Re: Interview questions (was: Re: Lying applicant)

Subject: Re: Interview questions (was: Re: Lying applicant)
From: JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:51:16 EDT

In a message dated 9/21/98 11:30:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
bob -dot- johnson -at- CELERITYSOLUTIONS -dot- COM writes:

<< Jim Chevallier recalled having an applicant who claimed to be an
expert in Word, but begged off answering any questions. <snip>
ust because someone's an
expert does not mean they know everything about the tool. >>

Absolutely. In fact, I doubt I would be able to ask anyone else "everything"
about Word. But you should know what a section is and how to use it, what a
bookmark is, etc. With Word 97 in particular, not knowing that automatic
numbering is a problem makes me question how much someone has actully used the

As it happens, as that particular interview progressed, the person tried to
emphasize how difficult one problem was by saying "We had to bring in this
really highly paid expert on Word to solve it." So obviously his OWN idea of
his expertise was relative.

Another advantage of asking detailed questions is simply to get an idea of how
the person handles being challenged. Having worked with writers who snap at
anyone who tries to show them a new technique (or properly use one they're
already convinced they know), I definitely want to know that a writer can
handle a close look at their methods.

Above all, the fact of not knowing something can be as positive (or not) as
knowing it - if you admit it. I was far more comfortable with candidates who
said "I've never done that" than those who tried to convince me they knew
something almost as good.

But I certainly didn't mean to imply that I was seeking comprehensive
knowledge of a complex product. Just that certain specific questions are
quickly indicative of how much real experience people have had with a product.
And they should be asked.

Jim Chevallier
North Hollywood

Improved!! -
New!! Pictures of Paris!!
TW page -

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