The interviewee from the crypt



  • Ok, here's a chance to bring an interview to light. This was the only interview so far, where I was the interviewer (albeit, only for a question).

     

    We had this candidate who called in early, one morning. Since the VP (my boss) was out, and because there was no other qualified person (as in legally qualified to take decisions in hiring) to take the interview,  who we had to ask him to come back later in the evening. (Note: the VP was the person running the show, and his general cluelessness brought down the company later).

    Fast forward to the evening.

    The interview panel is ready and our candidate has come ahead on time. (Warning signal: this man seems to have all the time in the world to troop around the city)

    The interview is being held behind closed doors, so the developers (I guess that was only me) have no idea about what is going inside.

    5 minutes later, I'm asked to join the panel and ask our candidate some questions in Java. So here goes my first stint at interviewing:

    First question ( which turned out to be the only question) : I hope you know about HTTP GET and POST. Did you do any work with regard to parsing input received from the browser via GET and POST ?

    His answer : Ah yes, HTTP POST is something I work on, a lot. That is my specialty. Isn't that the library used in the latest version of Internet Explorer ? Netscape Communicator is not being widely used because it doesn't implement that library.

     

    I felt as if someone was choking me. Since I had asked this question standing near the door (which I later learnt was the most advantageous position in the room), I could only mumble something incoherent, nodded my head and waved hands as if in a trance, and silently slink away from there.

     

    My friend later talked to me about this interview in detail. It seems that the interviewee was fresh out of college and didn't seem to have got a job elsewhere (we paying well below market rates, and our company was unheard of in the industry). The VP had interviewed him something like this:

    VP: So, how long has it been since you've graduated ?

    Candidate: 3 months....

    VP: What were doing in these 3 months ?

    Candidate:  Well, I met with an accident.

    VP: Were you the only person involved?

    Candidate: No sir, my friend was also involved.

    VP: What happened to him?

    Candidate: Well, he died.

    VP: How soon did he die?

    Candidate: Well, he died on the spot.

     

    Needless to say, I've never ever been so shocked in my life to say "WTF?". Champion cluelessness against Champion liar.


  • What happens when an intolerable force meets an inconceivable object?



  • 1. What did your question have to do with Java? It could apply to any language where a request could be received (granted - his answer made it pretty obvious he didn't understand http/get/post, but still (based on what you posted) had no bearing on Java skills)

    2. Sounds like the VP asked an innocent question about down-time and got an unexpected answer. Still, it has no bearing on the guy's ability to do the job.

    Beter questions might have been in order.



  • [quote user="A Java Guy"]

    1. What did your question have to do with Java? It could apply to any language where a request could be received (granted - his answer made it pretty obvious he didn't understand http/get/post, but still (based on what you posted) had no bearing on Java skills)

    [/quote]

    We were into servlets. Over here, if you are a recent comp graduate you're expected to know about http get/post which would have been the basis for training him in servlet programming. The fact that I graduated at the same time as the candidate made all the difference in the situation.

    [quote user="A Java Guy"]

    2. Sounds like the VP asked an innocent question about down-time and got an unexpected answer. Still, it has no bearing on the guy's ability to do the job.

    Beter questions might have been in order.

    [/quote]

    This one was about the VP. You can ask an innocent question and then back off after getting an unexpected answer. But notice the second question. I would have called up my lawyer before asking that.



  • [quote user="kuroshin"]

    The interview panel is ready and our candidate has come ahead on time. (Warning signal: this man seems to have all the time in the world to troop around the city)

    [/quote]

    Warning??  Job candidates are very often out of a job, and when they aren't they may still very often have light job duties (company slow down, etc).  Being able to show up ahead of time should be a good thing! 

     [quote user="kuroshin"]

    VP: So, how long has it been since you've graduated ?

    Candidate: 3 months....

    VP: What were doing in these 3 months ?

    [/quote]

    Probably looking for a job, duh.

    I don't know why people seem to think that if you don't get a job instantly that you must be slacking off.  I had one person interview me who said, essentially, "you've got all the skills and talent we need, but it looks like you've been job hunting for about 8 months now, so there must be something wrong with you we haven't discovered."



  • [quote user="darin"][quote user="kuroshin"]

    The interview panel is ready and our candidate has come ahead on time. (Warning signal: this man seems to have all the time in the world to troop around the city)

    [/quote]

    Warning??  Job candidates are very often out of a job, and when they aren't they may still very often have light job duties (company slow down, etc).  Being able to show up ahead of time should be a good thing! 

    [/quote]

     

    Yeah, I didn't get that one either.  So you guys reschedule an interview at the last minute and you fault the guy for making it on time?!?  wtf?



  • [quote user="A Java Guy"]

    1. What did your question have to do with Java? It could apply to any language where a request could be received (granted - his answer made it pretty obvious he didn't understand http/get/post, but still (based on what you posted) had no bearing on Java skills)

    [/quote]

    Imagine you're interviewing a writer.

    "Tell me about the paper you've used."

    "Ah, yes, I specialise in paper. It's a type of fish, isn't it?" 

    While I am sure that it's possible to be an excellent writer and think paper is a type of fish, it is so terribly unlikely that I cannot imagine wasting any further time on this candidate. Furthermore, the candidate is clearly bullshitting, and if you can't get through a technical interview without bullshitting - you don't deserve the job.

    2. Sounds like the VP asked an innocent question about down-time and got an unexpected answer. Still, it has no bearing on the guy's ability to do the job.

    Yeah... communication really isn't important in technical work. Not at all.

    Only another Java developer would try to defend this retard.

     



  • [quote user="CDarklock"]

    Only another Java developer would try to defend this retard.

    [/quote]

    As a Java developer, I resent that. The question wasn't about java; doesn't matter. If the guy didn't know, because he had never been taught, he should have said "I DON'T KNOW" (possibly with caps). It's better to admit ignorance then feign stupidity.



  • Wow. BS for the winlose.

    Not knowing about HTTP GET/POST is acceptable (I reckon pretty much any missing knowledge is acceptable as long as someone can think their way round a problem and knows where to look stuff up). Producing a clearly BS answer means the guy will BS when his project is in trouble, when he doesn't know how to code something ... Oh well, at least he entertained you with such a WTF piece of bollocks.



  • Wow, I'm not sure which side of this interview I'd rather be on.  I either get someone clueless about basic web technology, or I get a company that gets upset that I went to the trouble of working around their schedule and then grills me about a friend's death.



  •     I've been interviewing reciently, and was asked the same question on an over the phone interview for a php development job. I honestly anwsered that I had used POST and GET before, and knew how POst worked, explained it, and told them that I really was unsure what GET is or how it's different from POST. They still hired me, even though I was unsure of the anwser. It's always a good idea to A) admit what you DON'T know and B) At least let the knowledge you do have shine though. I agree that someone who BS a technical question in an interview is likely to BS a staus report etc.


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