More Limitin' (from Andrew Warren-Love)
Even though his resume wasn't beaming as much as some of the others we received, we invited a man down to interview for either of two positions. One in the IT Department and one in the Software Group of the Engineering Department. Once he arrived, he was given a tour of the important parts of the company to encourage interest related to our company or our products just like everyone else we interview. By this point, 90% of candidates will ask questions on their own, and the rest will ask questions when prompted.
Instead, he replied in a Southern drawl "nah man, I'm good." For the rest of interview, he showed about the same level of enthusiasm.
What was his favorite project to work on? "Uhh, they're'll'bout the same."
How did he adapt to the transition from VB6 to .NET? "Just'bout fine I'spose."
What did he do to keep current on technology? "Ah, ya know, this'n'that."
It was quite the challenge to get him to say anything other than what a teenager coming home from school would say. That is, until I asked him what his experience with web technology was.
"I found HTML more limitin' than Jarva er C."
He was an impressive candidate if you ask me.
Wrong Major (from David)
The interview started with the typical fluff questions about hobbies and school. Things went proceeding smoothly until he suddenly interrupted me in the middle of a story with a brainteaser right out of Job Interview 2.0. "If you have a set of five weights that are identical except for one, how can you find the one in only 3 measures?"
Being someone who has heard of a brainteaser before and enjoyed them as a hobby, I quickly answered but I outlined the steps so at least it wasn't a canned answer. When I gave him the correct answer though he gave me a disgusted look and pointed a finger at me. "You must have heard that one before!", as if it was my fault he had used a stock question.
The conversation switched over to more technical aspects and, while I was in the middle of describing my Oracle experience, he interrupted with another riddle, practically shouting it: "IF YOU HAVE A BOX WITH THREE LIGHTBULBS..."
Again, I had heard this one and gave him the answer. Again, he gave me this accusatory look like I had just cheated on a test. Already I was feeling very uncomfortable and could tell that the interview wasn't going well... but little did I realize it was about to get worse. Towards the end of the interview, he looked down at my resume and saw that my major was in Systems Integration. He asked me what it was like, so I explained the course work.
"No, no no," he said, interrupting me again, "that's system design! What did you do for systems integration?"
I took a deep breath and said "At my school, the coursework for the System Integration track follows a certain track," and then told him again what the courses were.
"No," he stopped me midway through, and shaking his head. you're wrong."
"That isn't Systems Integration."
I was tempted to suggested that he take it up with the dean of the university, but I decided to quietly end things after that.
Parallel Universe Replacement (from Omar Haikal)
After five years of working as an employee for a big, corporate retailer, I was given the news that my job was going to be outsourced. Oh, and that I'd be responsible for hiring and training my replacements. I didn't really mind - it was about that time anyway - and besides, I helped build the entire database infrastructure from the ground-up, so things were in maintenance mode for the most part.
My company had already selected the outsourcing company and they'd be responsible for sending us appropriate candidates to replace me. So, to help them find the right candidates, they asked me what kind of problems I'd dealt with and on which systems I'd had those problems. I answered something like, "On this database, I once got a request to kill the DMA session as it did not complete execution before recycle time and caused problems on the website for the P001a database."
When it came time to interview the first candidate from the outsourcing company, I took a look at his resume and noticed that he had been working for my company for the past 2.5 years! Not only that, he apparently built all of the database infrastructure for my company including the disaster recovery projects that we didn't even start yet. I asked my boss if this was a joke, but he said that this candidate was one of the top candidates the outsourcing company referred. I thought, what the hell, this could be fun - so I decided to give him a call and investigate.
"So how long have you been working here?" I asked him after exchanging the usual pleasantries.
Dead silence. After a long pause, he responded "oh, that must be a typo!"
"Okay... no problem, happens to me all the time. So, tell me about your day-to-day work."
The candidate started telling me exactly every single word I told the outsourcing folks. Oddly enough, he even used the same database name at one point (P008A). I then asked him what he would do if a user reports an ORA 1555 error?
"I once got a request to kill the DMA session as it did not complete execution before recycle time, and caused problems on the website for the P001a database."
I cut the interview short, and moments later received an offer from the outsourcing company. I declined it.