Monday, January 09, 2006

Interview Tips and Tricks

I wish I had some tips and tricks for interviewing that I could share. I only have my experience to back me up when I'm in a corner.

I've had a need for more resources since July 2005 for my current project.

Now, after interviewing day and night, I have found the exact match for my team and have hired them.

I didn't conduct hundreds of interviews. We have recruiters here that take care of the initial screening. I received the resumes of the people who made it through round 1, 2 and 3.

So, what makes my interviews so difficult?

Before we go into that, let me rant... I always hear from past work colleagues, that if anything "ever" opens up, give me a call, I'd love to work with you again. Well, timing seems to always be against these kind of arrangements. I called no less than six colleagues who had expressed a more than serious interest, but no luck.

Also, there's nothing better than hiring someone with a positive track record. On that note, let me thank Wayne Leishman once again for referring one of my recent hires. She's dynamite. More please!

Back to difficult interviews...

These are technical interviews. Each person is different and the range of experience and exposure among professionals can be challenging. Trying to determine if there is a fit can be very difficult, because no one ever fits the "perfect" list of must-haves or nice-to-haves.

Resume padding also plays a role. It's gotten much worse over the last year or so. You wouldn't believe how many years experience someone has or how many systems they've deployed. But, if you question carefully enough, you discover that many of these claims are bogus. I am skeptical of the technical professional who claims to have worked on 500 integrations in six weeks.

I get a kick out of the people who claim to be architects but have never led a project or provide any meaningful proof that they have system design or architectural experience under their belt.

It takes me less than five minutes to determine if you can walk the walk when it comes to webMethods.

Ah, but this is just the technical facet.

Next, I look into whether your soft skills or people skills are developed to a level that I can turn you loose with a client. I need people that I can trust to do the right thing. Only experience will give you these assets.

Finally, I try to determine if you can fit into our team up to and including the company vision. This isn't always easy since many of the candidates do not have big 4 experience.

This gets you past the technical and team interviews, although I often pass a candidate over to a colleague to verify my findings.

At least for now, I no longer have to interview and interview and interview.


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