Re: Advice needed for an upcoming interview

Subject: Re: Advice needed for an upcoming interview
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:12:58 -0700

First, all of the responses you've received so far are excellent, with a
special nod to Anne and Tony (but not to exclude others). You are bringing
much to the table, otherwise you would not have gotten this far.

I just went through one of these lengthy interviews, by way of a recruiter
who contacted me out of the blue. (He serves as the company's sole HR
representative, which would have been my first red flag had I known.)

I met with three guys with whom I'd potentially be working. There was
excellent two-way communications, and they were personable. Their
expressions amounted to little more than an understanding of the order of
mathematical operations (*M*y *D*ear *A*unt *S*ally) and a cursory
knowledge of Boolean operatives—no big deal. I then had a potty break at
which point I could leave their office, relieve myself and get a bottled
water at a concession in the building lobby before returning.

First making absolutely certain that my hands were dry (a clammy handshake
can kill one's chances), the fourth and closing interview was with the VP
and co-founder. Here the two-way communication was merely OK, his demeanor,
body language and lack of office decor reinforcing my first impression that
this was a 100% left-brained organization whose management may not mix well
with creative types (like me).

(While I'm very technical, I also draw heavily on my right brain and have
numerous creative marketing credits. I'm also extroverted and like displays
of color. Looking around that set of offices, there was *no* personality on
display. As Tony and others point out, would I feel comfortable *there*?)

Well, I surprisingly passed that round, with the recruiter informing me
that they were "intrigued" by me. (WTH...because they've never met a
Renaissance
man <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_Man> before?)

What killed the deal was a later Skype interview with their chief systems
engineer located in Canada. There is no way that I should have agreed to
this form of interview, but the only way one gets good judgement is by
exercising bad judgement. Never again for that!

The real advice I have for you is to be absolutely certain that the
company—and recruiter, if there is one—knows exactly what they're looking
for and has communicated that to you. If you don't yet know this answer,
that's the most important question for you to ask as you meet with each
individual. And DO ask questions! If unsure what to ask, there are posts
here and at LinkedIn, as well as other job sites, e.g., "What should I ask
of the employer during an
interview?<http://lmgtfy.com/?q=What+should+I+ask+of+the+employer+during+an+interview%3F>
"

Best of luck!

> Chris

On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 7:02 AM, Anonymous <anonymous -at- techwhirl -dot- com> wrote:

> *Please post your responses to the list, as replies cannot be forwarded to
> the anonymous poster.*
>
>
> I have a job interview on Thursday. I documented an embedded version of the
> company's product at a previous position, so I have some familiarity with
> it. But self-doubt begins to creep in as the interview approaches,
> especially since it's scheduled to last 4 hours and includes a technical VP
> and I feel that my technical skills are my weakest attribute (shamefully, I
> don't know any programming languages).
>
> Does anyone have advice for how to endure such a long interview? What kind
> of questions should I be prepared for, especially from the VP and the SE
> that will be interviewing me?
>
> The company's product makes heavy use of both regular expressions and APIs.
> There were recently a couple of threads about good API documentation that
> are good resources. But how about regular expressions? Any suggestions for
> reading up on those?
>
> I am just starting out in this field: if I get this job, it would be only
> my third position as a technical writer, so please excuse these rather
> nervous and fundamental questions. Any other advice, of course, would also
> be greatly appreciated.
>
> Thank you.
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References:
Advice needed for an upcoming interview: From: Anonymous

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