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Friday, February 10, 2017

Interesting Interviews

I have had some strange job interviews over the years. I’m not talking about silly phone screening with non technical people. I gave up trying to explain stuff like Word and Excel are part of Office. Or Visual C++ and Visual Basic are part of Visual Studio.

One of my first interviews was in high school. I recall getting a ride to the small business across town. I was not sure how I’d get there if I got the job.

I remember the guy doing the interview was not impressed. I assumed it was with my age. I wonder if he exhausted his knowledge of Office because I felt I started to convince him I could do the job. I was briefly shocked when he asked what I expected as compensation. It is a common question but I honestly did not think I'd get this far in the interview.

Soon I became somewhat embarrassed. He laughed when I told him a figure that was obviously a lot lower than the position was advertised for.

“In a negotiation, kid.” He stated. “You should always start high and work your way down.”

That was good advice for the next job.

There were a bunch of interviews where I felt they were uncomfortable about hiring me and they literally went line by line through my resume to find anything to disqualify me. It often came down to a question like “How many years of experience of X do you have?”

I would reply with 3 or 4 years or whatever the truth was and they would immediately respond with “We are looking for someone with 4 or 5.” That was it. The interview was over.

One time, when asked about the .Net Framework,  I told them I had the exact number of years it had been publicly available. I even mentioned that I was writing code when it was in Beta. Of course, they said they were looking for more experince.

Well, good luck. I thought. Unless you can get a Microsoft employee that designed the thing, you’ll never find what you are looking for.

The absolute worst interview went as follows. I did everything you are supposed to do. Be confident, be courteous...etc. The guy did not even rise to accept a firm handshake. After a while, I stopped speaking and we just stared at each other. Minutes passed and he finally said he had my resume on file.

I was polite and walked out. Looking back on it now and if I could go through that again, I’d be too tempted to make some rude jester and tell him to file that too.


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