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    DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview


    by jodygilbert ·

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    • #3339916

      Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot

      by craig herberg ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      You can certainly add “acting like you know it all” to the list. A job applicant, when asked what programming languages he knew, responded “All of them.” When we pressed him to enumerate them, he replied that there wasn’t enough time in the day. We really got a great laugh after he left the room!

      • #3339911

        Very interesting…

        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot

        This was an interesting read; I myself feel I lost a good job opportunity because it was for a tech support position and I mentioned that I wanted to move into network administration; at the time I thought this showed a drive to succeed. I don’t completely agree with the document, though, in that I can’t see why showing ambition can hurt (provided you do it subtely). I would think that any company that would not hire you because you want to improve yourself (and them by default) shows that they wouldn’t promote you anyways and is therefore not the kind of business you want to work for in the first place.

        • #3339905


          by craig herberg ·

          In reply to Very interesting…

          It’s probably not a good idea to indicate that you don’t particularly want the position for which you are applying, but a great idea to indicate that you plan to advance in the next two to five years. You are right — you should not work for someone that wants people who will never advance.

          Craig Herberg

        • #3248756

          2 to 5 years

          by cln ·

          In reply to Very interesting…

          Often interviewers ask where you expect to be in 2 to 5 years. Usually people hope to have advanced in that period. And if the position is an entry level position, of course most people plan to move up. I don’t see how your response as mentioned could be considered inappropriate.

        • #3248604

          That makes two of us

          by obiwaynekenobi ·

          In reply to 2 to 5 years

          That’s what I thought, too. If I recall, the interviewer DID ask where I hoped to be and I said something to the effect of “I would hope to have moved into system administration” and explained that was what I wanted to do (my degree’s in Network Administration). She then said something like “So since you want to move into administration what would you hope to get out of a tech support position like this?”, at which point I basically knew I was screwed.

          Like I said, though, to me any company (governmental or otherwise; this particular position was with the county I live in) that disqualifies a candidate for wanting to advance at some point in their career shows that they would never promote you, and isn’t the type of business you’d want to work for in the first place.

        • #3248518

          Pocket answers

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to That makes two of us

          Tech support is a good grounding for admin, because it gives you a good handle on what needs to be administered. For instance resetting a users password and or rights is the business end of of having a strong password/security policy to set up and administer.
          Similar examples can be made for any style of admin, apart from badges who happened to be the MDs nephew, most start in tech support. I did and I’m a developer.

          I completely agree, any company that has a problem with you wanting to advance isn’t worth the effort.

        • #2541786

          Major investment

          by simphiwe ·

          In reply to That makes two of us

          Recruiting, hiring and training a new employee is an expensive process and represent a major investment by an employer. The interviewer wants to ensure that your goals are compatible with the company’s investment.

      • #3248461

        Good and Bad

        by jkaras ·

        In reply to Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot

        The article had some points that I agree and those that I disagree. I find it funny that honesty is not the perquisite for what an employer is looking for in an applicant. Point of dont ask about advancement during an interview? Everyone leaves a job for more advancement, more money, or a better environment that’s why your there. Inquiring about an extended future within the company, to me displays interest that you will stay for mutual benefit and strive to progress rather than sit like a bump on a log for life or leave to soon. I know its the game but if the hiring manager really wants quality it starts with honesty, any job can be learned with the proper guidance. The problem with today is everyone doesnt want to reciprocate because there is no trust in business it what can you do for me and everyone has bought in to many rediculous mantras that are unrealistic.

        If the employer asks what you want to make or your expectations of the job, then what? Every job I have applied for clearly has a box that states how much? Lately almost all applications are online on a website that you must put a dollar amount and cannot leave it blank. If they called you to meet then they were prepared to meet your salary demands.

        The thank you note is a good idea but how exactly to you mail them without coming off creepy? I always do a follow up call to thank them for the opprotunity and any feedback what I could have done better to engage them in further dialog for consistancy of character. It is important to show interest not indifference when applying.

        I do agree with the common sense stuff and it wasnt a bad article. I wish the article dealt with more effective communication skills (voice modulation), appearance, hand gesturing/eye contact, or resume highlights.

        • #2541783

          Bad to be good

          by simphiwe ·

          In reply to Good and Bad

          Do you tell every woman that you meet that you plan to leave her for better women in the future. I would like to think not. Same principle here. How can you hire anyone who will not stick around.

      • #3244740


        by why me worry? ·

        In reply to Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot

        not to knock on foreigners and no racism intended, but some of them from India and Pakistan claim to be Einsteins at programming, yet when put under the microsope, they don’t know jack sh*t

        • #2541778

          You should worry

          by simphiwe ·

          In reply to LMAO..WAS HE AN H1-B VISA PROGRAMMER?

          You are highly prejudice. No one would know jack if put under microscope. I wouldn’t have to put you in a microscope to see that you have professional jealousy.

    • #3339876

      Not completely sure about 4

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      I can see what you are trying say, but where do you see yourself in two years time is regularish question, so you need an answer for it that does not cast you in a bad light.

      Six I never heard of in the UK, the letter, not thanking your interviewers. Sounds like a good idea that might not go down well.

      Any thoughts from UK based interviewers ?

      7 would have been when they say Have you any questions. Have some !
      Company culture is always a good one for techie jobs, and it gets any non technical people on the panel involved.

      • #3247196

        Agree, also with #6

        by gabby22 ·

        In reply to Not completely sure about 4

        Asking if the position has some sort of career path is a good question if framed properly. It shows you’re taking the position seriously and may not be just another desk-hopper. I think it might get some interesting answers, too.

        I might have seen the odd example of #6. Can’t see it doing any damage apart from annoying the panel leader with something else to read. Certainly wouldn’t put it in my top 50 thinks to do, but.

    • #3339556

      Very good article

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      I thought that all of the items listed in the article were very important to a successful initial job interview.

      I noticed that a couple of people criticized the article for saying that you should stay away from the subject of job advancement. If they read the article more closely they would see that it says to avoid this subject in the initial interview and save it for the second or third job interview. I agree with the article on this point.

      I agree with Tony Hopkinson about follow up letters. I have never sent a follow up letter, and I have rarely made a follow up phone call. If I have gotten an interview through a recruiter then I find that the interviewing manager usually talks to the recruiter while I am travelling home. I call the recruiter when I arrive home and they either say that I didn’t get the job or that I need to schedule a second interview. So I’m saying that even if the hiring manager takes a long time to fill a job the manager will make a decision about each candidate quickly. I have, therefore, never found follow up communications necessary or even desireable.

      I agree with Info-Safety about demeanor. Acting like a know-it-all, or acting like a question that is posed to you is insulting to you, or acting in any way that is disrespectful to the person interviewing you is probably a bad idea. It’s one thing to be confident, which is good. It’s another thing to be a jackass, which probably should be avoided.

      This checklist article would be a good tool for anyone to review before going to an interview.

      • #3247062

        Following Up

        by chuck t ·

        In reply to Very good article

        Stress Junkie makes a good point about the hiring process these days. As a tech manager, I actually try to “hide” behind the HR people and recruiters to some extent since there are so many applicants for every position. I know most, if not all, of the other managers I have worked with are the same way. It’s unfortunate, but with the amount of e-mail that gets sent these days, I can’t imagine receiving e-mail from every person I interview. I have even had some people who figured out my e-mail address and wanted to know why they didn’t get the job.

        Don’t even bother with snail mail. Usually feedback goes out before you would even have a chance to get home. Most likely, a card would be met with “how nice, too bad we already hired the other person.”

        Now if you are brought back for subsequent interviews or do get the job, it is definitely a good idea to seek out everyone you interviewed with at the company and thank them personally for their time. This may be difficult on a second interview, but you could always politely ask the person you are interviewing with if they would extend your thanks to so and so. Remembering the names of the people you talked with is pretty important here. This shows that you have people skills–something that seems to be sorely lacking in many IT people.

        My final point is to remember that you are also making a selection during your job search. I don’t agree with the “at least you have a job” mentality. Today’s market is too competitive on both sides of the conference table for you to accept a position you will not be happy with. Part of my interview process when I am bringing a new person aboard is trying to determine not only if they have the necessary skills, but will they fit with the culture and be happy. The last thing I want to do is be interviewing for the same position again in 3-6 months.

    • #3340403

      Six ways….

      by odee100 ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Very interesting article.

      I agree with the article about waiting until the second or third interview to discuss further opportunities. I had one interview for a tech position where my resume still said I was interested in programming. The interviewer asked if he was supposed to waste his time training me so that I could jump ship and move to another department in less than two years. I just froze and stammered along. Luckily, I still managed to get the job.

      The part about pay always confuses me though. I hate to ask too early, but I don’t want to waste my time or theirs if it is too low. I need to know that the job will take care of my bills and daycare expenses, or else I need to look elsewhere. Always an awkward moment!

    • #3340613

      Additional Items

      by support ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Having recently experienced a number of interviews, I would add the following items:
      7. Do your research on the company. I’ve had one interview recently that seemed to be going well until they asked me what I knew about their company and what they did. Being a Telco, I assumed that I knew what they did… the interview suddenly went very cold. When you do your research, it usually really shows up during the interview.
      8. Prepare a list of questions to be asked at an interview. I usually have a list so that even if my questions are all answered during the interview, when they ask me if I have any questions, I can make a show of going through the list and complementing them on their thoroughness of covering all the main points. One good question I’ve found to ask is, “Tell me about the company culture.”
      9. Prepare for the stock questions, “Tell us about your biggest success/failure”, and “What qualities do you think you will bring to this job.” Make sure to use good solid professional work-based examples. There’s always one or two that’ll catch you out but failing to prepare here can be a real disaster.
      I agree with a previous post regarding UK & follow up letters/thankyou letters. I always make a point of thanking the interviewers for their time at the end of the interview, but I’m really not sure that a follow up letter would be seen as particularly welcome – and I can see where this could go disasterously wrong, e.g. mis-spelling names not heard properly during the interview.

      • #3340600

        One More Thing

        by dmambo ·

        In reply to Additional Items

        I agree with Support@’s additions. Those are 3 important preparations. One more thing is to ask someone else to carefully proofread your resume. After working on it for a long time, it’s difficult to see some errors. A pair of fresh eyes can do wonders.


      • #3340598

        Saying thank you has gotten me jobs

        by cberding ·

        In reply to Additional Items

        It’s not really that hard to ask the secretary or someone else in the HR department how to spell names, etc., for a thank you note. It’s not a sure sign that you’ll get a job, but can be handy.

        Sending that thank you note got me my first job in IT as a network technician in 1998. None of the other applicants sent any. My supervisor told me that’s what clinched the deal.

        Also, in the last couple of years, I’ve noticed some companies are using personality tests for potential hires. I missed out on one job because they did this. Don’t expect them to tell you what they’re looking for, either.

        I know how people feel about bills, etc., but if the job is not going to come close to what I need to live, I politely decline an interview. It all depends on how you want to handle things.

        When you do your research, you should always have a ballpark of what someone is paying. I’ve asked HR people directly, and they’ve often told me the range for a position. I sent in a resume to one hospital for an IT job and the supervisor chided me for asking what the range was because they refused to interview anyone who didn’t give them an exact dollar amount. I went to HR (who was the main contact, anyway) and they told me right away what the range was. I then gave him the top figure. ;->

      • #3248337

        Follow-up/Thank You’s

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to Additional Items

        More and More I am hearing that thank-you’s and follow-ups are really not a good idea. The literature on interviewing still states that you absolutely need to do this to keep your name active. However, with the technology used today it seems to really have issues.

        I have a phone interview coming, and I plan to thank the search committee at the end. I might send a quick e-mail to the executive assistant that set-up the conference call and to pass on my thanks to (list of names). I MIGHT do this and I might not. I haven’t decided.

        There is too much e-mail these days and snail mail (even over-nighting it) just won’t do the trick because it might not get into the hiring manager’s hands. Now if I actually meet them in person on a 2nd or 3rd interview, I will make certain to have thank you cards with me and drop them off on my way back out of town. Yes the job is out of state from where I live. 🙂

        Thank you’s are very tricky. Not sending could show a lack of interest, and sending could be too much considering the mail they get now.

        • #3261865

          Thank you’s are not tricky

          by industrial_controller ·

          In reply to Follow-up/Thank You’s

          I can’t believe all the excuses for not sending a thank you. It is common courtesy. If your interviewer is offended by getting a thank you note, you do not want to work for them. It keeps your name in front of people and mindshare is huge in getting hired. The more they see your name/face, the more likely you are to get considered. For the people I have interviewed, a thank you is always a positive.

        • #3261511

          Well I think it would

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Thank you’s are not tricky

          be considered overly familiar in the UK.
          I did try it as a company (Tony Hopkinson PLC) but when I got my feedback off the pimp, I found that the guys who interviewed me were made uncomfortable by it, so I stopped.
          Cultural thing maybe.

        • #3260780


          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Well I think it would

          I am not sure it is cultural. I think it depends on the job, the level at the company, and the amount of e-mail the person receives. I have learned to read my interviewers to determine if they want a thank-you or not. I can tell you, that lately the answer is NOT. Not by snail mail, and certainly not by e-mail.

          If I can determine that they would be open to it, then I send a thank-you. For example, the position I have now, when I was interviewed for it, the manager handed me his business card with all needed information without me asking for it. He closed the interview by giving it to me. That is a really BIG sign that they want you to contact them with a thank you.

          Now I am interviewing because my current position is contract and is ending. During one interview (phone), the people (yes group phone interview using speaker phone on their end) did not provide any information that would allow me to send a thank you. Even with carefully worded requests for information, they didn’t want it.

          So, the overall rule of thumb is “It Depends” 🙂

    • #3340579

      Well, DUUUH!

      by mtaylor ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Yeh, while most of these seem to be obvious, unfortunately some of these do happen. I think that the best thing for any good geek to remember is that gret line from Star Wars: “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky!” We may think that we know it all and are the greatest thing since 802.1x wireless, but we have to remember that we are only “that guy in the interview that needs to prove that he’s an asset without proving that he’s also an ASS.”

      • #3341019

        Well said

        by super_it_mom ·

        In reply to Well, DUUUH!

        Very well said! The whole, “I’m great and you should know this” attitude has got to go. The person who is interviewing you does not know you at all, so you have to prove yourself. Besides, no one likes to talk to anyone who portrays themself as better than you.

    • #3341230

      Stop the downloads!!!

      by chriswfl ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Just publish the document in HTML. Knock it off with forcing a download!

      • #3341220


        by doulos8 ·

        In reply to Stop the downloads!!!

        The time it takes to download is not worth it for an article I just want to glance at. Tech Republic, you are getting out of hand with these downloads.

      • #3248755

        Nothing new here

        by cln ·

        In reply to Stop the downloads!!!

        I didn’t gain anything new or read anything that isn’t simply common sense, from this article, although I know strange and unexpected things do occur in interviews. Answering a cell phone? That would definitely put someone OFF!
        As far as thank you/follow up notes, I received one once, and didn’t quite know what to make of it. It seems almost like “sucking up” to me. Being polite is very important, however I don’t see a thank you note as necessary or helpful. Of course the person took the time to interview you, they’re trying to fill the position! Anyone else – are you influenced by thank you notes?

      • #3248743

        Open instead of download

        by john ·

        In reply to Stop the downloads!!!

        When the download screen appears, I immediately click on the button “click here if download does not begin right away.” This opens the pdf from an html page and does not download it to the local machine, so I can read it and move on.

    • #3341205

      what is this downloading crap???

      by rocket_scientist ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      This is such crap. Tech Republic, all you are sending out in this is text…there is no reason not to put this in a web page we can LINK to instead of having to clutter up my desktop with another useless file from you

      • #3341080

        It will better with HTML Text

        by jcomputech ·

        In reply to what is this downloading crap???

        I am completely with this good article, but I don’t see why someone have to download it. tech republic could leave on the site. this is a really sucks download

    • #3247640

      Good article/Stop all the downloading

      by sra107 ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      I enjoyed reading your article and laughed when I read item five. I can only imagine that there are people out there that actually answer their cell phones during an interview and still wonder why they didn’t get the job.

      Also, please try another method of downloading, why not try a hyperlink, by the time I get through all the screens (not just with this article, but others) I’m ready to close out and take a nap.

    • #3248528

      All this is true, unfortunately …

      by mentzel.iudith ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Everything written in the article is very true,
      I’d say unfortunately …
      People should behave in hypocritical way to get
      a job nowadays …
      I agree that it’s not ok to speak about money,
      I always thought that first of all you should
      demonstrate what you are worthy of, but afterwards
      you will be generally forgotten, while others are
      promoted, in spite of their lower value, just
      because they know to raise their pretentions …

      It makes no sense to behave in conformity with
      any real values and principles, as long as you
      are not sure that those are also the values of
      the person(s) you are talking to …

      I once complained about a person in some high position who systematically does not respond to greeting, and I’d have expected him to be thrown out of his position… Well, he was not !!!

      But this taught me a lot about the one to which
      the complain was addressed …

      Best regards,

    • #3246961


      by it_giraffe ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      I interviewed someone once where they proceeded to tell me the special requirements regarding leave that they would need as they had children. They HAD to have the summer holidays, easter holidays, christmas off and also there could be times when the kids where sick when she could not come in!
      As a woman in IT I know it’s difficult to try and balance work and family demands .. but TELLING me that she had to have these special arrangements at the first interview was the reason she never got a call back, and her agent had an ‘interesting’ phone call from me afterwards… well that and she tried to keep showing me pictures of her kids during the interview and kept on telling me how bright they were!
      The most interesting thing of all is that I have other staff with kids and they never asked for any extra consideration in these sorts of matters!

      • #3248099

        Yes, but . . .

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Classic..

        I think the very best part of your post might be your icon. That is great.

      • #3249134

        Sad but true

        by sorincom ·

        In reply to Classic..

        Sadly, the only “right” we really have is to pay taxes. And to work for the big bosses. Personal life ? Who the **** cares ?

      • #3244750

        I bet she is flipping burgers at McDonalds now

        by why me worry? ·

        In reply to Classic..

        Anyone in I.T. knows that when the job demands it, you must make personal sacrifices to get the job done. I recall working on weekends to get everything prepared for Y2K and spending half a year working on every weekend to migrate our system to a consolidated clustered environment. If this woman is going to complain and make assinine demands, especially on a first interview, then she is in the wrong line of work and should consider looking for a new career objective. Yes, we all value our time and personal lives, but you don’t go to a first interview and start laying down your demands as if you are their boss. Anyone this stupid and arrogant to do such deserved to be flipping burgers or working the drive-thru window, not working in IT.

        • #3243907

          just wondering

          by sorincom ·

          In reply to I bet she is flipping burgers at McDonalds now

          I am just wondering: should everybody pay enough attention to his personal life, would this be considered stupid anymore? Isn’t workoholism slave philosophy?

          After all, what’s really important to us: the lousy programs we wrote, the people we tricked to buy something tey don’t need at all, the fake congratulations of our bosses, our kids, people we love and see twice a year, what?

          The first is about power, the second is about love.

          One more question: are powerful man really powerful? Who’s really in charge? Them or the system? Saw enough people thinking today they’re god and completely f***d tomorrow. I call those “gods” slaves of the system.

          I’m NOT a bigote. Just observing.

        • #3262769

          . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to just wondering

          One simply should not expect to be hired if one goes into an interview dictating terms when there are so many people looking for work who are probably better qualified and happy with the terms the company offers.

        • #3261909

          Are you sure?

          by ·

          In reply to just wondering

          How do you know you’re not a bigot, since you can’t even spell it?

          But, seriously, some of us do love our jobs. I LIKE writing programs and do have a lot of loyalty to the companies I have worked for and dedication to getting the jobs done and doing them well. It is all well and good to say that your first priority should be your family, but how can you take care of your family unless your job is secure?

          People who have loyalty and dedication, along with good skills, never have to worry about saying “Boss, I have a family emergency and need a few days off”, or even “Boss, with all respect, I think you are wrong”. The reason is that you have made yourself so valuable to the company that they are willing to bend for you when necessary.


        • #3241146

          wasn’t this about hiring ?

          by sorincom ·

          In reply to Are you sure?

          Hi Ross,

          “The reason is that you have made yourself so valuable to the company that they are willing to bend for you when necessary.” – I totally agree but, of course, you should first be employed to get there.

          It’s true that top-notch professionals tend to put the career before personal life, it’s how they get to be good.

          I just find it unfair to say: “You care about your life so we just can’t hire you.”

        • #3241116

          What’s the alternative?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to wasn’t this about hiring ?

          Do you expect an employer to hire someone less dedicated to the job just because it’s “not fair” to turn you down if you demand lots of free time at your interview?

        • #3241113

          Balancing act

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to What’s the alternative?

          I think it is a balancing act between work and personal life. The alternative (at least to me) is for companies to make it clear in the interview what the expectation is. I know that one of the questions I generally ask is “So, can you tell me what a typical work week/day is like here?” This provides an opportunity to find out if I am expected to work 60+ hours per weak or 35 hours per week.

          I think both Interviewers and Interviewees need to improve their skills to find win-win situations in the hiring process. Just my 2 cents opinion. 🙂

        • #3241035


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to What’s the alternative?

          I can definitely agree with that: better communication would be nice. The problem is that everyone’s trying to get the most for the least, and often they’re willing to screw each other over to get it, so each side is understandably wary of giving up any information.

        • #3239970

          Reply To: DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

          by sorincom ·

          In reply to What’s the alternative?


          And that’s because even job seekers expect to be mistreated. Just look at this thread.

          But, as I said before, should everybody pay enough attention to his personal life (even HR managers), something might change.

          To respond to your question, at his very least somebody could stop thinking as the system dictates and start using his own brain.

          Oh, you said “less dedicated”. I happen to know somebody (not me! :D) VERY dedicated and VERY efficient at work. Nonetheless, she takes good care of our kid.

        • #3240839

          balance family and job

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to What’s the alternative?

          It’s great that she’s doing such a great job of balancing the two worlds. I bet she didn’t get the job by acting like privileged royalty the way IT Giraffe’s example did.

    • #3248047

      About the download format

      by jodygilbert ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Thanks to everyone who has weighed in on the virtues (or lack thereof) of publishing this type of content as a download. We’ve been wrestling with our choice of format/presentation/delivery case-by-case, trying to find the best medium for each type of information… and maybe this is a case where the info would be easier to consume as HTML.

      The thing is, we’ve heard from a lot of people who have asked for downloads because they prefer to print them or save them for later or distribute them to their staff as handouts, etc., so that’s why we’ve started taking that route more often.

      Anyway, I wanted to let you know our rationale for the download format — and also to thank you for the feedback.

      Jody Gilbert
      TechRepublic Downloads Team

      • #3248024


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to About the download format

        I know that this may be a bit more work than you’d really like, but perhaps the best answer is, when in doubt, to make something available as both an HTML article [b]and[/b] a PDF download for easy printing. Open up with the article, and include a link to the PDF download in the takeaway summary.

      • #3261515

        PDF Hell

        by industrial_controller ·

        In reply to About the download format

        I have been sent to PDF hell enough times that I avoid downloads whenever possible. If your article is only available as a download I usually skip it because I have to waste time with the process. Do make it available as an html as well as a download and you will get more participants.

    • #3248018

      I’d say probably say the best way is…

      by jck ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      Walk in and when they ask how your trip was, say:

      “What a crock of s*** the traffic to this s***ty a** place is! This better be damn well worth my f***ing time or I’m gonna s*** a cow before I leave this f***ing cess pool!”

      • #3248500

        That should do it

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to I’d say probably say the best way is…

        Do the birds in reception ….

        • #3249088

          actually in reception

          by jck ·

          In reply to That should do it

          if the receptionist is really hot…start telling her what you want to do to her in the stairwell after the interview.

          At worst, you don’t get the job and get rejected. 😉

    • #3247988

      Nothing new here

      by cln ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      I didn’t gain anything new or read anything that isn’t simply common sense, from this article, although I know strange and unexpected things do occur in interviews. Answering a cell phone? That would definitely put someone OFF!
      As far as thank you/follow up notes, I received one once, and didn’t quite know what to make of it. It seems almost like “sucking up” to me. Being polite is very important, however I don’t see a thank you note as necessary or helpful. Of course the person took the time to interview you, they’re trying to fill the position! Anyone else – are you influenced by thank you notes?

    • #3247873

      We’re hiring and its been interesting

      by lwood ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      The job market remains tough.

      What I see – we have many many people applying for a PC/POS technician that are way over qualified. Of course they will get no attention from me simply because there will always be the fear that the person will move on at the earliest opportunity. Other things I see are those that think their going to get big bucks early in their IT career. Give me a break – why would we pay you 40k+ or more when the very experienced will work for that. Look for career growth through the technology and size of environment you’d be working with-if the future isn’t open at our company then we have no qualms about you moving on in 24-36 months. In the interim, you would be exposed to a large enterprise network, which speaks volumes on your resume as opposed to…MCSE. Now if you had the MCSE and worked for us for three years…you would be ready for Admin level III in no time.

      Happily employed and hoping not to play musical chairs anytime soon….LL

      • #3247868


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to We’re hiring and its been interesting

        I’m a little disappointed to see yet another hiring manager turn down applicants for being “overqualified”. The way to handle highly qualified people is not to turn them away, consigning them to the bread lines because they know more than the pimply-faced dishwasher you’ll hire today and fire next week for sleeping on the job. Rather than mistreating the highly experienced in this manner, try hiring them with the idea in mind that they may prove a valuable resource later on when you have need of such a person somewhere else within the company.

        Do you really intend only to hire people who will be content to work a $15k/yr job for the next twenty years with no ambition, no desire to learn more, and no enthusiasm for the field? Someone that learns quickly and advances is filling roles in the company in exactly the same manner as someone that already knows what is needed to move up in the company. Unless your intent is to hire someone you can keep oppressed in a low-paying scutwork dead-end job for the next decade without having to worry that they’ll grow a spine and leave, you should take another look at those “overqualified” candidates that have a lot to offer your company. If mistreating your employees [b]is[/b] what you intend to do, though, you’re doing them a favor by not hiring them. I only wish you’d do the inexperienced guys the same favor: they don’t deserve to be treated like fecal discharge any more than experienced, knowledgeable professionals do.

      • #3247833

        Magoo Level Myopia

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to We’re hiring and its been interesting

        A common affliction in management.
        Why don’t you ask them why they are applying ?
        They’ve gone to a lot of trouble, shouldn’t you at least do them that courtesy ?
        They’ll fit in better, they are less of a gamble. They have bucket loads of experience to pass on to the up and comings. They’ll increase your productivity dramatically. Your only qualm is that they might want to move on, but would you employ a more junior candidate who did not IF they worked out ?
        A solid experienced pro who is happy to stay at the level they are at is an enormous bonus in a team.
        I’ve been a senior/lead developer for the last ten years. I’ve no desire to become a manager, as I like getting my hands dirty. This doesn’t mean I have no ambition, but that it is simply task as opposed to promotion oriented.

        • #3248334

          Good Responses – Tony & Apotheon

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Magoo Level Myopia

          There are times that someone very experienced was promoted to management and found that it wasn’t for them. They might want to go back “down the ladder” instead of up. An IT manager should (in my humble opinion) never exclude someone because they appear “overqualified”.

          I was actually asked about that in an interview I had a few years ago. The manager felt I would be bored with the position, I gave specific reasons why 1. I was interested in the position, 2. why that company, and 3. what would keep me motivated. I got the job and it was great until the company was sold. 🙁

          The point is, give the candidate a chance. Observer their body language and their answer carefully, then decide.

        • #3248218

          Guy got right up my nose

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Good Responses – Tony & Apotheon

          But I’ve trained myself to be tactful for the odd occasion when they make a ‘mistake’ and interview me anyway.
          Slave over your cv, research the company and some supercillious twit bins your cv without even the courtesy of exercising a minimum number of brain cells on what’s meant to be an important part of their job.
          Hmmm guess he won’t be considering employing me now.
          Big Loss

        • #3248210


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Good Responses – Tony & Apotheon

          I do try.

          That discussion of dismissing “overqualified” applicants out of hand just “got up my nose”, as Tony put it. It ranks right up there with someone that thinks damaged credit ratings are equivalent to a security risk, or that three years experience is “entry level”. There are a great many very asinine myths held sacred by HR personnel the world over that seriously need to be deflated and expunged.

          This sort of thing is the reason that most knowledgeable advice-givers for jobhunting always recommend that you go over the HR people’s heads when possible.

        • #3247479

          Right On, Apotheon

          by chaos_disorder ·

          In reply to thanks

          To Tony and Apotheon, you guys nailed it. The HR guy who posted about immediately dismissing overqualified candidates would never work for me, and if he did, he wouldn’t last long. Fact is, there is no more company loyalty these days, in either direction. People have to do what’s best for their families because companies will show you the door the minute you’re no longer necessary or affecting the bigwigs’ bottom line. As you stated, you never know how a candidate can contribute in ways other than what is outlined in the job description. In fact, in my cover letter, there’s a paragraph where I specifically state what skills I have outside of what the job calls for, and state that although they’re not necessary for that particular job, they may be very useful to that company in the future. It’s frustrating seeing so many talented colleagues and friends struggle to find even the most basic IT work when outdated, archaic HR people like “Mr. Overqualified” still hold power over hiring.

        • #3246359

          HR and Hiring Managers

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to thanks

          Problem is a lot of hiring managers think in the same terms – from my experience. You wouldn’t believe how many of those “overqualified” stamps I have received. In the Tech world, HR ususally seems to not have tech qualified recruiters to interview us anyway. Of course this is my opinion, but I find it amazing how many just want “buzz” words and don’t really know what the job entails.

          It is really frustrating, and I don’t see it getting any better soon.

    • #3246131

      Moving from technical into managerial role

      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      I have over 10+ years experience in IT and am at the point in my career where I have reached a salary cap for my position as a senior level systems engineer and wish to advance into management. I want to move into a managerial role of managing projects, but without the actual experience, nobody wants to give me that chance. I feel like I am starting over in my career with the old catch 22 phrase “how do you find a job without experience and how do you get experience without a job”? My current managers for the company I work for value me more as a senior level engineer than as a manager due to my expert technical and troubleshooting skills, but if I am to increase my earning potential, I need to start moving into the managerial arena. I have spoken to many IT recruiters and there is very little they can offer in terms of managerial positions for those without at least 5 years of experience. Also, I cannot ask my managers to do more management because they will simple laugh at me or use my motivation for advancement as an excuse to terminate me, simply because they cannot afford or do not want to pay me more. Has anyone else been in this situation and how would you go about making such a transition, short of spending 2 years and lots of money on an MBA, which I believe is nothing more than a paper cert these days, as I have seen many Harvard and Ivy League graduates with MBAs’ sucking at management.

      • #3244741

        Moving up the chain

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to Moving from technical into managerial role

        Well, if the only reason you want to go into management is the money, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. That is #1. As to the degrees, it is part of earning your place up the chain. You don’t have to go to a land school to get a traditional MBA. You can get very good practical degrees online now that you earn by doing the work.

        Also, if you really want to get into technical project management (which tends to have a lower average national salary then a Senior Engineer), you can look at junior PM roles or project coordinator roles to get your foot in the door. Also, go back over your resume and look for any projects that you led as a Senior person. Match up what you did to the qualifications of a project manager. Then redo your resume.

        You need to market your skills in a new way and be prepared to answer the tough questions. Now, educate yourself by reading everything you can on project management methodologies. ALL OF THEM. You need to know the pros and cons of the different methods, why things worked in some cases and why they didn’t in other cases.

        Management positions are starting over because they require VERY different skills then the ones you have been using. You must have people skills and customer skills. You must move from “techie” to “business”.

        There are other discussions here at TR, that are on this topic. A lot of them have some really good hints and advise. I wish you a lot of luck. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Otherwise you will find you are not happy.

      • #3244511

        You’ve a few options

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Moving from technical into managerial role

        First of all seriously ask yourself whether you want to be a full time manager. No hands on, meetings and paper shuffling, budget arguments, no coding, no in depth design etc.
        If you want to go in the PM or Man Managerment after all. Then you need to re-target your cv.
        As a senior devloper you will have done some PM and MM. Mentoring for instance, requarements evaluation, designing, scope checks. All sorts of bits and pieces that could be described as management.
        If you are not sure look for hands-on development manager, team leader, technical lead etc.
        As for your current employers, if they are going to laugh at you, have the last one as you are waving goodbye leaving a big hole in their resources, it’ll serve them right.

    • #3244744


      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

      1. Why in the hell is your credit rating even a factor in your getting a job and how would it affect your ability to do your job? So f**king what..someone is in personal bankruptcy or has missed a few bill payments..does that make them a bad person or a bad employee? what if the person was unemployed and racked up medical bills or defaulted on a loan because they were out of work?

      2. Being penalized for wanting to advance in your career – the age old question..”where do you see yourself in blah blah blah years?” I see myself being your boss and booting your stupid ass out of this company for asking such assinine questions. It is natural and expected of people to progress in their careers. No levelheaded person I know wants to be a PC tech or call center operator for 10 years straight. Everybody needs to progress and achieve certain goals in their career. That is what makes a career, the ambition and eagerness to progress and advance. Any moron in HR who uses that fact against potential cadidates for a job should have his/her ass kicked and sent home with a pink slip.

      • #3244998

        Well I’ve met people

        by tony hopkinson ·


        who are quite happy with their job and have no interest in progressing. Strange I must admit, but useful, in that you get continuity in the job, the last thing you need in a place with a slow promotion track is 10 would be net admins in the tech team. If you want some more up and comers or steady eddys simply word the advert correctly you’ll get someone who meets your requirements.
        Some people just want to earn their money with minimal effort and then go home.

      • #2541770

        2 to 5 years: use this…

        by simphiwe ·


        Try this next time: “I approach every new company with a long-term view. I would like to think that I can make a positive contribution for the foreseeable future.”

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