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Create Your Own Intense Interview


Create Your Own Intense Interview

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Create Your Own Intense Interview

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IceDread
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I agree that interviews are a tricky thing. Thou I do a bit like your friend does, prepare questions and read about the company on the web and what others says about the company while trying to keep an open mind.

The interview is about you and the company, do you feel yourself that you will fit in and would like to work there? It's two parts interviewing each others. Perhaps that is a luxury for us in the IT busies but I think it's healthy.

To your first questions thou, which I believe you just wrote to put some questions into our heads thou I'd like to answer anyway because I think I have a strange answer. I've worked overtime one single evening over the last one and a half years since I've been at this current job. I do not mind working overtime when it's needed, it can even be fun and build team spirit but there simply has not been a need for it. I think this is important and other companies should learn from it. I also believe it's one way to keep your employees healthy and less inclined to look around for a new job.

Most of you on this board is in the u.s. I believe however, and my gut feeling is that companies does not compete over workforce like this and are more interested into abusing their employees? That does of course happen in Sweden as well but it would seam the market has evolved to the better over the course of history. Is my gut feeling correct or wrong?
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IceDread (5/29/2012)
Most of you on this board is in the u.s. I believe however, and my gut feeling is that companies does not compete over workforce like this and are more interested into abusing their employees? That does of course happen in Sweden as well but it would seam the market has evolved to the better over the course of history. Is my gut feeling correct or wrong?


I'd concur with you there- the American relationship between employer and employee seems a lot more fraught and ripe for abuse, than it does in the UK.


In terms of interviews, I've turned down jobs based on interviews but not many and the main reason has been I'd be bored there. I thoroughly recommend brent ozar's blog for some excellent interview tips and questions.
Michael.Beeby
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You will not meet all your work colleagues at the interview. And any IT / ICT job over just a very few years is 'metamorphic'.
Tom Bakerman
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I heard from a friend recently that went on an interview, and had done some research beforehand. This person jotted thoughts and questions in a notebook, took it to the interview, and made notes as the session progressed. I had never done that, but it makes sense, and I think I'd do that in the future.


I also typically take notes when I'm on an interview. On one interview, I actually made notes on the way home (on a train, not driving) for the company's recruiter. When he called the following week for my feedback (and, as it turned out, my decision as to whether or not I wanted the job), my first question for him was "Do you provide interview training for your employees?" We then spent about another 30 minutes discussing what their interview process was like. At the end, he thanked me, and then asked "I get the feeling this question is redundant, but, the group wants to hire you. Are you interested?" We both had a good laugh at that point, as I turned him down.
Aaron N. Cutshall
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I have to agree with Steve's comment that "It's a mutual meeting to determine if we want to do business together" for it is indeed a partnership. Too often the interview devolves into a scenario where everyone's only looking out for their own interests: the company is checking to make sure that you're at least capable of doing the job and the potential employee is checking to see what salary and benefits they get. Instead, by doing your research ahead of time and by asking appropriate questions, you can propose areas where your skill sets would benefit the company beyond their initial expectations. That makes you a more valuable potential asset and therefore the company will be more willing not only to extend an offer to you but perhaps to also sweeten the pot with additional bonuses (monetary and non-monetary). Also, don't overlook the value of non-monetary benefits either as some of them (fitness center, daycare, etc.) can be quite valuable.

I investigate the company and pursue the interview as though we are going into business together. As Steve mentioned, "you will spend a lot of your life in a job." It's not like picking a new place to do your grocery shopping! Take time and effort to do your research, prepare for the interview with polite, candid questions, and take notes during the interview. Not only will you benefit from this, but you will impress those in the interview as well. After all, you and the company will be joined at the hip for the bulk of your day for quite some time. Doesn't it make sense to choose wisely?


"...when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." -- Mosiah 2:17
GSquared
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IceDread (5/29/2012)
I agree that interviews are a tricky thing. Thou I do a bit like your friend does, prepare questions and read about the company on the web and what others says about the company while trying to keep an open mind.

The interview is about you and the company, do you feel yourself that you will fit in and would like to work there? It's two parts interviewing each others. Perhaps that is a luxury for us in the IT busies but I think it's healthy.

To your first questions thou, which I believe you just wrote to put some questions into our heads thou I'd like to answer anyway because I think I have a strange answer. I've worked overtime one single evening over the last one and a half years since I've been at this current job. I do not mind working overtime when it's needed, it can even be fun and build team spirit but there simply has not been a need for it. I think this is important and other companies should learn from it. I also believe it's one way to keep your employees healthy and less inclined to look around for a new job.

Most of you on this board is in the u.s. I believe however, and my gut feeling is that companies does not compete over workforce like this and are more interested into abusing their employees? That does of course happen in Sweden as well but it would seam the market has evolved to the better over the course of history. Is my gut feeling correct or wrong?


There are, of course, employers that abuse the relationship with their employees, and employees who abuse the relationship with their employer. That's true of any form of human interaction. But the majority don't abuse, either direction. That's also true of any human interaction.

The usual ratio, in any culture, is about 1 in 5 people are going to abuse a relationship (employee-employer, marital, whatever). About 2-3% of any given population are actively and wilfully dangerous to the people around them, some covertly and some overtly.

That's not limited to the US. That's humanity-wide.

There are means of detecting and dealing with that kind of thing, which can be easily learned.

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"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon
TravisDBA
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There are five main "Red Flag" questions I ask an interviewer when I am interviewing:


1. Do you give developers here sysadmin access to your production environments? If they answer Yes to this question I terminate the interview right there. This is a disaster waiting to happen on so many levels.

2. Do you have a Change/Access Control process in place for moving code from Dev to QA to production? If so, is it enforced by managment? If they answer No to these questions I terminate the interview. Code movement must be coordinated, priortized and organized. Otherwise, you are probably walking into a disorganized "fire storm" where everything is an emergency.

3. Are all of your DBA's onsite? A remote DBA or remote consultant is a big red flag IMHO for many reasons..

4. Who does this DBA position report to directly? If they say several people I terminate the interview right there. Taking orders from 4 or 5 different people is not only dangerous to your databases, it can get you in trouble real quick with getting conflicting marching orders from different people.

5. How much of this job is running and fixing daily/weekly/monthly reports? If it is more that 25% then I will usually pass on the job. The problem with reports is you are never done with fixing them and usually no one else in the company wants to mess with them either. So, if you get stuck doing this right off you will most probably be doing it full time. Don't let other people "pigeonhole" your career. Ultimately, YOU are responsible for keeping it on track.

As I have said to frustrated recruiters many times in the past who are just primarily concerned with placing you somewhere and making their commissions. "This isn't just about me fitting in there. This is also about whether they fit me and my career goals as well. Interviews are a two-way street." :-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Steve Jones
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stephanie.sullivan (5/29/2012)
IceDread (5/29/2012)
Most of you on this board is in the u.s. I believe however, and my gut feeling is that companies does not compete over workforce like this and are more interested into abusing their employees? That does of course happen in Sweden as well but it would seam the market has evolved to the better over the course of history. Is my gut feeling correct or wrong?


I'd concur with you there- the American relationship between employer and employee seems a lot more fraught and ripe for abuse, than it does in the UK.


In terms of interviews, I've turned down jobs based on interviews but not many and the main reason has been I'd be bored there. I thoroughly recommend brent ozar's blog for some excellent interview tips and questions.


I think this goes in waves. In the 90s employees had advantages because so many businesses were expanding and there were not enough people. Plenty of less competent people were hired because a slot was needed. In the last decade it seems the other way around. Less jobs, so employers tend to expect more and give less, and will take advantage of people where they can.

I've usually looked for a job before I needed one, and been able to turn down offers. However I have turned down jobs when I wanted one because I thought something was wrong.

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Steve Jones
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Michael.Beeby (5/29/2012)
You will not meet all your work colleagues at the interview. And any IT / ICT job over just a very few years is 'metamorphic'.


This isn't necessarily true. I've usually asked to meet everyone in the team and the department. That's usually 10-20 people and I've been successful with this at all but the largest companies (> 1000ppl)

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