What not to do in a technical job interview (for Gujaratis – India)

Posted by happyhardik on Aug 22, 2012 in Life, Technology

I have personally interviewed about 100 candidates by now in the past 5 years. And some of them were epic, so I am sharing my experience with all the people who pursue a career in IT, giving you insight knowledge about what to and what not to do in an interview or in your resume.

The first experience I would like to discuss is of a guy, who had be unemployed from past four months after graduation and wanted to get a job in PHP. So, here’s the conversation from what I remember:

Me: So, what you have been doing in the past four months, after graduation?

Him: I learned PHP

Me: Can you explain how can I transfer data from one page to another in PHP? [A very simple question for PHP developers]

Him: [After quite a bit of thinking] Cookie

Me: What is contained in the $_GET and $_POST arrays?

Him: [After much of thinking] No idea.

Me: You said you were learning PHP?

Him: Sir, actually PHP was not in our syllabus, and I did project in ASP.NET, so I don’t know much about it, I read some tutorials, that’s it.

Me: Okay, so you learned ASP.NET?

Him: Yes, Sir.

Me: How many types of authentication are there in ASP.NET?

Him: [After much thinking] 2 or 4. Sir, actually I didn’t pay much attention to ASP.NET at that time because I wanted to go in PHP.

Me: So, you don’t know much about ASP.NET because you wanted to go in PHP and you don’t know anything about PHP because that was not in your syllabus? [Claps]

I don’t think I need to explain, why he was not selected. The second biggest epic was a girl from some too data security concerned company or may be just lied.

Me: So, how did you deploy your projects?

Her: Sir, actually we had a senior, who did that for us.

Me: Do you know FTP?

Her: No, I have heard about it

Me: Which server use used for PHP?

Her: Sir, we got a PC with PHP and everything installed.

Me: Do you know HTML?

Her: No Sir. Design was given to us ready made.

Me: Can you write a query for me?

Her: No Sir, Database was handles by another developer.

Me: Can you write a fibonacci series program for me?

Her: No sir, I have not written that kind of program.

No matter what I asked her, either that was not part of her role, or she didn’t wanted to do it. And the third main important thing not to mention is, your experience that you love to mention but is really not useful.

One guy mentioned in his resume for a programming job, that I have an experience of working as a hardware engineer for 1.5 years handling 900 computers. That’s great, but how does it helps in programming?

Last but not the least, the most common problem, happened with many guys:

Me: Can you write a fibonnaci series program for me?

Lot of candidates: Sir, actually I knew the program, but its been years, so I have forgotten it.

Me: Suppose, that fibonnaci series was invented today, and its a new series, for which there is no program written till now, and you are given the job to invent the program for fibonnaci series, then how would you approach towards it?

Log of candidates: [Confused, Offended, Looking at me like I am mad] I don’t know.

The problem here is that you were sent to college to learn programming but not programs. You learned programs and now you forgot them. If you learned programming, you would never forget that and would be able to write any program, any time in your life.

Why, I mentioned Gujaratis in the title, was because I found this problem mostly with gujarati candidates. The outside state candidates were quite more talented than the Gujarati candidates. Mostly because of the competition that they faced.


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