Interviews - Don'ts and Don'ts

>> Friday, December 18, 2009

Fresh off the job hunt I can sort of laugh at some of the lessons learned.

I've always thought of myself as a bad phone interviewer and I was wrong.  I'm actually much worst than bad...  I feel much more relaxed when at in-person interviews.  My track record at in person is not too bad, probably 8/10 lifetime record.  My track record for phone interviews? 5 in 100?

How bad are my phone interview skills?  You don't have to be a coder to observe how I can spiral downwards, absolutely freeze and become a complete idiot (more than normal).  Here are some excerpts from last weeks hilarity, none of them were from the company that hired me, rest assured.

Interviewer:  Mark, what prompted you to apply to our company?
Me:  Oh, my friend suggested I apply...

Interviewer:  How can you describe the differences between .Net 1.1, 2.0, and 3.5?
Me:  Ummm.....Ummm......Ummm.....I work with them all the time!....Ummm.....Ummm.....I can't think of any.  Sorry.

Interviewer:  What are the differences between a const and a readonly in .Net?
Me:  A cont variable is a fixed, defined value that cannot be changed by the program, the readonly...?  Hmmm, haven't used one in a few years so not sure how it is different from the const...

My favourite response:

Interviewer:  So how is a protected method different from a private?  (This was basically a question to see if I've ever programmed before)
Me:  Ummm....well, a private method is private to you know, umm, the container object.  The protected method is available to the associated objects.
Interviewer:  Well, who can access the protected method?
Me:  Well, the associated objects, it's public to all associated stuff.


I luckily didn't freeze up on a couple other phone interviews...

Merry Christmas to all!


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