KevinUp

real world programming

How to screw up an interview

Posted by kevinup on August 28, 2008

I’ve been doing some reflecting recently about an interview that I had within the last year. There were various things that went wrong, so he’s my analysis of what I screwed up.

I didn’t do the proper research into the company. They had a software product, and when asked about it, I couldn’t intelligently talk about it. That didn’t really convey that I actually wanted to work there.

My next piece of advice is: brush up on computer science concepts and definitions. When asked about a semaphore, the only thing I could think about was, it had something to do with threads. I was sitting right next to my laptop, thinking I could easily get onto Wikipedia. But the little angel on my shoulder was telling me not to do it.

I remember talking about how NHibernate was freaking awesome, or at least better than writing your own custom DAL. The person interviewing me stopped and said something like ‘We write our own DAL, what do you think about that?’ I wasn’t sure what to think about that. It felt like a step backwards, and my answer to his question reflected something along those lines. He then asked, tell me how you implement a datareader. ‘Crap’ It had been so long that I’d had to think about what NHibernate was doing for me, that I couldn’t properly describe it. I fumbled out something about an IDataReader, and a command object, but the question was pretty much going down the tubes. I could practically hear my resume flying into the trashcan.

The moral of the story; don’t go into an interview thinking you know everything. Spend a little time preparing for it, because it will go a long way.

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