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Old 06-09-2005, 11:25 AM   #1
TotalLinuxNoob
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Help - I have an interview tomorrow


Through my education establishment I received news of a potential job so I submitted my CV and have now agreed to an interview tomorrow.
The only news I recieved is that it is more backend web programming and they wanted someone without a degree. Another source mentioned it was ASP development but didn't know whether it is ASP/ASP.Net.
I asked the person contacting me whether the business had a website but was informed it would not be of any use to me.

So is there anything I should watch out for? Are there any recommended preperations to undertake with so little time left? anything I must NOT do under no circumstances?

Apperantly they are not aware of Python......
Many thanks

 
Old 06-09-2005, 11:39 AM   #2
vharishankar
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You might find this useful.

Best of luck, by the way
 
Old 06-09-2005, 12:53 PM   #3
J.W.
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Re: Help - I have an interview tomorrow

Quote:
Originally posted by TotalLinuxNoob
I asked the person contacting me whether the business had a website but was informed it would not be of any use to me.
Whether the website would be "useful" to you or not is your decision to make, not someone else's. If this person is a recruiter, he/she obviously would not be inclined to disclose who the company is, because their fear would be that you'd just contact the company directly and apply for the job (and thus deprive them of their commission). Regardless though, your chances of landing the job will increase the better prepared you are, so in the end, it is in their interests to tell you who you will be meeting with. In brief, prepared candidates are always more appealing than unprepared ones, but this person would have to eventually tell you where to appear for the interview, so just do a lookup on the address and you can find out what company it is.

As for the interview itself, dress professionally, arrive on time, have extra copies of your resume with you, answer the questions as best as you can, and if you don't know the answer to a technical question, it's best to just say "I don't know" than it is to try to BS the guy. Lastly, once you've answered the question, stop talking. If there is a brief pause before the interviewer asks the next question, don't worry about it, and don't try to fill the (momentary) silence by re-answering the previous question. It could just be that the interviewer has a list of questions, and is deciding which one to ask next.

My experience is that candidates who demonstrate that they are willing to learn new things, and can adapt to change easily are superior to "experts" who think they know it all. Overall, best of luck to you -- J.W.
 
Old 06-09-2005, 01:43 PM   #4
Blinker_Fluid
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In my experience the head hunters know what's on the paper in front of them. They probably don't know what ASP is.

My recommendations:
Dress professionally.
Don't give them the dead fish hand-shake. Use the person's name when you talk to them.
It sounds like the head-hunter has told you nothing be prepared with questions. (What are you going to be doing?, purpose of position, skills needed, etc)
Be prepared to answer some of the questions they use to trap you:
What do you feel your weeknesses are?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

They requested someone without a degree... What happens when/if you get a degree?
 
Old 06-11-2005, 04:00 PM   #5
TotalLinuxNoob
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Thanks for all the replies guys, I was hoping that if the thread didn't turn out of any use it would atleast bring up some entertaining stories...
The person informing me that the website wouldn't be of any use was in fact the interviewer [who I also believe to be the Director of the business]. He was right that it would have been of limited use as the website only displays some technical data of one of the business' services..
Took the 'dress well' advice to heart and found a matching shirt and trousers that needed ironing I'm sure the effort showed.
I was desperately trying to remember to let him do most of the talking but as the interview progressed it seemed I might aswell have been interviewing him so I tried to convey some of the passion I have for coding while not trying to interrupt.
Got to meet the team and it is now up to them to decide whether they wouldn't mind me invading their 'office space' . If so, another 'interview/review' will be scheduled to judge me on how well I fit in and probably my abilities/aptitude too. That will probably form the main challenge to overcome but also provide me with the oppertunity to demonstrate what I perceive as my strengths.
Overall I would judge the experience as 'positive'.


Last edited by TotalLinuxNoob; 06-11-2005 at 04:03 PM.
 
Old 07-19-2005, 08:17 PM   #6
TotalLinuxNoob
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A while back I went to attend that second interview & from that it became very clear they have very little experience interviewing potential employees.
I was asked to write a report on a minute batch script, and how its performance could be increased. Then I had a choice of several tasks including writing a search engine for a website, and some script selecting the amount of rows to be shown in a web page or a M$ Access task importing and creating a form for some product db.
The batch script task went relatively well and I composed a nice little report on it.
I have no experience other than a little Python in web languages so I offered to create the search engine using Python but that would take too long to install/configure apparently(not necessarily - it could be a local script called with the search string as parameter going through some html files. No need for a web server but I should have told them that).
Instead I was to do the M$ Access task. Now, I absolutely abhor Access and try to avoid using it wherever I can but in this case I was stuck. A nice opportunity to show off my investigative and learning abilities. I ended up telling him how I would have done it in theory.
The major problem during all this was that they were also judging me on how I interacted with the rest of the team so I was left with the choice of going hard core on the tasks ahead and demonstrating abilities they would hire me for or divide my time between sharing jokes and Access giving me a hard time, something that could be crucial to the final decision.
I decided to go for the engage in small talk and joking about female programmers of 'unconventional beauty' option, listening intently to any topic of conversation that could be exploited to my advantage. In the end it was left to discussing ways of finding out whether this female really is a member of the opposite sex.
One thing struck me most - there was more talk of cars and women than technology, maybe down to naivety,but I expected to hear more technology relating topics and debating C#'s strengths.
In the end I was affably informed that there would be no future for me there:

"We discussed your time with us after you left and were very positive about your attitude to work and your social fit within the company.

However as we were conducting the interviews, the skills the company will need in the future have begun to change and we have decided to move forward with the appointment of an administration person instead of a technical one, which will allow the rest of us to concentrate on technical matters more.
"

Ah, well. At-least it wasn't down to my skills, if the e-mail is anything to go by.
If I had been in their position I would have given the candidate a problem which they can solve in their language of choice to demonstrate ability as it was said that was what they were looking for. In the end this process, IMO, was as useful as trying to determine their administrative abilities

Shortly before the interview I put my CV on-line and I have now received an offer from IBM, Scotland for a position in Technical Support. Ah, well I have to start somewhere and the bottom rung is not below me. If I pass the interview(s) it is my intention to find and apply to a department that takes my fancy such as S/W development. Apparently The Big Blue is quite good in the training it provides for its people and it is up to them to decide whether I posses what they're looking for in a developer. If I fail the interview or am fed up with the job and see no chances of climbing the ladder and my interest in IT is still there I will conduct a BSC in CS, god willing

So what would be best before and during the interview:
Read up on their history, including financial past?
Mention I have watched Pirates of Silicon Valley several times and do believe you cannot rely on such media to give them a fair representation?
Revise the history of s/w and especially theirs? [Do they have any association with Oracle?]
Congratulate them on their improved profits compared to the same quarter last year? I doubt it...
The irony of them not seeing the need for personal computers and now selling off their PC dep?
Ask them why they would like to hire ME/what instigated their interest?

What kind of h/w questions could one expect? [It is a hardware support job for overseas clients - thus not in English]
Any other general interview tips would also be much appreciated.

ATM I think my main weakness is my native language as it is currently not up to the standard that it could be, having spend several years in the UK now, but ill just have to convince them it'll be back in optimal shape in no-time.

If I am successful I'll be coming back asking for tips on how to gain promotion - move sideways.
 
  


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