Tech & Work

10 mistakes managers make during job interviews

Conducting effective interviews requires a balance of instinct, insight, and some solid preparation. It also helps if you don't make certain blunders, such as monopolizing the conversation, asking leading questions, or applying too much (or too little) pressure.

By BNET staff

This article originally appeared in BNET's Now Hiring: Brilliant People special feature. It's also available as a PDF download.

Hiring is one of the hardest parts of managing a team. A lot is riding on the initial meeting, and if you're nervous or ill-prepared -- or both -- it can make you do strange things. The following mistakes are all too common, but they're easy to avoid with some advance preparation.

#1: You talk too much

When giving company background, watch out for the tendency to prattle on about your own job, personal feelings about the company, or life story. At the end of the conversation, you'll be aflutter with self-satisfaction, and you'll see the candidate in a rosy light -- but you still won't know anything about his or her ability to do the job.

#2: You gossip or swap war stories

Curb your desire to ask for dirt on the candidate's current employer or trash talk other people in the industry. Not only does it cast a bad light on you and your company, but it's a waste of time.

#3: You're afraid to ask tough questions

Interviews are awkward for everyone, and it's easy to over-empathize with a nervous candidate. It's also common to throw softball questions at someone whom you like or who makes you feel comfortable. You're better off asking everyone the same set of challenging questions -- you might be surprised what they reveal. Often a Nervous Nellie will spring to life when given the chance to solve a problem or elaborate on a past success.

#4: You fall prey to the halo effect (or the horns effect)

If a candidate arrives dressed to kill, gives a firm handshake, and answers the first question perfectly, you might be tempted to check the imaginary "Hired!" box in your mind. But make sure you pay attention to all the answers and don't be swayed by a first impression. Ditto for the reverse: The mumbler with the tattoos might have super powers that go undetected at first glance.

#5: You ask leading questions

Watch out for questions that telegraph to the applicant the answer you're looking for. You won't get honest responses from questions like, "You are familiar with Excel macros, aren't you?"

#6: You invade their privacy

First of all, it's illegal to delve too deeply into personal or lifestyle details. Second, it doesn't help you find the best person for the job. Nix all questions about home life ("Do you have children?" "Do you think you'd quit if you got married?"), gender bias or sexual preference ("Do you get along well with other men?"), ethnic background ("That's an unusual name, what nationality are you?"), age ("What year did you graduate from high school?"), and financials ("Do you own your home?")

#7: You stress the candidate out

Some interviewers use high-pressure techniques designed to trap or fluster the applicant. While you do want to know how a candidate performs in a pinch, it's almost impossible to re-create the same type of stressors an employee will encounter in the workplace. Moreover, if you do hire the person, he or she may not trust you because you launched the relationship on a rocky foundation.

#8: You cut it short

A series of interviews can eat up your whole day, so it's tempting to keep them brief. But a quick meeting just doesn't give you enough time to gauge a candidate's responses and behavior. Judging candidates is nuanced work, and it relies on tracking lots of subtle inputs. An interview that runs 45 minutes to an hour increases your chances of getting a meaningful sample.

#9: You gravitate toward the center

If everyone you talk to feels like a "maybe," that probably means you aren't getting enough useful information -- or you're not assessing candidates honestly enough. Most "maybes" are really "no, thank yous." (Face it: The candidate didn't knock your socks off.) Likewise, if you think the person might be good for some role at some point in the future, he or she is really a "no."

#10: You rate candidates against each other

Mediocre candidates may look like superstars when they follow a dud, but that doesn't mean they're the most qualified for the job. The person who comes in tomorrow may smoke all of them, but you won't be able to tell if you rated mediocre candidates too highly in your notes. Evaluate each applicant on your established criteria -- don't grade on a curve.

61 comments
Hcarilander
Hcarilander

The best training I got was to sit down and define the position I want to fill, then list the specific knowledge and experience needed to meet those specs - create a list of questions from this, then add some character analysis questions (check the Net). It's important to present the questions the same way to each candidate so you can fairly compare responses. Then take good notes. The whole process really helps focus what you need and find it in the people you interview.

chas_2
chas_2

Some of the questions mentioned in point #6 are also now illegal in many places, particularly the hot-button one about sexual orientatation (with recently won GLBT protections).

artHart
artHart

Don't forget the in-person interview is NOT a reworking of the job posting process. Obviously, you have pre-screened the applicant to the minimum requirements of the posting. Now is the time to find out if they and the position requirements "fit". Your should be geared to giving more information about the position than in the posting, and your questions should likewise be geared toward getting more than what is in front of you already. A hint: if the position includes a need for writing skills, during the interview give the applicant one of your questions on the top of a blank piece of paper with the instructions to answer it in 10 minutes and in one paragraph (also give them a quite space to work without interruption or disturbance). You will be definitely suprised at the outcome, but it will tell you if someone can form thoughts into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs. Blank sheet responses or asking for extra paper will quickly highlight the "former" candidates. One final point, if you really like one or more of the in-person candidates, ALWAYS check their references. It's amazing how many candidates have bogus or negative references on their application which is just another quick way to become a "former" candidate.

kjohnson
kjohnson

Turn up for the interview in the right place at the right time Read the candidate's letter of application and CV before the interview is due to start

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

#7: You stress the candidate out -- brought back a memory. I was interviewing with a local accounting firm downtown, when the CPA in charge pulled a hand gun out of his desk drawer and laid it on the table. He did this with no explanation. It sat on the desk unmentioned for about five minutes and then he asked me if I had any enemies. I was 23 and a recent graduate of college -- why would I have enemies, so I told him no. The trouble was he didn't believe me. He took me to the conference room (he left the gun on the desk thankfully) and told me to sit down and think about it hard -- he wanted to know who my enemies were and insisted I tell him. After about 10 minutes he came back in to the conference room looking for an answer. I told him I had no enemies and he said he couldn't hire someone that didn't have an enemy. I counted my blessings and got the heck out of there. I had forgotten that story - I wonder what happened to that guy?

JamesRL
JamesRL

My process includes creating an interview guide which includes the questions I ask every candidate and the subject areas I want to cover. That way I have some consistency of results for comparison sake. James

JamesRL
JamesRL

I had a candidate ask me about my religion, family background and ethnicity. He already shared his. I was taken aback, it showed he was not familiar with North American business etiquette (in Canada it is very much taboo). I didn't hire him, though I did continue the interview and gave him every opportunity. James

zbatia
zbatia

One of my former students who work for a small business company forwarded my resume to his CEO. The CEO e-mailed me, and I met him at the local restaurant during lunch time per his request. The crab cakes were quite good but the interview not so. I got more information about the company as well as that they are looking for someone to substitute the highly successful team leader who is going to quit the company. The fact is that I had to take this interview in my hands because the interviewer was mumbling? In spite of that, I sent a very powerful ?thank you? letter, and after about a week, one lady from the same company called me and asked to come over at a specified time. My mistake was that I did not ask what this meeting is about, I ASSUMED that it's about the mentioned above position that actually very well fit to my skills. I met two folks who began asking me various questions, particularly about my abilities to solve difficult network routing problems. After several similar questions, I "pressed the break pedal" and asked what those questions are about. I found that the interviewers did not know anything about my previous interview, and actually were looking for a different person who would troubleshoot their networking problems for a particular project. I had the skills that they were looking for but I had no clue about a different job position, and was not ready for their questions. The CEO had no time (or desire?) to let them know what we have discussed during the first interview. After my several questions, I found that the lady who interviewed me was assigned already to substitute the team leader, and therefore interviewed me as such. Does it make any sense to you?

gordon.couger
gordon.couger

We were hiring a technician after a disaster with the last one. We had had a round of interview where the best looking guy and to slip off and take a drink to steady his nerves. I had recruited someone I knew could do the job but didn't look too well on paper. So I got the add to ask for the candidates to bring an example of their work. One fellow brought a gadget that exercised a floppy disk drive. One brought an op amp on a Proto board he had probably built for the interview. My guy brought a brief case full of stuff ranging from video buffers to early models of video disk players and invited anyone on the committee to the shop to see anything they liked about his work in the line of what the job was for or in many other fields. We hired a real winner there much better then I ever though possible for what we were paying. It fit what he wanted to do he was tired of traveling and working at high pressure jobs. Don't automatically pass over the over qualified person for the job. They may be looking for a simpler life. GC

Cely
Cely

I expect that would help... LOL Personally I think it's very disrespectful and disorganised not to prepare for interviewing someone who's gone to the trouble of applying and sending in their CV and a covering letter. I wouldn't be too keen to work for such a boss.

Jeff Dray
Jeff Dray

I would have left as soon as he got the gun out, and called the police as I left.

slksport
slksport

...and told him, "My enemy is anyone who pulls a gun out in my presence." And see how he reacted.

Leee
Leee

No guns, just idiots. - The woman who leaned in close to me toward the end of the interview and, after looking around, quietly asked me which holidays I'd need off. I told her nothing out of the ordinary, and she looked at me quizzically. Finally I said, "What kind of holidays did you have in mind?" She looked around again and whispered, "You know. JEWISH holidays." I whispered back, "I'm not Jewish." She ended up calling to offer me the job. I declined. - The guy who stared at my chest the entire time. - The (different) guy who told me that I'd have a combined total of two days sick and vacation per year, non-accruable, plus be responsible for 60% of my health insurance costs. ("We pay 40%!") I'd been enthusiastic about the position until then, so when I politely declined the job and wished him luck in his search, he wrote me a nasty e-mail accusing me of "flip flopping" and telling me multiple times that I was missing out on the best job experience of my life. Then, a few minutes later, he wrote AGAIN, reiterating that I was a loser and didn't know what I was missing out on. But I got the idea. - And, on a related note, the woman at the unemployment office (I'd been laid off from my job of nine years) who sneered and basically spat at those of us in line for "trying to get something for nothing." This was an employee! I looked her in the eye and calmly told her that I had two degrees and a bit of bad luck, what had she done to wind up there?

ccrobinson
ccrobinson

I interviewed for a storage admin job at a relatively small company. I'm a very good interviewer, and the guy who would have been my manager was clearly ready to offer me the job. The last hurdle was to interview with the CIO. The interview with the CIO went pear-shaped when he said, "Tell me what you really did in your last job." Since everything was already in my resume, I was confused about what he was asking. I was also offended, because it felt like he was questioning my credentials. I proceeded to tell him about building servers, creating zones, assigning storage, etc. He interrupted me and said, "No, no, the basic things you did." At that point, I realized he had no clue what he was talking about. I mentally checked out of the interview and said, with more than a little condescension, "It doesn't get any more basic than that." He got up, closed the door, walked down to the manager, and obviously gave the thumbs down. When he got back, he couldn't get back into his office because he'd locked the door, locking me in. I laughed all the way out the door. What a maroon. I've never been so glad to not get a job.

Fred123456
Fred123456

I had contacted my first headhunter back in 93 or 94 and he sent me on an interview for a jr level net admin position. The office was nice as was the resceptionist and the HR person. I was escorted to the corporate meeting room and asked to wait for the IT Manager, he would be in shortly. The interview itself began as they normally do, but about 10 minutes in, the manager leans back and puts both feet on the conference room table. In the same motion he begins to tell me that he feels I would be better for the PC technician position. Thinking this is a test of my reactions, I begin defending my experience and resume explaining how I can do the job, blah blah blah. After five minutes of feet on the table the guy opens his pants, yes unbuckles his belt and opens his button, and slides his right hand down his pants. Meanwhile he starts asking me A+ type questions, rather then continuing the Net Admin interview. It was at that point I got up and left the office. I didn't even wait for him to say anything.

coffee junky
coffee junky

as tech interviewer - if the candidate asks am I replacing someone ? what are my day to day responsiblities, one year from now - you what should I of achieved ? expected responsiblities, and five years forward ? (in tech it is not like driving a city bus ! 5 years forward little change. What skills would you mentor me to learn and increase my breath in ?

Nebo
Nebo

It's a pity that companies don't request some feedback from unsuccessful job candidates. I'll bet the CEO of the gun guy's company isn't aware of his interviewing techniques.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

an interviewer tore up my resume and threw it in the garbage in front of me. (psycho) LOL!

meryllogue
meryllogue

Wow! Some doozies in here. . . . I had an interview with a hiring manager (would be my boss if accepted) plus her superior and one other. Within the first 5 min I knew she and I would have problems eventually (she was a VERY conservative woman and I am quite the opposite). Eventually she asked what made me think I wanted to work there. I replied that I wasn't sure at that point... this was, after all, only our first interview. Needless to say, I didn't get a second interview so I never got to turn it down.

Snak
Snak

Eleven years ago I attended a job interview. It seemed to be going well - I'd made the panel laugh a couple of times. Then one asked if I could explain a Win32s error she was getting in a piece of software I'd never heard of. I suggested that the software was 16 bit and needed an upgrade to a more recent version, keeping my fingers crossed. It took 20 minutes to get home from the interview and 5 minutes after that I got a call - 'It worked!. Can you start Monday?' Been here ever since.

patrick_mullen
patrick_mullen

You really didn't want a job working for that outfit. The guy was a psycho.

Ollie J
Ollie J

He pulled a handgun out, put it on the table and it went unmentioned for five minutes? Crikey, the first thing i'd have done is asked what he was doing and why he felt he needed to be armed in his office. I'd then exchange pleasantries and leave....quickly. Anyone who thinks it's OK to produce a firearm in an office interview has got to be a bona-fide psycho. (What would he have done if you asked for a raise?)

pmwpaul
pmwpaul

I had an interview today with the ceo of the company. This was the third interview with the company and I was really enthused. The ceo came in looking like I was a waste of his time. I was wearing a suite and tie as opposed to his sport shirt with his undershirt showing. He wanted to know what I did before 1999 because it wasn't on my two page resume. I was so nervous I had difficulty remembering. At no time during the interview did he indicate he agreed with my answer or say ANYTHING POSITIVE. And the position required a lot of customer interaction! I can see why he's having trouble filling the position.

c-allanf
c-allanf

His mistake was to under-estimate how hungry you were...

c-allanf
c-allanf

You must have impressed the CEO at your lunch meeting, but you were still for the most part an unknown entity to him. We must assume that he was more familiar with the capabilities of the woman to whom he gave the team lead position. From his point of view it would be less risk to him to give her the more senior position and to offer you the more junior one. If she knew that you had been considered for her (new) position, she may have seen you as a rival - and the CEO's chances of having 2 qualified 'resources' would be reduced.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I ran into the "OQ" problem when I was hunting. I was newly married, wanted to start a family and just wanted to take a step back to a simpler position. One interviewer looked at my resume and actually asked me why I would want to work there with my background. From the other side of the coin, when I was hiring, I always saw 'over qualified' as nonsense. If the person is over-qualified for the position, you can always throw more stuff at them if they need a challange. At worst, you'll have someone who can get up to speed rather quickly.

CG._
CG._

I actually have a success story. With this job that I am at now, the interview process started out something like this, I walked into the conference room where the Director of IT was sitting down and as soon as we greeted each other and sat down the first words out of his mouth were "I am going to be honest with you: This is not the right job for you" I though this is it, there is no way I am going to work for this guy. Actually I already worked for the company I finished school and I was looking to move up in the company and the people at HR told me that an IT job was available and asked me if I wanted to interview for it, I sent them my resume, but the job was for a web developer something that I do not do, that's why I did not get that job but the Director was so impressed with my technical skills and my resume that he hired me as a IT tech. From the way the interview began I did not see that coming, a few weeks later he called me and gave me the good news. Talk about an interesting interview!!! CG._

narizz
narizz

I just have to share this one... I got through the three phone screenings, and two onsite interviews to be a support tech. Mind you, I have over 30 professional certifications - including em see ess ee (LOL) and working on a CISSP, so the "wow factor" was there. I had one interview to go, a messed up server running in a VM environment. I show up to diagnose it and DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING WRONG! I explained my findings and after review, they found that the image was the wrong one. They gave me the baseline in an interview. OK, reschedule for Interview #2. I showed up and was ready to lay it down. I was told to wait for 30 minutes while they loaded the image! At this point, I was FUMING MAD! They wasted two attempts at a last round interview! I simply responded to 21 problems as "Fix the DNS issues and lets see what happens!" Long story long (hehe), I went to work for a competitor of theirs, and won a contract against them for my company. The largest either would've won, and I was the lead tech. Having been a hiring manager in the past, all I can say from that experience is this -Don't judge an applicant if they seem distant if you don't have your own crap together. They're probably either wanting you to invite their help or they really don't want to be there after seeing your organization. They're interviewing you too!

PonderousMan
PonderousMan

I gotta say, that has been my reaction all along - I'm not a lawyer, but I'd have to say that drawing a weapon in front of someone without any warning or mention could, at the very least, be interpreted as assault - a clear intent to harm the victim. And I expect that that definition would apply whether he was the head of the company or the chief dishwasher...

slksport
slksport

I had a guy come in to interview, and I already knew I wanted to hire him: great skills, great references, it was a done deal. He came in looking very nervous, it was a chilly morning and he was sweating buckts. So I figured I'd do something to lighten the mood, a little icebreaker. He is escorted in, we do introductions, he sits down, I tell him that I really only have one question for him. He nervously says, ok. I look at him with a dead serious look, and in a tone like I'm asking the most important question in the universe, I say, "Star Trek, or Star Wars?" He looks kind of shocked, he's staring at me, I'm just looking at him with a serious scowl on my face. He nervously ventures, "Star Wars"? I sigh, look down and seem a little deflated, and said, "Well, thanks for coming in, the recruiter will be in touch." He looked like he was about to burst out in to tears. I laughed and said, just kidding, you've already got this job if you want it, you're just the person we need. He started babbling nervously, and I felt really bad for scaring him. About a year later we were having lunch and he recounted the story to everybody else at the table, he'd come to see the humor in it, which made me feel a little less guilty for almost giving him a heart attack.

PonderousMan
PonderousMan

I just gotta ask... did you tell anyone in the company that this person did that? Someone posted something about "soliciting feedback" for interviews, which is great - but this guy and Mr Gun-on-the-Desk surely should be reported to their employers, no?

patrick_mullen
patrick_mullen

You must have been interviewing at a mental hospital. Sounds like one of the inmates got loose.

bkinsey
bkinsey

It was a CPA, and the mob needs accountants, too, you know. . . :-)

Round One from VA
Round One from VA

I was at a day-long interview one time for a local company that prides itself on being a great employer (ranked highly on best companies to work for). After a morning of testing, they held a buffet lucnh after which they cut down the candidate list. I realized quickly that morning that I was bad fit, then at lunch the hiring manager made a quip about keeping us locked in a dungeon (the testing was about two hours). It being around the time of the death of Saddam's two sons, or at least when they were prominent in the news, I asked if that made him Uday or Qusay? Needless to say, I wasn't one of those asked to stay for the afternoon session. I was told, however, that I could re-apply for a position with this company after six months. Right! It's tops on my list of places I really want to work.

gitmo
gitmo

Where I work an extremely conservative male manager hired an extremely liberal female employee. They became very good friends and are a tremendous team. And both quite open about their stances on conservative / liberal issues.

Navyman
Navyman

I went for an interview and during the course of the interview the bookeeper came into the office. She said that their new program (at the time) Peachtree Accounting, wasn't accepting payments. He had asked her a series of questions. I had helped set this program up at my previous employer so I knew a little bit about it. I asked her a question and she didn't know how to answer it. The interviewer asked me to take a look at the program and maybe I could fix it. I thought I had the job at this point. He would see how knowledgable I was with the computer and I would have the job. I fixed their problem with ease. The both of them were very impressed. But my phone never rang. I didn't get the job. The sad part is that I was applying for a warehouse manager position. I should have just kept my mouth shut.

gmillard
gmillard

I can remember having a job interview a few years ago when the guy that was interviewing me walked into the room, shook my hand and said. "Hi, I'm God" OK, I thought, he's either a dick or he's trying to be funny so I asked. "How so?" and he replied quick as a flash "I'll be your boss and therefore you'll see me as your God". What a cock.

zbatia
zbatia

I understood that, but the problem is that I am not interested in that "junior" position they considered to hire me.

Fredz
Fredz

First of all, you don't hand a gun to a stranger! What kind of idiot is this. Second of all, you don't hand a loaded gun to anyone, unless they are under the closest supervision as in basic gunmanship training. If it's a concealed permit state, they are committing a felony to show the gun, I think except maybe Arizona. Third, this is an inverview for IT, not a weapons course and is totally out of line. This guy should have been reported and or sued! Fourth, this guy is asking about enemies and has a gun. This is not a guy I would ever want to make a mistake with. Even though I might want to ask him where he shoots, deer season etc, I would spend as little time as possible with him "exit stage left" ASAP!

JamesRL
JamesRL

In Canada of course, there is never a question of being able to carry in a workplace or school. But my employer had offices in the US (including Texas and NC), so they had to come up with a rule - no guns on company property period, and this includes in your vehicle. This after an employee decided to go to their vehicle during a heated exchange with a coworker and get their gun. Personally I would have seen this guy not as a threat but as a jerk. It is a somewhat common tactic by some interviewers to shock the interviewee and see how they react. It happened to me a couple of years ago when the interviewer raised his voice to close to a yell, but then carried on in a normal tone as if nothing happened. He was gaging my reactions to working in a stressful environment. I didn't get the job, but I did get a job in a related company and I have been on conferences and one on one phone calls with him since. My current employer, US based, doesn't allow guns on their property, or even alcohol. James

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

This was 1986 - yes, a long time ago. So many of the more recent incidents fresh in our minds had not happened yet.

majones1
majones1

JRobinson4720 - you are out of your depth talking about guns in relationship to concealed carry laws. First, this was not a concealed carry matter, it was possession of a firearm on private property - lawful in all 50 states, including yours. Second, the majority of states do have some sort of concealed carry permitting process for those wish/need to carry a firearm for self defense. Go to http://www.packing.org or http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws to enlighten yourself on this matter. Personally, I would have verified my opinion on the calibur of handgun, capacity, where his favorite shooting range is located and whether the gives the first day of deer season as a company paid holiday. I would have also ask if he allows all his employees with concealed carry permits to also protect themselves in the work place. But then, like you said, you knew you were not a good fit there anyway. ;-)

JRobinson4720
JRobinson4720

This one is a clear case of poor judgement and also possible illegality. Only a few states have concealed gun permit legislation in place. In light of the Columbine, Colorado and Virginia incidents one would be well served to affirm whether the party with a gun in his/her possession is legal or not. I am a hunting sportsman who is alarmed at the increasing number of shootings of innocent people by those who have purchased gun legally but have no business possessing one.

patrick_mullen
patrick_mullen

He was obviously trying to gauge your response to stress. His method was inept and showed a complete lack of judgment. He was, er, a loose cannon. Never pull your weapon out unless you need to use it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Keep in mind that he was the boss - owned the company - and it was on his property. He didn't make an overt threat or anything, just brought it out like it was a stapler. My thinking at the time, based on the entire interview process (if you can call it that) was that he was trying to intimidate me - to see how I handled it. I handled it with apathy. I think that perplexed him more then anything I could have done. I got the feeling that I was supposed to react so my reaction was to not react at all. Just survive the interview and get out. I knew it was not the place for me before the gun even appeared.

gordon.couger
gordon.couger

As an As an embedded system programmer I have worked in lost of shops. Some would complain if I didn't were at least shorts when it above 90. One had us close the doors when we were discussing polo. If ti got dull We would pick something like WW II and draw straws on which side we took. There was one place so hung up on Baptist I took Buddhist view. Other places I was a well mannered as can e. I depends what other around you tolerate. When ever Friday at 2;00 p.m. they take up a collection to buy a quart or two of crown royal for the porker game that starts at here and lest you argue, politics and tell blue jokes, smoke and bowl on the job it a good place to be.

JRobinson4720
JRobinson4720

Well in my 34 year old career in IT I have seen some unusual team composites with diverse backgrounds and orientations not to mention political philsophy. Opposites often attract in the business world but I have not seen them last for any period of time.

jmero
jmero

For repairing the Peachtree software problem, especially after not getting the job.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I had the same issue when being hired here. The interviewer was quite open about it though. The big concern about hiring overqualified people is that they will leave when they find something better or something that pays better. I promised I'd stay for 2 years. I've been here three. I could get more money elsewhere but I am enjoying some of the unique challenges. James

s_tarbell
s_tarbell

I recently interviewed at a job for a manager's position in a legal IT job. My boss had 3 years experience in it and I have 18. Right off the bat he started backing away and said he wanted to offer me a coordinator job and then move me up to the manager slot. When he finally decided not to offer me a job he said it was because I was over qualified. I'm thankful not to have gone to work there.

gordon.couger
gordon.couger

In an interview for a research software programming position I was ask by the dean of research he was looking at a lap top he should buy. I told him while I didn't keep up with lap tops who had good reputations at the time. His next question was how do I keep from getting trapped into those kind of questions. And I said I try to do like I did with him tell then what I know but not offer to spend much time doing it not part of the job but good will to some degree was part of the job. I don't know if the answer was what he wanted or not but it was I was asked how much it would take to get and I had a offer for that the next day. It's not how you answer every question but a combination of thing that gets you the job. This one one I had answered and add in the paper for. Gordon

sgt_shultz
sgt_shultz

i have plenty of tales of my own. i spent all summer interviewing, solving problems and not getting hired. if you take it personally you will be tempted to malice if things don't go your way. and i believe it shows. just keep trucking is what i say and drink heavily ;>)

stupid user name
stupid user name

Twice I got interviewed with a bank and credit card company (recently bought out in the banking mergers). Twice, I was asked questions about how to solve particular problems. Twice I gave them the solution, and twice I did not get an offer. I decided if they ever interviewed me again, I would give them a plausible, but incorrect answer which would cause them more problems.

JamesRL
JamesRL

If the manager has ambitions of moving up, they will look for someone to be their replacement. If they can't replace you, you can't be promoted. I spend lots of time every year on development planning and part of it is looking at who might be promotable. James

gpellett
gpellett

Where I worked once (a government contractor) there was a project manager who was constantly "interviewing" engineers. He would give them a "sample problem" to work out, then promised to contact them later (he never did). He was highly respected because his project was under budget and progressing well, until a government contract officier questioned his billing statements. It turned out that this manager was getting free engineering for his project from these interviews, which of course wasn't legal or ethical. He cost the company a big contract, we got placed on a big federal agency's blacklist, and we were lucky not to get sued.

brass1
brass1

The manager will try NOT to hire their replacement.

chas_2
chas_2

"Really? Well, that tells me everything I need to know about this position. Which way's the exit, please?" (Of course, I'd have to not be desperate for a job to do that...)

LockOutGirl
LockOutGirl

If I had the forethought, I would probably have said "That's funny, I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in you."

jwinter
jwinter

you were dyslexic so you might refer to him as your Dog.

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