Weird Interviews Programmers Must Endure

Mel is busy interviewing new developers. As you may remember, he was the only developer left in the company…

Let’s hope for him that he finds someone who can help him to untangle all this mess and give his company sort of a re-start – maybe it’ll be Sophia:

Interview, programming, DevOps

Job Interviews Turning into Consulting Gigs

Interviews can be funny. At times you get there and have to answer irrelevant questions – never mind the screening process on the phone. This fellow programmer who was flown out to Los Gatos in California for Netflix recalls:

 A few years ago I interviewed with Netflix.  I had two technical phone screens. One with the engineering manager and another with a senior engineer on their team. Those went smoothly so I was asked to fly out to Los Gatos, CA.

I was supposed to talk first with the senior engineer but they placed someone else last minute. In walks a guy in a fedora with full tattoo sleeves. He glances at my resume and laughs saying he hasn’t looked at it at all and really knows nothing about me.

This guy asked me detailed questions about certain programming languages I was very clear with them on the phone that I’ve played around with those, but I hadn’t used them to any serious degree. Fedora man continued inquiring for a while about exactly those programming languages until we shook hands and he left. The engineering manager came back in and basically escorted me out. He said I was good but that I wasn’t what they were looking for. I’ve had some retarded interview experiences but that one took the cake.

Here is a Quora user who shares with the crowd how his initial interview turned into a consulting gig:

A long time ago, I was interviewing for a programmer’s job and one of the interviewers asked me an unusually specific question. I don’t remember what it was, but it seemed strange to me that he would ask something so esoteric. As I listed potential ways to solve the problem, he was like, “tried that. That didn’t work…” Soon it became clear that this wasn’t a canned interview question, but rather, he was asking me to help him with a problem he was actually stuck on. We went over to his workstation and figured out the problem together and got it to work. I got the job.

No Shows at Interviews

We programmers always think that we are exposed to weird scenarios. After chatting with our head of HR here at Typemock, I learned that memorable interviews can happen to everyone. What struck me most were some of the excuses some use for not showing up for an interview. The ‘weak’ excuses she recollected were somehow similar to the following list I found.

Our favorites were:

#1 I’ve just had my front door kicked off 
#2 Waiting for an online delivery 
#3 Water pipes were stolen 
#4 Diarrhoea / last minute illness
#5 A tragedy in the family that is so terrible it’s too painful to discuss any details
#6 My train is stuck in a tunnel and I have no signal
#7 I fell asleep / my alarm didn’t go off
#8 I woke up feeling confused
#9 My car broke down
#10 My wife has a headache
#11 I had a particularly bad curry last night
#12 I normally use wash-n-go but today I had to use shampoo and conditioner separately so it took longer to shower this morning so I’m late.
#13 I’m locked in my house

Which ones do you like the best? And what job interview anecdotes can you tell? Leave a comment!

Read more #TypemockComics

Familiarize yourself with the complete comic series:

Part 1: Typemock Comic: Developer Hell 2.0

Part 2: Typemock Comic Developer Hell 2.0 – Decisions Can’t be Googled

Part 3: Unproductive Meetings in an Agile World

Part 4: The Java Experience with Incompetent Co-workers

Part 5: About Project Managers and Programmers

Part 6: Weird Interviews Programmers Must Endure

Part 7: Fluent in C++ and CAT