Re: Interview Questions

Subject: Re: Interview Questions
From: Dave Whelan <dwhelan -at- PANGEA -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 13:37:32 -0500

>I had a Director of Engineering once who always asked "what's your most
>favorite thing to do?" and "what's your least favorite thing to do?"
>Answers could be either work or non-work related.
>He vetoed a TW candidate once because she said her most favorite thing
>to do was "go dancing." His theory was that she would probably be out
>dancing all night every night and would come dragging in the next
>morning. Funny thing is that about a year later I ran into someone who
>worked with her, and guess what?? She was late almost every morning
>because she had been out partying all night. She was also totally wasted
>when she got there and would fall asleep at her desk on a regular basis.
>So I guess some of these questions do have some relevance...

Just because this question, at this time, with this job candidate, proved to
have some relevance, I think it's the exception to the rule. In my
experience, questions about cannonballs and the like usually come from
unskilled interviewers conducting preliminary interviews. Anyone who has
experience in interviewing for jobs can play these games when they have to,
but there are more intelligent ways of finding out whether an interviewee is
curious, will relate to well to people, and would generally fit in, without
asking stupid questions.

When you are interviewed by serious technical interviewers they are usually
more concerned with your technical ability to do the job. Come to think of
it, this is one of the reasons I like contracting -- I don't have to go
through this nonsense very often. When I meet with a potential new client,
their sole concern is whether they can trust me to do the job on time and on
budget. This makes for a serious, focused, and intelligent interview


David P. Whelan,
Whelan Technical Services (204) 334-1339
mailto:dwhelan -at- pangea -dot- ca

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