Print Story What was your worst interview experience?
I'm writing this diary because I feel the need to whine to someone and it might as well be you.

As we all know interviewers for jobs can be extremely disrespectful and inconsiderate, but today is the first time I've ever actually wanted to beat one up.

I'm sure you have better stories so go ahead and tell them.  It'll help me put things in perspective



Anyway, I applied to some job a couple weeks ago for entry level developer and it gave a pay range that was given on the ad was definitely entry-level.  I met the requirements listed and I'd like to be a developer so I shoot them a nice cover letter and resume which accurately reflect my qualifications.

The guy calls me yesterday.  He says he'd like to interview me soon.  "Can you come in tomorrow, that way you can meet my boss?"  Well, I've kind of decided to make them interview me over the phone first, but it really sounds like I'm their man and they want to move on this shit.  After all, he said he already wants me to meet his boss and would he really have me call in sick if that wasn't the case?  So I agree.

So, he thinks I was coding at my last job.  (They weren't paying enough for an experienced coder, by the way.)  He was very disappointed to read my resume for the first time and see that that wasn't the case.  My cover letter says I have a Java cert, but the fact that I would even mention that kind of says that I don't have experience.

He asks me to send him a code sample and sends me home without meeting his boss.  Now, I'm not sure that I'll make him one because it must be hell to work for such a stupid, inconsiderate asshole.  I figure I have better things to do with my weekend than worry about a job that I'm not getting.

In any case, I think I'm done looking for jobs for now.  They gave me a raise at work after I complained.  (They aren't paying me market value, but it is a considerable raise.)  I also don't seem to be reporting to the asshole boss I had before.

I'm actually thinking about becoming an actuary.  I think you just have to pass a test on probability to get into that.  The material looks like it was mostly covered in my Random Signals class in college.  If you're an actuary please comment here.

Poll:  What should Big Sexxxy Joe do?

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What was your worst interview experience? | 36 comments (36 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
WIPO by komet (4.00 / 7) #1 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 09:50:02 AM EST
Write an obfuscated code sample that seems, on reading through it, to be a financial application but when run, puts up a goatse.

--
<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
Thanks! by Big Sexxxy Joe (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 09:56:07 AM EST
I knew there was a reason that I come here for advice.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
He wasn't finished by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #18 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 02:26:54 PM EST
Puts up goatse on his bosses' screen.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
you may not get the response you expect by webwench (4.00 / 2) #20 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 05:07:40 PM EST
If someone gave me such a code sample, I'd hire them pretty much on the spot. "Man, I'm gonna *love* working with *you*!"


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
Yes, of course. by komet (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 11:49:23 PM EST
And if you were HR and reacted in such a way, it's probably a cool company to work for, so no worries.

--
<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
[ Parent ]
There's an alternative explanation. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #28 Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 02:12:00 PM EST
That the person in HR saw it, was impressed by the gobbledygook and assumed that the writer was an utter whizzkid and never ran it, thus not seeing the goatse.

In such cases, merely copying part of the linux kernel source is a much more efficient way to get hired, but you wouldn't want to work there.

[ Parent ]
Plead for a second interview, with his boss by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #3 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 09:58:21 AM EST
and show up real, real late.

Reeking of beer.

And ask if they press charges, and who the hawties in the pictures on his desk are.


they want you to be very driven. by gzt (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:10:03 AM EST
they expect actuaries to like go home and dream of that crap all night and eat actuari-o's for breakfast before coming in to work.

I heard it's sort of easy by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:14:53 AM EST
Like one of the easiest jobs in that pay range.  I can't imagine it's a job that anyone gets that excited about.

Are your experiences different?

I'm like Jesus, only better.

[ Parent ]
i'm not an actuary. by gzt (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:16:01 AM EST
I'm just telling you what they expect in interviews.

[ Parent ]
Will do nt by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:20:07 AM EST


I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
the reason they want such motivation... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:37:04 AM EST
...is the whole bloody exams system. generally requires quite a bit of investment on their part and the work is easy, though studying for the exams takes a bit of time and effort as well as dreaming of the actuarial sciences all night if you get them done as quickly as they want you to do them [as opposed to as fast as they require you to do them]. so a little white lie about motivation would be needed.

[ Parent ]
Yeah by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 11:07:02 AM EST
The exams system is what appeals to me.  I find tests to be easier than the rest of school work and I'm good at math.

I also wonder if you could turn around and do some sort of quantitive programming or something.

I'm like Jesus, only better.

[ Parent ]
Don't be such a dopey little kid by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 3) #8 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:23:13 AM EST
Send him a code sample.

What do you have to lose?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

But beating him up would be more fun nt by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:27:52 AM EST


I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
Actually I will by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:32:26 AM EST
I just find it annoying to do work for a job I probably won't get.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
Three worst interview experiences by lm (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 10:56:51 AM EST
a. going to an interview rec'd by a friend that turned out to be a head hunter who didn't know his polymorphism from his inheritance and couldn't understand that you can right object oriented code in any language and that so-called OO languages merely ease doing such.

b. being asked to take a CBT test on win-runner after explicitly telling the interviewer that I've never used winrunner.

c. being stood up.

Although, on that last one, I got the job.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Hmmm by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 11:05:29 AM EST
I have to wonder if they can do something so shitty that they give you the job out of guilt.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
I doubt it was *entirely* out of guilt by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 11:10:42 AM EST
I got a call several hours later with an apology and a request to reschedule.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
well... by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #16 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 01:24:38 PM EST
on my last job hunt I had a phone interview with a guy who...told me that I didn't have enough experience to be a web developer and then told me that he couldn't pay market rate for a web developer who didn't have experience.

He then proceeded to ask questions about my husband. 

I was not amused because all he was doing was trying to find a reason not to pay me market rate. Thank god I only wasted a phone interview on the guy.

The total irony (not in an Alanis Morisette sense either) is that this guy worked for a direct competitor of the place I work at now. And the HR guy for where I work now is the total opposite - totally professional.

And about being stood up, I was in a meeting today with a manager who made a candidate wait for 15 minutes. It seemed like he wasn't in the mood to deal with her and she seemed not to be what he wanted to hire. (I will have a hole entry about some other things that happened at this meeting...)
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

15 minutes? by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:30:15 PM EST
That's pretty standard.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
Phone interview by Vertical Frankenstein (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 02:10:49 PM EST
I did a phone interview a few weeks ago.  The interviewer clearly had a scripted list of stock questions to ask.  She only let me get 5-10 seconds into my answer before interrupting me with the next bulleted item.  The best part of the interview was the end, when she told me "based on this interview I don't think we'll be calling you."  WTF?  Incredibly rude.  Then the next morning she called to request I interview with them two hours later.  Feh.

LOL WTF NOOB by Rogerborg (4.00 / 6) #19 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 02:34:22 PM EST
In five years, you'll be all like "The fuck?  I have to interview some nooblet?  Just toss his resume on my desk, I'll read it if he shows up."

Then you'll look back on this and laugh.

Then you'll start loading the shells.  One for each year.  Cha-chunk.

-
Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

He didn't have to interview me by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #30 Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:31:48 PM EST
He easily could have vetted me over the phone.  Or looked at the resume and skipped the fucking thing.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
my worst interview experience by webwench (4.00 / 3) #21 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 05:11:01 PM EST
The guy asked me if I intended to marry and have children. When I looked at him quizzically (or more likely was struck dumb with amazement that I would be asked such a thing on any interview), he explained that being a career pilot is not something you can mix with having a family, if you're a woman. Andf then he said that if he hired me, he'd have problems with 'the wives' (meaning the other pilots' wives) whenever he sent me out on a trip with another pilot.

That's about when I realized I wasn't going to get anywhere in central Virginia in the wonderful world of aviation, beyond 'instructor' because, you know, girls are good at teaching.


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

Yuck. We have laws against that in Soviet UKia. by Gully Foyle (4.00 / 2) #22 Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 11:32:37 PM EST
Corporate training on how to interview someone at my last job was about 10% on how to do an effective interview, and 90% on how not to get sued by the interviewee. No questions about age, gender, marital status, kids, country of origin, or favoured sexual positions/ice-cream flavours. Stare straight into interviewees face, and do not let your gaze wander below the neck. All perfectly reasonable, and nothing I'd have been doing anyway, but once I've been told not to do something, the idea's then in my head, making me nervous...

[ Parent ]
We have them here (US) too. by miker2 (4.00 / 2) #24 Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 04:09:04 AM EST
It's against federal law to ask someone their marital status, sexual orientation, whether they have/intend to have kids, and their age.

That doesn't stop folks from asking and folks who don't know the law from answering.


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
That's tricky by Big Sexxxy Joe (4.00 / 1) #31 Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:33:35 PM EST
What are you going to say?  That's an illegal question.  They won't hire you.  Of course, you could just lie.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
it's easy to avoid answering the questions by webwench (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 11:25:03 AM EST
however, when certain questions are asked, it's clear that you will not be under consideration for the job *because* of the concerns the interviewer airs just by trying to ask the question. In my case, it was obvious he wasn't asking the question so much as indirectly telling me I was not under serious consideration. Which makes you wonder why they bothered interviewing an obviously female candidate. Maybe they just needed to be able to say they considered female candidates, who knows. Maybe he was hoping/assuming I was such a troll that there would be no problems with 'the wives' or with future childbearing... of course, where I work a few years ago, a certain manager decided not to hire a certain candidate *because* she was ugly.

You can't win for losing with some companies :)


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
Are you saying girls can't teach? by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:38:10 PM EST
Sexist!

Anyway, I suppose I don't have to deal with discrimination.  If interviewers don't treat me with respect it's not because of my race, gender, or martial status.

And I'm suprised he came right out with the illegal questions.

I'm like Jesus, only better.

[ Parent ]
yeah, that one was special by webwench (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 11:26:54 AM EST
I otherwise haven't encountered such blatant discrimination in my hiring situations, but I have enough female friends who have encountered it at least once that I can tell you a lot of interviewers try to ask the questions.


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
Well... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #25 Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 06:03:25 AM EST
There was the time where I interviewed with a certain large Seattle-based monopoly after being contacted by a headhunter. I had a phone interview with a guy for what I thought was a Windows programming position. I was very up front in the phone interview that I was mostly an OS/2 programmer and that I was a bit worried about travel. I was told that the first was not an issue as there was enough similarity that I'd pick it up, and travel would be, at worst, a day a week.

They call me to a second interview, requiring me to be flown to Dallas of all places. I get there and almost immediately discover that the position is of "Technical Evangalist", that it requires deep Windows expertise and that most of the time would be spent on the road.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Ah by xzap (2.00 / 0) #26 Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 11:04:11 AM EST
You would have been Scoble++!

Is there anything that isn't treated as a penal crime in the land of the free?
---rdskutter---
[ Parent ]
Technical evagelist? by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:40:47 PM EST
That just sounds scary.  Would you have dance around like yelling "Developers" for that?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
Nope by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #34 Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:43:03 PM EST
More like warned people of the dangers of viral open source licenses and explained how .NET speeds development.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
A certain company by xzap (4.00 / 1) #27 Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 11:08:02 AM EST
who's name sounds like Gallop, just one letter away.

Some lady called me for what I presumed would be a sane phone interview. However she proceeded to ask me about 500 psycho-babble like questions in the rudest way possible. I never heard back from them, not even a no. Having read a little bit more about them now, I have a growing supsicion that they use students looking for interviews to conduct surveys under the ruse of an interview. They literally spammed our job boards with vague job postings.

Is there anything that isn't treated as a penal crime in the land of the free?
---rdskutter---

What was your worst interview experience? | 36 comments (36 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback