Comment On Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

Here's a link to the previous episode in case you missed it: Tales from the Interview. Don't forget to send in some of your own for next time. [expand full text]
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Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:16 • by facetious
Woohoo! Pantsless fridays!

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:23 • by Anonymous

"What I love about working here is Pants-Free Fridays" 

 
Who wouldn't laugh at that?   I guess the interviewee did not find that humorous.  I've heard more offensive things in my office in the time it's taken me to write this.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:40 • by catfood

I've been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I'm surprised the new guy wasn't wearing a cowboy hat to match.

I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion faux pas wouldn't be a huge deal to me.

 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:41 • by Satanicpuppy
106639 in reply to 106633

A nerdy guy throwing that out, unprompted, to a female tech writer, is probably not the best way to make a first impression.

Witnessed a similar faux pas myself just yesterday, when a friend of mine came down to vent some steam about some crappy coworkers, stepped into the door of my office and said in a not-quite-yelling tone, "GODDAMN MOTHER****ERS!"

Normally this wouldn't have been a big deal because it's nothing but the guys down here in IT, but, unfortunately, on that particular day the coder who does most of our legacy mainframe work (a matronly, deeply religious woman, ~62 years of age) happened to be sitting two offices away, which might as well have been the same room, the way sound travels down here. 

Oy vey. The moral of the story is: If you don't know who's listening, or what they're like, keep it clean.
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:42 • by JamesKilton
106640 in reply to 106633

I'll never be able to work at a place that doesn't find 'Pants-free Fridays' funny. This whole trend of "Professionalism" == "depressed stoicism" drives me nuts.

Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I'd be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.

 
Good stories!
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:44 • by Satanicpuppy
106641 in reply to 106638
Anonymous:

I've been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I'm surprised the new guy wasn't wearing a cowboy hat to match.

I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion faux pas wouldn't be a huge deal to me.

 It'd depend on the guys actual personality, and where he was going to end up working. I would probably be far more likely to hire an extravagant Texan for an actuarial position, just for the amusement value. Still, the position (as it is traditionally viewed) does demand a certain amount of delicacy, so, I can see why they wouldn't be pleased.
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:48 • by SeeJay
106642 in reply to 106640

I'll never be able to work at a place that doesn't find 'Pants-free Fridays' funny. This whole trend of "Professionalism" == "depressed stoicism" drives me nuts.

Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I'd be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.

 

The problem is that with a group of guys interviewing a woman, you have to be careful about what is said.  I'm pretty laid back but I'd probably be caught off guard if a strange guy said something that could be construed different ways.  It's likely that his coworkers found it funny, but being in strange mixed company... well... it wasn't exactly a good thing to say.

 Of course there were far *worse* things that could be said!

(And WTF is it with this forum quoting (or non-quoting as the case may be?)  I don't post enough to figure out the quirks!)

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 11:57 • by stranger

Me: How would you rate your Linux skills on a scale of 1 to 10?

I assume that you mentioned (1 being the novice & 10 being the expert) . if not I don't blame the interviewee :-)

 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:00 • by El Quberto
I had the pleasure of getting a "rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 in java" question by a recruiter.  I'm a little fed up with that question so I lead her through my reasoning:

Me: "Does anyone rank themselves 1-5?"
Her: "No"
Me: "Okay so here's how it goes: if you've used the language for a day you're a 6.  Been using it for a couple of months a 7.  Anything from a couple months to 10 years you're a 8 or 9.  If you wrote the language or you're an idiot that doesn't know what to answer you say 10"

She said that some people rank themselves at a 6.5.  Uh lady I'm not sure what world they are coming from but if I don't know what the scale means I'm not going to go into decimal places describing myself on it.  And besides "java" has many facets.  It is like asking a bus driver to rank himself on driving ability and comparing that to a soccer mom, NASCAR driver, and a UPS semi driver.  Bah.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:03 • by morry
Several counter points:

1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some places.  There is such a thing as dress cowboy boots.  That should not have been a major issue.  I've seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine.  Blue seems a strange color though.

2) PLEASE  show me a place where HR is NOT useless.  perhaps if we told them that a little more often we wouldn't have to deal with it.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:07 • by Captcha: Zork.
106650 in reply to 106646

The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.   What are you trying to find out?  Confidence? Actual Coding ability?  Ability to do math?   Seems like such a waste of time.   I mean, who'd going to give themselves below a 7?  

 

*shakes head*  

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:23 • by BigZaphod
I was going to reply here with something witty, but it seemed like too much work.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:24 • by gary
106656 in reply to 106648

morry:

1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some places. 

 

yeah.  a rodeo. or any other place in the world...if it's Halloween. 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:25 • by Ghost Ware Wizard

I recall an interview once where the manager asked me about programming, what my interests were, etc. so I left and had no idea how I did.  So I go to another interview a week later, after not hearing from the first manager, and was offered a job and accepted it and another company.  I get this call maybe two weeks after I stared my new job from the first manager and all he said was "hey are you ever going to come in to work for us? we told everyone we had hired you" and I had to tell him he never offered, or called me, or anything like "hey you're hired when can you start" and I had interviewed somewhere else and was now working there...

 Communication is supposed to be a *two* way street....

 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:31 • by hbr17

Forgot to introduce you:

 WTF avoided ... at least the person didn't give up his Cousin as the source of the G2 on HR, leaving an unsightly mess to be cleaned up later :-)

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:32 • by JBourrie
106660 in reply to 106657
I don't get it... I thought every company celebrated Pants-Free Friday!

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:35 • by Pez

"Our office was on a dirt road"

WTF?!?!  That has to make a good impression on a interviewee..

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:35 • by Paula
106663 in reply to 106656
Anonymous:

morry:

1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some places. 

 

yeah.  a rodeo. or any other place in the world...if it's Halloween. 

quit trying to mock other people's fashion sense ...

your wooden clogs betray your motives 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:43 • by Martin
106664 in reply to 106648
People new to the corporate world make the mistake of thinking Human Resources is on their side, like some internal labor union.  It isn't.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:45 • by Marek
106665 in reply to 106657
amazing;  same exact thing happened to me just about 5 months ago.  I had an interview, never heard back from them, got another job in the meantime and after about 3 weeks I got a call from the first place.  It was funny because the hiring manager was talking to me as if I had 3 weeks of no-call-no-show kind of situation.  When I told him that I'm currently employed at another place he offered me a sizable signing bonus, unfortunately (for them) they couldn't come near the salary I got from my current place.  Communication is supposed to be two way street, though I'm glad I found a hiring manger who didn't seem to think so.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:48 • by kuroshin
Alex Papadimoulis:

He's wearing a powder blue leisure suit with cowboy boots.

So he turns out for an interview like this ? I'm not surprised they were so cold about that.

 

 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:52 • by Kabdib the Younger

Pants-free Fridays?  Ach, so you wear kilts then, ay?  (It's easier to hide the nerf weapons under a kilt . . . so I'm told).

I took a nine month hiatus from the industry in the late 90s, and when I felt like working again I went to a job fair.  At one booth I made the mistake of mentioning that I'd been programming in C for over twenty years.  Their ears perked up.  "Really?"  They practically hired me on the spot.

Two months later I realized that interviewing is indeed a two-way street, and that you need to find out what the people and organization are like before you go on board.  Their entire product could have been replaced by a few hundred lines of Perl, they had no formal build process, their management style consisted of waffling until one of the technical heavies simply pounded out some code (whereupon it shipped: no q/a), and worst of all the nazi network admin had shut down all of the Quake ports on the firewall.  (Fucker).

The president of the company was in tears when I left. It was so touching.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:53 • by Roll Over
106670 in reply to 106648

morry:
Several counter points:
1) Cowboy boots with a suit is perfectly acceptable in some places.  There is such a thing as dress cowboy boots.  That should not have been a major issue.  I've seen men wearing suits and boots and they look fine.  Blue seems a strange color though.
2) PLEASE  show me a place where HR is NOT useless.  perhaps if we told them that a little more often we wouldn't have to deal with it.

Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a powder blue leisure suit?

No voting?

2006-12-13 12:53 • by Your Name

Hey!

How come we cannot vote this time?

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:54 • by Who wants to work on an MMORPG anyway
106672 in reply to 106657

I had an instance with a well known game development company of which I've been a long time fan;   I had interviewed with another (non-game) company at about the same time, and let the game company know when we started the process that they weren't alone.   A full four weeks after the interview, I hadn't heard -anything- back from the game company, and thus assumed that they had decided against me.   Since I figured it would have been polite to inform me this, when I got my offer from the other company, I sent a message to the recruiter at the game company to let her know I was going to be taking the offer, and was curious as to why I'd never heard back.

I finally get a response back:  "We're considering you for multiple positions!  We'd like to set up the next step of the interview with you early next week."

At this point, a couple of weeks later, they still haven't bothered to try to set anything up, and after holding off for a bit, just in case (Hey, they'd be a neat company to work for!) I've just sent in my acceptance of the other job.   Then again, at the rate they're going, I could probably complete the rest of the interview, knowing that if I got an offer, I'd probably get it in about.... 2010.

 

 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:55 • by truthiness
106673 in reply to 106670
Anonymous:

Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a powder blue leisure suit?

 

No, that is irrelevant.  It's like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position. 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 12:58 • by SomeCoder

WOOT!  No pants Friday!

 I'm going to try and get that started at my work :)

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:00 • by plizak
106675 in reply to 106633

If you have no sense of humour, you would not survive in my work enviroment.

/My Captcha is TPS, as in TPS reports, ha ha ha

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:02 • by jimlangrunner
106676 in reply to 106650

Reminds me of a hasher I know named "Pull My Pants Down!".

Gotta laugh at these.  Every one of them is a WTF in some way. 


The entire concept behind
these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.   What are you trying to find
out?  Confidence? Actual Coding ability?  Ability to do math?   Seems
like such a waste of time.   I mean, who'd going to give themselves
below a 7? 

Myself, I'm about a 4 in Linux knowledge.  I know that "rm -A" is a bad thing (or is that "rm -a"?), but I'd have to check the man pages to be sure. (Yes, I know what it does). Trouble is, you'll have folks that try to be honest, and folks that try to b.s. their way through.  How do you tell the difference?

Cowboy boots hurt my feet.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:09 • by many moons ago
106680 in reply to 106638
Anonymous:

I've been to Dallas. Cowboy boots are (were?) normal business attire there. I'm surprised the new guy wasn't wearing a cowboy hat to match.

I believe in appropriate attire, but honestly this fashion faux pas wouldn't be a huge deal to me

Agreed! Anyone who would go nuts because someone from another region dressed differently than they do locally probably isn't someone I'd want to work for anyway. The Texan got lucky on missing this one.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:10 • by Roll Over
106681 in reply to 106673

Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Did everyone else miss the part that stated he was wearing a powder blue leisure suit?

No, that is irrelevant.  It's like saying someone wearing an Armani should be outright dismissed from consideration for a software engineering or similar position. 

My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.  I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.  Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:13 • by GoatCheez

It's been pointed out already by others, but I agree with with them about the cowboy boots and the Pants-Free Fridays.

The cowboy boots were not as big of a faux pas as the color of the suit. Still though, from the description it sounds like very acceptable attire for an interviewing actuary.

 I don't know how anyone would not laugh at the Pants-Free Fridays. For some reason that story rings a bell too. I actually think someone might've used that line on me in an interview at some time. I could be and am probably just crazy though.
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:18 • by G-Unit
106684 in reply to 106640
JamesKilton:

I'll never be able to work at a place that doesn't find 'Pants-free Fridays' funny. This whole trend of "Professionalism" == "depressed stoicism" drives me nuts.

Hell, if an interviewer said that to me, I'd be laughing my head off and immediately have a much better impression of the company.

 
Good stories!
 

 

Agreed.  If she's cunty in the interview, she'll be even cuntier when working with her.  Good riddance!

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:19 • by many moons ago
106685 in reply to 106676
jimlangrunner:

Reminds me of a hasher I know named "Pull My Pants Down!".

Gotta laugh at these.  Every one of them is a WTF in some way. 

The entire concept behind these sorts of questions is bogus anyway.   What are you trying to find out?  Confidence? Actual Coding ability?  Ability to do math?   Seems like such a waste of time.   I mean, who'd going to give themselves below a 7? 

Myself, I'm about a 4 in Linux knowledge.  I know that "rm -A" is a bad thing (or is that "rm -a"?), but I'd have to check the man pages to be sure. (Yes, I know what it does). Trouble is, you'll have folks that try to be honest, and folks that try to b.s. their way through.  How do you tell the difference?

Cowboy boots hurt my feet.

Personally, I get very uncomfortable BS'ing my way through an answer (you never know what the interviewer knows), so I just come back with "I know a little about that, but not enough to speak to it intelligently - I'd rather be honest with you".

That almost always gets me past all questions on the subject, and if it doesn't, it tells me a world of info about the interviewer that I usually interpret as "run!"

BTW: the women in my office weart skirts, and so have been observing pants-free Friday's since forever. Now clothes-free Fridays.....

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:25 • by hotdog
106687 in reply to 106681
Anonymous:

My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.  I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.  Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.
 

And my point is that this attire isn't necessarily inappropriate. 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:30 • by Havic
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don't ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don't already know it.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:34 • by Dave

I was finishing up a day of interviews with my potential supervisor.  He wanted to go all technical, which basically meant quoting bits and pieces from the latest win32 book he read.  Unfortunately for him, there just aren't that many win32 books worth reading and I could name the source of nearly every question he asked.

 So finally we move on to the more interesting things, like what I want from this company and my short-to-long term career plans.  He seemed genuinely distressed that my goals didn't revolve around the latest Microsoft OS.

me: "There's no way in hell I want to be banging out code like a monkey when I'm 40"

him:  "Uhh, I just turned 41 last week."

 

CAPTCHA - 1337, a symptom of resource waste
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:34 • by fashion impaired
Alex Papadimoulis:

A Nice New Pair of Kicks
From Martin Burns, during his tenure as recruiter for an actuarial search firms ...

I was working for a national contingency agency, and our specialty was actuarial search. Once of our major long-term clients was one of the top employee benefit consulting firms in the country (name withheld for all the usual reasons).

For this search, they were looking for a top-level actuarial consultant. For those of you unfamiliar with the actuarial field, well let's just say that finding an actuary who's comfortable in front of people is kind of like finding a Leprechaun who doesn't lie about where their pot of gold is hiding.

So when I sourced a guy in Texas who was personality+ with phenomenal scores on the grueling actuarial exams & open to relocation nationally, I did the foolish thing of assuming I'd already made a placement. We got on the phone with our client immediately. They loved what they heard; phone screened him for a role in Chicago, and booked flight up while they were still talking. I started doing the money dance in my head, thinking about the new Bang & Olufson speakers I would buy, all of that. This would be a 6 figure salary at a 35% fee (ahh, the idiot 90's).

I phone prepped him, but since I was cocky about this one, didn't do more than say to him "make sure you wear a suit", to which he said: "Don't worry Martin, I've got a new blue one with a nice new pair of kicks." I'm from Boston. I though "kicks" meant shoes.

They met him at the airport with a limo & two senior consultants. The called me the minute the car pulled up to their office and one of them could cut away. They didn't yell, but I think that would have been better. In a (very) cold tone, they said: "He's wearing a powder blue leisure suit with cowboy boots."

Shockingly, I didn't get my Bang & Olufson's. I still don't have them.

Yeah, we all know that pastel liesure suits are inappropriate, and always have been, at an interview, in a bar, or anywhere else beyond Liesure Suite Larry...

However, the guy was interviewing for a job as an actuary (my cousin is an actuary) - someone who sits at a desk and interprets mountains of financial statistical data. Not a position that routinely requires meeting customers, bathing or any other human interaction.

Aside from the fact that the guy doesn't have much fashion sense, who cares what he was wearing? He wore a new "suit" and boots (presumably only showing from the ankles down as most (!) suits have full-length pants). If he didn't smell, could speak to his craft intelligently and was reasonably personable, I would have hired the guy.

A few months back, a not-quite-middle-aged guy applied for a programming position at our place. He was wearing an old, but clean suit, scuffed, but polished shoes, and presented "ok". His technical skills were good, he could kid around and take a joke (one of my interview questions to lighten the mood is: what's the best practical joke you've ever seen?), so we hired him. It turns out that the guy's family had several major medical expenses that had hit them hard, and he just didn't have the cash to update his wardrobe. We're glad we didn't judge that book by it's cover!

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:35 • by Richard Head
106691 in reply to 106688

Anonymous:
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don't ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don't already know it.

 Are you referring to Mark Foley?  If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.  If thats not who you're referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said
 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:35 • by mattd
At my job we have "humor-free weekdays."

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:39 • by What?
106693 in reply to 106692

mattd:
At my job we have "humor-free weekdays."

Any time my boss tries to get serious, my peers and I take it as a sign to play a mandatory practical joke on someone - it always breaks the tension. I think you need to find a new job.

"If you don't have enjoy work, and can't laugh once in a while, you're spending ~1/3 of your life being miserable..."

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:39 • by mattd
106694 in reply to 106688
I haven't seen many gladiator movies because of my time in a Turkish prison.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:39 • by Dave
106695 in reply to 106691

Anonymous:
Are you referring to Mark Foley?  If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.  If thats not who you're referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:43 • by merreborn
106696 in reply to 106687
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

My point is that everyone is focusing on the cowboy boots.  I think cowboy boots are less faux pas than a leisure suit.  Plus this guy was being considered for an actuary, not a software engineer.
 

And my point is that this attire isn't necessarily inappropriate. 

At first I was stunned that they'd decline to hire the guy based on his choice in clothing, but then I remembered that his #1 responsibility would have been interfacing with customers.  Part of that includes dressing in a manner that isn't likely to put your customers off.  I'd imagine this is doubly true in the actuarial industry, which is probably a lot more into the whole suit & tie thing than average. 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:45 • by Zylon
106697 in reply to 106691
Anonymous:

Anonymous:
One question I always ask is "Do you like Gladiator movies?" If the person gets the reference, then they almost always laugh and it tells me something about their personality. If they don't get the reference, then I brush by the question, and this tells me a little something about their personality. I usually don't ask technical questions. I am more interested in their educational background, what technologies they have been exposed to and their overall personality. If I can work with the person, then they can learn what they need to if they don't already know it.

 Are you referring to Mark Foley?  If so, thats a pretty new reference to be asking someone.  If thats not who you're referring to, there must be more than one time that line has been said

Surely you're kidding. 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:50 • by El Quberto
106700 in reply to 106646
Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:
  You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.  How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?

Like all logic problems there's a trick in there somewhere (I hadn't heard this one before).  I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.  No, she said, my answer was the simple one.  Uh it is the right one.  I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.

Add to that she didn't see my resume until I walked in and I knew I was doomed from the start.  Honestly why do people ask these "logic" questions?  If you know the trick you're a genius, if you don't you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:57 • by Stupid interview questions
106702 in reply to 106700
Anonymous:
Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:
  You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.  How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?

Like all logic problems there's a trick in there somewhere (I hadn't heard this one before).  I so struggled for a minute and told her it was 8 seconds.  No, she said, my answer was the simple one.  Uh it is the right one.  I then went on to show her that you had to have more inputs so you could sneak one of the slower people over with an even slower person.

Add to that she didn't see my resume until I walked in and I knew I was doomed from the start.  Honestly why do people ask these "logic" questions?  If you know the trick you're a genius, if you don't you minus well have just rolled out of your cardboard box in the park and holding on to your MadDog 20/20.

I've noticed that oftentimes, interviewers will ask something that they obviously fought with in production (invariably some obscure piece of minutia) and then expect you to know it. I take it as a red flag of management stupidity.

The other one is when they try to get you to solve some current production problem in the interview (because they obviously have no clue what to do) - I like to give enough of an answer to let them know that I know how to fix it, but not quite enought to enable them to fix it without my help. If they persist in getting more details, it's a sure sign that they are only interviewing in order to pick your brains for free; since you've already wasted your time, you might as well have some fun sending them up an obscure, yet dead-end blind alley (tit-for-tat)

captcha: whiskey - I need some after interviews like that!

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 13:59 • by mathew

"He's wearing a powder blue leisure suit with cowboy boots."


Since you don't mention heavy tattoos and piercings, I'm guessing he wasn't from Austin.

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 14:02 • by awesomeness
106705 in reply to 106700
Anonymous:
Got this great logic problem at a recent interview:
  You have three people that can cross a bridge but they have to cross with their single flashlight.  How quickly can you get across those people that can cross the bridge when it takes them 1, 2, and 5 seconds?

5 seconds.  Nothing in your description says they can't go together.

 

When I get asked questions like this one though, I turn it around and say something equally stupid like "How quickly can you figure out that your organization is not up to par for my capabilities?" 

Re: Tales from the Interview: A Perfect Ten!

2006-12-13 14:09 • by VGR
Alex Papadimoulis:

I Forgot to Introduce You
From the interviewee for an entry-level programmer position who asked to remain anonymous ...

"No," Mark replied, " I think you should actually explain yourself."

At this point the blood is racing, so I'm not sure exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of "It's not that HR is bad. It's more that you know me better than they do and are more capable of assessing me." A minute or so later I stumbled out of the room gasping for air. Despite all that, I still received an offer. Thank goodness for nepotism.

 

This anonymous guy has my respect.  That was a nice recovery;  he thought on his feet instead of panicking.  Had he lacked that wherewithal, I think nepotism wouldn't have saved him.

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