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Are the posted questions getting worse? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:58 PM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
One interview I was on around 4 years ago we spent half the interview with me brainstorming how to fix or approach a weird problem. At the end of it, when I hadn't come up with a solution he liked I asked what the correct solution was. He answered "I have no idea, this has been stumping us for months. We had a Microsoft expert come in last week and he couldn't figure it out either."


I hate that kind of thing. One time it happened, I walked out of the interview as soon as I figured out what they were doing. It's such a low move.


Yeah, at that point I lost all interest in the job, wouldn't have taken it even had it been offered.


I despise those kinds of interviews. If you have been unable to solve it in months, don't expect free consulting during the interview.


Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways? I could possibly, MAYBE, see if they didn't intend to actually offer you a position, but I don't go to job interviews on the premise that I'm guaranteed an offer anyways so I'd hate to be required to take a job I interview for, so I would like to extend to the interviewer the same sort of options. Evem more so in the situation where I didn't like the answers to MY questions about the position.

LOL at gilamonster walking out though. Did you slam the door?


It is quite often a tactic used to just get some free advice on a problem they haven't been able to fix and there really is no job to be had.

If you don't know the answer to the question as an interviewer (except maybe in behavioral analysis type questions), why grill the interviewee for 4-8 hrs on a problem you haven't been able to solve? Very fishy in the least.




Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
I have given a name to my pain...
MCM SQL Server, MVP


SQL RNNR

Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Post #1509577
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:10 PM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways?


Interview != consulting services. The premise of an interview is that you are trying to see if the job is a fit to you and they are trying to see if you are a fit to the job. To use that process to garner free consulting is what's offensive.

Now, if they'd asked at the end of the interview 'by the way, while you're here, could I get your thoughts on a real problem that we're having?', I'd have been very happy to spend five minutes or so telling them what was wrong (it wasn't a hard problem), however they concealed their real problem as a 'test of my knowledge'

I don't like being lied to. If they're doing that in an interview, what are they going to be like when I'm actually working for them, similarly deceptive?

LOL at gilamonster walking out though. Did you slam the door?


No, why would I?



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

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Post #1509579
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:17 PM
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SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
One interview I was on around 4 years ago we spent half the interview with me brainstorming how to fix or approach a weird problem. At the end of it, when I hadn't come up with a solution he liked I asked what the correct solution was. He answered "I have no idea, this has been stumping us for months. We had a Microsoft expert come in last week and he couldn't figure it out either."


I hate that kind of thing. One time it happened, I walked out of the interview as soon as I figured out what they were doing. It's such a low move.


Yeah, at that point I lost all interest in the job, wouldn't have taken it even had it been offered.


I despise those kinds of interviews. If you have been unable to solve it in months, don't expect free consulting during the interview.


Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways? I could possibly, MAYBE, see if they didn't intend to actually offer you a position, but I don't go to job interviews on the premise that I'm guaranteed an offer anyways so I'd hate to be required to take a job I interview for, so I would like to extend to the interviewer the same sort of options. Evem more so in the situation where I didn't like the answers to MY questions about the position.

LOL at gilamonster walking out though. Did you slam the door?


It is quite often a tactic used to just get some free advice on a problem they haven't been able to fix and there really is no job to be had.

If you don't know the answer to the question as an interviewer (except maybe in behavioral analysis type questions), why grill the interviewee for 4-8 hrs on a problem you haven't been able to solve? Very fishy in the least.


Well then I'll have to assume that you participated for at least 4 hours on a single issue, how did you and the interviewer manage this, were you both remoting to a server and doing team programming? I'd like to hear more about this interview you experienced, and why you couldn't figure out a way to politely bring the interview to a close a good bit earlier (heck, I'm a bit of a computer nut, I probably would have gotten something out of even this situation), do you remember much about it? I could imagine saying that I had another interview scheduled, but on the other hand, its not unheard of for long, multiple interview processes for higher level positions
Post #1509581
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:30 PM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)


It is quite often a tactic used to just get some free advice on a problem they haven't been able to fix and there really is no job to be had.

If you don't know the answer to the question as an interviewer (except maybe in behavioral analysis type questions), why grill the interviewee for 4-8 hrs on a problem you haven't been able to solve? Very fishy in the least.


Well then I'll have to assume that you participated for at least 4 hours on a single issue, how did you and the interviewer manage this, were you both remoting to a server and doing team programming? I'd like to hear more about this interview you experienced, and why you couldn't figure out a way to politely bring the interview to a close a good bit earlier (heck, I'm a bit of a computer nut, I probably would have gotten something out of even this situation), do you remember much about it? I could imagine saying that I had another interview scheduled, but on the other hand, its not unheard of for long, multiple interview processes for higher level positions


Yes I have participated in those kinds of interviews. The first time around I was overly polite and allowed it to continue to learn there really was no job on the line.

Subsequent times, I let them know that I was not interested in solving current production problems and that if there were other pertinent items to the interview we could proceed with those. Otherwise the interview is over.




Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
I have given a name to my pain...
MCM SQL Server, MVP


SQL RNNR

Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Post #1509589
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:35 PM
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GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways?


Interview != consulting services. The premise of an interview is that you are trying to see if the job is a fit to you and they are trying to see if you are a fit to the job. To use that process to garner free consulting is what's offensive.

*shrug* I'd probably chalk it up to job hunting. I like to think that I could get the sense that the interview wasn't progressing and steer the conversation to a conclusion without having to actually walk out of an interview in progress. Heck, "I'm sorry, I need to be at such and such in a half hour" if the interview ran over my expectations and it was apparent there was little possibility of employment. Sure, if it proceeded to an actual kidnapping yeah, call the cops if you have your cell phone. I guess the one lesson we can take from your experience is carry a cell phone LOL

Still, I wasn't in your shoes, so I could be missing something but none the less funny thread!

Post #1509591
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:52 PM


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SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)
GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
*sigh* More contract work requests in the month since I resigned than in the 4 months prior to that.


Irony at its best


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Post #1509594
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:05 PM
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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
One interview I was on around 4 years ago we spent half the interview with me brainstorming how to fix or approach a weird problem. At the end of it, when I hadn't come up with a solution he liked I asked what the correct solution was. He answered "I have no idea, this has been stumping us for months. We had a Microsoft expert come in last week and he couldn't figure it out either."


I hate that kind of thing. One time it happened, I walked out of the interview as soon as I figured out what they were doing. It's such a low move.


Yeah, at that point I lost all interest in the job, wouldn't have taken it even had it been offered.


I despise those kinds of interviews. If you have been unable to solve it in months, don't expect free consulting during the interview.


Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways? I could possibly, MAYBE, see if they didn't intend to actually offer you a position, but I don't go to job interviews on the premise that I'm guaranteed an offer anyways so I'd hate to be required to take a job I interview for, so I would like to extend to the interviewer the same sort of options. Evem more so in the situation where I didn't like the answers to MY questions about the position.

LOL at gilamonster walking out though. Did you slam the door?


Pretend you're a plumber instead of a data person and they tell you "Install this sink in this difficult corner as part of your interview" and the installation is part of what they would be paying for if you got the job.


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When you encounter a problem, if the solution isn't readily evident go back to the start and check your assumptions.
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It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams
Post #1509610
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:09 PM
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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways?


Interview != consulting services. The premise of an interview is that you are trying to see if the job is a fit to you and they are trying to see if you are a fit to the job. To use that process to garner free consulting is what's offensive.

*shrug* I'd probably chalk it up to job hunting. I like to think that I could get the sense that the interview wasn't progressing and steer the conversation to a conclusion without having to actually walk out of an interview in progress. Heck, "I'm sorry, I need to be at such and such in a half hour" if the interview ran over my expectations and it was apparent there was little possibility of employment. Sure, if it proceeded to an actual kidnapping yeah, call the cops if you have your cell phone. I guess the one lesson we can take from your experience is carry a cell phone LOL

Still, I wasn't in your shoes, so I could be missing something but none the less funny thread!



It is this kind of attitude among employers that results in unpaid internships and writing gigs that pay in "exposure". They're telling you up front they're willing to take advantage of you, to exploit you and that they don't actually value your labor.


--------------------------------------
When you encounter a problem, if the solution isn't readily evident go back to the start and check your assumptions.
--------------------------------------
It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams
Post #1509612
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 6:09 PM


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Chad Crawford (10/29/2013)
We use the scale of 1-10 to help give us an idea of how tough to start the interview questions, but we usually give the scaling factor at the beginning - 0=I've never heard of that before, 10=I wrote it. Anyone who responds with 9 or 10 should be able to answer any trivial or obscure question we can come up with. We've had people give us a 0 or 1 before and it was a quick way to skip over that part of the interview. I like it because you can go through several technologies or areas very quickly and from the answers determine which areas you want to talk more about (the ones ranked high) and which areas there is no need to talk about (the ones ranked low).


I won't bore you with how I conduct interviews and I don't use the word often but I'm totally disgusted in the lack of knowledge by most of the people I've interviewed. I don't ask difficult questions, either. If a "10" was a "beginner" that had just passed an MS SQL Cert, I'd have to rate most of the people I've interviewed as a 1 or a 2. Shoot. I interviewed an "SQL Server System DBA" with 10 years of experience who was "responsible for the setup, maintenance, and performance of 100's of server instances" last night and she couldn't tell me how to get the current date and time using a SELECT and she couldn't tell me how to do a native backup or restore. I'm now sure that such people exist but I just can't imagine how you can go 10 years without learning those two simple things.


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Post #1509619
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 6:14 PM
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Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (10/29/2013)
SQLRNNR (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
GilaMonster (10/29/2013)
Stefan Krzywicki (10/29/2013)
One interview I was on around 4 years ago we spent half the interview with me brainstorming how to fix or approach a weird problem. At the end of it, when I hadn't come up with a solution he liked I asked what the correct solution was. He answered "I have no idea, this has been stumping us for months. We had a Microsoft expert come in last week and he couldn't figure it out either."


I hate that kind of thing. One time it happened, I walked out of the interview as soon as I figured out what they were doing. It's such a low move.


Yeah, at that point I lost all interest in the job, wouldn't have taken it even had it been offered.


I despise those kinds of interviews. If you have been unable to solve it in months, don't expect free consulting during the interview.


Its interesting to ruminate on why this situation seems so offensive to some. Aren't folks doing the interview for free anyways? I could possibly, MAYBE, see if they didn't intend to actually offer you a position, but I don't go to job interviews on the premise that I'm guaranteed an offer anyways so I'd hate to be required to take a job I interview for, so I would like to extend to the interviewer the same sort of options. Evem more so in the situation where I didn't like the answers to MY questions about the position.

LOL at gilamonster walking out though. Did you slam the door?


Pretend you're a plumber instead of a data person and they tell you "Install this sink in this difficult corner as part of your interview" and the installation is part of what they would be paying for if you got the job.


Its different in IT however, you aren't getting hired on your typing skills or whether you know how to use a phillips screwdriver. Especially at the MCM level with SQL administration, I would think that there is value in communicating what you would do in some situations that approaches the value of actually doing it.
Post #1509620
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