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ratewhore
26th November 2007, 18:08
As a contractor, you get used to interviews. I had one today and got asked quite a deep mathematical cryptography question, for which they wanted the answer then and there. Now I wouldn't mind except one of the interviewers sat there in front of me trying to work it out on his calculator!

I'm assuming one of the other interviewer's (who set the question) worked the answer out previously, so this is a fine example of 'I know more than you' syndrome.

This reminds me of an interview a long way back when the 'technical' interviewer explained this long, complicated, technical scenario and then asked me whether it would work. When I said yes, he told me it wouldn't because of a default-setting on a check box buried deep within the admin console of one of the components of said scenario.

Is it just me who can't be bothered with all this in an interview?

:suicide:

Sockpuppet
26th November 2007, 18:11
Usually if I think someone is just trying to catch me out I just ask them if they think I am a liar.

Nothing on CV is a lie, never will be. Nothing I say I can do will be a lie.

If they don't think I am up to the job which is usually what quick fire questions are all about then I'm not interested in working for them.

swamp
26th November 2007, 18:48
It's nothing to do with lying. Some people (including contractors) conduct interviews in a way that is mainly designed to maximise their own egos. Actually I think fellow contractors can be the worst for this when they are asked to do the interview!

Just ask them lots of questions about their set-up, and try and pick a few holes with indirect questions and observations. Make them squirm. If you're any good at what you do you can usually quickly tell where the shortcuts in any outfit are: lack of testing, poor integration between components, inappropriate use/misuse/lack of technologies, bad security etc.

thunderlizard
26th November 2007, 19:18
yes, sometimes you can step into the room and sense immediately that they're not in a hiring mood.

Then again, there was the time I messed up 60% of the obscure tech questions over the course of 2 and a half hours but did it so affably that I got the contract & had 18 happy months there, in an environment where bluffing got much better results than knowledge anyway.

ratewhore
26th November 2007, 20:29
It's nothing to do with lying. Some people (including contractors) conduct interviews in a way that is mainly designed to maximise their own egos.

Exactly my point but probably better made...

:nerd

daviejones
27th November 2007, 08:40
I have to admit that I used to ask some fairly difficult technical questions when doing interviews, but I was more interested in understanding how the candidate is going to work through the problem and whether or not he has a logical approach, than whether or not he got the answer correct.

My principle was: I don't expect my engineers to know everything, but I do expect them to know where to look for the answer.

Some interviewers are just on an ego trip however and that is just a sign of insecurity. IMO

VectraMan
27th November 2007, 09:25
I have to admit that I used to ask some fairly difficult technical questions when doing interviews, but I was more interested in understanding how the candidate is going to work through the problem and whether or not he has a logical approach, than whether or not he got the answer correct.

That's how I'd approach interviewing people. And especially with graduates; you want to weed out the ones that are just regurgitating the text book and find the ones that really understand. But if I was talking to somebody with 10 years experience I'd have changed the approach and asked about bigger concepts rather than insulting them with C++ questions or whatever.

For my current gig, the guy admitted he didn't know all that much about the stuff I do, so we just had a general chat about software engineering and the projects I'd worked on and I obviously convinced him I could do the job (which I can).

milanbenes
27th November 2007, 09:39
funniest contract interview I had,

their first question was how would you do this, I fired back with do you want me to explain it using this solution or this solution as there are two possibilities

they paused and said.... we don't know

interview lasted ten minutes, got the contract

Milan.

The Master
27th November 2007, 09:41
funniest contract interview I had,

their first question was how would you do this, I fired back with do you want me to explain it using this solution or this solution as there are two possibilities

they paused and said.... we don't know

interview lasted ten minutes, got the contract

Milan.
True enough, it's sometimes difficult to know whether to use the chamois leather or the squeegee.

Or at least that's what Milan thought when they said they wanted someone who was good at Windows.

wendigo100
27th November 2007, 09:47
No, I think the choice was between paper and mag tape. :D

milanbenes
27th November 2007, 09:47
he he you lot crack me up

Milan.

Bagpuss
27th November 2007, 09:51
As a contractor, you get used to interviews. I had one today and got asked quite a deep mathematical cryptography question, for which they wanted the answer then and there. Now I wouldn't mind except one of the interviewers sat there in front of me trying to work it out on his calculator!

I'm assuming one of the other interviewer's (who set the question) worked the answer out previously, so this is a fine example of 'I know more than you' syndrome.

This reminds me of an interview a long way back when the 'technical' interviewer explained this long, complicated, technical scenario and then asked me whether it would work. When I said yes, he told me it wouldn't because of a default-setting on a check box buried deep within the admin console of one of the components of said scenario.

Is it just me who can't be bothered with all this in an interview?

:suicide:

I once got asked to write down a 2 page A4 mathematical proof, mmm nice

Ruprect
27th November 2007, 10:00
funniest contract interview I had,

their first question was how would you do this, I fired back with do you want me to explain it using this solution or this solution as there are two possibilities

they paused and said.... we don't know

interview lasted ten minutes, got the contract

Milan.

Side A or Side B?

TimberWolf
27th November 2007, 10:27
Do you mean an African or European swallow?

...Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.

wendigo100
27th November 2007, 10:49
Do you mean an African or European swallow?
What? Oh I don't know ... BOING!