Michael Leone on 11 Feb 2009 07:56:07 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] OT (but not really): Tough Interview questions

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 10:19 AM, Toby DiPasquale <toby@cbcg.net> wrote:
> Why would you care about how much he knows? To me, this misses the
> point of interviewing. You're not hiring a candidate for his current
> knowledge; you're hiring them for their ability to do the job you're
> asking them to do. This requires a lot less up-front knowledge and a
> lot more capacity for learning, team skills and problem solving
> abilities than most interviews can ever hope to capture accurately. If
> current knowledgebase mattered for anything, you'd never hire anyone
> out of college.

True. But: suppose you're looking for someone to manage your
firewall/routers/etc. Be nice to know that the person actually knows
what BGP is, and why and when you'd want to use it, rather than "I'll
get back to you after I look it up". Or "How would you fix this route,
in a Nortel switch?". Or similar. I wouldn't want to wait while the
person went and looked up that level of stuff; I'd want them to know
how to fix a route right then, becuase one of my sites is down, and
not wait for this person to find some way to go look it up. I wouldn't
expect them to be able to design a WAN infrastructure with 70 branch
sites during an interview ...

Once you've proven you can answer an "easy" question that shows you
know the basics *applicable to the situation*, then you move on. In
the ELF case, very few people need to know that low level, in order to
use an ELF library.

I don't need to know the theory of electricity to know how to flip a
switch, or reset a circuit breaker ...
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