What Don't You Know?

A lot of you guys on this form are at the point in your career where you're the ones interviewing people. Do you guys come up with your own questions, or is there a standardized interview packet that the company gives you? Are there any behavioral/technical questions that if someone asked you, you wouldn't be able to answer?

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Comments (14)

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Mar 14, 2019 - 9:02pm

large disparity between interestingness of title & post

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Mar 14, 2019 - 9:33pm
Sunshine Funshine:

A lot of you guys on this form are at the point in your career where you're the ones interviewing people. Do you guys come up with your own questions, or is there a standardized interview packet that the company gives you? Are there any behavioral/technical questions that if someone asked you, you wouldn't be able to answer?

We don't have any kind of standardized packet, I mostly make up my own questions. They're not unique or inspiring in any way.

The questions themselves almost don't matter. Unless someone can't answer anything, which shows you that they couldn't (or wouldn't) spend the time necessary to learn the basic elements of competency for that role -- I don't want to spend time asking things that someone can prepare for. I'm much more concerned with what people are like and what they will continue to be like under pressure or stressful situations.

When I ask behavioral questions, I'm not even really listening to the response. I'm watching body language and hearing if the story is easy to follow and makes sense. We can all tell if an answer is canned and rehearsed, so I try to ask questions that aren't on the short list of things you would have prepared beforehand.

I had the following exchange with an interviewer in business school, after a long case study that left me mentally fried:

Interviewer: So what's your favorite movie?
Layne: Uhh... Gladiator!
silence
Interviewer: ...you know that I don't actually care what movie it is, but rather why it is that's your favorite movie, right?
Layne: RIGHT. YES. Uhh... (some stupid explanation)

He had the right idea. I got the job, surprisingly.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
  • 6
Mar 14, 2019 - 10:20pm

Always start with the Rumsfeld Matrix

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."

Mar 20, 2019 - 2:22pm

At any large bank or F500 company with an established HR (read soul crushing HR), they will have a standard set of questions used to equally compare candidates across different interviewers. Of course, the interviewer can go off script and add in their own questions.

I don't have any "gotcha" questions that I go to. I mostly ask about their background, what they want out of their career, likes/dislikes - generic shit like that. I don't really care if they are smart enough to do the job - anyone can learn anything. I'm more worried about how they'll be in a day-to-day office environment. No one wants to sit down the hall from that weird kid doing wind sprints like their favorite anime character.

Mar 20, 2019 - 6:56pm

Work at a F500. Interview for my directorate... I go off script most of the time. I don't care if you know X, Y, and Z. You should know those to get to the interview. I want to make sure that who I hire isn't an asshole and can meld into the team. Don't BS y'all. Be you. More likely than not, you'll get the job. Fake smells awful.

Mar 21, 2019 - 11:43am

When my director asks me to do interviews, his primary interest is that the person knows the products we use and that they can hit the ground running with little or no additional training on the most heavily utilized products.

My primary interest is similar to trustmeimanengineer - the person being interviewed is going to work closely with me and the rest of our team, I ask questions that relate to how they not only handle a particular request, but how they handle people, how they manage expectations, how much they're both willing to learn as well as share their own particular skills. I try to gauge what can stress them out. Also try to get a sense of what weaknesses skill-set-wise they have that we might be willing to overlook if their personality is a good mesh for the team mix.

Also, while we are all generalists, we all have certain specialties and strengths, so I often look for people that may help fill out a knowledge gap we have.

Mar 22, 2019 - 6:39am

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