worst job interview ever

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worst job interview ever

Postby TerraFrost » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:13 am

Had a call today from a company at a job fair. The person starts off by saying "I work in software support and that's the position I'm interviewing for - we don't do any coding". Later, they ask me why I, having graduated with a BS in CS almost two years ago, am working at a computer store, as if it's beneath person possessing a BS in CS.

All I have to say is what a load of bullshit. The person who called me up is providing support. Where are they putting all their CS skills to use? Certainly not writing code, since they, themselves, said they don't do that. Certainly not coming up with new algorithms, either.

And this company isn't exactly a mecca for CS students, either. I wouldn't even know their name if it weren't for this job fair.

On top of that, the supposition that because you work in retail you're not usefully applying your CS education... what a load of bull. Here's a list of the companies at the job fair:

http://cns.utexas.edu/career_services/s ... ipants.asp

Note the presence of Wal-Mart. A retail outfit. Looking for full time employees with BS's or MS's in CS.

Here's a clue for this company. CS is amazingly applicable. Almost every discipline can benefit from what CS has to offer but apparently some people are too daft too realize that.

But on top of all this, if they thought that my employment by a computer store was so belittling, then why did they bother conducting an interview with me in the first place?

The interview gets better, though. On my resume, under experience, I mention my involvement with the phpBB Group. The interviewer suggests that maybe this doesn't belong on my resume since I'm not getting paid to do it, and... well, sorry, but if they think that, I don't think I belong with that company.

Ever here of FOSS? Free open source software? Linux is a good example. Some people who develop it are employed by the likes of Red Hat or SuSE, but that in no way should be used to trivialize the contributions of those who don't do it full time. If anything, imho, people who do get paid to do it should be the ones whose contributions are trivialized. Someone who's in it for the money is just as easily going to be a sell out. Open source one second, close source the next. Hooray for free open source software!

And phpBB is not to be trivialized, either. For one, it's one of the most frequently downloaded applications on sourceforge.net:

http://sourceforge.net/top/topalltime.p ... =downloads

But whatever. If this company sends me an email, I'm deleting it without reading it. If they call me, I'm not picking up. I mean, did they forget that they were the ones who called me?

(incidentally, I did raise some of these objections with them at the interview, but not all of them; I only thought of some of them afterwards).
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby Roadkill » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:05 am

I don't condone the treatment, but its not always teh case the people that do the recruiting are the ones you work with. I wouldn't turn away without at least looking at their package. If they stay interested, then be up front and bully them for a better package, especially because it is THEM and not you who was interested to begin with. Not like you got anything to lose.

But after reading your post, I was reminded of that company in Office Space. Heheh.
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby Rapscallion » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:41 pm

Damn TPS reports! :lol Anyway, it just sounds like your interviewer was being a dick.
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby Nuxius » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:20 am

Relating to this, I've been looking for a new job myself as of late. Anyway, I applied for a Software Support position, and the next day I got a call back from them wanting me to come in for an interview.

Moving on, I got there for the interview, and the guy was very enthusiastic about me, saying that he had looked at my online portfolio and was very impressed with my work. He was asking me questions about my Associates Degree, what I majored in and what I did when I ran my own business, all that stuff. So anyway, here I was trying to relate that all to the job I *thought* I was being interviewed for, saying how I've helped teach classes; and when I made websites for people I would teach them how to do updates themselves, etc etc., all that stuff. However, I could tell that he was not interested when I talked about how I helped others, which was my first sign something was amiss. He kept going back to the programs I used, and all of that stuff.

At the end of the interview, I made a comment that I looked forward to hearing back from him on the support position, and only then did I find out I wasn't being interviewed for the support position at all! He saw my resume and website and was interested in me for a 'unadvertised' developer position.... Gee, thanks for informing me of that important piece of information, after the fact. Heh, if I would have known that beforehand I would have approached the interview from a completely different direction. Judging by his enthusiasm, and that he made a comment that he could tell I was enthusiastic about what they did as well, I think I could have actually gotten the position. (Well, to be specific, he didn't actually say I didn't get the position, he just said he had more interviews and would call me back; so anythings possible, but I'm not counting on it.) And to be honest, I'd be much happier in a developer position that a support position anyway, but when you live where I live you can't be too picky on that kind of stuff. Oh well.
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby TerraFrost » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:42 pm

That sucks :(

How are you looking for your jobs, incidentally? I subscribe to craigslist feeds ([1], [2], [3]), but what seems to have been the most effective, for me, is going to UT Austin job fairs. I've graduated, but alumni can attend, so long as they still have their UT ID.

It seems almost like a backdoor to employment at a lot of companies. They're expecting students so the bar is lowered.

Of course, despite the bar being lowered, I'm still looking...
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby Nuxius » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:15 pm

Unfortunately, every job fair I've been to has been a joke. I really didn't get anything from them whatsoever.

Most of the leads I've gotten have been out of the newspaper classifieds (no joke) and leads from the Texas Work Force Commission (they're good for knowing when the big companies are hiring and what positions they're looking for).

I'll have to try craigslist, didn't really give that much thought before.

There's also http://www.indeed.com a "job search engine" job search engine which searches the databases of just about every job search engine out there and displays them to you (well, whatever jobs you're searching for in the city/town/area you're looking in, that is). Makes that easier so I don't have to waste time rolling through all of them individually.
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby Rapscallion » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:48 am

Have you tried monster.com ? They're supposed to be really good.
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby TerraFrost » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:59 pm

Nuxius wrote:I'll have to try craigslist, didn't really give that much thought before.

I'm not sure what got me using it, myself, but I think some of it may have had to do with the fact that my current employer posts ads exclusively on them. Apparently, when we advertised in the newspaper, we'd often get 0 applicants, whereas with craigslist, we'd get 10 for the same position.

I've not actually applied to too many craigslist postings, though, and have had very little success with those few that I have. That might be due to the way I approach myself (in hindsight, saying "I'm not interested in the job, now, but might be after a job fair" is probably not a smart idea).

Most of my success, actually, has been with job fairs. I've gotten quite a few on-site interviews (and several free plane trips), but a lot of jobs at these job fairs are looking for interns, only. And if I was jobless, I might be interested in an internship (certainly better than nothing), but in point of fact, I'm not jobless, and am not interested in abandoning a decent job (pays enough for me to pay my bills and have some spending money on the side, which I don't spend, anyway) for a job where I might not have three months. And if I do get the job, what would my salary be if they did decided to keep me onboard? I'm not likely going to know that until after they offer me a full-time position, and... that's just not good enough.

I mean, a lot of these companies advertise for full time positions, but I guess that's not something one should put a lot of faith in.

Of course, not all employers there are deceiving you - some really are looking for full-time positions. And a lot of those (although certainly not all) will ask you totally inane questions that I have very strenuous objections to. They're not as bad as amazon.com's asking "what's your favorite blog?", but they're pretty bad, none-the-less.

I could actually go on for a while about the dumb questions I've been asked, heh.

There's also http://www.indeed.com a "job search engine" job search engine which searches the databases of just about every job search engine out there and displays them to you (well, whatever jobs you're searching for in the city/town/area you're looking in, that is). Makes that easier so I don't have to waste time rolling through all of them individually.

indeed.com is a company that's been at these job fairs quite a bit. They use Java on the frontend, and PHP on the backend to parse the webpages they find. They scour sites like monster.com and represent the data as their own (atleast that's what they did initially; I guess as they've become more popular, the need to do that has subsided, maybe). They also have offices in Austin, TX, as I understand it, although they've never bothered to follow-up with me. Last time I was there, they said they were primarily looking for interns, yet according to the job fair page, they're looking for both full-time employees and interns (they're not the only company doing this, either) *sigh*

indeed.com might be a wonderful website, but, as a company, I do think they are a bit dishonest in their hiring practices.
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Re: worst job interview ever

Postby SuicidalButterfly » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:21 am

:curse I hate when people are mean like that for no apparent reason.
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