code for food".

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:14 • by SuperousOxide
172703 in reply to 172697
yet another Matt:
Please tell me King of Prussia is a real place, somewhere. I want to work there too.


Sure, it's real. It's near Philadelphia (which didn't make this guy's list for some reason). There are a couple of big malls there.

edit:
Looking at the other comments here, it seems the mall is the only point of interest about King of Prussia :)

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:16 • by GalacticCowboy
Based on his city choices, why didn't he refactor his list to "Somewhere in the eastern half of Pennsylvania"?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:17 • by Jason (unregistered)
172706 in reply to 172703
SuperousOxide:
yet another Matt:
Please tell me King of Prussia is a real place, somewhere. I want to work there too.


Sure, it's real. It's near Philadelphia (which didn't make this guy's list for some reason). There are a couple of big malls there.

edit:
Looking at the other comments here, it seems the mall is the only point of interest about King of Prussia :)


To clear things up - the KoP mall is actually one whole mall, but due to the crazy amount of growth, it is split into two sections. The Court and The Plaza.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Prussia_Mall

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:18 • by yet another Matt
172707 in reply to 172699
Fizz:
King of Prussia is a real place. It's out by Philly. All I know about it is there is a big mall out there.

Wow! And here I was thinking, he'd made that one up through some strange translating fluke. That is a crazy name.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:20 • by AC (unregistered)
Ok, so the Sybase/Oracle database thing was really dumb.

But what would have been a good answer to the Google/Microsoft/etc. question?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:21 • by clively
This reminds me of a candidate I interviewed for a Biztalk position. The resume looked good so I brought him in.

Over the course of the interview it was apparent that he had opened Biztalk exactly one time to look at an orchestration. So, I was honest and said that I didn't think he was quite ready to take on the responsibilities of this particular job.

At which point he said, "But I am very passionate about my work! I love doing this, because I have so much passion. You'll never find someone as passionate as I am!" He went on for a full five minutes in this manner.

My response: "Err. Uhm. Well okay. I'll consider it."

I decided right then that I should never be honest with a candidate and instead to just say something non-committal about talking to HR when closing an interview.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:23 • by Someone You Know
And not only is there a town called State College, Pennsylvania, but three called State Line, Pennsylvania.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:26 • by Paulo (unregistered)
Work from an RV parked outside the company? That raises telecommuting to a whole new level.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:27 • by Tim (unregistered)
172712 in reply to 172703
SuperousOxide:
yet another Matt:
Please tell me King of Prussia is a real place, somewhere. I want to work there too.


Sure, it's real. It's near Philadelphia (which didn't make this guy's list for some reason). There are a couple of big malls there.

edit:
Looking at the other comments here, it seems the mall is the only point of interest about King of Prussia :)


The mall really is the only thing worth visiting in KoP.
The reason he didn't list philly would probally be the lack of RV areas and the traffic sucks ass even from < 20 miles away I've turned down multiple jobs from the philly area b/c i couldn't do a commute like that.
Oh or he wanted to lessen the risk of being shot on his way out the door.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:28 • by Tim (unregistered)
172713 in reply to 172710
Don't forget, Blue ball, Middle Sex & Virginville

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:29 • by java.lang.Chris;
The thing that amazes me whenever we're recruiting is the amount of lies people put on their resume (or CV to a Brit). Time and time again I've had candidates come in, only to find out they have never used some of the programming languages, operating systems or other technology such relational databases that are mentioned on their CV. I'm not even talking about stuff that's irrelevant to the job they're applying for, or even listed as a I nice to have, this is the key skills the job demands them to have!

Then there's the testing. At one company we managed to pare down the list of CVs to six likely candidates for a junior programming job. We contacted them and they all expressed interest in coming in for an interview. When I mentioned that they'd first sit a half hour written test, three of the candidates suddenly stated they weren't interested in coming in after all. A further candidate walked out without taking the test (he hadn't even seen the questions), and another asked to use the toilet halfway through and never came back. The final candidate flunked the test.

After that, we gave up on the recruitment for several months and employed a contractor.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:33 • by SuperousOxide
172717 in reply to 172713
Tim:
Don't forget, Blue ball, Middle Sex & Virginville


If you're listing interesting PA towns, you have to include Intercourse.

Or if you're looking to confuse people, attend school in Indiana, PA or California, PA.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:34 • by Anonymous (unregistered)
172718 in reply to 172698
Maybe he only has a Pennsylvania drivers license.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:35 • by barneyp
At least the RV guy listed his preferred work areas in a... well... *vaguely* alphabetical order.

That's got to mean something, doesn't it?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:36 • by lizardfoot
172720 in reply to 172698
gabba:
Why is he limited to Pennsylvania if he can just park his RV anywhere and work?


Probation issues.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:39 • by Tim (unregistered)
172722 in reply to 172717
SuperousOxide:
Tim:
Don't forget, Blue ball, Middle Sex & Virginville


If you're listing interesting PA towns, you have to include Intercourse.

Or if you're looking to confuse people, attend school in Indiana, PA or California, PA.

I knew I forgot 1.
And Reading, PA is pronounced Red-ding not Reed-ding. That screws with people.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:40 • by Trawn (unregistered)
The editorial WTF here is the 9 digit zip code which likely corresponds to one address. Google for it, probably someone's dad...

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:44 • by Josh (unregistered)
172725 in reply to 172722
Let's not forget Jersey Shore, neither in Jersey nor even remotely near the Shore.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:44 • by java.util.WTFException (unregistered)
172726 in reply to 172698
gabba:
Why is he limited to Pennsylvania if he can just park his RV anywhere and work?


the FBI told him not to leave the state pending the investigation?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:48 • by JM (unregistered)
172728 in reply to 172708
AC:
Ok, so the Sybase/Oracle database thing was really dumb.

But what would have been a good answer to the Google/Microsoft/etc. question?

A good answer would be one that shows you did your research and know what sort of companies Sybase is competing/cooperating/coexisting with, and why you'd want to work for Sybase instead of them. The actual answer isn't that important, as long as it's sincere, and more sophisticated than "gotta work somewhere". If you just sort of don't care where you work, the company's probably just sort of not interested in hiring you.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:49 • by someone (unregistered)
the real WTF is... i crashed seamonkey and acrobat by reading that PDF :-p

acrobat used 1.2gig of memort :-p

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:49 • by GalacticCowboy
Or the one that never gets old... :D You have to go through Intercourse to get to Paradise.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:53 • by alex (unregistered)
172732 in reply to 172722
Tim:
SuperousOxide:
Tim:
Don't forget, Blue ball, Middle Sex & Virginville


If you're listing interesting PA towns, you have to include Intercourse.

Or if you're looking to confuse people, attend school in Indiana, PA or California, PA.

I knew I forgot 1.
And Reading, PA is pronounced Red-ding not Reed-ding. That screws with people.


Reading, Berkshire, UK is also pronounced Red-ding.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:53 • by Chowlett (unregistered)
172733 in reply to 172722
Tim:
SuperousOxide:
Tim:
Don't forget, Blue ball, Middle Sex & Virginville


If you're listing interesting PA towns, you have to include Intercourse.

Or if you're looking to confuse people, attend school in Indiana, PA or California, PA.

I knew I forgot 1.
And Reading, PA is pronounced Red-ding not Reed-ding. That screws with people.


What, exactly like Reading, UK? Who'd'a thought it?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:56 • by SuperousOxide
172734 in reply to 172733
Chowlett:
Tim:
[
And Reading, PA is pronounced Red-ding not Reed-ding. That screws with people.


What, exactly like Reading, UK? Who'd'a thought it?


I know it used to screw me up. But that was when I was a kid playing Monopoly, and mispronouncing the Reading Railroad (Sounds like a PBS show with Geordi LaForge)

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 10:58 • by FredSaw
172735 in reply to 172714
java.lang.Chris;:
The thing that amazes me whenever we're recruiting is the amount of lies people put on their resume (or CV to a Brit). Time and time again I've had candidates come in, only to find out they have never used some of the programming languages, operating systems or other technology such relational databases that are mentioned on their CV. I'm not even talking about stuff that's irrelevant to the job they're applying for, or even listed as a I nice to have, this is the key skills the job demands them to have!
Sometimes this isn't the candidate's fault. They talk to a headhunter and answer a series of questions and the headhunter draws up their resume based on that talk. The headhunter, of course, is simply looking to get the candidate hired so they can collect their fee. So they pad the resume. If you once created a web page with FrontPage, you're an expert in HTML. If you once converted a ColdFusion app to C#, you're a CF wizard.

I once interviewed a guy whose resume said he had an Associate Degree from Sam Houston State University. Knowing better, I said, "Hmm... I didn't realize SHSU had a two year degree program," and he turned red and stammered an explanation that he had attended some classes there for a couple of semesters, and that the headhunter must have put that on the resume.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:01 • by Lars Vargas
I, too, have an RV MotorHome and can live and work out of it. However, I am ambitious and can do this is there is an RV park with 25 miles.

For the right position or salary, I would even consider 30 miles.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:14 • by Frank Wilhoit (unregistered)
172741 in reply to 172711
20 miles would be a LONG run of Cat-5.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:15 • by Patrick (unregistered)
172742 in reply to 172711
Paulo:
Work from an RV parked outside the company? That raises telecommuting to a whole new level.


Maybe he worked for /etc/bus

http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/The__0x2f_etc_0x2f_bus.aspx

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:20 • by Aaron
172744 in reply to 172708
AC:
But what would have been a good answer to the Google/Microsoft/etc. question?

The smartass answer (my answer) would probably be "The thought of free lunches and huge game rooms just doesn't appeal to me. I'm here to work, dangit!"

The only other responses I can think of that wouldn't be total BS are immensely nerdy jokes:

- "I want to find out once and for all whether we're supposed to use identity keys or GUIDs."
- "You guys were first in the index."
- "They all wanted me to work at a table, but I want to work in the fields."

Even I cringed at the last one... but hey, it's better than "I didn't make the cut."

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:22 • by lw42 (unregistered)
Say, Alex, the zip code on the image gives enough info to almost identify the person, or at least the small place where he works. Google it. Err, I mean, black it out.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:23 • by Paul (unregistered)
I can't think what I'd have said if someone asked me for an example of 'out of the box' thinking.

It's not something you deliberately remember (at least, I wouldn't), and in hindsight it might not seem to be 'out of the box'.

In any case, thinking 'out of the box' isn't always a good idea for a developer - if it's too far out of the box it can be hard to maintain... "Good" thinking out of the box would probably be totally forgettable because the result is so elegant and 'obvious' (in hindsight).

I suppose a good example of thinking "out of the box" would be the first person who came up with something like quick sort or radix sort instead of bubble sort (which is the most obvious sorting technique). If so, then if that's the sort of 'optimisation' the interviewee did, it would seem to be good to me.

(See http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/interviews/v4i30_hargadon.html )

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:26 • by GettinSadda
So with 30+ years experience with PL/M until 1997, a) why does he call it PLM and b) why does only one of his positions mention it (and that was for 5 months only)?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:26 • by pitchingchris
172748 in reply to 172742
It must get cold working in PA out of an RV all the time. Nice for a camping trip, not so nice to be in for working hours. The guy either has family there or is in trouble with the law.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:27 • by el jaybird (unregistered)
I heard from my boss that when he was hiring for the position I have now, there were some people who he interviewed who were plainly only in it because they had to be showing some token job hunting effort. When asked why he wanted to work here, one guy apparently said "Well, actually, I don't, but I got a call from HR so that's why I'm here".

And I thank him sincerely for it. I love my job.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:27 • by Graham (unregistered)
172750 in reply to 172698
Bail/parole conditions?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:31 • by whicker (unregistered)
what is the wtf about the first one? So he has an atypical living situation, maybe his wife divorced him and took everything? Maybe he does have a house, and thinks the RV is going the "extra mile"?

"I would like to work with a Company". What if instead he intended that to mean, "I would like a full time position".

Reading the work history, the person did some interesting stuff and certainly had (at the time) some good related experience.

However, he really sucks at Word formatting, but I don't entirely blame him.

Or was the humor more like the "Live in a van down by the river" comedy sketch by Chris Farley?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:35 • by Patrick (unregistered)
172755 in reply to 172714
java.lang.Chris;:
The thing that amazes me whenever we're recruiting is the amount of lies people put on their resume (or CV to a Brit). Time and time again I've had candidates come in, only to find out they have never used some of the programming languages, operating systems or other technology such relational databases that are mentioned on their CV. I'm not even talking about stuff that's irrelevant to the job they're applying for, or even listed as a I nice to have, this is the key skills the job demands them to have!

Then there's the testing. At one company we managed to pare down the list of CVs to six likely candidates for a junior programming job. We contacted them and they all expressed interest in coming in for an interview. When I mentioned that they'd first sit a half hour written test, three of the candidates suddenly stated they weren't interested in coming in after all. A further candidate walked out without taking the test (he hadn't even seen the questions), and another asked to use the toilet halfway through and never came back. The final candidate flunked the test.

After that, we gave up on the recruitment for several months and employed a contractor.


Written test, isn't that a little bit over the top? I'd be weary of any place that forces a written test.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:35 • by Aaron
172756 in reply to 172746
Paul:
I can't think what I'd have said if someone asked me for an example of 'out of the box' thinking.

In any branch of engineering, the real problem isn't in thinking outside the box - that's easy. The real problem is defining the box and staying inside it. Many if not most projects fail precisely because they don't do that.

Addendum (2008-01-23 11:41):
After reading the whole resume, it makes me genuinely sad that somebody could be living in the U.S. for 30 years and still have such utterly atrocious English skills. And even then, is it so hard to find someone to proofread!?

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:39 • by jkohen
I love these series and this one is probably the best we've had. Keep it up!

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:40 • by vt_mruhlin
172758 in reply to 172714
java.lang.Chris;:
The thing that amazes me whenever we're recruiting is the amount of lies people put on their resume (or CV to a Brit). Time and time again I've had candidates come in, only to find out they have never used some of the programming languages, operating systems or other technology such relational databases that are mentioned on their CV. I'm not even talking about stuff that's irrelevant to the job they're applying for, or even listed as a I nice to have, this is the key skills the job demands them to have!


Yeah, but how many times does a job listing say you need to know all sorts of crap that isn't actually used at the company? Half the time they need somebody who's "really an expert" in a language or framework that only takes like a week to learn. "Oh, do you have any experience with the 1.6 JDK? Oh, you've only done 1.5? Well I'm sorry, you just don't cut it." Especially when dealing with recruiters. They just try to do an exact string comparison between your resume and the job specs.

Addendum (2008-01-23 11:49):
As for the written test... Having been told to take BrainBench tests before, I tend to be a little weary of them myself. At least in the case of BrainBench, the tests are ridiculously trivial. Had one on JSP that asked me for a precise definition of SSL. All the answers were nearly identical except for some minute grammatical changes in a few.

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:41 • by pitchingchris
172759 in reply to 172755
Patrick:


Written test, isn't that a little bit over the top? I'd be weary of any place that forces a written test.


Its not too unusual to have a test. Although I don't completely agree with some of them, the company would be investing money to hire you, so they want to weed out the weak ones. Some companies only want the elite, so a written test is their way of finding those people with excellent math/logic skills, etc. But that doesn't always make the best programmers...

Re: Never Quite Made the Interview

2008-01-23 11:43 • by Secret Santa (unregistered)
172760 in reply to 172698
gabba:
Why is he limited to Pennsylvania if he can just park his RV anywhere and work?


Warrants for his arrest in New York, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, and New Jersey.

He's boxed in!
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