Re: Interview type Question

From: Steve Howard <>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 06:05:23 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

On Sep 26, 2:46 am, Tim X <> wrote:

<snip a lot of good stuff>

> problem correctly (he isn't at fault in my mind. if anything, my section
> is still at fault for not identifying the full facts right at the
> start).
> Tim
> --
> tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

You just saved 15 minutes typing something very similar. Excellent.

I actually think this is a great interview question. Am I looking for the person to explain every nuance of free buffer waits based on a specific example of what he/she fixed at some point int he past? Not at all.

I don't think enough generic questions like this are asked in an interview. My favorite two questions (which I ask regularly) are:

  1. What is the biggest thing you ever broke in technology, and how did you fix it?
  2. What is your favorite thing on which to work?

Those tell me volumes about a person.

  1. tells me if they are honest (because *everyone* has broken something).
  2. Gets them to open about themselves

An interview is not a confrontation. I'm trying to get a feel for not only what they know, but how they do things and what they would be like to work with everyday.

We hired a guy (against my recommendation) at one point that said he had never broken anything. Guess what happened in the first 60 days he was there? Yep... He also turned out to be the type that covered things up and pointed fingers when stuff like this happened. I'm sure in his mind he never *had* broken anything. Not good...

For a question like the OP mentioned, I would be looking for things like Tim posted. It doesn't have to be word for word, but it shows me the depth of their experience troubleshooting in general. As noted (and as Tim noted), every problem is different. I would like to see body language while they answer it, do they dwell on certain things like the minutia of technical details (not always good), etc.

Good question! Received on Fri Sep 26 2008 - 08:05:23 CDT

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