19. October 2007, 10:04, by Silvan Mühlemann

Five ways to impress at the job interview

Job interview

As CTO I often have to do job interviews. Recently, I spent two days interviewing candidates for our tilllate development center Belgrade (Yes, I am one of these brave CTOs having a distributed team :-)). So here’s five tips to impress your employer of your dreams:

Keep a low profile!

Andy writes in his CV that he’s "extemely experienced in OOP". And when I ask him why he thinks he’s so experienced OOP he tells me: "My biggest class has 25’000 lines.". Ooops. God class. Classical Antipattern. Not only he showed that he has no idea of good OOP coding style. But also he cannot judge his own skills. Once at your company he’ll be the guy grabbing every cool project but then not finishining due to missing skills. Zap. Disqualified.


Blog!

Bert is a regular blogger: He mentions the URL in his CV so before the interview I go look at it. Wow, he developed some cool Javascript Widgets using ExtJS! Nice, he’s voulonteering in a taxi service for handicapped people! He’s a cool guy. I have a positive impression of him. So I positively biased at the interview. I can trust him, because having a personal blog shows he’s open.

Be on Time!

Chris came five minutes late. He did not call before. His shirt hat sweat marks in the armpit region. And suddenly the room started to smell funny. It was not the Fondue-Restaurant downstairs. Basic job application skills: Be there half an hour in advance.

Be interested!

Daniel thought tilllate is a local Website operation only in the greater Zurich area. Zap. Disqualified. He obviously never visited our site. No interest in our company. I guess he’s not really interested in tilllate as a company. Why did he apply in the first place? Just because we promise "good salary" in the ad?

Be honest!

Earl admitted that he flunked the final exams at the University. "I build this trading card app with my buddy. So I was not focussing enough on my exams. It was a mistake.". So what? He showed me the code of it: Wow. Clean MVC. Slick user interface. 5000 visitors in the first week. First, he’s able to admint that he made a mistake. He’s not hiding anything. Then: The cool app he programmed outweighs the failure at the exams. (Do you know that I quit my diploma thesis after one month to be able to focus on programming tilllate.com? :-))

Filed under: Management

2 Comments

  1. good points!
    though you log in (wherever this may be) as “admin” ;-)
    “First, he’s able to admin that…” -> “First, he’s able to admiT that…”
    I do also have that problem sometimes :-)

    Comment by Lukas Felber — 20. October 2007 @ 12:20

  2. “Basic job application skills: Be there half an hour in advance.”

    By far too early, gee. You have to be on time for an interview. Maybe 3 minutes or less too early. But not more.

    Comment by anonymous — 7. November 2007 @ 23:59

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