Toby DiPasquale on 11 Feb 2009 08:35:45 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Tough Interview questions - the questions themselves?

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:22 AM, jeff <> wrote:
> Toby DiPasquale wrote:
>>> For instance, I had a client as me over the telephone:
>>> What is ELF and how does it differ from other formats?  -- Unix related position
>> Having said all that, this is a spectacularly dumb question to ask.
> Be that as it may, it begs the question of what *is* asked.
> I don't think that there's a Standard Test.
> I got thrown to the wolves, as far as interviewing.  I sat in on a few,
> made notes, then got stuck *doing* the interviewing when my boss left.
> I ask what I consider to be obvious stuff, more difficult stuff and the
> odd bit of specialized knowledge; but mostly questions that attempt to
> show thought process.  I wind up hiring for aptitude moreso than
> specific skills and haven't been disappointed.  As usual, I'm different
> then most.

Hiring for aptitude is definitely the right way to hire, IMHO. There
is no standard, you're right, and I haven't really liked any
particular method I've seen or heard about. In a lot of ways,
interviewing is the most challenging part of the managerial task set
since this very quick (in the grand scheme of things) decision has
such a big impact on your costs and success.

> "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable (sometimes appreciated) response.

IDK is definitely a good answer if you don't know, much better than
bullshitting. If an interviewer is asking you a specific technical
question and you try to bullshit, you're toast because that guy
definitely has an idea of the right answer. Trying to bullshit in that
situation means you're trying to guess what the guy thinks is the
right answer. Its better for both parties to just say "I don't know"
and move on.

Toby DiPasquale
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