Deep Fried Bytes : Interview War Stories
So there’s a new podcast in town called Deep Fried Bytes, and it’s put out by Keith Elder and Chris Woodruff. As they descrive it, it’s an audio talk show with a Southern flavor. I heard about it from Jeff Blankenburg’s blog, and although I’m not typically one to listen to podcasts, I figured I’d check it out.
Their intro podcast definitely had me wanting more, and I checked out Episode 2: Interview War Stories. There were a couple of things that came up that I really have to comment on, so if you haven’t heard the podcast, stop reading and go listen to it. Otherwise, continue on.
Overall, I really enjoyed the podcast. It was interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on interviewing and interviews. From interviewing people for who they are (versus SAT questions) to making people cry in interviews to some randomness on chickens, the podcast goes across the board.
Throughout my past experiences, I’ve gone through all sorts of interviews. The most intensive interview involved a test of SAT questions (as Brian Prince called them in the podcast), a test of scenarios to put my knowledge in practice, and for those of us in the top 3, we ended up having to meet with the committee that was filling the position. There were probably 6 people on the committee, including the head of the computing services group. I wasn’t chosen, but to make it in the top 3 for the university position (and to beat out a guy who had the position but left and wanted to come back) was definitely an experience worth going through. I knew a couple of people on the committee, including one who was my boss at the time. He actually had encouraged me to apply, since I was graduating that semester and it would’ve been a way to keep me there. I had also worked with another guy on the committee (who would’ve been the reporting manager for the position they were filling), doing some white hat work, so he was well aware of my work ethic and my technical abilities.
One of the more fun interviews I had was right out of college. The final question stuck out in my mind. “If you were a Muppet, which would you be?” For a technical position, it seemed to be a question totally out of the park, and it took me by surprise. But I answered it, and then shortly after, I joined the team. About a month in, I asked my boss why she asked that question, and she said that it’s her question on judging a person’s character. She had Muppet personalities associated with everyone on the team, and she wanted to make sure that my Muppet personality would fit well with their blend. Apparently they needed a “Statler and Waldorf”, otherwise they wouldn’t have brought me on.
Now in the many interviews I’ve been through, I’ve been lucky enough to not have an interviewer make me cry. They talked about that in the podcast, and it really irritated me that the one guy said he wanted to be “that guy” – the one to make an interviewee cry. Seriously, why would you want to have that reputation? That just seems purely asinine to me, but then again, I’m not the kind of person who’d want to make an interviewee cry.
So yeah, as much as I’m not one for the “all talk” nature of podcasts, I think I might stick with this one, as my discussions with friends have definitely got me wondering more about these guys.