Comment On Tales from the Interview

It's been a long, long time since I've run interview stories. Too long. Here's a few of my favorites; feel free to send in some of your own for next time. [expand full text]
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Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:16 • by Joe Luser

"... and they paid me way too much money..."

Priceless!

(first - how embarrassing)
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:24 • by Anonymous

A sharp young programmer who came highly recommended to
us came in for interview. His suit didn't fit well (at least he had
one) and he wore sneakers. Normally this would put me off, but he was a
young guy so I looked past it.

The initial introductory
interview with me went generally well, so I suggested that he also meet
the senior members of my staff. I asked him to wait in the interview
room for a few minutes while I gathered up my team leaders. We arrived
back at an empty interview room; the programmer had up and disappeared.
I check with the receptionist, look in the bathrooms, the lobby -- no
one has seen him. On the way back to my office, an employee stops me in
the hall and asks "Who's that guy in Scott's office?"

Sure
enough, the tight-suited, sneaker-wearing programmer started wandering
around the hallways and stopped in a manager's office. As he was
reading a programming book off the shelf, I asked "Excuse, me, what
exactly are you doing?"

"Oh, while I was waiting I figured I'd
walk around to check out the place and read some of these books to see
what kinds of programming languages you guy's use here."

While we decided not to hire the programmer, we did make immediate changes to our interview and security procedures.

So what? He dressed badly and was a little too curious.. Using your selection criteria you would have fired both John Carmack and Steve Wozniak.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:25 • by Annonymous
102457 in reply to 102452
Apple Solaris?? It would have been a little more funny if they said Apple Solaris with the .NET Framework... a big jumble of 3 totally different platforms!! Totally WTF

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:39 • by unlisted_error
102461 in reply to 102452

I once interviewed at a very small electronics company and
showed up in a nice suit and shiny shoes. The guy who interviewed me was
wearing frayed cut-off jeans shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and open toed sandals
without socks. He was both laid back yet very intense; I don’t know how to
describe him exactly. He turned out to be part of the higher level management.





From there I interviewed another person, a remarkable lady
who had a naked female mannequin in her office. She was in charge of project
software development for embedded systems. She noticed my interest and noted
that, “that was a gift from my girl friend”. I just said “cool” and went on
with the interview.





She tuned out to be one of the best bosses I’ve ever had.
The company was tragically a victim of the .com bust. The time I did work there
will always have warm memories of what a work place can be like. The whole
operation was like a big family. We once even had a giant squirt gun fight one
summer day in the back parking lot.  The
squirt guns were provided by management and they joined in. The tubs you filled
the guns from were filled with ice water!

Ah, those were the days....

 



Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:41 • by Anonymous
102462 in reply to 102456
So what? He dressed badly and was a little too curious.. Using your selection criteria you would have fired both John Carmack and Steve Wozniak.

Probably due to the lack of enough common sense to realize that you shouldn't go snooping around someone's office, while they're not there, during a job interview.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:43 • by SumDumGuy

I used to do a lot of interviewing of candidates at my previous company.

 A couple of my favorite gems:

 
Q: What does the "private" keyword do in C# ?

A: Well, it's like, when you don't want your colleagues to know what you're doing.

Q: What is "this" in C# ?

A: Well, it's itself, isn't it?

Q: Could you walk me through the request-response cycle for a request to a web application, from the user's browser to the web server, and perhaps to a database, then back?

A: No.
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:47 • by Jnx

I guess I'm young and dumb. But I don't think all of those were such big wtfs. That young programmer probably weren't so experienced with professional lite and didn't realize the limits. Just teaching him something about that would probably make him not doing a similar mistake again.

I don't think it's so weird that someone would have lot of things to say about their old company. Not after reading this site about how bad things really can be. I can't see why that would make him go nuts in other situations, assuming that the workplace he was interviewing for wasn't a major WTF in itself.

Guess I just don't like to judge people that easily. The "these problems will always be around" guy was funny though. :)
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:47 • by SomebodyElse
102465 in reply to 102463
Anonymous:

Q: Could you walk me through the request-response cycle for a request to a web application, from the user's browser to the web server, and perhaps to a database, then back?

A: No.

 Well, you did give him bonus points for honesty, right??

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 13:58 • by SumDumGuy
102467 in reply to 102465
To be honest, I was so taken aback by his bluntness that I took a few seconds to collect my thoughts.  Illogically, I found myself on the defensive..."Erm, well, could you just try?  Explain it a little?"

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:03 • by Walrus

I remember many moons ago trying to persuade my boss at the time to interview a candidate, who had little programming experience but fantastic potential. The candidate was also 'getting on a bit' and hadn't worked for 10 years. Eventually he was persuaded to interview him.

The interview by all accounts went very badly... my boss was fuming, it took some time to calm him down. There was a strong personality clash, and certainly different senses of humour. One of the answers had particulary rattled him.....

Boss: "Why did you finish your last job?"

Candidate: "So I could come and work for you"

Amazingly after more persuasion, my boss was conviniced into hiring him on a trial basis.

The company itself did very well and grew to 60 employees (from 3 when I joined), however some bad decisions were made and the company went under..... twice. Many people stuck around over a period of 6-7 years, but eventually enough was enough and there was a mass exodus.

The company still trades today, nearly 15 years on...... 'the candidate' is their only employee. 

 

 

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:03 • by tiro
102469 in reply to 102464
Anonymous:

I guess I'm young and dumb. But I don't think all of those were such big wtfs. That young programmer probably weren't so experienced with professional lite and didn't realize the limits. Just teaching him something about that would probably make him not doing a similar mistake again.

That one wasn't really about professionalism so much as basic common sense and courtesy.  If you go into someone's house, you really shouldn't snoop around in their medicine cabinet, but it's fine to read whatever they've got lying on the coffee table.  Why should it be any different in a business? 
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:03 • by CodeRage
102470 in reply to 102462
Anonymous:
So what? He dressed badly and was a little too curious.. Using your selection criteria you would have fired both John Carmack and Steve Wozniak.


Probably due to the lack of enough common sense to realize that you shouldn't go snooping around someone's office, while they're not there, during a job interview.

Yet every day I work with and fix boatloads of software WTFs made by people with excellent "common sense".   Go figure. 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:07 • by Nick

"How often do you read tech-related news and blogs online?" I asked

I'd be worried to answer that, fearing it was a trick question trying to get you to admit that you spend all day at work reading Slashdot.

 "Oh, yeah, I read those kinds of sites all the time!  But not when I'm at work, never ever there."

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:09 • by Michael

I was lucky enough to have made the rounds of job interviewing not so long ago, below are from a couple of those experiences:

Medium-sized B2B company making customer-specific web applications in PHP and synchronizing with an IBM mainframe.  I had already decided after meeting with the boss and his head programmer the environment would have driven me crazy.  So while they were asking me some specific technical questions, I just couldn't help myself:

Q. What is the best way to iterate through an array of 300,000 objects in PHP4?
A: To not iterate through an array of 300,000 objects in PHP4.

 
Not long after that I interviewed with a small telecommunications startup.  In contrast to my previous experience, this environment was very clean and casual, the technology was fascinating and bleeding-edge, everything that made the .com era so much fun.  I would have accepted the job in an instant if not for the following:

1.) I met my recruiter (it was a contract-hire) in the office lobby before my interview, where she briefed me on the history of the company and who I will be meeting with.  Then she lowers her voice and proceed to tell me that the President doesn't have very good people skills.  He's very smart she tells me, but not very easy to get along with at first, and she assures me I won't have to meet him on my first interview.

2.) The first guy I talk to asks a bunch of personal and technical questions, then asks me how well I handle hostile co-workers.  He then goes on to warn me that the President can be rather harsh sometimes, and people have left the company because they couldn't take getting their feelings hurt, some of them even cried.

3.) Last guy to interview me tells me a story about the President spending an hour yelling at the programming staff about something the project lead did (the project lead was not present for the tirade), and was hurling insults left and right.  He tells me he thinks the guy has a sugar imbalance, because after an explosion he eats a snickers bar, and 10 minutes latter he's your friend.  It can be bad sometime, he tells me, but it only happens a couple times a week.


Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:12 • by OldSunGuy

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I always read these postings with some trepidation that I might recognize myself as the interviewee.  Only after reading through the whole thing I can say to myself, "I don't think that ever happened to me..."

 It's the same with the code snippets being held up for ridicule.  "I hope that's not something I wrote..."

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:18 • by oGMo
His suit didn't fit well (at least he had one) and he wore sneakers.
Normally this would put me off, but he was a young guy so I looked past
it.
This certainly put me off.  I wouldn't want to work for a company whose VP of Tech judged candidates based on how well their suit fit or whether they wear sneakers.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:19 • by Michael

One time my boss gave me a couple of resumes to look over of candidate he was going to interview.  Since I was going to be working with them, he wanted me to sit in on the interview.  The first one was relatively standard, but one bullet point of the second candidate caught my eye:

"Expert in all internet protocols"

 What?  Well we just had to interview this guy.  They interview itself went very well, then we brought up the bullet point.

"Oh that?  Yeah, I just got tired of the staffing companies asking me about lists of specific protocols."

 We hired him, and he turned out to be a great programmer, though we never did let him live down his resume.

 

Captcha: 1337 - That one's for you Gary!
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:27 • by Guy
102476 in reply to 102474
Anonymous:
His suit didn't fit well (at least he had one) and he wore sneakers.
Normally this would put me off, but he was a young guy so I looked past
it.

This certainly put me off.  I wouldn't want to work for a company whose VP of Tech judged candidates based on how well their suit fit or whether they wear sneakers.



 

Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:39 • by GrandmasterB
102477 in reply to 102456
Anonymous:

A sharp young programmer who came highly recommended to us came in for interview. His suit didn't fit well (at least he had one) and he wore sneakers. Normally this would put me off, but he was a young guy so I looked past it.

..

"Oh, while I was waiting I figured I'd walk around to check out the place and read some of these books to see what kinds of programming languages you guy's use here."

So what? He dressed badly and was a little too curious.. Using your selection criteria you would have fired both John Carmack and Steve Wozniak.

Agreed.  Its not like he was sifting through the boss's email.  It sounds like the guy was a bit socially awkward.  But it also sounds like he's a natural problem solver.  ie, he has a question so he seeks out an answer himself rather than sitting around waiting for it to be handed to him.  Thats a good attribute.  I'll take that attribute in a programmer any day over a vapid pretty-boy in a nice fitting monkey suit who brags about his MCSE.

For his suit - its possible there was a reason for his mix-n-match appearence.  Especially if he was coming from another job and didnt want to show up there all dressed up (and thus advertise he had an interview).   In my past 3 interviews I didnt even wear a suit (jeans and sneakers).  Got 3 offers, accepted 2 of them.  As one vendor of mine used to say... 'never trust a programmer in a suit'.

 

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:39 • by Jon
102478 in reply to 102457
What about OSX with mono???

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:40 • by son of anonymous
102480 in reply to 102457
Yeah.  Apple Solaris definitely gets my vote.  Particularly since he was so adamant about version 2.0!

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:41 • by CodeRage
102481 in reply to 102476
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
His suit didn't fit well (at least he had one) and he wore sneakers.
Normally this would put me off, but he was a young guy so I looked past
it.

This certainly put me off.  I wouldn't want to work for a company whose VP of Tech judged candidates based on how well their suit fit or whether they wear sneakers.



Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

Yeah, I'm sure the company would prefer I spend my free time shopping for shiny new shoes, shirts, pants, suits, dry cleaning them every week, getting manicures, etc, etc, instead of spending my free time learning new technologies and improving the skills that will actually be important to the job at hand.

Heh, just kidding, dress well for an interview or else you look like an idiot. 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:44 • by GrandmasterB
102484 in reply to 102476

Anonymous:
Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

I think you need to do some growing up yourself if you think your statement has any logic to it.

If you're hiring a salesperson or fashion model, yeah, sure, they need to show they can dress up to meet with customers and otherwise impress folks.  But whether a programmer has a nice suit has little to do with how well he can design a system.

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:44 • by l1fel1ne
102485 in reply to 102472
Anonymous:

I was lucky enough to have made the rounds of job interviewing not so long ago, below are from a couple of those experiences:

Medium-sized B2B company making customer-specific web applications in PHP and synchronizing with an IBM mainframe.  I had already decided after meeting with the boss and his head programmer the environment would have driven me crazy.  So while they were asking me some specific technical questions, I just couldn't help myself:

Q. What is the best way to iterate through an array of 300,000 objects in PHP4?
A: To not iterate through an array of 300,000 objects in PHP4.


Not long after that I interviewed with a small telecommunications startup.  In contrast to my previous experience, this environment was very clean and casual, the technology was fascinating and bleeding-edge, everything that made the .com era so much fun.  I would have accepted the job in an instant if not for the following:

1.) I met my recruiter (it was a contract-hire) in the office lobby before my interview, where she briefed me on the history of the company and who I will be meeting with.  Then she lowers her voice and proceed to tell me that the President doesn't have very good people skills.  He's very smart she tells me, but not very easy to get along with at first, and she assures me I won't have to meet him on my first interview.

2.) The first guy I talk to asks a bunch of personal and technical questions, then asks me how well I handle hostile co-workers.  He then goes on to warn me that the President can be rather harsh sometimes, and people have left the company because they couldn't take getting their feelings hurt, some of them even cried.

3.) Last guy to interview me tells me a story about the President spending an hour yelling at the programming staff about something the project lead did (the project lead was not present for the tirade), and was hurling insults left and right.  He tells me he thinks the guy has a sugar imbalance, because after an explosion he eats a snickers bar, and 10 minutes latter he's your friend.  It can be bad sometime, he tells me, but it only happens a couple times a week.


 

Back in the dot-bomb days I was working for a fellow like that, except replace eating of a snickers bar with smoking a joint. The worst part is when he would tell off our best, and most loyal customers. Excellent support and service will only take you so far with a micromanaging jerk at the helm. Needless to say, the company went under :)

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:45 • by JoeyLemur

I've learned the hard way about bad-mouthing a former employer... even if they have a permanent case of cranial-rectal inversion, its still better to mention the good things and not go into detail about why they suck so hard.

And yes, medication helps... :)

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:46 • by Jon
102487 in reply to 102463

Q: What does the "private" keyword do in C# ?

Hehe... Effectively nothing since the default is private :)

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:46 • by Radiantmatrix
102488 in reply to 102476
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
His suit didn't fit well (at least he had one) and he wore sneakers.
Normally this would put me off, but he was a young guy so I looked past
it.

This certainly put me off.  I wouldn't want to work for a company whose VP of Tech judged candidates based on how well their suit fit or whether they wear sneakers.



 

Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

 

I happen to agree with both you and the individual you were replying to.  Your views aren't contradictory.  The guy did come in wearing a suit -- even though it was ill-fitted and paired with sneakers.  That shows that he was trying to be respectful and that he thought the interview was important.

For a technical position (and speaking as someone with experience as a hiring manger), it is important that the candidate be dressed in a way that shows his/her professionalism -- tidy, clean, and business-appropriate.  The bad-suit-and-sneakers combo may not be stylish, but if it was clean then he gets points for the effort.

The quality and/or fit of the suit and the type of shoes worn with it only point to the candidate's sense of style and how able they are to afford nice clothes.  A good sense of style might be important for a sales rep, but not for most entry-level tech jobs.

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:47 • by Anonymous Coward
102489 in reply to 102476
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
His suit didn't fit well (at least he had one) and he wore sneakers.
Normally this would put me off, but he was a young guy so I looked past
it.

This certainly put me off.  I wouldn't want to work for a company whose VP of Tech judged candidates based on how well their suit fit or whether they wear sneakers.



 

Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?




This is always one of the arguments used, and it sucks. Importance in one area does not imply importance in another. Just because I don't want to dress up doesn't mean I don't want to write good code. Just because I don't think wearing a suit and tie is important doesn't mean I don't think 'software project X' is important.

I realize that's just the way it is. But just because it's 'the way it is' doesn't mean it's the way it SHOULD be...

If you REALLY want to get down on how the candidate dressed, the argument would be something like, 'if you won't dress up for this interview, how do we know you'll dress up for a presentation with upper management and clients?' That would be a better point (but still off a bit... upper management and clients aren't AT this interview, so one's dress there does not necessarily represent their dress in the presence of said people).

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:49 • by Corporate Cog
The "whiner" may actually meet one of Spolsky's criteria (aside from disparaging the surrounding restaurants).  His former/current position may be that bad; perhaps that's why he's looking...

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:53 • by zip
102492 in reply to 102484
GrandmasterB:

Anonymous:
Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

I think you need to do some growing up yourself if you think your statement has any logic to it.

If you're hiring a salesperson or fashion model, yeah, sure, they need to show they can dress up to meet with customers and otherwise impress folks.  But whether a programmer has a nice suit has little to do with how well he can design a system.

It's not about how good you are.  It's about how good you appear to be.  Wearing a suit helps you appear good.  If you don't need that extra edge, good for you, but don't pretend it isn't an edge. 

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:56 • by Yakov
102495 in reply to 102457

Anonymous:
Apple Solaris?? It would have been a little more funny if they said Apple Solaris with the .NET Framework... a big jumble of 3 totally different platforms!! Totally WTF

 Oh god, please don't give any "entrepreneurs" any ideas!
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 14:58 • by jes5199
102497 in reply to 102477

My personal rule of thumb is: don't fake it. If you're a lazy slob who likes to sleep late - like me - then don't pretend to be a type-A go-getter suave-in-a-suit.

Because, here's the thing, the people who hire you, well, they'll expect to see the guy they interviewed every day.
So you might as well go as yourself, and only take the jobs that are actually compatible with your personality (and with your actual skills).

Maybe I'm making less money because I've never worn a coat and tie to an interview, but my schedule is flexible, and I have plenty of coffee, and decent technology to play with.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:00 • by A Businessman
102498 in reply to 102465
SomebodyElse:
Anonymous:

Q: Could you walk me through the request-response cycle for a request to a web application, from the user's browser to the web server, and perhaps to a database, then back?

A: No.

 Well, you did give him bonus points for honesty, right??

Personally, I appreciate an honest "I'm not familiar with that" as opposed to someone attempting to BS their way through something. IMHO, I'd rather hire someone who is personable, reasonably well qualifed and who has an open mind, than look for someone who is an expert in everything (who is?)

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:00 • by Puma
I would have hired the kid in the poorly fitting suit. Who cares if he didn't wear dress shoes, or if his suit didn't quite fit, as long as he looked presentable that's all that matters. Now, about him being curious... I have found curiosity to be an awesome trait for developers to have. Sure, it might be seen as poor etiquite, but he was reading a book not sifting through underwear. He was searching for the answer to a question.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:00 • by PseudoNoise
While everyone's complaining about the business dress story (MHO: putting on your best business suit for an interview is a sign of respect), I just wanted to say I LOL'd at the "Are you an astronaut?"  I'd have wanted to find a hole to crawl into.  Totally understandable, and totally embarassing.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:02 • by darin
102501 in reply to 102461
Anonymous:

I once interviewed at a very small electronics company and
showed up in a nice suit and shiny shoes.

I'm surprised people still expect suits for interviews.  I'm in California though.  I had an interview once and asked the recruiter if I should wear a suit, and he said of course.  When I got there, it turned out he was the only person in the entire building with a suit (including the vest) and it didn't fit well.  I stuck out badly.  After I got the job, I found out he was basically the only person in the entire mid-size company that wore a suit.  8 years and 2 companies later, ex coworkers still laugh at me over this.

People may not remember the recruiter, even after describing his eccentricities.  But when I say "the guy in the suit", they suddenly remember and start laughing.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:04 • by Zlodo
102503 in reply to 102486
Anonymous:

I've learned the hard way about bad-mouthing a former employer... even if they have a permanent case of cranial-rectal inversion, its still better to mention the good things and not go into detail about why they suck so hard.

I'm always weary of the "why did you left your previous job" question myself. You've got to be frank and give a compelling reason as to why you left your job, yet this very reason might hurt your chance to get the new job.

For instance, even if you had perfectly good reason to dislike someone in your last job, saying so might make them think that you don't get along well with people.

If you say "their codebase was a giant WTF", they may think that you're too intolerant of things being done in a different way than yours. Also, they might be unsure that you won't get pissed off by their own codebase, since codebase are always more or less WTF-ish.


 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:05 • by Puma
102504 in reply to 102492
zip:
GrandmasterB:

Anonymous:
Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

I think you need to do some growing up yourself if you think your statement has any logic to it.

If you're hiring a salesperson or fashion model, yeah, sure, they need to show they can dress up to meet with customers and otherwise impress folks.  But whether a programmer has a nice suit has little to do with how well he can design a system.

It's not about how good you are.  It's about how good you appear to be.  Wearing a suit helps you appear good.  If you don't need that extra edge, good for you, but don't pretend it isn't an edge. 

 

 You can still look good in sneakers. One of my common interview outfits is a $100 pair of jeans that are a tad tore up, sneakers, and a nice brightly colored dress shirt (the bright color makes you memorable) with a blazer over it. It's fasionable, comfortable (which is important), and unique.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:07 • by Puma
102505 in reply to 102503
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

I've learned the hard way about bad-mouthing a former employer... even if they have a permanent case of cranial-rectal inversion, its still better to mention the good things and not go into detail about why they suck so hard.

I'm always weary of the "why did you left your previous job" question myself. You've got to be frank and give a compelling reason as to why you left your job, yet this very reason might hurt your chance to get the new job.

For instance, even if you had perfectly good reason to dislike someone in your last job, saying so might make them think that you don't get along well with people.

If you say "their codebase was a giant WTF", they may think that you're too intolerant of things being done in a different way than yours. Also, they might be unsure that you won't get pissed off by their own codebase, since codebase are always more or less WTF-ish.


 

 That is one of those interview questions that you should have a rehearsed BS response too. Even if you're thinking "OMG, WTF, what a bunch of morons they were."

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:09 • by Dear Lord
102506 in reply to 102457

Anonymous:
Apple Solaris?? It would have been a little more funny if they said Apple Solaris with the .NET Framework... a big jumble of 3 totally different platforms!! Totally WTF

Well, Apple's OS is UNIX-based now.  And there's that-there MONO project to port .NET over to LINUX.

Maybe this person was just way ahead of all of us.

 

Captcha is 'clueless'. Indeed.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:11 • by UMTopSpinC7
I have seen a resume with someone claiming be working towards their "Bachelorette of Science". I wonder if she ever got it?

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:12 • by anon
102508 in reply to 102504
This outfit sounds like you are going on a date.  Most likely your boss will be older than you and you should dress accordingly.  Does anyone remember ties?  Like a brightly colored dress shirt, they draw attention, just in a bit more sophisticated way.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:14 • by A Businessman
102510 in reply to 102505
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

I've learned the hard way about bad-mouthing a former employer... even if they have a permanent case of cranial-rectal inversion, its still better to mention the good things and not go into detail about why they suck so hard.

I'm always weary of the "why did you left your previous job" question myself. You've got to be frank and give a compelling reason as to why you left your job, yet this very reason might hurt your chance to get the new job.

For instance, even if you had perfectly good reason to dislike someone in your last job, saying so might make them think that you don't get along well with people.

If you say "their codebase was a giant WTF", they may think that you're too intolerant of things being done in a different way than yours. Also, they might be unsure that you won't get pissed off by their own codebase, since codebase are always more or less WTF-ish.

 That is one of those interview questions that you should have a rehearsed BS response too. Even if you're thinking "OMG, WTF, what a bunch of morons they were."

How about this one: "Due to budgetary constraints, my current project is being put on hold indefinitely, and there does not appear to be enough work to keep all of us busy. While the company has not made any moves toward layoffs, I prefer to be productive, and am proactively looking for a challenge. I understand the project for which I'm interviewing is a substantial effort - can you shed some light on it?"

It's pure BS, but applies to just about any IT project on the planet, and get's past the question.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:15 • by Shawn
102512 in reply to 102478
Penicillin, bed rest and lots of fluids.  You should be back to work in a week or so.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:17 • by ptomblin
102514 in reply to 102501

The only time I haven't worn a suit to a first interview (except for jobs I didn't want) was during a heat wave with temperatures in the high 90s.  I didn't have a/c in my car, and I asked my pimp to ask the client if it would be ok.  Probably just as well, because I would have stunk something awful by the time I drove across town in a suit.

I graduated as an engineer rather than a computer programmer, and actually had a seminar on the psychology of job interviews.  We were told that you wear the suit not because it says anything about you or your abilities, but as a sign of respect to the interviewer.  Whether conciously or not, they want to know that you prepared for the interview, you didn't just drop in on your way to something else.  It's also important to ask specific questions that show you know something about the company interviewing you.  If it's a big company that everybody has heard of (Kodak or Xerox, say), ask questions that show you know something about the division or group that is interviewing you.

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:17 • by UMTopSpinC7
102515 in reply to 102510

A Businessman:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

I've
learned the hard way about bad-mouthing a former employer... even if
they have a permanent case of cranial-rectal inversion, its still
better to mention the good things and not go into detail about why they
suck so hard.

I'm always weary of the "why did you left
your previous job" question myself. You've got to be frank and give a
compelling reason as to why you left your job, yet this very reason
might hurt your chance to get the new job.

For instance, even if
you had perfectly good reason to dislike someone in your last job,
saying so might make them think that you don't get along well with
people.

If you say "their codebase was a giant WTF", they may
think that you're too intolerant of things being done in a different
way than yours. Also, they might be unsure that you won't get pissed
off by their own codebase, since codebase are always more or less
WTF-ish.

 That is one of those interview questions
that you should have a rehearsed BS response too. Even if you're
thinking "OMG, WTF, what a bunch of morons they were."

How
about this one: "Due to budgetary constraints, my current project is
being put on hold indefinitely, and there does not appear to be enough
work to keep all of us busy. While the company has not made any moves
toward layoffs, I prefer to be productive, and am proactively looking
for a challenge. I understand the project for which I'm interviewing is
a substantial effort - can you shed some light on it?"

It's pure BS, but applies to just about any IT project on the planet, and get's past the question.


That is pretty good. What about, "What is your biggest weakness". Another one that's pretty tough.

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:22 • by ptomblin
102516 in reply to 102515
UMTopSpinC7:

That is pretty good. What about, "What is your biggest weakness". Another one that's pretty tough.

"I'm so smart and good and fast that I make everybody else on the project look bad by comparison"

"Because my code never has bugs in it, I don't get a chance to debug code much."

"I work too hard and for too little money."

 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:22 • by darin
102518 in reply to 102476
Anonymous:

Grow up, people care how you look.  If an interview isn't important enough to you to dress up a little bit then how is the company's software project going to be important enough for you to work hard on it?

There a difference in dressing up a little and actually having fashion sense.  People with ill-fitting suits almost never know that they're ill fitting, or may not have had time to buy a new suit and have it tailored in time for the interview.  (being middle aged, I have learned that suits that are hung in the closet for ten years will shrink :-)

(I once spent 11 months looking for a job.  I think that wearing a tie made me lose out on a few offers, indirectly.  Ie, sitting in the interview, uncomfortable, with a noose around my neck.  Late in the game one company finally told me what they liked and disliked about me.  My drawbacks were that he thought I was way too formal, answered questions correctly but too succinctly, and that I would have been a great candidate if only I had loosened up a bit so that it felt like I would have fit in.)

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:26 • by Bill
102520 in reply to 102504
Anonymous:

 You can still look good in sneakers. One of my common interview outfits is a $100 pair of jeans that are a tad tore up, sneakers, and a nice brightly colored dress shirt (the bright color makes you memorable) with a blazer over it. It's fasionable, comfortable (which is important), and unique.



 

You interview so much that you have an entire outfit laid out for just that occasion?  Jeez.  If I had to wear the same thing next interveiw as I wore to the last, I'd be just a tiny bit past the good fashion sense date.  How often do you change jobs, anyway?
 

Re: Tales from the Interview

2006-11-17 15:27 • by Nina
102521 in reply to 102505
My response was, "I wanted to try being a full-time mother, and learned that I suck at being a mother and I'd much rather be a programmer".
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