Thursday, August 12, 2010

The job interview. My ambiguous impressions

Recently I was invited for the job interview to some software company in my city. Actually I have the work now and I didn't plan to change it in the nearest time. But on the other hand why not to try if there is such opportunity? So I decided to go for it. It turns out now that it was a good decision as I learnt some things that can help me in the future study and the carrier growth.

I don't want to write about what exact questions were asked etc. I'll try to share with you my impressions and what conclusions I came to from this story. But I should notice that I do NOT want to accuse anybody in anything. But some bit of the criticism shouldn't harm anyone, should it?:)

There were two of them. (massive attack?:) ) I believe that this part went quite well except some things.
  1. I really didn't like that my recruiters didn't bother even to read whole my CV. For example, one of the recruiters asked me whether I took some online tests like Brainbench. Damn, yes, and that was mentioned in my document! And this is just example...
  2. About the same Brainbench. There was noted in my CV that I got "Brainbench Master Certification in C#" and the recruiter complained that I didn't mention the exact score. When I answered that it was 4.02 she said "Fine! It is very good result!" What then is not "good" result if the master level requires to pass with a score of at least 4.0?:) Why are you asking about this test while are you not confident about it? (Actually I have no doubt that this test has no real value at all but it is subject for another story).
  3. I will be very appreciate if the recruiter try to investigate what is wrote in CV before the interview. Yes, I know that almost all people never heard about TopCoder, but is it too difficult just to google it and to get some basic information? I think it will the plus for me if they would know about Topcoder's standards and practices.
  4. And last. I really didn't like experiments like the provocative questions to view reaction of the interviewee.
Technical interviewers.
  1. Yeah, it will be very cool if in the next time someone will notify me in advance that I'll have technical interviews in the same day:) Especially in both Java and .NET:)
  2. I'm very disappointed that there wasn't ANY question for evaluating general skills like logic, the ability to solve problems etc. Just technical questions like "how many ways are to synchronize threads" etc. Yes, the working (!) knowledge is needed definitely for most positions, but is it the main constituent of the successful developer? What a hell, whom you need to hire?! Coding monkeys?!
  3. I had the luck to compare two very different persons as interviewers. While one just asked a number of questions to hear proper answers, another one impressed me from the good side. Funny guy, he helped me a lot to think in the right way about my carrier and the priorities. It seems he is quite good in evaluating of the interviewee's knowledge. When I didn't say something that he wanted to hear, he asked another question to check if I didn't know that or just forgot to say about it. And in general... +1 to him definitely :)
  4. The Java guy, if you sometimes read this, do not draw minuses on the paper when someone is continuing to answer the question and he sees what are you drawing.) And do not ask stupid questions like "Will be your code readable for others?".
What I learnt.
  1. I always thought that is not such important to learn deeply some technologies in advance. My principle was "you want it - I'll learn it", and it is important to know only some basic things about technology so you just can start work with it and the deep knowledge will come in the practice, in the development process. Not I realized that most companies wants you to be the guru, so you will know all answers without extra time for investigating. The learning of something in advance without immediate need was for me as wasting of time, but I'll considering to pay more attention in self-learning not for some certificate but for real knowledge.
  2. I have the dilemma now. Java or .NET?:) I always wanted to become good in both, but it seems that is not possible. You should concentrate on something one to be really good in it.
  3. And last I realized that my speaking English is not bad but VERY bad :) Yeah, even much more worse than my written English:) I was so disappointed in the brief examination of my speaking that I canceled my phone interview for the internship in USA. And now I'm considering in taking some additional English courses maybe focused in speaking.
 So what next? Now I should set my goals for some period of time and I should outline the plan how to achieve those goals. When you have the plan, you have the hope!:)


  1. Hey, don't be disappointed.

    Companies cannot check your ability to solve problems at interview, just maybe some basics. That is why they ask concrete questions. For developer, who started career it could be difficult.

    I would say select .NET, but who knows maybe another technology will rise soon much stronger than Java and .NET together, so learning something simultaneously for personal enjoy is very good habit.

    And your English writing skills are thrilling. Rock on, man!

  2. Thanks, man!
    Yes, I was upset a little at that time, but now I'm ok with that. I just got new experience for myself and I'm glad with it. In general it is cool when something happens that sends you in the right direction. ;)