Friday, October 06, 2006

Job Interview Etiquette

When attending a job interview, it is generally accepted that the interviewee is on his or her best behavior. You must present yourself in a professional way, and put your best foot forward to be considered for the position. Yesterday's interviewee, it seems, had never learned this lesson.

I asked him about his technical experience and knowledge, and he seemed quite good. Then I moved onto the teamwork questions. I like to ask people about interpersonal situations that they have encountered, and how they handled them. By doing this, I'm assessing how much of a "team player" someone is. A person can be the best technical person, but can have no teamwork skills; and hence, will not fit in with our cohesive group's culture. One of my scenarios that I like to give is this:

"You're in a meeting, and you and a coworker are having an argument about how a feature should be tested. After the meeting is over, your coworker comes to your cube, very upset. He tells you that you said something in the meeting that really upset him. You can see that he's very angry and agitated. What do you do ?"

This candidate said, deadpanning, "Sorry." Then shrugged his shoulders. We chuckled, and then I asked, "Is that it ?" His response...

"If he was really mad and acting like an idiot, I'd say..." <flipping the middle finger> "F&!# off !"

He didn't get the job.


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