IT Training Tips

IT tech interviews ruined by techies

All in all I've had 4 bad interviews in my career working in IT and all can be attributed to the Techies. I was more than capable of doing these roles I'd been interviewed for, but the Techies at the interviews couldn't see capable if it came and hit them between the eyes.

Four bad interviews may seem a lot of bad interviews but on consideration that I regularly have around 4 interviews a year, it equates over a 10 year period, to only a 10% bad interview rate. In a way I'm glad it's been only 10% and not more, as this would have been very annoying.

Interview preparation wasted

One of the bad interviews I had, was when I applied for a Infrastructure Architect role. A role which I've done as part of the other architect roles I've held many times before.

Not long after applying, I got a call from the recruitment agency who had advertised the role. They told me their client wanted to conduct a face to face interview. So I did the usual giving the days I could do the interview and the relevant times.

Interview practice

The interview was for an investment bank and I spent several days preparing for the role including researching the bank in question. This included coming up with questions to ask and role playing answering the questions I expected from the interviewers.

I spent a lot of time in front of the mirror practising for the interview and was confident going into the interview.

The interview itself was a disaster, I was interviewed by two techies, who devoted the whole interview to application packaging.

They didn't once try to validate my banking experience or actually ask anything relevant to the world of infrastructure such as Storage Area Networks (SAN), Networking, Virtualisation and so on.

Interview professionalism

This time though in comparison to time I let the interviewers know how bad they were, I kept my cool and acted professionally throughout the interview even though inside I was annoyed.

I was older and understood the benefits of remaining professional. Yes, they had wasted my time but if I kept a cool head, who knows whether a better opportunity might arise in the future at this organisation.

The last thing I wanted to do was to burn my bridges and get blacklisted by the techies interviewing me. They could easily complain to their own Human Resources (HR) department about an interview candidate being unprofessional, or aggressive or even too sarcastic. Then this would result in HR keeping details, which could jeopardise future opportunities.

Any questions?

Back to this bad interview, when they asked me if I had any questions, I asked a series of questions which in essence is what they should have asked me, if they'd been competent interviewers themselves.

The questions I asked, validated my experience and aptitude in working in the banking environment but they didn't probably see the irony in me asking these questions.

Instead their world was the box they lived in and outside this box, was completely alien to them. They were looking for someone who was exactly like them, a techie.

Wrong job title

If they'd advertised the role correctly, I would not have applied, especially if it had actually been advertised correctly as an Application Packager instead of being made into something it wasn't.

This isn't something that is rare either, it is quite commonplace where people over dress the opportunity into something it simply isn't.