A Most Wonderful Opportunity, Multiple Frustrations, and More

« Return to Article
  • Frist Time Poster 2012-03-13 09:05
    FRIST POST!

    Thank you everyone.
  • Herwig 2012-03-13 09:10
    Fristrated, because not first..
  • Raedwald 2012-03-13 09:10
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.
  • Bogolese 2012-03-13 09:13
    Hmm. I wonder if they give you a pony for a signing bonus.
  • Mr. S 2012-03-13 09:16
    TRWTF is a .NET developer at Sun!
  • Steve The Cynic 2012-03-13 09:18
    Ben at least got details from the headhunter, even if they were marketing bullshit. I get messages that say little more than "I have a great opportunity. Send me a CV for details!" Um, no, thanks.
  • Machtyn 2012-03-13 09:18
    In this most finly handkraftid comment, one must consider the exquizite lighting emanated upon the commenter wich meticulously chosen every paragraph, every word, every character's placement and position. Not one i has been left undotted, not one t has been left uncrossed. The j's both dotted and crossed when the font particulerly calls for it.

    What of this superb, wonderous, and magnifiscient comment does not inspire even the most crass, and common among us to pick up pen and paper to try and even come close to the majesty of this comment of comments. Can there be any among us who can best it's wording. Nay, I say, it shant be any of us who come as close to shining example of phraseology as this comment.

    Come worship at the foot of this comment:

    /aliquam: there is an aliquam of crap going on here.
  • Ben Jammin 2012-03-13 09:19
    Mr. S:
    TRWTF is a .NET developer at Sun!


    Were you not aware that Java was developed in .Net?
  • Ben Jammin 2012-03-13 09:22
    You know Benjamin (no relation) has got to be thinking, "As horrible as it would seem to work for this 'Guru' guy, that really does sound like some delicious water."
  • Anketam 2012-03-13 09:22
    "The Guru" who has been given numerous awards just for "being outstanding"!

    Sounds like something that would be said about the most interesting man. We have had a number of code samples from people claiming to be The Guru, and needless to say I would prefer not to work for one.
  • Leo 2012-03-13 09:26
    Hari's company is the real WTF. I'd say the woman lucked out. Multiple interviews are fine, but if the interviewers are asking redundant questions, they need to be organized better.

    The Mt Fuji one is pretty great. I've never been asked any of those Job Interview 2.0 questions, but next time I'm up for interviewing I'll have to remember that.
  • iamleeg 2012-03-13 09:26
    I recognised that first email, so I dug through my inbox. Here's the missing bit about the tree:

    They are located in one of the most interesting hubs of
    London, nearby, health food stores abound and there is a Krishna
    Consciousness centre down the road. A Cedar of Lebanon stands tall in
    a nearby leafy garden. All of this purity is juxtaposed by a gritty
    high street slightly further away, where chain stores abound, and
    where one can find all of the generic shops that one would expect to
    find in any major city in the UK.


    Lunch breaks can be spent sitting by the local canal, taking in the
    view, fishing, perhaps engaging in some grafitti on the nearby purpose
    built ''creativity wall'' as it is called by the local council.
    Alternatively, one may wish to visit one of the nearby studios and do
    some Bikram Yoga before getting back to coding, the choice is yours.
    One final thing is that this company is not one of those companies
    that will work you into an early grave, quite the opposite, the
    founders of the company do in fact feel that their employees deserve
    to live and will not try to keep you roped in with unnecessary extra
    curricular unpaid coding sessions and social events.
  • Paul 2012-03-13 09:26
    This was from a Jerome W:

    It was a cold day, Gustav arrived for his first day at work clutching his laptop and some books on the Zend framework. His past nights had been disturbed by the 'Tetris effect', lines of pure code produced by his unconscious mind in his sleep, dropping down, one atop the other, leaving him in somewhat of a half awake, half asleep state throughout the nights. His world view was formed through code, indeed giving him great insight, yet leaving him somewhat distant from those around him.
    [snip a few paragraphs]
    As he arrived at his desk, he was astounded by the office environment, a wondrous place, void of unnecessary ornementation, fine desks sculpted from burr walnut. A minimalistic, clutter free environment seemed exactly what young Gustav needed to allow his coding to flourish. The air was as clean, a distant memory pervaded his mind, reminding him of the clean childhod air of the Matterhorn foothills in which he was raised. He mused on the brilliance of the architecture holding him, 'a hybrid blend of Le Corbusier and Ahrends Burton Koralek' he decided..... indeed he had many other interests in addition to his coding.......

    I am looking for candidates like young Gustav, to fill a technical lead role in a London based agency. I would really like to speak with you about the opportunity as it is a good one. They really want fastidious PHP Zend coders, who have experience in RESTful services, to work on their new platform, and migration to the LAMP stack.

    I wonder if it's the same guy...
  • Rosuav 2012-03-13 09:27
    He got awards just for being outstanding in his field? I have a scarecrow like that.
  • KattMan 2012-03-13 09:28
    As for the last posting I have noticed a somewhat disturbing trend.

    Note they say they want you to reply ASAP, before they even establish a relationship with you, in truth they are not concerened with this at all.

    I don't have my examples on me, but I can tell that there is a singular company sitting behind all of these because the format is all the same, asking for the same information all showing they are from different companies all over the US but every one of them has a middle eastern name.

    This is actually a company doing little more then trying to get themselves inserted into the middle of the hiring process just to get a finders fee. They present themselves as some company based somewhere in the US, any city works, ask for a template of information and next thing you know you are contacted by someone else from a different company for the same job stating you were referred to them by someone.

    Now I'm not against someone trying to make a little money, but rarely do the offers even match my skills, nor do they even match my current area of residence.

    Where do they come from? If you openly post yourself on Monster they are finding people there, trying to get in first and fast so they get the finders fee and move on.

    Can they open doors? Maybe, but I am doubtful. The emails always seem to have an urgency and rudness to them I simply do not respond. This is the current market out there regretfully, but I can get by without that type of service.
  • Anketam 2012-03-13 09:28
    I would hire the guy from Riddled, he totally destroyed that question.
  • thatguy 2012-03-13 09:28
    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein
  • thatguy 2012-03-13 09:31
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.




    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein
  • Bryan the K 2012-03-13 09:34
    I would have put a +1 in my notes for the complaining about the multiple people asking the same question.

    It's a silly little game that wastes the time of the interviewee. Going to some site for 3 hours of interviews so 3 or 4 different groups of people can ask you about a time you had to deal with a challenge or what you did at your last job.

    CAPTCHA: iusto
    Iusto go to the mall but then it closed
  • Merus 2012-03-13 09:37
    I'm delighted by the prospect of recruiters asking Job Interview 2.0 questions and then having no idea what to do next.
  • George 2012-03-13 09:38
    Leo:
    Hari's company is the real WTF. I'd say the woman lucked out. Multiple interviews are fine, but if the interviewers are asking redundant questions, they need to be organized better.


    I agree. The first interviewer could have taken a few notes and shared them with the second interviewer. That way the questions could have been framed like this "My collegue mentioned you did X and I have a specific question about it." then go on. It just shows the interviewee a little respect. It really is a waste of everyone's time to ask the exact same questions.

    Leo:
    The Mt Fuji one is pretty great. I've never been asked any of those Job Interview 2.0 questions, but next time I'm up for interviewing I'll have to remember that.


    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.
  • Seta 2012-03-13 09:39
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    This.
    And I cannot but understand her frustration. I went to an inteview when I was still a student looking for my first job. These multiple interviews where, in reality, a trap.
    For what purpose, I still wonder.
    They made me sit in the middle of their open space while (and I'm certain of it) another interviewer was sitting in the shadow.
    The ninja appeared pretending to be late - without any sort of apology - exactly when my first interview ended, made me start over asking exactly the same questions in the same order (even the ones directly related to my hobbies and experiences), cutting me off when my answer sounded like the one I said before... Making everyone in the open space laugh.

    How am I certain it as a trap ? A friend of mine got exactly the same interview ans scenario a week after I had.

    They were sitting in front of a shelf where I remember seeing 2 game boxes : Doom 2 and Total Annihilation... I think it was related.

    CAPTCHA : iusto. Me iusto not these interviews.
  • Fant 2012-03-13 09:41
    Kiev has been upgraded to country status now?
  • Julia 2012-03-13 09:42
    Assuming certain versions of multiverse theory, there is at least one universe where Mt Fuji is already displaced by the requisite distance. Destroy all other universes. Simples!
  • My Name 2012-03-13 09:49
    True story (summarized dialog):

    HH: Hello, would you be interested in working for Google as a software engineer?
    ME: Yes, but I happen to know that Google Germany hires software engineers only in Munich. I live in Hamburg and I'm not willing to move.
    HH: Google has great working conditions ... blabla
    ME: I know that, but I don't want to move to Munich.
    HH: You can also work on your own projects one day per week.
    ME: I've heard of that, but I doubt they let me work from Hamburg.
    HH: Probably not. What are your salary expectations?
    ME: I doubt they'd pay me enough so that I would be willing to move to Munich.
    HH: You don't know that. Just say a number.
    ME: 100k.
    HH: That's a lot. Do you expect them to pay that?
    ME: No, but I don't want to move to Munich.
    HH: So I understand that generally you could imagine to work for Google, and the main reason you don't want is that you would have to move to Munich?

    Finally...

    We agreed he'd call again when Google is looking for SEs in Hamburg.
  • ceiswyn 2012-03-13 09:54
    George:
    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.


    I can imagine working with someone who actually ensured he did what the customer wanted rather than just delivering something that required so much custom tweaking to get it from the dev assumptions to the customer needs that the customers dumped us, rendering man-decades of investment pointless.

    I'm hiring this dude. If he wants to think about likely roadblock up-front and make sure he understands what his software's going to be used for, that's all fine with me.
  • Russ 2012-03-13 09:54
    Not only Poland but Kiev? Sign me up, and we'll take over not only Oakland but the Sunset.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-03-13 09:57
    Bryan the K:
    I would have put a +1 in my notes for the complaining about the multiple people asking the same question.

    It's a silly little game that wastes the time of the interviewee. Going to some site for 3 hours of interviews so 3 or 4 different groups of people can ask you about a time you had to deal with a challenge or what you did at your last job.
    Agreed, but on the other hand, a candidate who gets annoyed about having to answer the same question multiple times is probably not a good fit for a position that may involve talking to users or customers.
  • D-Coder 2012-03-13 10:00
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.
    "If you hire me, you won't have to jump from person to person doing interviews any more."
  • Geoff 2012-03-13 10:05
    Right but the time to raise that issue is most likely not at the interview. You might want to you know get the job, and then after you have been there a week or so, bring it. You can say something like, "Having recently been thru it; I have some suggestion for improving our selection, hiring, and on boarding processes." to the appropriate parties.

    Griping about the process in the middle of project (even if the project is complete the interview) usually is not all the helpful. Most of the time it would be better to make notes and fix the process for next time.
  • Lockwood 2012-03-13 10:07
    [IMAGE REDACTED]

    In Hyperabad, all staff often work indecently
  • Foobar 2012-03-13 10:09
    The Mt Fuji answer was perfect. When a client asks you to do something batshit insane, it's usually because they don't understand their own request. They think they want Thing B, and they think that Thing A is the only way to get Thing B, so they come over and ask you for Thing A.

    The absolutely correct action in that situation is to have them sit down and explain the goal, which turns out to be the much more plausible and doable Thing C.
  • Bruce W 2012-03-13 10:15
    I think we need a volunteer to go work for The Guru -- imagine all of the WTFs just waiting to be submitted. Come on, who could pass up a chance to work at "one of the most fine places to work" and drink from the Kool-Aid, er, I mean "purest chilled spring water".
  • A Gould 2012-03-13 10:17
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Unless the point was to test how well they put up with customers, upper management, and idiots. But I repeat myself.
  • pkmnfrk 2012-03-13 10:24
    A Gould:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Unless the point was to test how well they put up with customers, upper management, and idiots. But I repeat myself.


    On internal projects, those three are often the same group!
  • The Guru 2012-03-13 10:24
    I feel some cosmic imbalance round here.

    You are like little rocks thrown by a kid, sinking to the bottom of a pure water lake instead of learning from the water lily and floating peacefully.

    You haven't seen the key point at the offer: not just seeing me code, and learn from just my outstanding, but you'd have a stainless steel spouted water dispenser at your disposal.

    Can't you see how the circle is closing as the energy flow?
  • The poop of DOOM 2012-03-13 10:24
    thatguy:
    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein

    I once had an interview where they asked the same questions over and over... within the same interview! The whole thing pretty much existed of:

    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.2)
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response v1.2
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.3)

    And so on for an hour or so. God knows what was wrong with that woman...
  • Morry 2012-03-13 10:25
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    Considering 70% of the submissions here are about interviewees avoiding getting hired by some horrible company, this is an interesting take from the other side of the desk. Not saying that Hari's company is horrible. But from her perspective and her first impression, it is screwed up, and she dodged a bullet. Maybe she'll post on TDWTF soon!

  • The poop of DOOM 2012-03-13 10:26
    Merus:
    I'm delighted by the prospect of recruiters asking Job Interview 2.0 questions and then having no idea what to do next.

    Or to be surprised if they get a response
  • anon 2012-03-13 10:27
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    I sure as hell wouldn't. Suggesting a better process may be a good thing, but refusing to participate in the existing process is definitely not. Also, the suggestion sucked, group interviews never work well. Either one person takes control and everyone else is left with unanswered questions (a project manager and a lead dev will have different questions, even if there is some overlap), or the whole interview will drift all over the place and no one will gain any real insight. Yes, we all know interviews are tedious and repetitive, but you can either suck it up and deal with it, or not have a job.
  • Intruder 2012-03-13 10:30
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd marry someone who answered this way at a job interview.

    I would really do.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-03-13 10:35
    pkmnfrk:
    A Gould:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Unless the point was to test how well they put up with customers, upper management, and idiots. But I repeat myself.


    On internal projects, those three are often the same group!
    That's the joke! (Can't be bothered to look up the corresponding image.)
  • Jellineck 2012-03-13 10:38
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com
  • Anonymous 2012-03-13 10:45
    And to think "can work quite indecently" was already implied after they asked for 5+ years of VB.net experience.
  • Anonymous 2012-03-13 10:48
    The candidate from "Multiple frustrations" quite clearly dodged a bullet with this one.

    It IS pretty stupid to answer the same questions all over again. Multiple interviews can only make sense if the interviewers actually have different interests.
  • airdrik 2012-03-13 10:50
    I don't think I'd really want to work for one of the Flashest companies out there. I'd much prefer one which uses a more open standard, like Silverlight.
  • Chelloveck 2012-03-13 10:51
    thatguy:

    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein


    Perhaps that's exactly what they're screening for: insanity. Or, at least, a habitual liar who can't even keep her story straight from hour to hour. I've found a few people like that when the interviewers later compared notes. "Really? She said that? She told me the exact opposite when I asked that question."

    At my current gig we do the day-long serial interview. But each team of interviewers has a specific role and asks specific questions. There's very little overlap. And there have still been cases where the interviewee volunteered conflicting information to different teams.

    Maybe the interviewers in the story should have been more coordinated, but *certainly* the lady being interviewed should have been less of an ass about it.
  • ParkinT 2012-03-13 10:54
    I work for Parallax Software and all my work is indescent.
  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL 2012-03-13 10:55
    iamleeg:
    They are located in one of the most interesting hubs of London, nearby, health food stores abound and there is a Krishna Consciousness centre down the road. A Cedar of Lebanon stands tall in a nearby leafy garden. All of this purity is juxtaposed by a gritty high street slightly further away, where chain stores abound, and where one can find all of the generic shops that one would expect to find in any major city in the UK.

    So how far is this place from Flood Control Dam #3?
  • Patriot Pigeon 2012-03-13 10:59
    Fant:
    Kiev has been upgraded to country status now?


    Things can only be rolled out on country-wides bases now?
  • Kolin 2012-03-13 11:04
    "One does not simply move a volcano."

    I can imagine Borromir saying this. =)
  • Schnapple 2012-03-13 11:08
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Yeah but as I see it, the problem was not that she dared to suggest a process improvement, but that she was being a total dickhead about it, even after the person she was talking to apologized and explained why it happened. You have to expect that the people who are interviewing you and that you are trying to impress enough to hire you are very busy people doing their full time job in addition to taking out time to talk to you.

    No, the woman in the story was acting as if what was happening is she was calling her insurance company, being asked to enter in her SSN via the keypad, only to have the person she gets to talk to afterward ask it again. As does the person that she's transferred to next. And everyone else she gets transferred to. I can see being annoyed there because you're the customer.

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it
  • pitchingchris 2012-03-13 11:14
    [quote user="Schnapple"][quote user="Raedwald"][quote]I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?[/quote]

    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.[/quote]

    I wouldn't hire her. After hiring her, you might ask her a question again to get clarification. Her response would be: (scoff) I already answered that question yesterday, weren't you taking notes so I wouldn't have to repeat myself ?
  • Steve The Cynic 2012-03-13 11:16
    [quote user="pitchingchris"][quote user="Schnapple"][quote user="Raedwald"][quote]I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?[/quote]

    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.[/quote]

    I wouldn't hire her. After hiring her, you might ask her a question again to get clarification. Her response would be: (scoff) I already answered that question yesterday, weren't you taking notes so I wouldn't have to repeat myself ? [/quote]
    No, the real problem is that she might say it to the client. That's bad for business.
  • xorsyst 2012-03-13 11:22
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    If you treat an interview as "you trying to impress them enough to give you a job", then you are doing it wrong. An interview is a 2-way process where both parties are trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job. In general, both parties should reach the same decision one way or the other. This is much easier if you are applying while already in a secure job.
  • qwert? 2012-03-13 11:23
    Be the frist to accept this "Most Wonderful Opportunity"
  • ET 2012-03-13 11:32
    Agreed. It is like talking to multiple CSRs and having to repeat your issue over and over. It does get frustrating.
  • neminem 2012-03-13 11:35
    TRWTF (or, at least, an additional one, beyond all the ones already noted): trees are "the latest UI innovation"? Pretty sure trees have been around about as long as GUIs have...

    I do agree, it'd probably be for the best not working at a company whose hiring starts with several people all asking you the exact same questions. And if I were a hiring manager, which thank frack I'm not, but if I were, I would totally hire the mountain moving guy. Best answer I've heard to a silly question like that, ever. The first question asked in response to an ridiculous request should always be, "what's the use case?"
  • AP² 2012-03-13 11:37
    Schnapple:
    You have to expect that the people who are interviewing you and that you are trying to impress enough to hire you are very busy people doing their full time job in addition to taking out time to talk to you.

    They're not doing it for her, they're doing it for the company. It's not her fault that they accept overtime.

    No, the woman in the story was acting as if what was happening is she was calling her insurance company, being asked to enter in her SSN via the keypad, only to have the person she gets to talk to afterward ask it again. As does the person that she's transferred to next. And everyone else she gets transferred to. I can see being annoyed there because you're the customer.

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    Seriously? "You need us therefore we'll disrespect you and you'll like it"?

    Firstly, the idea that you have to be a paying customer to deserve respect is disgusting. Secondly, nobody is doing her a favor; they're hoping to benefit from her just as she is hoping to benefit from them.

    Personally, I'm usually way too polite (read: coward) to say stuff like this to people. But I don't see anything wrong with how she responded to people who were wasting her time.
  • Ozz 2012-03-13 11:39
    Intruder:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?

    I'd marry someone who answered this way at a job interview.
    I'd marry someone who answered this way on a date.
  • Lazlo 2012-03-13 11:45
    Foobar:
    The Mt Fuji answer was perfect.


    No it wasn't. The correct answer is to modify the latitude/longitude indices until the position of Mt. Fuji is where you want it. For a programming job, any other answer would make me very hesitant.
  • Larry 2012-03-13 11:46
    I'm pretty sure "can work well indecently" refers to the WTF a couple years ago, where during the interview (in the couple's/employer's home/office) they mentioned that they frequently work in the nude and would that be OK?

    Hey, in my opinion it should be required. But then, I work on a college campus, surrounded by student workers, so...
  • hmmm 2012-03-13 11:59
    Ozz:
    Intruder:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?

    I'd marry someone who answered this way at a job interview.
    I'd marry someone who answered this way on a date.

    You'd both best ask her at the same time. One can only imagine her frustration of having to say No twice.
  • Slartibartfast 2012-03-13 12:04
    I would LOVE to be asked the Mt. Fuji question because I have the perfect answer:

    I'd simply paint the entire mountain neon pink.

    (+1 Internets to anyone who gets the reference.)
  • Anon 2012-03-13 12:05
    hmmm:
    Ozz:
    Intruder:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?

    I'd marry someone who answered this way at a job interview.
    I'd marry someone who answered this way on a date.

    You'd both best ask her at the same time. One can only imagine her frustration of having to say No twice.

    I would neither marry, nor date, someone who is getting everyone in the room, or jumping from person to person. I like reliability and trustworthiness in a relationship.
  • WC 2012-03-13 12:08
    The people are separated and asking the same questions not because they want to know the answers, but because they want to see *how* she'll answer.

    If they just wanted the answers to the questions, they could have sent her an email with them.

    As for having them separated, there are reason there, too. 1, you don't waste any time from people later on the list if they don't make it past the first few. 2, you might get slightly different responses each time, which can help make a decision. Certainly, people ask the question differently.

    I'm sure there are others, but those just came to mind quickly.

    She might have actually been a great worker if she could just fix her attitude problem. Wanting to be efficient is great. Being rude about it is not.
  • Erewhon 2012-03-13 12:10
    "“I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?”

    Where's the WTF? This makes a lot of sense.
  • Lockwood 2012-03-13 12:12
    Slartibartfast:
    I would LOVE to be asked the Mt. Fuji question because I have the perfect answer:

    I'd simply paint the entire mountain neon pink.

    (+1 Internets to anyone who gets the reference.)

    Only if you stick up a SEP field as well.
  • ShatteredArm 2012-03-13 12:13
    Has any one considered the possibility that the guy interviewing for the sysadmin job knew there were layoffs and a hiring freeze coming, and simply decided to just goof off instead of doing a real interview?
  • ContraCorners 2012-03-13 12:17
    xorsyst:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    If you treat an interview as "you trying to impress them enough to give you a job", then you are doing it wrong. An interview is a 2-way process where both parties are trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job. In general, both parties should reach the same decision one way or the other. This is much easier if you are applying while already in a secure job.
    True enough. But it's still not in your interests to be a shithead.
  • Herr Otto Flick 2012-03-13 12:21
    I guess this is what is meant by working indecently.

    NSFW!
    NSFW!
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/04/web_coders/
    NSFW!
    NSFW!
  • Christopher 2012-03-13 12:22
    I've walked out on more than one interview where they expected me to jump through their stupid "it's just how it's done" hoops.

    And the woman had a point! Seriously? Why have multiple interviews separately when you're going to go over the same material? I can't believe how arrogant Hari is in her assumption that someone should just suck-it-up and deal with it because that's what your company wants to do to its prospects.

    Here's a news flash. Working for someone is supposed to be a symbiotic relationship. We aren't Oliver Twist begging for "more please" when we interview. You need to want US. If you think we feel privileged that you ran us through your rat-maze, you're wrong. All you've done is told us, "You're Dilbert, we're the PHB and it's not going to get any better."

    My current employer knows how to do it right. My phone screen took 5 minutes verifying that I wasn't a complete social reject and that I knew some things I said on my resume. My first face-to-face interview had me talking with the CTO about what I've done, etc. typical questions. He then had me solve a fairly reasonable task on the computer in my language to see how I approached it. Once I'd done well enough, they set up an interview with HIS boss. We met for 15 minutes talking about NOTHING that my other interview did. He asked from a different perspective. No overlap and it's the best job I've ever had as well.

    If you treat people like cattle, don't be surprised when you get cow manure.
  • ContraCorners 2012-03-13 12:22
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.
    As with the Mt. Fuji guy, if you don't know the goal, you don't know if the process is correct or not. Perhaps they were screening for courtesy or consistency.
  • Axus 2012-03-13 12:23
    Rosuav:
    He got awards just for being outstanding in his field? I have a scarecrow like that.


    Nominated for Featured Comment
  • StarLite 2012-03-13 12:24
    [...]
    The latest UI innovations for navigation (trees)
    [...]
    Cus your application NEEDS a tree, or the navigation will definately suck...
  • ContraCorners 2012-03-13 12:26
    Foobar:
    The Mt Fuji answer was perfect. When a client asks you to do something batshit insane, it's usually because they don't understand their own request. They think they want Thing B, and they think that Thing A is the only way to get Thing B, so they come over and ask you for Thing A.

    The absolutely correct action in that situation is to have them sit down and explain the goal, which turns out to be the much more plausible and doable Thing C.
    99.9% perfect. His suggestion for "moving" it a kilometer clearly fell short of the client's request to move it a mile.
  • Christopher 2012-03-13 12:32
    ShatteredArm:
    Has any one considered the possibility that the guy interviewing for the sysadmin job knew there were layoffs and a hiring freeze coming, and simply decided to just goof off instead of doing a real interview?


    Not likely. Remember, some people interview because it makes them feel superior. And what makes some cube-monkey feel more superior than asking questions that someone can't possibly answer?
  • gomi 2012-03-13 12:36
    Kolin:
    "One does not simply move a volcano."

    I can imagine Borromir saying this. =)


  • Tom 2012-03-13 12:46
    "Works well indecently" = not distracted by pantsless Fridays.

    The Mt. Fuji one..."do you mean move the physical mountain or the spirit of Japan that Mt Fuji represents? Or maybe just the ecology? And where does Mt. Fuji physically begin? Do we take the part of the mountain above Japan's average sea level and move it? Or enough that it's the same altitude at its new location as it is now? What, exactly, IS Mt. Fuji?"

    You ask me a Zen koan, you get one in return.
  • Zolcos 2012-03-13 12:51
    ParkinT:
    I work for Parallax Software and all my work is indescent.

    R.I.P.
  • Zunesis: Nothing Less Than The Best 2012-03-13 12:57
    Anon:
    hmmm:
    Ozz:
    Intruder:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?

    I'd marry someone who answered this way at a job interview.
    I'd marry someone who answered this way on a date.

    You'd both best ask her at the same time. One can only imagine her frustration of having to say No twice.

    I would neither marry, nor date, someone who is getting everyone in the room, or jumping from person to person. I like reliability and trustworthiness in a relationship.
    And...?

    She's being perfectly reliable consistently banging other dudes and was being perfectly honest when she intimated that she wanted more than one orifice plugged at a time.
    and your puppycock won't do! I need a BIG DOG! BIG DOG!!!!

    Dream girl, if you ask me!
  • emurphy 2012-03-13 13:00
    I interpreted "we continued the conversation" as implying that there were several other questions and answers in between, thus the amount of overlap was relatively small. Apart from the other problems already noted with (a) group interviews and (b) her potential general attitude issues, the smaller the ratio of overlap to non-overlap, the less sense her suggestion makes.
  • pauly 2012-03-13 13:05
    thatguy:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.




    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein


    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein
  • Anon 2012-03-13 13:05
    1. Use explosives to close off the volcanic vent under the current Mt. Fuji, and more explosives to open another vent from the same source but directed elsewhere. Then wait several hundred million years. Problem solved!

    2. Kidnap all map-making, geographic, and government officials in charge of nomenclature and torture them until they rename some other mountain "Mount Fuji" in every official way. (Or brainwash them to do so after release.)

    3. Infiltrate a terrorist organization and have them carry out a series of rapid strikes with explosives against Japanese nuclear power plants. As the resulting radiation leaks will gradually render the main Japanese islands effectively uninhabitable, convince the Japanese via a massive marketing scheme that they should, as they depart, each take a chunk of Mt. Fuji with them, to be reassembled wherever they end up.
  • SpergingAsshole 2012-03-13 13:18
    xorsyst:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    If you treat an interview as "you trying to impress them enough to give you a job", then you are doing it wrong. An interview is a 2-way process where both parties are trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job. In general, both parties should reach the same decision one way or the other. This is much easier if you are applying while already in a secure job.


    Fair enough, but don't you think that your chances of getting a new job are much higher if you don't act like a 'sperging asshole?

    Conversely, I guess if you're an employer and you don't want a 'sperging asshole it's best if they can't hide it during the interview.
  • Dave 2012-03-13 13:23
    I know *exactly* what job that is for (the one with the water and god knows what else) because I turned down an interview for it. Ironically the company in question publish some of the most downmarket dross you can imagine. The kind of soap opera-obsessed trash that is only ever bought by quasi-illiterate women who are either unemployed, or work in the cleaning profession.

    Jerome's got his work cut out selling that one, so I can't fault him for making an effort to stand out.
  • xorsyst 2012-03-13 13:44
    SpergingAsshole:

    Fair enough, but don't you think that your chances of getting a new job are much higher if you don't act like a 'sperging asshole?


    Sorry, no idea what a "'sperging asshole" is. Obviously you don't want to act like any kind of asshole in an interview.
  • cconroy 2012-03-13 13:53
    ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
    iamleeg:
    They are located in one of the most interesting hubs of London, nearby, health food stores abound and there is a Krishna Consciousness centre down the road. A Cedar of Lebanon stands tall in a nearby leafy garden. All of this purity is juxtaposed by a gritty high street slightly further away, where chain stores abound, and where one can find all of the generic shops that one would expect to find in any major city in the UK.

    So how far is this place from Flood Control Dam #3?

    >s. sw. s. s. s. e. d.
  • ctd 2012-03-13 14:00
    I had lots of "Mt Fuji" questions interviewing at Microsoft. At least once I knew I was completely missing the answer, told the interviewer as much, and proceeded to go all-out in whatever direction I could think of. Unable to think of "put a cheap light sensor on the powered window blinds so it can close itself in bright sunlight", I went on a tear about "include a GPS unit + digital compass so it knows where it is and which way it's facing, have it look up the local weather radar, and deduce whether cloud patterns & sun angles warrant closing the blinds"; wasn't the simple pat answer she was looking for, but got me close to getting the job.
  • Hmmmm 2012-03-13 14:03
    ctd:
    I had lots of "Mt Fuji" questions interviewing at Microsoft. At least once I knew I was completely missing the answer, told the interviewer as much, and proceeded to go all-out in whatever direction I could think of. Unable to think of "put a cheap light sensor on the powered window blinds so it can close itself in bright sunlight", I went on a tear about "include a GPS unit + digital compass so it knows where it is and which way it's facing, have it look up the local weather radar, and deduce whether cloud patterns & sun angles warrant closing the blinds"; wasn't the simple pat answer she was looking for, but got me close to getting the job.

    I would have thought that after suggesting that sort of ridiculously over-engineered solution to MS you would have been a shoe-in for a job...
  • TGV 2012-03-13 14:13
    The "Dali Lama"? Did the guy change his title? And "iPhone native language" instead of Objective C/C++? These headhunters surely know their topics.
  • iWantToKeepAnon 2012-03-13 14:15
    A Gould:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Unless the point was to test how well they put up with customers, upper management, and idiots. But I repeat myself.


    mod parent up, programming takes patience and common sense. The interviewee showed neither. I would never trust this person to mentor anyone. They'd be trapped at junior forever IF they managed to somehow get in. I'd pass too. Hope she didn't need the job.
  • Jazz 2012-03-13 14:19
    George:
    Leo:
    The Mt Fuji one is pretty great. I've never been asked any of those Job Interview 2.0 questions, but next time I'm up for interviewing I'll have to remember that.


    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.


    Are you kidding? Grig is clearly on track for a management position. Anyone who looks at a simple question and decides that it needs environmental feasibility research studies, economic impact research studies, studies to determine the best engineering method for the desired result, and permission from the government of a sovereign nation has clearly mastered the type of overthink which elevates upper management above the rest of us. He's also mastered the executive-level skills of misdirection, avoiding the question, inflating the statistics, and patronizing the other person in the conversation.

    Shit, I'm surprised they didn't hire him as Lead Project Manager after an answer like that.
  • Jay 2012-03-13 14:24
    thatguy:
    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein


    Inanity: Repeating the same quote over and over again and expecting people to be equally impressed with every repetition.
    -- Me
  • Ol' Bob 2012-03-13 14:37
    Please - I must bear the guru's children! His wonderfulness is so obvious - I cannot bear to allow another to have him! OK, so, I'm genetically unqualified for the job - but, still, I must! I must! I must!

    Unless, that is, he turns out to be the kind of hosebag he sounds like, in which case, forget it.
  • Jay 2012-03-13 14:37
    xorsyst:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    If you treat an interview as "you trying to impress them enough to give you a job", then you are doing it wrong. An interview is a 2-way process where both parties are trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job. In general, both parties should reach the same decision one way or the other. This is much easier if you are applying while already in a secure job.


    RE "An interview is a 2-way process", etc: Sure. But how do you get from there to, "So it's a good idea to be rude and unco-operative with the company's interview process"? Sure, I don't go on a job interview like a hobo begging for a handout, I'm looking for a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship. But the company must likewise conclude that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship, so I have to make some effort to persuade them that my services are of value. A good start would be to not be a jerk.
  • gilhad 2012-03-13 14:39
    Mt. Fuji - after the answer, that client just want it moved, I would ask another one "Would be at least one mile from the point, where it is just now, in any direction, enough?" And when I would get answer "ofcourse yes", then I would dramatically stand up in silent, wait a little time, then snapped fingers, bowed and said "So it is done".

    The trick is ofcourse, that the Earth is revolving around it axe, the Sun and with the whole spiral arm we are in, so while we talked, the Mt. Fuji ofcourse moved at least one mile. In some direction.

    Then we can get to the point, where he would like give more specifics. Garbage in, garbage out. I he cannot give good specification, I would prove, that the one given is not good at all. I could also ask for one fixed point and long enough pole, as Archimedes did :)

  • Jay 2012-03-13 14:52
    On the slightly serious side: What would the interviewer consider a good answer to the Mt Fuji question? If this comes from a book of clever interview questions, I'd like to know what they consider the "right" answer. Unless the applicant is incredibly brilliant or has god-like powers, any solution proposed is likely to be wildy expensive and/or impractical. Is the idea to present a virtually unsolvable problem and then expect a solution?

    It tangentially reminds me of an interview I saw years ago with a candidate running for vice president. The interviewer asked him what he would do if the president died and he had to assume his office. The candidate replied that he would call a meeting of top advisors and officials and prepare a transition plan. The interview then ripped him for giving a vague, general answer. But it was a vague, general question! How much more specific could the poor guy be? Just for starters, if the president died after a long illness, I'd expect the next logical step would be very different than if the president was among the millions killed in a surprise nuclear attack by a hostile foreign nation.

    You can't ask a general question and expect a specific answer. You can't ask a bizarre question and expect a down-to-earth answer.
  • Jockamo 2012-03-13 14:55
    Since i work from home, i work well indecently all the time.
  • Jay 2012-03-13 14:56
    Answers that occur to me for the Mt Fuji question:

    1. Mohammed was supposedly able to move a mountain. So I'd build a time machine, go back and get Mohammed, bring him to Japan, and ask him to move the mountain.

    2. I would put out a call for a million volunteers. Each volunteer would be instructed to bring a spoon from home. Then I would direct them to each take a spoonful of dirt from the mountain, carry it to the desired destination, and drop it. Repeat until the mountain is moved.

    3. Wait for another tsunami to hit Japan and move the mountain for me.

    Etc. I'm sure any reasonably creative person could come up with dozens of equally realistic plans.
  • Jay 2012-03-13 15:00
    I, for one, find that job description extremely informative. I often decide whether or not to take a job based on the quality of the water from the water cooler. And if I can't taste it myself, an assurance that it's good from the HR department is all I need to hear.
  • pitchingchris 2012-03-13 15:24
    Jay:

    2. I would put out a call for a million volunteers. Each volunteer would be instructed to bring a spoon from home. Then I would direct them to each take a spoonful of dirt from the mountain, carry it to the desired destination, and drop it. Repeat until the mountain is moved.



    Good luck scooping a spoonful of hot lava
  • DCRoss 2012-03-13 15:24
    Lazlo:
    Foobar:
    The Mt Fuji answer was perfect.


    No it wasn't. The correct answer is to modify the latitude/longitude indices until the position of Mt. Fuji is where you want it. For a programming job, any other answer would make me very hesitant.


    But it was an interview for a sysadmin position. The right answer has to take into account that even if you move it you're going to be asked to move it back tomorrow and by next week told that "The business would like to see moving Mt Fuji happen every Thursday morning before six."

  • alegr 2012-03-13 15:25
    The Guru:
    You haven't seen the key point at the offer: not just seeing me code, and learn from just my outstanding, but you'd have a stainless steel spouted water dispenser at your disposal.

    You mean, a bidet?
  • alegr 2012-03-13 15:28
    Kolin:
    "One does not simply move a volcano."

    I can imagine Borromir saying this. =)
    I guess the customer just wanted to drop a ring to the Mt. Fuji, but thought that it would not be possible to simply go up there.
  • Gary 2012-03-13 15:46
    Yes, a hundred times yes. Hari's company is the real WTF.
  • shebang 2012-03-13 16:02
    The first has obviously been translated from Polish on GoogleTranslate
  • geoffrey, MCP, PMP 2012-03-13 16:04
    Jellineck:
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com


    It should not matter from the implementer's standpoint. You have to trust that the requirement has been properly vetted before making it to you. I would not have hired Grig for his answer. I want the mountain moved. Don't make me justify my reasons. I represent the business, and I say this is what the business wants. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?
  • delilah 2012-03-13 16:07
    The one that wants me to work indecently should have listed my assets in "nice to have"
  • Jaybles 2012-03-13 16:14
    geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
    Jellineck:
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com


    It should not matter from the implementer's standpoint. You have to trust that the requirement has been properly vetted before making it to you. I would not have hired Grig for his answer. I want the mountain moved. Don't make me justify my reasons. I represent the business, and I say this is what the business wants. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


    If you're applying to be a code monkey, sure. You're not being paid to think, you're being paid to code. But then, if you're interviewing to be a code monkey, why in the world would the interviewer ask this sort of question?

    If you're interviewing to be a lead/senior developer, then yes, you should question the validity of seemingly ridiculous requirements. You should have the experience and knowledge to know that what you're being asked to do is insane/impossible, and be able to ask the right questions in order to arrive at a more plausible solution that accomplishes the same goal, which you would then hand down to your team of code monkeys.
  • s73v3r 2012-03-13 16:16
    [quote user="Leo"]The Mt Fuji one is pretty great. I've never been asked any of those Job Interview 2.0 questions, but next time I'm up for interviewing I'll have to remember that.[/quote]

    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.[/quote]

    He's got a point. How can you properly come up with a solution to moving Mt. Fiji if you don't know the requirements or the problem the customer has in the first place?

    And quite frankly, asking such stupid questions should get you ridiculed by a wise ass.
  • s73v3r 2012-03-13 16:22
    airdrik:
    I don't think I'd really want to work for one of the Flashest companies out there. I'd much prefer one which uses a more open standard, like Silverlight.


    Aha ha ha ha ha. Is funny because Silverlight is extremely closed standard!
  • s73v3r 2012-03-13 16:26
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    No, I don't. I currently have a job. I might desire another job, but I certainly don't NEED one. You have to appease me just as much as I'm supposed to impress you. Clearly the company did not impress her, so she didn't care what they thought.
  • java.lang.Chris; 2012-03-13 16:33
    The poop of DOOM:

    I once had an interview where they asked the same questions over and over... within the same interview! The whole thing pretty much existed of:

    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.2)
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response v1.2
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.3)

    And so on for an hour or so. God knows what was wrong with that woman...


    Oh, you've been interviewed by those timewasters at Gamesys as well.
  • C-Octothorpe 2012-03-13 16:38
    s73v3r:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    No, I don't. I currently have a job. I might desire another job, but I certainly don't NEED one. You have to appease me just as much as I'm supposed to impress you. Clearly the company did not impress her, so she didn't care what they thought.
    Regardless, burning bridges is never a good idea. If you did that, then the recruiter who sent you in there would likely never work with you again, nor would anybody that they talked to in regards to your bad attitude.

    Being rude only serves one purpose: to make you feel better now. It's ironic that getting a job when you have one is easy, however it's an entirely different storey when you've already been out of work for seven weeks and don't have any interviews lined up... Add to it that you have intentionally sabotaged yourself by removing at least one person from your network because you were a dick during an interview.

    Addendum (2012-03-13 16:45):
    I have to admit that on at least one occasion, I've been tempted to take a shit in their fake planter and walk out with a grin on my face. It's tempting, but being the bigger person will always serve you better.
  • rfjfd 2012-03-13 17:16
    pkmnfrk:
    A Gould:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Unless the point was to test how well they put up with customers, upper management, and idiots. But I repeat myself.


    On internal projects, those three are often the same group!
    Ya Think?????
  • trig 2012-03-13 17:43
    geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
    Jellineck:
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com


    It should not matter from the implementer's standpoint. You have to trust that the requirement has been properly vetted before making it to you. I would not have hired Grig for his answer. I want the mountain moved. Don't make me justify my reasons. I represent the business, and I say this is what the business wants. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?
    Yes and no. As someone previouls said, the business (in all likelihood) does not want the mountain moved, but rather wants to achieve something else where they see the simplest solution as moving the mountain. While it may be true that business objectoves aren't necessarily IT's business, it is (to a greater degree than many people might think) IT's responsibility to ensure that the Customer/Business gets what they want, not what they say they want.

    Also, "I want the mountain moved" is an insufficient requirement (too vague). Please submit a requirements document (based on the template attached) on exactly what you want.





    Oh....you were being Sarcastic!!!
  • thatguy 2012-03-13 17:46
    pauly:
    thatguy:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.




    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein


    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein


    lol...I see what you did there.
    I figured someone would get it :D

  • biled 2012-03-13 17:48
    Jaybles:
    geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
    Jellineck:
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com


    It should not matter from the implementer's standpoint. You have to trust that the requirement has been properly vetted before making it to you. I would not have hired Grig for his answer. I want the mountain moved. Don't make me justify my reasons. I represent the business, and I say this is what the business wants. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


    If you're applying to be a code monkey, sure. You're not being paid to think, you're being paid to code. But then, if you're interviewing to be a code monkey, why in the world would the interviewer ask this sort of question?

    If you're interviewing to be a lead/senior developer, then yes, you should question the validity of seemingly ridiculous requirements. You should have the experience and knowledge to know that what you're being asked to do is insane/impossible, and be able to ask the right questions in order to arrive at a more plausible solution that accomplishes the same goal, which you would then hand down to your team of code monkeys.
    I think this is a result of Software Engineering (as an industry) being backward. The most valuable resources are the code monkeys - and if they don't have to think, then they're redundant. If design documents are providing them sufficient information to simply code without thinking, then the end result is already a subset of the design document and the coding has (or at least could have) already been done (probably the guy who wrote the design document has created a working prototype as he wrote the document).

    As a corollary: Entry Level recruits should not immediately be code monkeys - leave the coding to the people who understand what is going on. What if Entry Level people started in Design instead? Learn the high level before we let you loose on the low level. Additionally, the more experienced Code Monkeys could guide/mentor/correct/review the designs of the n00b...
  • Ben Jammin 2012-03-13 18:27
    Jay:
    On the slightly serious side: What would the interviewer consider a good answer to the Mt Fuji question? If this comes from a book of clever interview questions, I'd like to know what they consider the "right" answer. Unless the applicant is incredibly brilliant or has god-like powers, any solution proposed is likely to be wildy expensive and/or impractical. Is the idea to present a virtually unsolvable problem and then expect a solution?

    It tangentially reminds me of an interview I saw years ago with a candidate running for vice president. The interviewer asked him what he would do if the president died and he had to assume his office. The candidate replied that he would call a meeting of top advisors and officials and prepare a transition plan. The interview then ripped him for giving a vague, general answer. But it was a vague, general question! How much more specific could the poor guy be? Just for starters, if the president died after a long illness, I'd expect the next logical step would be very different than if the president was among the millions killed in a surprise nuclear attack by a hostile foreign nation.

    You can't ask a general question and expect a specific answer. You can't ask a bizarre question and expect a down-to-earth answer.


    The answer is, "One rock at a time." It is obviously supposed to be how someone takes a large unsolvable problem and solves it by breaking it down into smaller solvable problems. If they are reading questions from a script, if you want the job, you just need to show you know the scripted answers.

    The key question is whether or not you want that job. Obviously, they either don't have the time, or possibly, ability to think independently. This either means you can play "big fish in a small pond" or keep looking for a different competitive/fulfilling place of employment.
  • Ben Jammin 2012-03-13 18:29
    Jay:
    thatguy:
    ^^^I concur, not to mention that it clearly shows a lack of communication between those doing the interviews. Had they all asked separate questions it could be understandable to have multiple tiered interviews, but asking the same thing over and over expecting different results...SERIOUSLY. I feel obligated to quote Mr. Al

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein


    Inanity: Repeating the same quote over and over again and expecting people to be equally impressed with every repetition.
    -- Me


    Inanity: Repeating the same quote over and over again and expecting people to be equally impressed with every repetition.
    -- Jay
  • s73v3r 2012-03-13 18:38
    Jay:
    xorsyst:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    If you treat an interview as "you trying to impress them enough to give you a job", then you are doing it wrong. An interview is a 2-way process where both parties are trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job. In general, both parties should reach the same decision one way or the other. This is much easier if you are applying while already in a secure job.


    RE "An interview is a 2-way process", etc: Sure. But how do you get from there to, "So it's a good idea to be rude and unco-operative with the company's interview process"? Sure, I don't go on a job interview like a hobo begging for a handout, I'm looking for a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship. But the company must likewise conclude that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship, so I have to make some effort to persuade them that my services are of value. A good start would be to not be a jerk.


    You're assuming that, up until this point, the company has actually demonstrated that they are a place worth working at.
  • PRMan 2012-03-13 18:43
    George:
    Leo:
    Hari's company is the real WTF. I'd say the woman lucked out. Multiple interviews are fine, but if the interviewers are asking redundant questions, they need to be organized better.


    I agree. The first interviewer could have taken a few notes and shared them with the second interviewer. That way the questions could have been framed like this "My collegue mentioned you did X and I have a specific question about it." then go on. It just shows the interviewee a little respect. It really is a waste of everyone's time to ask the exact same questions.

    Leo:
    The Mt Fuji one is pretty great. I've never been asked any of those Job Interview 2.0 questions, but next time I'm up for interviewing I'll have to remember that.


    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.


    Are you joking? I would love to have more developers that get to what people want instead of what they say. It saves tons of time and scope creep.
  • Christopher 2012-03-13 18:47
    C-Octothorpe:
    Regardless, burning bridges is never a good idea. If you did that, then the recruiter who sent you in there would likely never work with you again, nor would anybody that they talked to in regards to your bad attitude.


    Either you haven't worked with many recruiters or your resume suuuuuuuucks. I'll assume it's the former.

    Technical recruiters, by and large, are like realtors. They don't care about you at all and they only care about their client companies as it relates to getting their big fat commissions.

    I'm more "user friendly" than most technical people. It's just a fact. But even I have my days. I can think of 3 specific occasions where I've been on interviews with folks who were self-important, oblivious to what I do (and therefore what they would want me to do), and/or disrespectful. In each of those cases I ended the interviews and told them, "Let's stop now, it's not going to work out. This really isn't someplace I want to work" and in two of the cases, I told them that they wasted my time and the time of any candidates who the try to make jump through their hoops and treat them like chattel.

    In all 3 cases, the recruiters were bugging me in less than 2 weeks trying to pitch me more jobs and apologized for my experiences.

    You're thinking of it backwards. It's not I who risked burning bridges, it's they.

    If people act like they're a commodity to be treated however someone wishes, that's what they'll get. But we aren't commodities, we're talent.

  • PRMan 2012-03-13 18:50
    My Name:
    True story (summarized dialog):

    HH: Hello, would you be interested in working for Google as a software engineer?
    ME: Yes, but I happen to know that Google Germany hires software engineers only in Munich. I live in Hamburg and I'm not willing to move.
    HH: Google has great working conditions ... blabla
    ME: I know that, but I don't want to move to Munich.
    HH: You can also work on your own projects one day per week.
    ME: I've heard of that, but I doubt they let me work from Hamburg.
    HH: Probably not. What are your salary expectations?
    ME: I doubt they'd pay me enough so that I would be willing to move to Munich.
    HH: You don't know that. Just say a number.
    ME: 100k.
    HH: That's a lot. Do you expect them to pay that?
    ME: No, but I don't want to move to Munich.
    HH: So I understand that generally you could imagine to work for Google, and the main reason you don't want is that you would have to move to Munich?

    Finally...

    We agreed he'd call again when Google is looking for SEs in Hamburg.


    I had the same phone interview:

    (I posted my resume with clear instructions that I would not move and wanted to work in Orange County or South LA County California.)
    HER: We have a great opportunity at Intel!
    ME: That's great! Tell me about it.
    HER: Are you willing to relocate to Phoenix?
    ME: No, I'm looking for something in Southern California.
    HER: Ooh, wrong answer...
    ME: Did you read my Monster.com status page?
    HER: Yes.
    ME: Ooh, wrong question...
    HER: So, Intel has a world-class benefit package and...
    ME (Interrupting): I'm not moving to Arizona.
    HER: You really should hear about this opportunity...
    ME: OK.
    HER: Blah-blah-blah about the position. So, what do you think?
    ME: What does it pay?
    HER: ($10K less than my current job)
    ME: Did you read my salary requirements?
    HER: Yes.
    ME: Why are we still talking?
  • s73v3r 2012-03-13 18:50
    geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
    Jellineck:
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com


    It should not matter from the implementer's standpoint. You have to trust that the requirement has been properly vetted before making it to you. I would not have hired Grig for his answer. I want the mountain moved. Don't make me justify my reasons. I represent the business, and I say this is what the business wants. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


    Because often you actually don't know what the business wants. And we like to understand the why behind things too. Saying, "Do this, monkey!" not only makes you a first class asshole, it's a way to ensure that the only people who actually work for you are monkeys. People who aren't going to be able to do anything more than exactly what you tell them.
  • PRMan 2012-03-13 18:52
    Geoff:
    Right but the time to raise that issue is most likely not at the interview. You might want to you know get the job, and then after you have been there a week or so, bring it.


    If this person would end up being your manager, you ABSOLUTELY want to bring it up during the interview...
  • s73v3r 2012-03-13 18:53
    C-Octothorpe:
    s73v3r:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    No, I don't. I currently have a job. I might desire another job, but I certainly don't NEED one. You have to appease me just as much as I'm supposed to impress you. Clearly the company did not impress her, so she didn't care what they thought.
    Regardless, burning bridges is never a good idea. If you did that, then the recruiter who sent you in there would likely never work with you again, nor would anybody that they talked to in regards to your bad attitude.

    Being rude only serves one purpose: to make you feel better now. It's ironic that getting a job when you have one is easy, however it's an entirely different storey when you've already been out of work for seven weeks and don't have any interviews lined up... Add to it that you have intentionally sabotaged yourself by removing at least one person from your network because you were a dick during an interview.

    Addendum (2012-03-13 16:45):
    I have to admit that on at least one occasion, I've been tempted to take a shit in their fake planter and walk out with a grin on my face. It's tempting, but being the bigger person will always serve you better.


    People put far, far too much value on not burning bridges.
  • PRMan 2012-03-13 19:09
    Christopher:
    C-Octothorpe:
    Regardless, burning bridges is never a good idea. If you did that, then the recruiter who sent you in there would likely never work with you again, nor would anybody that they talked to in regards to your bad attitude.


    Either you haven't worked with many recruiters or your resume suuuuuuuucks. I'll assume it's the former.

    Technical recruiters, by and large, are like realtors. They don't care about you at all and they only care about their client companies as it relates to getting their big fat commissions.

    I'm more "user friendly" than most technical people. It's just a fact. But even I have my days. I can think of 3 specific occasions where I've been on interviews with folks who were self-important, oblivious to what I do (and therefore what they would want me to do), and/or disrespectful. In each of those cases I ended the interviews and told them, "Let's stop now, it's not going to work out. This really isn't someplace I want to work" and in two of the cases, I told them that they wasted my time and the time of any candidates who the try to make jump through their hoops and treat them like chattel.

    In all 3 cases, the recruiters were bugging me in less than 2 weeks trying to pitch me more jobs and apologized for my experiences.

    You're thinking of it backwards. It's not I who risked burning bridges, it's they.

    If people act like they're a commodity to be treated however someone wishes, that's what they'll get. But we aren't commodities, we're talent.



    It's true. On several occasions, I've convinced recruiters to stop working with places, because of the quality of the environment, or the ridiculousness of the hiring process.

    They want to make quick and easy money. If I'm confirming what they already suspected about some difficult hiring situations or bad environments, they sometimes decide it's not worth their resources.
  • roy 2012-03-13 19:23
    George:

    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.


    No..

    If some manager asked me to emulate Windows on an iPhone (like moving Mt Fuji), I'd probe deeper and ask questions.

    I wouldn't spend 6 months writing an emulator, when all they wanted to do was open xlsx files.
  • Pervalidus ergo Hominis 2012-03-13 20:35
    xorsyst:

    If you treat an interview as "you trying to impress them enough to give you a job", then you are doing it right.


    FTFY
  • Gary Olson 2012-03-13 20:35
    Lazlo:
    Foobar:
    The Mt Fuji answer was perfect.


    No it wasn't. The correct answer is to modify the latitude/longitude indices until the position of Mt. Fuji is where you want it. For a programming job, any other answer would make me very hesitant.

    Indices...you database programmers are all alike.
    Just find a register big enough to contain Mt Fuji and issue a MV.
  • K 2012-03-13 20:36
    Regarding the Fuji Problem. So the interview was for a sysadmin position, yes? Now, any competent sysadmin would know scripting, which is to say he can program. Any competent programmer will know about recursive algorithms, yes? Keep that in mind, and the solution should become blindingly obvious! Details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Hanoi#Recursive_solution

    What Grig ought to have explained, is that: a) this is a known problem with a known solution; b) two pegs are to be erected, one at intended destination, one at arbitrary temp location; c) the project is then to proceed according to established rules, in full agreement of sound engineering practices, moving the bulk one slab at a time.

    ps. when taking a Rorschach, do not insist on calling your county planning board.
  • John Hensley 2012-03-13 20:44
    Reading today's first entry, I can't help but hear it in my head with an Indian accent.
  • oheso 2012-03-13 22:25
    pitchingchris:
    After hiring her, you might ask her a question again to get clarification. Her response would be: (scoff) I already answered that question yesterday, weren't you taking notes so I wouldn't have to repeat myself ?


    Well, you were, weren't you?

    What? Why not?
  • oheso 2012-03-13 22:31
    StarLite:
    [...]
    The latest UI innovations for navigation (trees)
    [...]
    Cus your application NEEDS a tree, or the navigation will definately suck...


    Preferably a Cedar of Lebanon!
  • Bavarian Chef 2012-03-13 22:33
    A more coding centric way of answering the Mt. Fuji problem:

    1) Draw a crude map with Mt. Fuji labeled on a piece of paper.
    2) Move said paper
    3) Ergo - Mt. Fuji moved.
    4) Spend the rest of the interview talking about the difference between call by value and call by reference and how it impacts language semantics.

    - BC
  • John Hensley 2012-03-14 01:08
    Mount Fuji questions were basically the software industry's version of the voting literacy test. A ritual to kill time in the interview before making a decision based on the guy's resume and whether he seemed like the "right sort." It was a bad day when someone assumed they were more than that.
  • CloudClown 2012-03-14 01:49
    In my experience, you can get a feel for the potential of getting hired just by how they treat you in the interview. Every job I have ever gotten, I have spoken directly to the person making the hiring decision. The most I have ever had to go through was two interviews, and the person from the first interview sat in and explained what we had already gone over.

    Anything else is just filling HR requirements to look at more than one person.There was no way she was going to get the job to begin with. Personally I would have just walked out.
  • CloudClown 2012-03-14 02:01
    Your experience has been my experience. There is a vast difference between someone actually looking to hire a candidate and someone just going through an interview process so they can say that they looked at multiple candidates.

    If they don't take the time to understand what you have said previously, then you simply aren't a serious candidate. Trust me, if they are really interested in you, they pay attention.
  • NPSF3000 2012-03-14 02:06
    Mount Fuji?

    Easy, get a good ad company.

    As long as people think it has moved, the physical location is irrelevant :)
  • SuperQ 2012-03-14 02:37
    Leo:
    Hari's company is the real WTF. I'd say the woman lucked out. Multiple interviews are fine, but if the interviewers are asking redundant questions, they need to be organized better.


    Yea, like maybe a list of questions asked that you can hand off between interview sessions. Hari is TRWTF for not knowing he is the problem.
  • SuperQ 2012-03-14 02:41
    Kolin:
    "One does not simply move a volcano."

    I can imagine Borromir saying this. =)


    Now that I think about it, knowledge of memes should be on my interviewing checklist.
  • Severity One 2012-03-14 03:29
    If you had to move Mount Fuji, how would you do it?

    Subcontract it to India. It's a hardware problem anyway.
  • Cope with IT 2012-03-14 03:38
    Others said it before: The "Multiple Frustrations from Hari" is the RWTF indeed.
    Anyway, you could have phrased the woman's legitimate complaints less blunt way.

    If a company can't be bothered to organize interviews including the communication between interviewers, well, it's probably an unorganized company; apparently they don't even care how they're hiring new staff.

    Sometimes the hiring favors companies (when there are plenty candidates per job), sometimes the candidates (their know-how is in high demand). Frankly I don't known with is worse…
    Anyway, hiring is always two way and I've seen as many companies fail (miserably) as candidates.

    As so often it boils down to: If you want to get something done and done well, go do your homework.
  • Dave 2012-03-14 04:16
    Leo:
    The Mt Fuji one is pretty great. I've never been asked any of those Job Interview 2.0 questions, but next time I'm up for interviewing I'll have to remember that.


    I agree with the interviewee's comments though, it's a pretty stupid question if asked without any context. For example if I had to move Fuji my solution would involve a fair bit of lithium-6 deuteride in a sloika design, which is relatively cheap to source. The downside is that in that particular configuration it's not a very big target for neutrons, so you need quite a lot of it to achieve ignition. That would have no problems moving Mt.Fuji, but side effects could be (a) moving the Japanese home islands (b) igniting some portions of the atmosphere, and (c) stripping the atmosphere off the planet.
  • ThomasX 2012-03-14 04:28
    I agree wholeheartedly with the multiply frustrated girl. Asking the same questions over and over again is a sign of inefficiency and mismanagement.
  • ThomasX 2012-03-14 04:32
    Instead of moving mount Fuji it might be easier to move the client in the opposite direction. If the client wants to move mount Fuji 10 miles south simply move the client 10 miles north. Mount Fuji is then in the same relative position to the client.

    This of course only works if the client is the center of the universe.
  • But 2012-03-14 05:21
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    Different interviewers' interests are going to diverge from some overlapping area of common ground. As someone who gets quitely exasperated being summoned for meetings where I don't learn or contribute anything that couldn't have been sorted out in 2 minutes by email, I think it's fair that different interested parties should interview separately - though preferably on the same day! - and they can ask maybe overlapping questions their own way and take in the answers in their own time.

    Meanwhile as someone who is apparently forgetting how to use full stops, I seem to be suffering from shortness of breath...:-)
  • Piskvor 2012-03-14 05:41
    The poop of DOOM:

    I once had an interview where they asked the same questions over and over... within the same interview! The whole thing pretty much existed of:

    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.2)
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response v1.2
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.3)

    And so on for an hour or so. God knows what was wrong with that woman...

    I'm pretty sure you were being interrogated, and mistook it for a job interview.
  • Cbuttius 2012-03-14 05:42
    I'd just outsource the job to the Shamen.

    Because they can move, move, move any mountain...
  • Thorsten 2012-03-14 05:43
    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    I most definitely wouldn't. She understands what's best for herself, but does not even think about what's best for the interviewer. Different interviewers have different areas of interest, so it is usually pointless to gather all in one room and waste all their times to listen to answers they are not interested in, just to potentially spare the candidate some duplication. And even if the start question is the same, the discussion will probably lead in completely different directions, Doing this in one big group would be extremely awkward. Just imagine a developing conversation, and after half an hour someone starts "Lets go back to the answer you gave thirty minutes ago...", an hour later the same...

    Not to mention the total lack of social skills and patience.
  • Sensible 2012-03-14 05:53
    If you had to move Mount Fuji, how would you do it?

    I'd advise a lot more consideration first. There's clear geological evidence that it's been moved a few times in the past; does anyone know what problem this was trying to solve and whether it succeeded?
  • Iain 2012-03-14 06:11
    What I don't get is why is the magazine application mentioned in the agency letter being rolled out across the whole country of Poland but only a single city in Ukraine?
  • Rick 2012-03-14 06:27
    Rosuav:
    He got awards just for being outstanding in his field? I have a scarecrow like that.


    I Loled
  • dv 2012-03-14 06:55
    Certainly, the best possible answer to the "Mt. Fuji" question as well as the "same question asked multiple times" is: "Is this to be an empathy test?"
    Or, if you are being really annoyed, something along the lines of "Mt. Fuji? Let me tell you about Mt. Fuji...".
    Captcha: incassum... incassum the interviewer actually likes 1980's movies, you'll get the job.
  • The scarecrow 2012-03-14 07:17
    @Rosuav He got awards just for being outstanding in his field? I have a scarecrow like that.

    I see what you did there
  • Lockwood 2012-03-14 07:37
    Bavarian Chef:
    A more coding centric way of answering the Mt. Fuji problem:

    1) Draw a crude map with Mt. Fuji labeled on a piece of paper.
    2) Move said paper
    3) Ergo - Mt. Fuji moved.
    4) Spend the rest of the interview talking about the difference between call by value and call by reference and how it impacts language semantics.

    - BC


    This.
  • Anketam 2012-03-14 08:26
    PRMan:
    I had the same phone interview:

    (I posted my resume with clear instructions that I would not move and wanted to work in Orange County or South LA County California.)
    HER: We have a great opportunity at Intel!
    ME: That's great! Tell me about it.
    HER: Are you willing to relocate to Phoenix?
    ME: No, I'm looking for something in Southern California.
    HER: Ooh, wrong answer...
    ME: Did you read my Monster.com status page?
    HER: Yes.
    ME: Ooh, wrong question...
    HER: So, Intel has a world-class benefit package and...
    ME (Interrupting): I'm not moving to Arizona.
    HER: You really should hear about this opportunity...
    ME: OK.
    HER: Blah-blah-blah about the position. So, what do you think?
    ME: What does it pay?
    HER: ($10K less than my current job)
    ME: Did you read my salary requirements?
    HER: Yes.
    ME: Why are we still talking?
    ME: Just because you are desperate to find people for a position does not mean I am also equally desperate.
  • meh 2012-03-14 08:38
    ThomasX:
    Instead of moving mount Fuji it might be easier to move the client in the opposite direction. If the client wants to move mount Fuji 10 miles south simply move the client 10 miles north. Mount Fuji is then in the same relative position to the client.

    This of course only works if the client is the center of the universe.


    I'm pretty sure any client that actually requests a mountain to be moved thinks he is the center of the universe.
  • Nickster 2012-03-14 09:40
    W00t! I'm going to put "iPhone native language" on my resume today!
  • dkf 2012-03-14 09:59
    Dave:
    I agree with the interviewee's comments though, it's a pretty stupid question if asked without any context. For example if I had to move Fuji my solution would involve a fair bit of lithium-6 deuteride in a sloika design, which is relatively cheap to source. The downside is that in that particular configuration it's not a very big target for neutrons, so you need quite a lot of it to achieve ignition. That would have no problems moving Mt.Fuji, but side effects could be (a) moving the Japanese home islands (b) igniting some portions of the atmosphere, and (c) stripping the atmosphere off the planet.
    Thanks for your suggestion, Edward “Dave” Teller.
  • frits 2012-03-14 10:03
    Nickster:
    W00t! I'm going to put "iPhone native language" on my resume today!
    Looks like you already speak it.
  • Jay 2012-03-14 10:03
    pitchingchris:
    Jay:

    2. I would put out a call for a million volunteers. Each volunteer would be instructed to bring a spoon from home. Then I would direct them to each take a spoonful of dirt from the mountain, carry it to the desired destination, and drop it. Repeat until the mountain is moved.



    Good luck scooping a spoonful of hot lava


    That's the only flaw you see to that plan?
  • Jay 2012-03-14 10:13
    Jaybles:
    geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
    Jellineck:
    For the Mt. Fuji answer I would also want to find out is moving Mt. Fuji a business requirement or an implementation thrust upon you by the users.

    It could be that they don't really want Mt. Fuji moved, they'd just like to find cheaper airline tickets for a trip there and thought that moving the mountain was a better solution than going to Expedia.com


    It should not matter from the implementer's standpoint. You have to trust that the requirement has been properly vetted before making it to you. I would not have hired Grig for his answer. I want the mountain moved. Don't make me justify my reasons. I represent the business, and I say this is what the business wants. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


    If you're applying to be a code monkey, sure. You're not being paid to think, you're being paid to code. But then, if you're interviewing to be a code monkey, why in the world would the interviewer ask this sort of question?

    If you're interviewing to be a lead/senior developer, then yes, you should question the validity of seemingly ridiculous requirements. You should have the experience and knowledge to know that what you're being asked to do is insane/impossible, and be able to ask the right questions in order to arrive at a more plausible solution that accomplishes the same goal, which you would then hand down to your team of code monkeys.


    To take the question seriously: That's a good point. Suppose a user gave me a requirements paper that said, oh, how about: whenever someone visits our website we should download our entire customer database to his desktop. Surely the wrong response is, "Oh, okay." The right answer is, "But Mr User, not only would this make our web site very slow, downloading 100 megabytes of data on every visit, but it would allow any competitor to gain access to proprietary information, and probably expose us to legal liability for failing to protect personal information. What is it that you really need to accomplish? Why do you want to do this?" And then when we get the real requirement from them, propose a more realistic solution.
  • took to long 2012-03-14 10:21
    How to move a Mt. Fuji a mile?

    Mt. Fuji geolocation: 35°21′28.8″N 138°43′51.6″
    Circumference of Earth at 35° degrees is ~32,000 km http://home.online.no/~sigurdhu/Grid_1deg.htm
    Speed of Earth's rotation at 35% = ~32,000 km/day
    1 mile = 1.61km

    ((1.61km/32000km) * (86400 seconds/1 day) = 4.35 seconds

    Answer: Wait 4.35 seconds to move Mt. Fuji 1 mile.

    Could I do this in during an interview? Nope, because I wouldn't have the reference material... and I've got no reason to memorize the above facts.
  • Jay 2012-03-14 10:28
    s73v3r:
    C-Octothorpe:
    s73v3r:
    Schnapple:

    But in this situation you're the one who needs a job and it's not in your interests to be a shithead about it


    No, I don't. I currently have a job. I might desire another job, but I certainly don't NEED one. You have to appease me just as much as I'm supposed to impress you. Clearly the company did not impress her, so she didn't care what they thought.
    Regardless, burning bridges is never a good idea. If you did that, then the recruiter who sent you in there would likely never work with you again, nor would anybody that they talked to in regards to your bad attitude.

    Being rude only serves one purpose: to make you feel better now. It's ironic that getting a job when you have one is easy, however it's an entirely different storey when you've already been out of work for seven weeks and don't have any interviews lined up... Add to it that you have intentionally sabotaged yourself by removing at least one person from your network because you were a dick during an interview.

    Addendum (2012-03-13 16:45):
    I have to admit that on at least one occasion, I've been tempted to take a shit in their fake planter and walk out with a grin on my face. It's tempting, but being the bigger person will always serve you better.


    People put far, far too much value on not burning bridges.


    Consider the question objectively. If you scream that this place is run by a bunch of idiots and storm out, it no doubt makes you feel good for the moment. And you say you decided you don't want the job, so what have you lost? Well, suppose a year or two from now you're looking for a job again, this place has another opening, and the manager who was such an idiot has moved on. They might now be offerring a position that you would want, but you've burned your bridges. Or: I don't know where you live and work, but I've had several occasions where I've run into someone at one company that I had previously worked with at another company. Suppose one of the people present for your tirade is now working at another company where you are interviewing. Maybe he wasn't the person who caused the problem, or if he was he doesn't have the power to do it here or he's learned better. But he nevertheless thinks that someone who would go on such a tirade is not the sort of person he wants to work with, and he tells others at the new company about the incident. Etc.

    Personally, I would much rather be in a position where the company offers me a job and I (politely) reject it, then to say something that will insure that they reject me.
  • Jay 2012-03-14 10:47
    Ben Jammin:
    Jay:
    On the slightly serious side: What would the interviewer consider a good answer to the Mt Fuji question? If this comes from a book of clever interview questions, I'd like to know what they consider the "right" answer. Unless the applicant is incredibly brilliant or has god-like powers, any solution proposed is likely to be wildy expensive and/or impractical. Is the idea to present a virtually unsolvable problem and then expect a solution?


    The answer is, "One rock at a time." It is obviously supposed to be how someone takes a large unsolvable problem and solves it by breaking it down into smaller solvable problems. If they are reading questions from a script, if you want the job, you just need to show you know the scripted answers.

    The key question is whether or not you want that job. Obviously, they either don't have the time, or possibly, ability to think independently. This either means you can play "big fish in a small pond" or keep looking for a different competitive/fulfilling place of employment.


    Okay, that sounds plausible. I can see somebody coming up with that question with the thought that that's the right answer.

    But if that's what they're looking for -- or something else of that sort -- it's dumb. The question is far too general for the interviewee to know that that's what you're looking for. It's absurd to ask a general question that could be answered a hundred different ways, and expect the applicant/student/whatever to think of it the same way you did.

    Like, a couple of years ago I saw some news article about the U.S. government coming up with a new test that immigrants must pass to become citizens. And one of the questions on the test was, "What does the Constitution do?" Apparently the "right" answer was something like "it is the supreme law of the U.S.". But I could imagine a host of right answers from other points of view, ranging from "it protects the rights of the citizens" to "it does nothing of itself -- it only works to the extent that the government and the people respect and follow it" to "it hangs on the wall in the National Archives in Washington DC".

    BTW, thinking of that quiz, it was filled with pointless questions. Like asking how many amendments there were to the Constitition, or how many members are in the House of Representatives. Who cares if an immigrant knows this? I suspect such questions are included because they're easy to score rather then because they matter.
  • m 2012-03-14 10:51
    Nickster:
    W00t! I'm going to put "iPhone native language" on my resume today!
    I'm going to convert my resume into "iPad format", so that it can then be read by anyone at all, just so long as they have one specific device from one specific manufacturer.

    Maybe I'll put in some HTML "bonus pages". Good to know that thanks to the best known media company in the world, iPads will soon be catching up to the level of technology of 1991. Maybe in a few years, someone will create a revolutionary "app" that will allow reading these "HTML" pages on any company's site, even if that app hasn't been specifically written for that site! Amazing.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-03-14 11:14
    I don't know.. .I hate having to give the same answer to multiple people too, so I actually sympathize with the second story. Multiple interviews tend to waste the candidate's time more than anything else.
  • NickFitz 2012-03-14 12:58
    I've also had that email about the tree and the drinking water from Malvern.
  • my little phony 2012-03-14 14:22
    The poop of DOOM:

    I once had an interview where they asked the same questions over and over... within the same interview! The whole thing pretty much existed of:

    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.2)
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Response v1.2
    Interviewer: Question 1
    Me: Reformulated response (aka response v1.3)

    And so on for an hour or so. God knows what was wrong with that woman...


    I call that the "Jack Bauer" interview.

    Bonus points if the question was about your employment history. (e.g. "Who are you working for?!")
  • katastrofa 2012-03-14 14:28
    @Multiple Frustrations

    The candidate did have a point. Interviewers should coordinate what they're asking about.
  • Coyne 2012-03-14 14:52
    "How many piano tuners are there in the United States?"

    "Somewhat less than the number of pianos."
  • shadowman 2012-03-14 17:44
    George:

    Grig is a wiseass who I wouldn't hire either. Can you imagine working with someone who tried to sidetrack their instructions at every opportunity? Just answer the question.


    The point is, if you've never encountered that type of interview question before, there is no way to "just answer" it. Without any context, how is one to know whether the guy wants broad logistics like the answer he gave, or if he wanted mundane details like "get 10,346 dump trucks that each hold 10 tons of rock and 15 billion gallons of glue." His guess was as good as any.

  • herby 2012-03-14 21:25
    Mt. Fuji:

    Answers

    One word: Photoshop.
    Two words: Atomic bomb. (yield to be determined)

    Pretty simple if you ask me.
  • Dan J 2012-03-15 07:31
    Apparently the people who send out such mails are house wives of people who come on H1-B and trying to make some pocket money.
  • Vijay 2012-03-15 07:54
    Multiple interviewers asking the same set of question indicates a lack of preparedness from the interviewers and a general indication of how the team works.

    If the interview panel is not able to get together for each req/candidate and discuss what aspect each of them will explore in depth, It's an indication of how they function as a team...
    Expect to see multiple version of the same wheel being independently developed and used in the team.
  • jas88 2012-03-15 08:52
    Bah, that error mangling code isn't at all enterprisey-ready!

    Everyone knows the proper Enterprisey way to handle errors is to hang permanently with "please wait" on screen.

    (Yes, my latest inherited web-turkey does that: mask the screen with random variations on "please wait, loading something" and fires off an AJAX request. The success handlers for the responses all unmask the screen and displays results. The error handlers ... don't exist. So, any failed request, timeout, session expiry etc means the user is left at a "please wait" message until they give up.)
  • The poop... of DOOM! 2012-03-15 09:19
    Julia:
    Assuming certain versions of multiverse theory, there is at least one universe where Mt Fuji is already displaced by the requisite distance. Destroy all other universes. Simples!

    You'll actually at least double the amount of universes then, cause there'll be two for each universe you try to destroy: One where you succeed, and one where you fail. And that's not even taken permutations into account, like if you decide to destroy universe X first in one universe, but in another you decide to destroy universe Y first. By trying to destroy all universes except for one, you'll only make your problem worse.
  • blank 2012-03-15 12:41
    this is how to do a job interview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RGLgJe9Keo

    Spam, askimet? No.
  • oldperson 2012-03-15 12:50
    I thought it was developed in Oracle forms.

    Ben Jammin:
    Mr. S:
    TRWTF is a .NET developer at Sun!


    Were you not aware that Java was developed in .Net?
  • ctd 2012-03-15 14:27
    Cbuttius:
    I'd just outsource the job to the Shamen.

    Because they can move, move, move any mountain...


    lol!

    (and wondering if anyone else got it)
  • ctd 2012-03-15 14:39
    s73v3r:
    How can you properly come up with a solution to moving Mt. Fiji if you don't know the requirements or the problem the customer has in the first place?


    Too often requirements are confused with design. Answer my "why do you want it moved?" question and you'll get a better design. Maybe the requirement truly is "move Mt. Fuji", maybe it's a design step. A good candidate will recognize the difference, and ask suitable questions to discern which it is. Also, such requirements (if it is one) come with other ignored yet vital requirements - in this case, differentiating validity of solutions like "wait 4.35 seconds" vs. "10^48 teaspoons" vs. "a fleet of dump trucks and an accountant" vs. "10^6 megatons".

    Oh, I can come up with an answer. Which answer is most favorable to the one asking it will in turn require some counter-questions.
  • Dmitriy 2012-03-15 18:03
    "The lead developer there is so skilled that he has been given numerous
    awards for just being outstanding. "

    This sounds like the "Most Interesting Man In The World"!

    P.S. Stay thirsty my friends.
  • LOADING 2012-03-15 18:58
    Perhaps asking how to move the mountain gives an idea of how you think.

    Three obvious answers.

    * If that you don't do anything. It moves on it's own, but imperceptibly slowly.
    * You move. In a certain sense, from your self as a fixed point, that means the mountain is moving.
    * Thousands of diggers, etc. Basically explain how you would move it if you had unlimited resources.
  • The poop of DOOM 2012-03-16 05:29
    LOADING:
    Perhaps asking how to move the mountain gives an idea of how you think.

    Three obvious answers.

    * If that you don't do anything. It moves on it's own, but imperceptibly slowly.
    * You move. In a certain sense, from your self as a fixed point, that means the mountain is moving.
    * Thousands of diggers, etc. Basically explain how you would move it if you had unlimited resources.

    Or lure Mt. Kilimanjaro to it. Those two can't stand each other and both'll run in opposite directions, hence moving Mt. Fuji.
  • cd 2012-03-16 06:02
    Re: the "piano tuner" question - it was probably written by someone who's heard of "Fermi problems" -- though the original only concerned the number of piano tuners in Chicago -- but not really understood what they're for.

    But yeah, I agree with Grig - moving Mt. Fuji is not really something to be done on a whim.
  • Mathew 2012-03-16 08:49
    anon:
    Raedwald:
    I don’t know. Maybe get everyone in a room instead of having me jump from person to person?


    I'd hire someone who asked that question. We programmers are meant to have some understanding of efficient and inefficient processes. And make suggestions for improving things.


    I sure as hell wouldn't. Suggesting a better process may be a good thing, but refusing to participate in the existing process is definitely not. Also, the suggestion sucked, group interviews never work well. Either one person takes control and everyone else is left with unanswered questions (a project manager and a lead dev will have different questions, even if there is some overlap), or the whole interview will drift all over the place and no one will gain any real insight. Yes, we all know interviews are tedious and repetitive, but you can either suck it up and deal with it, or not have a job.


    the solution to this is very easy: let one after the other take the lead. this way it's like multiple interviews in a row, but without repetitious questions.
  • frits 2012-03-16 09:28
    Not one mention of Godzilla? I am disappoint.
  • cappeca 2012-03-16 10:18
    I had an interview once where the guy kept asking me "Is it safe? Is it safe?" Creepy!
  • Flukey 2012-03-16 11:51
    Paul:
    This was from a Jerome W:

    It was a cold day, Gustav arrived for his first day at work clutching his laptop and some books on the Zend framework. His past nights had been disturbed by the 'Tetris effect', lines of pure code produced by his unconscious mind in his sleep, dropping down, one atop the other, leaving him in somewhat of a half awake, half asleep state throughout the nights. His world view was formed through code, indeed giving him great insight, yet leaving him somewhat distant from those around him.
    [snip a few paragraphs]

    I wonder if it's the same guy...


    ah, I got the same email! I quite liked it, if I'm honest. A lot more creative than the usual recruitment emails - which can only be a good thing in my books.
  • Marnen Laibow-Koser 2012-03-16 12:14

    Can they open doors? Maybe, but I am doubtful. The emails always seem to have an urgency and rudness to them I simply do not respond. This is the current market out there regretfully, but I can get by without that type of service.


    I don't like this kind of recruiter either. But in fact, they *can* open doors. The job I'm about to start on Monday is one that I got through precisely this process -- and although I hear about lots of similar jobs, no other recruiter ever mentioned this one to me, which leads me to believe that these guys do have *some* useful sources of information.

    Yes, I was very surprised when this job panned out.
  • Man Mountain Dean 2012-03-19 16:39
    Jay:
    Answers that occur to me for the Mt Fuji question:

    1. Mohammed was supposedly able to move a mountain. So I'd build a time machine, go back and get Mohammed, bring him to Japan, and ask him to move the mountain.

    2. I would put out a call for a million volunteers. Each volunteer would be instructed to bring a spoon from home. Then I would direct them to each take a spoonful of dirt from the mountain, carry it to the desired destination, and drop it. Repeat until the mountain is moved.

    3. Wait for another tsunami to hit Japan and move the mountain for me.

    Etc. I'm sure any reasonably creative person could come up with dozens of equally realistic plans.


    I'd tap that Mount Fuji every day of the week until it moved out of exhaustion, cuz I'm Man Mountain Dean!
  • Cotsios 2012-03-20 09:18
    Why on earth would you need more than a 2-part interview? You need a small coding exam, a technical interview (both to see the tech skills of the interviewee) and finally a HR interview to see the character of the interviewee. If you were the 4th interviewer, she had every right to be annoyed when she heard the same serious of questions for the 4th time, taking up so much of her time to be thrown between departments and in the end she might even not get the job. If the girl wrote this, it would be a WTF of the interviewer.
  • John 2012-03-21 19:18
    How would I move Mount Fuji.

    The simplest answer is 'do nothing, except wait'. Mount Fuji is on Earth, the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun. So by waiting, the mountain already moves - it's just a matter of relative coordinate frames.
  • Mulleteer 2012-03-23 08:40
    I wonder if the company the first headhunter describes has other developers who emit "plexigass" besides the "Dali Lama".

    For such amounts of poetry (by poetry I mean BS) the guy should learn how to write properly.
  • Reow 2012-03-27 22:04
    @Hari So you didn't hire a person because you and your team mates are too incompetent to agree on interview questions in advance? I'm certain they were very grateful they dodged that bullet. I'd put good money that one day they'll post their experience on TDWTF too, and you will come out looking just as much the idiot.

    @Grig Larson With your command (or lack thereof) of language, I wouldn't go calling myself an author any time soon. You can rest on the crutch of lay-offs as much as you like, but it doesn't change the fact you failed that interview dismally. It's good to be a critical thinker and point out the contextual issues to the interviewer, but you shouldn't focus on them (presuming you want the job). The point of a hypothetical is that you ignore the improbabilities of the situation and show your problem solving abilities. Had I been the interviewer, you wouldn't have got a call back either.
  • Grig Larson 2012-05-08 13:11
    I was the guy asked about Mount Fuji. Some stuff was removed, so it did come off like a wiseass, but eventually, the guy chuckled. "These are good questions, I don't know. In fact, I don't know why they make me ask these questions," he said. "I just want to see what you'd do with them. And those are really good followup questions. You really think about the whole scope of a project." He was impressed. For the piano tuners one, I said, "I don't know, I'd have to look up data on how many pianos there are, how often they get tuned, and what kind of market they have. Also, what is a 'tuner'; is is professional title, like being ACE certified mechanic, or is it just some guy with a tuning fork and a good ear?" Again, he laughed. "You really give these answers some good thought."

    When he introduced me to some of his coworkers, he was kind of proud of my answers, and asked me to repeat them. This got into some deep discussion about what each answers might mean when doing a project. After an hour with his group, they REALLY wanted me. "He is our culture" and so on. I got so close to being hired, but then... layoff city.

    Later, the manager told me, "It's a shame. They only allow me to hire from within, and no viable candidate has shown up since you."
  • Sayer 2012-06-12 11:10
    Exactly. I was once subjected to the multiple interview process and told, I'd have to wait a month to hear back because each interviewer was going on vacation immediately afterward. If a company can't even schedule their interviewing process sensibly, it doesn't bode well for their daily procedures. Also, multiple interviews are justified if different people are asking different questions, but if you're not conferring at all between the interviews and asking the same questions, you're wasting everyone's time. Lastly, in this example the interviewee had apparently JUST come from the previous interviewer's office. It defies belief that there was no way things could have been shifted around so that at least those two were in the same room.
  • Sayer 2012-06-12 11:25
    Reow:

    @Grig Larson With your command (or lack thereof) of language, I wouldn't go calling myself an author any time soon. You can rest on the crutch of lay-offs as much as you like, but it doesn't change the fact you failed that interview dismally. It's good to be a critical thinker and point out the contextual issues to the interviewer, but you shouldn't focus on them (presuming you want the job). The point of a hypothetical is that you ignore the improbabilities of the situation and show your problem solving abilities. Had I been the interviewer, you wouldn't have got a call back either.


    This is a good plan. That way, you ensure that you only hire yes-men who give no thought to the big picture. This will no doubt come in handy when they've gleefully over-executed on a poorly thought out plan and can be sacrificed during the next "getting lean" layoff period.
  • Mike 2012-11-15 11:54
    Exactly. Why is it considered okay to waste a candidates time? Not everyone is out of work and looking for it if I'm taking time off work to go to your interview I shouldn't have to spend 3 hrs repeating things that are itemized on my resume.

    Say different parts of your experience are important to different groups managers or whatever. Get everyone in a room talk about the common things. Then split off individually and talk about what is specific to each group.

    I had a job interview where they had as a "nice to have" graph theory (was for a pharmaceutical protein modeling software company). It came up in the interview and I was honest: I've seen about 1 day worth of graph theory doing cyclomatic complexity calculations for a software engineering course, other than that no experience with it (but I do have a degree in physics and research experience in protein modeling).

    I get an onsite interview. I had to take a day off work and pay for a Greyhound both ways to get to the interview. We chat for a bit and then the coding test. 5 questions you have an hour. Every single question was graph theory related. I couldn't understand the questions to get started it wasn't that I couldn't code they were testing something I already told them I didn't know. Why your nice to have skill is required for the coding test you are using to screen people is beyond me.