What Do Interviewing Managers Think?

It’s interview day. You’re dressed to the nines and you’ve followed every tidbit of advice you could glean from business magazines and your peers. You walk into the conference room and, even though the air conditioning is cranked, you’re sweating. If you only knew what the interviewer was thinking.

Surprise. The first thought that often crosses an interviewer’s mind isn’t likely to be about how you’re dressed – unless you’re wearing a pants suit last seen in the 1970s flick Saturday Night Fever.

"We’re praying that you’re going to be the right person for the job," says Cathy Fyock, the director of recruiting for consultant Resources Global Professionals, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and author of five books including The Truth About Hiring the Best. "We’ve probably already talked to lots and lots of candidates. What we really want is for the next person who walks through the door to be the right one."

That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook by any means, so don’t get all laid back about your clothes. Because, "the next thought is about how the interviewee is dressed," says Fyock. "We are looking for someone who looks like a professional."

Dress Right

Too often, candidates – particularly those who are unemployed – appear for an interview wearing less-than-appropriate clothing. "We’ve had people come in wearing flip flops and worn out, frayed pajama pants," says Sandy Allgeier, a former corporate HR executive and author of The Personal Credibility Factor. "What we’re thinking is, if you can’t make a good judgment call when it comes to interview attire, chances are you might not make good judgment calls all around."

And while business casual might be company policy, an interview is not the place for khakis. "People aren’t dressing as formally for interviews as they did 15 or 20 years ago, but that’s a mistake," Allgeier says. "Look as polished and professional as you have the ability to look."

Next, the interviewer is looking for a candidate who’s done his or her homework. "I’m appalled at the number of people who come for an interview that haven’t even gone to the company¿s Web site," Fyock says. "It’s inexcusable."

She recommends candidates identify issues and trends in the industry. "You need to do a lot of thinking in advance of an interview," she explains. "Go over the job posting and brainstorm the kinds of competencies the hiring manager is looking for, from attention to detail and communication skills to an ability to lead or be a team player. Then, think about your achievements on the job and how they link to those qualities."

Don’t Be Late

"Being late is simply unacceptable," Allgeier warns. "Interviewers don’t get over the fact that you’re running behind, even if there is a major accident on the freeway. People who are serious about a job scope out the location in advance – two hours or even the day before," she adds. "When you do that extra legwork, not only are you on time for the interview, but you’re not all stressed out when you get there."

Finally, if there’s bad blood between you and your current or past employers, keep it to yourself. "Don¿t badmouth your past supervisors, employers or coworkers," Fyock says.

She recalls an interview where she asked the candidate to describe a conflict he’d had at his current place of employment. "He told me three stories, and every case had ended up in a lawsuit," she says. That was the kiss of death. "I’m not about to hire someone with conflict management issues – someone who is potentially going to sue my organization."

Amy Rauch Neilson is a business writer based in Belleville, Mich.

Comments

  1. BY Dennis Black says:

    Amy,

    This is a good solid article, and I would like to re-emphasize one point you made and that the candidate should come prepared to discuss the linkage between his/her experience and the competencies the hiring manager is looking for.

    Additionally the candidate should have a list of questions to ask about the position and company.

    Thanks,
    Dennis

  2. BY mr.rodman.nelson says:

    I read your article and I was amused about my interviewing experience with a large airline company. I was impeccably dressed like a business professional and I came 15 minutes early for the 9:00 am interview. I was dismayed that my interview started 20 mins late primarily because one of the interviewers arrived late. I noticed that one of the interviewers wore an old sweatshirt and pants that looked dirty and smelly. That person happened to be one of the executive managers. In one of my questions, I asked how formal was their organization and that person answered, “how am I dressed?”. Of course I wasn’t referring to his attire, but to their organizational culture and procedures. In my mind, I thought that he was trying to be funny and that he was simple minded. I was dismayed by their unprofessional and unbusinesslike demeanor.

  3. BY Chad says:

    To all of my fellow unemployed job seekers: I have found that it is more and more common for companies to ask me to take a technical assessment, even though I have plenty of experience. These tests are generally quite humbling because they tend to ask about rather obscure topics. What I have started doing in my spare time is reading certification sample tests. Managers generally don’t dream up their own questions, they simply jump online and copy/paste.

  4. BY Ousmane says:

    If you only apply for jobs you like or have a strong interest in and are not just looking for a paycheck you will most likely automatically have all the answers needed.

    For the Developping Beat up on HR thread.
    HR “if you are not familiar with the field do not try and guess pass the submission to the hiring manager”.
    This is from personal experience I would have missed out on one of the best jobs I have had If I had not insisted in talking to the hiring manager.
    Here is extract of the conversation with HR.
    HR: Are you familiar with the internet?
    Yes, I can setup an ISP.
    HR: Your resume says nothing about telnet,ftp or www.
    May I speak to the hiring manger or your boss.
    (Note: accepted offer letter 3 days later)

    Technical departments in some companies have opted to bypass their HR departments sending them
    pre-screened candidates for formality.

  5. BY Tom K says:

    As several other posters have concluded, there isn¿t really any single master strategy or technique that will guarantee success in an interview, though there is a long list of things that will guarantee failure.

    The interviewers are looking to answer the question ¿Does this person fit in with us?¿ before they answer the question ¿Can this person do the work we need?¿

    There is no benefit to interviewers for giving honest feedback to rejected candidates, and there is some possible risk to them in doing so. A lack of response is usually the only indicator most companies will give of a rejection. You can only move on to the next prospect and keep up multiple live prospects at the same time.

  6. BY Tom K says:

    Most people on an interview panel appear to have pressing issues from their “real” job and seem to want to get back to that job as soon as possible. Sometimes they want to talk about their job more than they want to question the candidate. That is a good situation for the candidate.

    Good interviews for me (ones which resulted in a job offer) have always been 30-60 minutes with a hiring manager and 15-30 minutes apiece with any other members of an interview panel.

    Most organizations that I have encountered are sluggish, with a 4-8 day reaction cycle, so waiting two days for a response is within reason. A follow-up call or e-mail within 5 days can make a helpful difference too. A lack of response within two weeks usually means rejection ¿ unless there was a major holiday during that period.

  7. BY Daniel Beck says:

    Hmm. I suppose this helps some. I’ve had mixed success. Dress code: Most employers were actually happy with my business suit I had worn, but I had one employer I applied to actually tell me that I seemed to orderly and overdressed and were concerned I was too structured for their business. I’ve had another business also tell me that they were pleased I dressed appropriately for the interview… and I was wearing the same suit. I also agree with the straightforward answers from interviewers. If they aren’t interested, I want to know. The only time I’ve ever had straight answers was when I was actually being considered for a position, but I am like the person above who stated they would appreciate a “no” just as much as a “yes”.

  8. BY Shamun Mahmud says:

    Amy,
    It is surprising that more people don’t dress appropriately at interviews.

  9. BY Nigel says:

    You never really know your interviewer until you are sitting right in front of them. All you can do is be the best you can and do your homework. Should people have to dumb down their resumes? Everyone needs to be honest, and that starts from the top. Don’t post the job, if you know you are going to hire a relatave. It’s cruel to interview people and then send out emails that the position has been “canceled”. Honesty goes a long way, just read the comments and you’ll see that. Yes, some feelings might get hurt, but if the hiring company sees something during the interview process, why not let the candidate know? They might be able to fix it. Jason, great comment! Jeff, I’m sorry to hear about your struggles, but, everything happens for a reason. Check craigslist, kijiji, elance, elancer, getafreelancer and sologig websites, for little jobs that can keep you a float until something better comes along. Best of luck to everyone out there, that’s looking for work.

  10. BY Jason says:

    I have to comment about this ridiculous topic of what to wear on an interview. If you “lose points” or appear “too structured” by wearing a business suit, then it’s a moronic company and idiotic interviewer, plain and simple. If they are willing to cast you aside simply because you were willing to put on your “Sunday best” for them in order to show respect and make a good impression, then just think of how petty they will be if you were hired. Geesh, it’s so ridicuous to even discuss such a thing.
    “Wanted: slacker looking non-conformist who does not care about personal hygiene, clean clothes or hair cuts…must be able to discuss ridiculously abstract and programming concepts and theory that in no way indicates or represents your value to the company or how well you can architect and deliver a customer solution.”

  11. BY TJS says:

    After reading about 20 or so comments, have to say I was really impressed with the outflow from job seekers. I had the bad luck to move to a new state, thinking my 25+yrs in tech, 15yrs in mgt would make the job hunt easier. It hasn’t the things mentioned in the article are long time common sense things taught to college seniors 30 yrs ago. I too have applied to jobs I did successfully in some cases 5-10 yrs ago with almost perfect match to requirements only to learn I did not make the final cut. It makes you wonder how we are being evaluated. I’d like to hear from people in the senior IT ranks about how they are coping with this or effectively getting in the door. The comments are on target, HR rarely has the understanding necessary to evaluate whether or not there is a fit based on having the right words on the resume. One last thing, I’ve found a lot of job removed, no longer open in the job websites as well. Are they real jobs or ways for recruiters to cull more resumes?

  12. BY JimG says:

    I’d suggest one further tidbit: **Lose your cellphone**. Don’t even think about answering it, texting on it, or having it even remotely make a discernable sound!

  13. BY jerry says:

    I too am in the senior ranks of IT, with a total of 26+ years experience. I have done everything from programming to being a manager, have excellent references, and many major accomplishments. It has been over a year since I lost my job due to company closure, and although I have applied for countless jobs, I haven’t had one single interview, or even a return contact.

    I am glad to see that I am not alone. I am certain my age has a lot to do with it. Apparently, most managers think that if you are past 30 you cant develop a new idea or generate a cognizant thought of your own.

    Personally, I’m starting to think that these internet job boards are just a big joke. The hiring managers post jobs on them to make it look like they are doing something, then just select candidates from a stack of resumes that they already have in house.

  14. BY Chris says:

    Count me among the posters that are tired of the runaround that has become so common in interviewing. I have come to the conclusion that trying to find a job is like playing the dating circuit. When you are in an interview situation I believe that people are under the impression that they are being nice by giving false hope to the candidate. Like meeting someone at a bar that says, “Wow, your cool. Let’s get together sometime. I’LL CALL YOU.” In the same regard you may think that you just had a great interview. You wait for a call back. Even a rejection, but people wimp out and avoid the conflict of giving you closure. I believe that the job hunt must be approached as a full time job itself. Don’t bank on the one or two great interviews that you had to start putting yourself out there again. Keep applying and interviewing until you find the right fit. Don’t worry, someone will slip up and give you a shot…… I hope for my own sake anyway!

  15. BY Gwen H says:

    The title of this article is very misleading. You offered the 3 basics interview facts that every professional should already know. First, as an IT professional, you need to get past the HR professionals that only have the ability to match the keywords on your resume, hence, make sure you have as many key words as possible. Also, since most HR recruiters do NOT know comparable technologies and terminology, you should add this to the resume. If you can get past the HR recruiter, and beyond the basics, ask the person scheduling your interview subtle questions about the personalities you will be interviewing with and gage your approach accordingly. You are most likely going up against others with the very same skill set as yourself so you better have something to offer that is going to make you stand out frm the rest.

  16. BY Bruce says:

    “People aren’t dressing as formally for interviews as they did 15 or 20 years ago, but that’s a mistake,” Allgeier says. I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve worked as a tech for 20 years and worn jeans and a polo shirt to work just about every day. I own one suit I wear to weddings and funerals. I’ve also worn it to job interviews–and never got the job. I hate suits, I’m uncomfortable in suits, and I look uncomfortable in a suit. I don’t look “professional,” whatever the hell that means. Professional is conduct, not appearances. What I do is email ahead and ask about attire. I say, “do you want the full monkey suit, or will Dockers and a polo shirt do. I have NEVER been asked to wear the suit. Oh, and I get work too.

  17. BY Clifford Gratz says:

    Nakia:

    I think your situation might be measurably improved if you learned to write a letter/e-mail that is gramatically correct. You have used improper grammer in several occasions and this does not go over well.

  18. BY Tom Bostock says:

    It may be trite but it is also true, “You never get a second opportunity to make a first impression.” Being prepared by dressing properly and researching your potential employer can be what separates you from the other applicants. It is the same as in writing, you need to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

    Come prepared to ask appropriate questions and demonstrate your knowledge of your potential employer’s business. When I was in HR, I quickly learned that it was sometimes not the most qualified but the best prepared applicant that ultimately got the job.

    Remember, if you are called for an interview, they want to see you. Relax and enjoy it. It may be the cover letter and resume that gets the interview but it is the interview and the impression that you make that gets the job.

  19. BY JC says:

    I work in tech and I don’t think it is necessary to were a full blown suit. We interviewed VP level candidates and many come right from work. Nice slacks and dress shirt look fine and allow the candidate to be more relaxed. No tie necessary.

  20. BY Aviv says:

    And also never hurts, know someone from the work place…

  21. BY Russ D says:

    The rule that I have read and heard re-iterated elsewhere is ; “always dress better for the interview than the work environment requires”. This may have been easy to suss when applying for a machinists or welders job, but IT environments vary from tie and slacks in financial and legal environs to t shirt and jeans in startups. So this can be a major reason to visit the companies site and head to the ‘about us’ section, or even better find their blog!
    HR being honest? good luck! I have heard from some hiring managers that they only interview people to satisfy the requirements of the H1B visa process. IE prove that there isnt enough local talent to satisfy their requirements so they must sponsor someone from abroad. I was told this at an interview!
    Also, even though you have emailed them a nice PDF of your resume, bting a copy, I even bring a thumb drive with my CV, salary history etc on it.

  22. BY j says:

    I find interviewers and hiring managers in at least two instance unprofessional. i interviewed for a major investment bank in NYC and the hiring manager didn’t even bother to leave his desk to meet me at the elevators or answer his phone while i was waiting at the closed glass door! i got in eventually and found him in his office sitting at his desk with supposidly a ‘production’ problem. sorry,… sorry he said. why to you assume that the people doing the hiring are professional? big mistake. good for me though, i wouldn’t want to work for such a manager…

  23. BY Robert says:

    Every job seeker and every HR / Recruiting employee should read and absorb this aritcle and especially the comments. This is therapy for those seeking work. Great but saddening insight to todays job search plight. Yes, it might seem confusing to make up your mind as to how to proceed with a job search after reading these because of the diversity of comments and suggestions but it also gives you ammunition (do your research before the interview would seemingly be the best advice). Otherwise, I think each side (both job seeker and job provider) need to understand these are extrordinarily bad economic times and that more honesty in business is the only way out. (lying and cheating got us into all this…remember?)Both sides need to come to the table as if the person being interviewed has already gotten the joband will now be working with you. Whould you say you’ll get back to them or that they’re just what your looking for and then never call them again? GIVE HONEST ASSESSMENTS AND PROVIDE HONEST EXPECTATIONS!! One last thing about interviews I notice is that few if any questions are actually about the specific job being intervierwed for…what gives?

  24. BY On Rquest says:

    I think the dress code commentary is spot off. Showing up for an interview at a casual place in anything other than your normal work clothes is the kiss of death. Happened to me when I went into a Mozilla interview in a business suit. You have to gauge it to the organization. If you are on the west coast a tie will often get you on the “not working with that cretin” list. On the east coast you’d better have an undershirt on under your dress shirt. And woe betide you if your hose don’t match your tie.

  25. BY RB says:

    There are a lot of good points that have been made here. From what I’ve experience there are so many variables that come into play when searching for a job or hiring for one. Here is something else to consider: First, a manager’s job is to make money for the company. Every position has a certain bill rate and from that bill rate you have to find someone not only with the right skills and abilities, but you have to try to match their salary requirements as well as make money for the company. Sometimes you might be in the unfortunate situation where you have a fixed-price contract where the years will go by and your bill rates stay the same. So you’ll have to consider how to give that new employee their yearly increases without exhausting your bill rate. If you have candidates with equal skill sets in front of you, you might have to choose the cheaper of the two. Let’s face it, if you see a the latest and greatest Sony Vaio laptop at Sam’s Club for $800 and Best Buy has the same one with the same features for $700, which one are you going to choose? In the state of this economy, everyone’s trying to save a buck, companies included.

    Second, you might have one open position and numerous candidates. You’ve narrowed it down to two people both with equal and/or exceptional amounts of experience and skill. You have to find eliminating factors. Aside from technical skill, I look for behavioral traits and work ethic. Since interviews are the candidates’ time to shine, I look at how they articulate what’s written on their resume, how they respond to situational questions, and how their personality shines through. The candidate who is more impressive gets the job.

    Third, sometimes a candidate will be in the right place at the right time. You’ve got a position that needs to be filled and it needs to be filled – yesterday. You might not have the time to go through many people and the person you just interviewed had a decent resume, was well-mannered/spoken, had salary requirements that fit the budget, and could start right away. Problem solved.

    I¿ve also been on the other side of the fence where I¿ve had to take temp jobs that paid less and were not as technically fulfilling or this that and the other. But I had rent and bills to pay, so I put my ego aside and did what I had to survive.

    Anyway, there are many other situations and factors that I could mention, but I think this is enough for now. I hope this was insightful.

  26. BY RB says:

    A) There are a lot of good points that have been made here. From what I’ve experience there are so many variables that come into play when searching for a job or hiring for one. Here is something else to consider: First, a manager’s job is to make money for the company. Every position has a certain bill rate and from that bill rate you have to find someone not only with the right skills and abilities, but you have to try to match their salary requirements as well as make money for the company. Sometimes you might be in the unfortunate situation where you have a fixed-price contract where the years will go by and your bill rates stay the same. So you’ll have to consider how to give that new employee their yearly increases without exhausting your bill rate. If you have candidates with equal skill sets in front of you, you might have to choose the cheaper of the two. Let’s face it, if you see a the latest and greatest Sony Vaio laptop at Sam’s Club for $800 and Best Buy has the same one with the same features for $700, which one are you going to choose? In the state of this economy, everyone’s trying to save a buck, companies included.

  27. BY RB says:

    A) There are a lot of good points that have been made here. From what I’ve experience there are so many variables that come into play when searching for a job or hiring for one. Here is something else to consider: First, a manager’s job is to make money for the company. Every position has a certain bill rate and from that bill rate you have to find someone not only with the right skills and abilities, but you have to try to match their salary requirements as well as make money for the company. Sometimes you might be in the unfortunate situation where you have a fixed-price contract where the years will go by and your bill rates stay the same. So you’ll have to consider how to give that new employee their yearly increases without exhausting your bill rate. If you have candidates with equal skill sets in front of you, you might have to choose the cheaper of the two.

  28. BY RB says:

    B) you might have one open position and numerous candidates. You’ve narrowed it down to two people both with equal and/or exceptional amounts of experience and skill. You have to find eliminating factors. Aside from technical skill, I look for behavioral traits and work ethic. Since interviews are the candidates’ time to shine, I look at how they articulate what’s written on their resume, how they respond to situational questions, and how their personality shines through. The candidate who is more impressive gets the job.

  29. BY RB says:

    C) sometimes a candidate will be in the right place at the right time. You’ve got a position that needs to be filled and it needs to be filled – yesterday. You might not have the time to go through many people and the person you just interviewed had a decent resume, was well-mannered/spoken, had salary requirements that fit the budget, and could start right away. Problem solved.

  30. BY RB says:

    D) I¿ve also been on the other side of the fence where I¿ve had to take temp jobs that paid less and were not as technically fulfilling or this that and the other. But I had rent and bills to pay, so I put my ego aside and did what I had to survive.

    Anyway, there are many other situations and factors that I could mention, but I think this is enough for now. I hope this was insightful.

  31. BY DM says:

    I’m an IT Director – read “hiring manager” – but I’ve been on the other side of this often enough (I consulted for quite a while). For one hiring manager¿s perspective: (1) there is no single magic bullet; every manager and HR screener is different. I am very technical and have a different perspective than some of my peers (and friends) who are less so, even for positions that are posted nearly identically. Clothing, resume, interpreting responses ¿ all seen differently. (2) I am very sensitive to the fact that this is a person¿s life, not something trivial. The bottom line: only one person gets the job. Do what you can to make that be you. (3) I work hard to give people honest feedback, but there are HR restrictions on what I can say. If you¿re clearly not a fit I will make sure you know. If you¿re a strong candidate I¿ll let you know, but I need to make sure you stay interested while I evaluate other candidates. (Does that make it worse to be 2nd v 50th?) (4) I despise when we don¿t get back to you when we say we will, but I certainly screw up sometimes and HR will, too. My personal take ¿ if you¿re good, be yourself. If not, ???

  32. BY DM says:

    I’m an IT Director – “hiring manager” – but I’ve been on the other side of this, too. For one hiring manager¿s perspective: (1) there is no magic bullet; every manager is different. I¿m very technical with a different perspective than some of my peers who are less so. Clothing, resume, interpreting responses ¿ all seen differently. (2) I¿m sensitive to the fact that this is a person¿s life, not something trivial. The bottom line: only one person gets the job. Do what you can to make that be you. (3) I work hard to give people honest feedback, but there are some HR restrictions. If you¿re clearly not a fit I will make sure you know. If you¿re a strong candidate I¿ll let you know, but I need to make sure you stay interested while I evaluate other candidates. (Does that make it worse to be 2nd v 50th?) (4) I despise when we don¿t get back to you when we say we will, but I certainly screw up sometimes and HR will, too. My personal take ¿ if you¿re good, be yourself. If not, ???

  33. BY Rich Morrison says:

    Amy, this article is dead on. First impressions make a big deal subconsciously, even if its not the interviewer’s first thought when you walk in the door. This should be made in to a pamphlet titled Interviewing 101 and given out to all college kids and unemployed people at the career/workforce offices.

  34. BY KMorstain says:

    All earlier posts have there good points and bad.

    You need to dress appropriately, know the company, know your resume, know the position, and be prepared with your answers.

    All this assumes that you even get a shot at an interview. Some say target the companies and be willing to take temp or contract.

    My experience thus far is that the big O unemployment climbing has reduced the ability for people to find any job much less one they are qualified for.

    You need to network with anyone and everyone. Apply whenever and wherever you can and leave the rest up to God.

  35. BY Tony Giaccone says:

    In fact this whole article is totally irrelevant. If you’re not dressed reasonably and on time you’re never going to be successful in your job search. However, these are the absolute minimum requirements.

    What matters more is how well do you understand the field. How strong is your ability to show me you understand programming and the technical requirements of the position I’m trying to fill. I will admit that I’m slightly different then most managers. I don’t care if you have experience with what ever XYZ technology we’re working with. What I want to see is a good ability to understand abstract concepts, basic programming knowledge and for where I am now, a solid understanding of a programming language and OO technology.

  36. BY ethriftsale says:

    Let’s not forget reading directions. I posted a job out on craigslist that required candidates to do something specific. I had several people who probably didn’t speak English not take the right steps at all and then I had at least one or two who spoke perfect English argue with me about how to do it and one even scoffed at what I was paying and the process then had the nerve to ask “so will you interview me?”

  37. BY Anonymous Coward says:

    I just skimmed over the article and this is what I got:
    Q: What Do Interviewing Managers Think? A:
    Dress Right,
    Don’t Be Late.

    –Wow! Is that it?

  38. BY B J says:

    I agree Anonymous. This article is so basic it is a waste of everyone’s time. It makes me not want to read articles that Dice directs me to. If the book is anything like the article, it is a waste of people’s money.

  39. BY B J says:

    Lynn M – They string you along because they are gutless and don’t want to hear your rants.

  40. BY Mike says:

    This is a good article but interviewees are not the only ones who make mistakes. Hiring Managers can do a better job of spelling out the req for the position to ensure that they get the quality candidates they are looking for. If the req is too vague then you get too many applicants. The worst is a confusing req that asks for certain skill sets on the application and once you are in the interview, the hiring manager is looking for something totally different. This tends to happen at larger companies where reqs go through another department.

  41. BY Phil says:

    All that information regarding the candidate is fine but some honesty on the part of the interviewer would be more than appreciated.
    I hate it when they say they will call you next week or at the end of the week and you never hear from them.
    Years ago I had an interview with the medical division of S_ _ _ Y. The Director of Sales said he would not be making a decision for three weeks…at 3 weeks I called him and he said he needed more time. The following week I received a drop dead letter from HR.
    I called him and he said he had in fact been interviewing and he would not be moving forward with me. A month later, I received a call asking me if I could fly to New Jersey for final interviews. I did and got the job. Ultimately the man who horrible to work for and was ultimately demoted then fired.
    Companies need to be honest and say….”if you don’t hear from me by ________, assume we will not be proceeding with your candidacy

  42. BY Jim Frazier says:

    The ones I love are the ones that are looking for 20
    years of experience, Java and .Net experience, Sql Server and Oracle, web and Windows Forms, AND they are willing to pay 50K a year. Come on these
    managers need to get REAL

  43. BY Randy says:

    These are basics that everyone should know, but important to know. Not much in article past basics.

  44. BY LynnM says:

    What about some of the silly things from interviewers, while i live by everything said above, dress, appearance etc… i wish managers, interviewers, business owners WOULD STOP PAYING LIP SERVICE TO INTERVIEWEES, and cut the BS, if someone is not a fit THEN SAY SO, I just had what i thought to be a sucessfull interview, found the location a day or 2 before, researched the company. Owner stated that i was everything he was looking for and to expect a call back by so and so date. I had to chase him down for 2 days past the date he said he would call.
    Only to hear, “Your definately what we’re looking for (multiple times), but have decided to head in a different direction” What i want to know, do you hr people, mgrs. etc. have this line tattooed on your forehead when you graduate or is it something attached to their diplomas. COME UP WITH SOMETHING ORIGINAL, LIKE HONESTY.

  45. BY LynnM says:

    Part 2..We’re human, with families, and unemployed, you people getting our hopes up with situations like this HAS GOT TO STOP. I would rather be told anything but, and right then and there, like, we found somone who would take less, or we found someone…etc..STOP STOP STOP. I mean, your never going to see me again, and you dont know me, so tell me i’m not quite right for xyz position and move on.
    We are just as frustrated with hiring mgrs, and hr people as you are with us.

  46. BY LynnM says:

    Part 3… i would reeeeally like to hear from some hiring mgrs. and hr people, get on here, defend themselves, maybe shed some light on their thinking process why they continualy string us along by the nose, and play game with us and the families at home waiting to hear that dad, mom etc…got the job, only to be let down with rehearsed scripts about how “we’re everything they are looking for, but”, all we get is the same basic advice from one, mostly or 2 hiring people, which is good, but lets hear from them on a more personal level maybe.

  47. BY malamute says:

    The part about dress doesn’t apply here in the Pacific Northwest.

    If the shop dress code is hacker casual and the interviewee shows up in something more formal than business casual they will have one strike against them – “won’t fit in with the culture”. If you know the job requires working nights aside hardcore engineers deep in the trenches, ditch the tie.

  48. BY LynnM says:

    And what makes you think they hear my rants, i approach each interview with the utmost professionalism, you try loosing 2 jobs in a year, house falling apart around you, wife, 3 children and NO health insurance, a continous cacaphony of those “gutless” HR people telling you your a perfect fit for the position, getting your hopes up, and your families, only to be let down by some hr person who doesn’t have a clue about anything. You would be FRUSTRATED AND RANTING and mispell in g and typing funny also.
    You probably have a full time job, and no worries, if not then keep going and with time you’ll become as pessimistic about the whole process as i am, when the creditors call every 30mins. 7days a week along with all the bill collectors who call in between that.

  49. BY MichelleL says:

    I agree with LynnM’s comments. I would appreciate it if hiring managers and staffers were honest in providing feedback so that I can learn from the experience and have a better chance of acing the interview process the next time. I design online recruiting applications for top tier organizations, and many of them do not provide the details of why an applicant has actually been “rejected” due to fear of possible litigation.

  50. BY G says:

    Yes, the interviewer wants a good impression. The business unit wants someone to get the job done. I find it astonishing this was actually a “highlight” in my Inbox.
    If companies were staffed for the actual work load and willing to pay what the employees were worth….well this article and “highlight” would not be needed.

  51. BY Brian Overton says:

    The “basics” in this article are almost irrelevant to me when interviewing candidates.

    Appearance is hardly important. If a candidate comes to an interview wearing a collared shirt & khakis I won’t care. I want competent programmers, not fashion models. I would only start seeing red flags if the candidate comes in wearing flip flops, a tee shirt, and jeans but I have yet to see one candidate dressed like that.

    Being 5 or even 10 minutes late to an interview could count against the candidate but I tend to have a short memory if he/she proves to be capable during the interview.

  52. BY Randalin Shaffer says:

    I am curious about how to walk into that interview and find a sure-fire way to connect with the person(s) you are about to spend time with– selling yourself, your talents, your drive, your energy?? Is that possible? If you have ALL the other details nailed down, how do you make sure they/you connect?

  53. BY Frank says:

    Lynn M, I don’t think BJ was bashing you, but I could be wrong. We are all in tight and difficult situations and the bottom line is we have to do, what we need to do to survive, except breaking the law of course. Why don’t all you guys with major experience, DM, RB, Nigel, TJS and Jerry, get together and start a recruiting/HR agency with compassion and honesty. Not sure how long it would stay that way, but I would want to work for you guys. Just my 10 cents worth.

  54. BY Robert H. says:

    I’ve worked both sides of the interview table. 30+ years with the latest technology of the moment, project management, yada, yada. Office closed due to lack of sales, out on the street in 2003. My only job offers came through connections with friends and co-workers. At my age, my hopes of landing a job cold from the street are nil. I know something about almost every technology going, but I am the master of few. What I mastered was the skill of using technology to solve business problems. That’s a surprisingly hard skill set to sell. The HR screeners are looking for x+ years of ABC and please take this XYZ exam. The ability to solve problems is hard to quantify on paper.

    Most people have enough sense to show up on time and dress appropriately. What we were looking for was 1) can this person do the job 2) can they communicate effectively 3) are they going to be a problem. You don’t have a lot of time to decide those three things and, honestly, a lot of it is gut feel. I always wanted to see if a person could look me in the eye and say the words “I don’t know”. That’s tough for some personality types and nobody knows all the answers. I wanted to get a comfort level they were not BSing about the technical skill. I would want them to be able to explain a concept in their own words, almost any concept would do, I just wanted to make sure they had not simply memorized the answers (yes, all the answers are on the internet). I wanted to feel like, “this is someone I could work with, this is someone I can count on to complete a task on their own”. I got some right and some wrong. The ones I got wrong were usually when I let my head overrule my instincts.

    My advice is not really any more complicated than to just try in some way to connect to the interviewer. Try to understand what they are looking for and then sell to that. You are a commodity and you are selling that commodity. Sell features and benefits. They would not be interviewing you if they did not have a problem to solve. If you can find out what that problem is, and then sell your skill set as the solution to that problem, you are way ahead of the pack. Try to connect at some personal level. People are not inclined to hire other people they are not sure they can get along with, not matter how talented you are.

    Keep in touch with ex co-workers, join user groups, network. Take some more classes, if for nothing else than the connections. It’s corny andslow to show results, but it does work.

  55. BY Robert Hill says:

    I’ve worked both sides of the interview table. 30+ years with the latest technology of the moment, project management, yada, yada. Office closed due to lack of sales, out on the street in 2003. My only job offers came through connections with friends and co-workers. At my age, my hopes of landing a job cold from the street are nil. I know something about almost every technology going, but I am the master of few. What I mastered was the skill of using technology to solve business problems. That’s a surprisingly hard skill set to sell. The HR screeners are looking for x+ years of ABC and please take this XYZ exam. The ability to solve problems is hard to quantify on paper.

    Most people have enough sense to show up on time and dress appropriately. What we were looking for was 1) can this person do the job 2) can they communicate effectively 3) are they going to be a problem. You don’t have a lot of time to decide those three things and, honestly, a lot of it is gut feel. I always wanted to see if a person could look me in the eye and say the words “I don’t know”. That’s tough for some personality types and nobody knows all the answers. I wanted to get a comfort level they were not BSing about the technical skill. I would want them to be able to explain a concept in their own words, almost any concept would do, I just wanted to make sure they had not simply memorized the answers (yes, all the answers are on the internet). I wanted to feel like, “this is someone I could work with, this is someone I can count on to complete a task on their own”. I got some right and some wrong. The ones I got wrong were usually when I let my head overrule my instincts.

    My advice is not really any more complicated than to just try in some way to connect to the interviewer. Try to understand what they are looking for and then sell to that. You are a commodity and you are selling that commodity. Sell features and benefits. They would not be interviewing you if they did not have a problem to solve. If you can find out what that problem is, and then sell your skill set as the solution to that problem, you are way ahead of the pack. Try to connect at some personal level. People are not inclined to hire other people they are not sure they can get along with, not matter how talented you are.

  56. BY Jason says:

    The article was good, but look at the feedback. This is the essence of a job search. There are few hard and fast rules, other than don’t be late. One manager cares about your clothes, another doesn’t. One wants to quiz you on esoteric, abstract programming concepts, while another wants to know your applied experience in using technology X. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You can never please every person with whom you interview and can never anticipate what that person, or that company for that matter, deems appropriate for the interview. The one comment about how wearing a suit will cause you to be viewed as not fitting in with the culture is a perfect example. One would think that someone who wears a suit to an interview is doing so BECAUSE of the interview. Very doubtful you’d find them walking around the market in that same suit. How can you judge them based on what they wear on that special, formal occasion? Very funny, yet sad and frustrating, stuff.

  57. BY TJ says:

    Part 1 -
    I completely agree with many of the comments referring to the utter lack of professionalism by HR and hiring managers these days. I’m an IT Director and have had second, third round interviews where I have either not heard anything back until weeks after they originally stated they would contact, or nothing at all.

  58. BY TJ says:

    Part 2 -
    A note to these HR/Hiring Managers: Keep in mind that the economy is driving this behavior, but at some point it will turn around, and those of us that have experienced this complete disregard for expectation setting, and just general impoliteness, have long memories. And when you are scrambling for great IT resources in the future, speaking at least for myself, I will remember how I was treated during this particular point in time.

  59. BY TJ says:

    Part – 3
    Also Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager, if you are going to completely low-ball an offer, be prepared that the employee more than likely be hired away within a year or two after the economy picks up by another company. And you’ve just spent thousands of dollars on training, and loss of understanding general company process. Not to mention the fallout of project disruption, bringing someone new up to speed, and cost to recruit and find another employee to fill their spot = lost time and productivity. Typical cost of turnover can range from 150% to 250% of the employee’s annual compensation.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  60. BY Brett Williams says:

    I agree with lots of the comments posted… especially in the IT world, a seasoned technical hiring manager should be able to quickly determine whether or not an applicant satisfies the requirements of the position.

    At this point, I’m an intern for my company’s CTO. I’m moving to a new job in two weeks… one that took me 6 weeks and five interviews to land. My supervisor is allowing me to interview my potential replacements. His recommendation was to be up front and honest with them. Tell them exactly what to expect from the internship. If you find someone that fits the role and they would benefit from the internship, hire them on the spot.

    Good advice… resonates well in these comments.

  61. BY Working to work says:

    To all those asking how to connect; there is no way you can, especially if you are interviewing with some HR tool rather than a manager. With few exceptions, HR people are not especially bright. They are gatekeepers, pure and simple. I actually had a career counselor at an Ivy League university tell me to DUMB DOWN my resume and cover letter! She said that they were “intimidating.” Trust me, I do NOT want to work for or with anyone who is threatened by excellence. In the end, it is a crap shoot, and the best a job seeker can hope for is that someone with more than three brain cells reads their submission.

  62. BY Patrick says:

    I have done all these things in the past, dressed to the nines, research and on time, however I feel like when I interview all potential employers ask the same questions. It is never about the job nor do I get to meet the IT manager. It is always, “tell me about when you ….”. Never interested in qualifications, certifications, or past employment. That is not to say I didnt get the job, but what made me the “right person”? Because I have a plan? Was it that I was dressed nice and was on time? Or maybe the fact I new what the company actually did? What did the HR interviewer see that hired me?

  63. BY Patrick says:

    I never understood the interview…..what makes the next person the right person or what makes someone not the right person?????

  64. BY Nakia says:

    I had an interview last week where, I was dressed to impressed, I was qualified for every qualification the company had listed (which is rare, I usually miss out on 2 or 3). I was well aware of the company and rehearsed my answers and what points of my experience I wanted to highlight. But becuase it was a job fair where there were well over 100 people there to interview for a number of IT positions, they had to dedicate 3 to 5 minutes to interview each canidate. From what I noticed, there wasn’t many people there to interview for the position I was interviewing for. So I felt pretty confident. However when my turn came to face the interviewer, they only gave me 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    I did mention several aspects that wasn’t listed on the job qualifications that I felt was very valuable. The interviewer seemed impressed. But I haven’t heard back.

    Should I be discouraged? It’s been 2 days since the interview.

  65. BY Steve Mc says:

    I’m finding that it is best to ask about what is best to wear to the interview, if you are not sure. I showed up at one interview in a suit/tie/very nice shoes, only to find that no one in the office was wearing a tie.

    I’ll never know for sure, but it may have been that the office manager leading the interview thought that I appeared to be someone that might be reluctant to get my hands a little dirty.

    I didn’t get the job………….

  66. BY Job Seeker says:

    Had a first interview with the hiring manager which went well. I was invited back to run the gauntlet with the Exec’s/other managers (11 people total), also seemed to go well. A few days later I get a EMAIL from HR stating they thought I was technically qualified but didn’t like the answers to some of the questions. Really? News to me. So why not challenge me? Why not open a dialogue? Show some leadership? After all, you’re not just interviewing me – I’M INTERVIEWING YOU! I can tell you how I will help your company and move your business forward, and you can tell me what you can do for me. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? If you disagree with a statement I make or I disagree with one you make – aren’t we both professional enough to discuss why we disagree or have the ability to defend our positions? I think some “Executives” simply don’t know the difference between interviewing a college hire and interviewing an experienced Professional. Good luck with all of that.

  67. BY Ousmane says:

    My number one recommendation is “Be yourself” if you get the job you will not have to live up to a false image and if they do not like you as “you” maybe you should not work there.

  68. BY Doug says:

    It has been quite a jaw dropping experience for me. I have been in the IT system development world for close to 19 years before I was let go (layed off, downsized, right sized, re-organized, fill-in corporate buzz word here). What really bothers me is the fact that I hear absolutely NOTHING back from these people upon submitting a resume and cover letter for a job that I am perfect for. It is amazingly frustrating. At least acknowledged that you didn’t find me suited for the job.

    As for the ‘how to interview’ stories, I think I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with advice. It absolutely doesn’t matter what you do, it absolutely matters what the other person thinks… that’s it. You could have the exact same interview with 5 different people and have 5 different sets of feedback. Blows me away. I totally agree with the HR person tool assessment. I think if hiring managers knew how many qualified people these people butchered, they’d probably do away with them all together.

  69. BY Jlafar Virafa says:

    I was on the intervew team for 5 years at a successful startup. Interviewed 100+ people.

    Over time, we have learned to screen for any trace of personality disorders ( we called these people “high maintenance”). No matter how good someone scores IQ wise or competence wise, the damage they do by having severe personality issues pretty much negates what they bring to the table.

    Egomaniacs, people who are extremely skilled at avoiding work, people unable to say “I dont know”, cowardly yes men(woman), oversensitive prickly porcupines, people with paranoias, people easily irritated or overly defensive, folks who are overly set in their ways…

    Better companies do pay attention to the personality aspect, you should too. You may face a carefully engineered section of an interview to bring out any such issues, so be aware.

  70. BY Kevin says:

    This article is well and nice and everything, but generally, it’s all a game. Right now, the companies have the ball. They will low-ball you and even dump you for international talent. Just realize that the international talent you low-ball today, will be putting the screws to you when all of this turns around. Now is the time for independent business. If anyone wants to team up and work on some projects, I’m in, cause I’m tired of having a job, not having a job, being on the doorstep of a job and then starting the whole thing over again. What “Job Seeker” describes above, is too much for me to take even one more time.

  71. BY Kate Ponton says:

    A huge plus for both parties is providing as much info to the interviewee as possible. An ideal company prepped me two days prior with a list of the whole interview team, with names and job titles. Naturally, it was easy to research and start the interview on a more connected note. Conversely, I just went to an interview knowing just the address, amount of time, and first name of the first person. When the interviewers asked for my questions, I asked about their positions and what they hope the new person will add, what are their pain points, etc. Otherwise, they treated me like a lab specimen, examining me for something that I wasn’t privy to know about. When I asked the final pair the questions, they were the managers. It would have been nice to have a clue from the beginning, and my responses could have helped them and me much more.

  72. BY Mike says:

    In this market with 10% unemployment in america, there are 100 people that want the same job you do.

    Remember, it is a rare honor to get an interview these days – prep for it like your life depends on it – every time.

    Remind yourself to be enthusiastic – no matter how you think the interview is going.

    Ask very well thought out questions about the company, the boss, the culture – I agree that “you’re interviewing them” but also remember, they have 100 other qualified folks to choose from, what sets you apart???

    Good luck!

  73. BY Jay Cunnington says:

    For Mike at 9:44 on 7/15:

    The jobs I hate to interview for (even though I’ve scored the interview) are the ones where the job ad was obviously written by HR with no input whatsoever from technical staff. We can always tell those because they’re the ones looking for Sequel, Dot Net, Pearl, See ++, etc. The job ads I really loved reading were the ones asking for 5 years of .NET experience the year after .NET was released.

    If management has its finger that far off the trigger, what are the odds it’s a good position to have? If HR can’t bother to send the ad up to technical people for editing, they’re either arrogant, dumb, or just plain rushed. It could be ad writer, it could be the department. Any way it goes, it’s bad planning and doesn’t reflect well on the company.

  74. BY LynnM says:

    I hope Dice takes this to heart. Send out a questionaire and get the HR/Mgr community to speak up, but as usual we’ll probably hear from none to one. We’ll just hear more advice that we all seem to already know. Do I have a bad attitude toward HR people, YOU BETCHA’
    especially when they sit there in judgment of my print portfolio, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE MY WORK, you are in NO WAY qualified to judge anyones work like that. But i do not let that surface, ever. This is the only time i’ve ever spoke publicly about it. And one more thing, the biggest gripe, WHY, if our qualifications are a perfect match on paper, we dont get CALLED, unless, you folks dont have a clue as to what is needed from a person, noooo that couldn’t be.

  75. BY frank says:

    Just pray to get hired if you don’t have the needed experience. If you do have the experience, then pray for the right person and company. Once you got hired, pray for how long can you survive on the job too because you never know what the manager(s) going to do to you! (or whether the job is still the same). Life is awkful sometimes…just be prepared and stand up for yourself.

  76. BY Scott LaCroix says:

    So many good things here, it’s hard to even start! Definitely an “Interviewing 101″ type article, and definitely worth reading for every job seeker. I will add a few things that people have already said, from my personal experiences. 1) Clothing is important! BUT, suit and tie is not always the answer! Research your prospective company. Go there, ask the interviewer if you can before you arrive, find out what the company culture is. Here in the Northeast a suit and tie work wel most of the time, but I interviewed at a company in Cambridge MA where the hiring manager actually asked me my I was wearing a suit. Most of their interviewees in that area are dressed down a little more and that’s what they expected…. Point against me.

  77. BY Scott LaCroix says:

    2) Re-emphasizing: DO YOUR RESEARCH! Read the company website, read the position description, brush up on any requirements you may not have touched recently, know the company history if you can, be prepared with at least one question FOR EACH INTERVIEWER you will see. Keep in mind you will probably interview with 4 – 6 people in a day, it’s hard enough getting a group of working professionals (engineers and managers) together for a meeting, they’re not going to string it across multiple days if they can avoid it. Very common now to do ALL your interviews in one day (4 – 5 hours). I’ve been told directly, “If you can tell me what my company does, that will be a huge plus for you”. Belive me, I could!

  78. BY Scott LaCroix says:

    3) To the hiring managers: Be honest and Be prepared! There’s nothing that will throw an potential interviewee off more than finding out that the prep work they did for the interview is no longer useful because the job isn’t what they thought, or the interview list has changed, or something wasn’t clear. If you want quality people, and you want to see them at their best, the only way is for you to be at your best when interviewing.

  79. BY Scott LaCroix says:

    4) To Jlafar: Don’t prejudge. I can understand what you’re saying and why you’re watching for those kinds of traits, but I have worked with some very cantankerous and very difficult engineers in my career… that also happened to be phenomenally talented and critical to whatever project they were working on. Strong engineers tend to have strong personality traits. We’re an odd bunch, we can sit in a little room and stare at a little glowing box and hours or days at a time without breaks, without complaints. We’re going to have personalities that don’t match the “standard social profiles” for “low maintenance” employees. Don’t throw away someone that might save your project, just because you’re worried that the teammates might have to adjust a little…. Ok, I rambled enough, someone else’s turn! (Thanks for a thought-provoking article!)

  80. BY Jeff says:

    I am a seasoned Systems Server Engineer that could essentially fill many many positions in the Intel Systems side of the market. My experience is all contract work. So I am also a seasoned interviewee and contract negotiator. I dont know anyone that has ended their contracts between Dec 31st and now that has gained any employments whether contract or full time. Except for one person got a State job in PA during the State job hiring freeze as an exception job. My last contract ended Dec 31st and I spend approx 5 -7 hours a day every day including weekends applying online for work and answering recruiters demands for information towards “opportunities”. The funny part is my resume is perfectly suited and fine tuned to get the proper hits as far as the correct requirments that meet my skill set. I can imagine how tough it must seem to those of you who are coming into this new lull in the job market from permanent jobs. It is no less tougher for us that consult for a living.

  81. BY Jeff says:

    It seems as if all of India just found out that there is allot of money to made in the recruitment of IT. In dealing with 5-10 close requirement hits a day and spending the time to respond to each and every one. I have not had one interview between Dec 31 2008 and July 15 2009. I have had interviews for some State positions that I had tested for through the Civil Service. I have not been chosen for any of them and continue to get Avaiability Surveys for more of them while I am still waiting for hire/reject letters for 2 interviews. I was turned down for unemployment in PA and the agency I worked for had no grounds to object but they did and the State is completely and utterly wrong and denied my UC benefits. I am still filing my bi-weekly claims and fighting for my second appeal. I am on food stamps and dont qualify for cash assistance because I have no children.

  82. BY Jeff says:

    I am teased daily with all these wonderful sounding positions contract and perm in places all over the world and yet I apply and never hear back. Imagine how many job I have actually applied for and my qualifications are high. I used Dice and Monster mainly for applying for work that I find. and I get recruiters that find me there and send me emails daily. I have always done it like this and dont see a need to change that aspect of the search. I have also been trying to identify more past associates to explain this in hopes that they will clue me in at the first hint of a job opportunity where they work or whereever they hear of it. I refinanced the house about a month ago and got my mortgage down a whole percentage point and it didnt cost anything in the VA program. And my VA status has not helped me obtain an interview let alone an actual job. I have been forced to borrow from my retired/widowed mother to pay my bills until this turns around. But she is tapped out now also.

  83. BY Jeff says:

    These recruiters and hiring managers DONT know how bad it is. With the economy like this, yes they have the upper hand. But if I have to use the skills that I painfully have been growing for less than 20 per hour I may as well be a truck driver. Perhaps this is only on the Systems side of the house within the Wintel realm vs Unix and perhaps programming is still hot all over. I dont know. I just know to go back to 1984 wages would be completely rediculous.
    Is this O’change? I hope not.
    CIAO and good luck to you! Do what you have to do to get through!Jeff

  84. BY Mark says:

    I don’t think this article is all that helpful and completely true. It is just generalizations made on what the author thinks interviewees should do and not do , her “opinion”, not fact.
    First, what are “khakis”? Is this some kind of universally or American understood clothing description? Are Dockers that are light tan considered khakis or are khakis what military soldiers wear in training for combat? Please define khakis.
    I think how someone dresses for an interview is relevant to the kind of job they are trying to get. Let’s say the job is a software engineer position where the normal on-the-job dress is semi-casual such as non-suit slacks and a sport shirt with no tie. You come to the interview dressed in a business suit with a tie and dress shoes. The manager and his associates that interview you come dressed in normal work attire. You not only feel uncomfortable because this is not how you dress often, but the interviewers feel uncomfortable also, since they are not dressed “professionally”. They show you around and you are the only one in a suit. The employees all stare at you and think “someones being interviewed” and look at your like you are a nerd. You feel, to put it nicely, not very comfortable, and you come across as not fitting into the culture. My point is you should not have to dress abnormally and should dress to be as you think you will be dressing in the job. So in this case, Dockers (khaki or black colored), nice dress shirt and an optional tie is acceptable. Don’t come in your jeans and a T-shirt, even if that is how everyone dresses, but don’t overdo it, but all men should not have to wear ties. Who is it that ordained that professional men must wear ties? Which king was it? Off with his head! Some men are not into ties and should not be judged by the color of their tie or lack of it!
    Second, the purpose of an interview is a two-way street and should be treated as such. You should know something about a company, but why should you invest a lot of time into studying its website? You may not even get the job anyway, and may not fit the requirements, so knowing a lot about the company is not going to get you the job! Sometimes you may get the job just because of your personality, even if you are the perfect candidate. You can find out about the job more at the interview and that is what really matters, not the details or history of the company. Just know what the company business is so you are not ignorant about it.
    Third, what is this crap about never being late? Yes, it is bad if you come really late because of an accident on the freeway that was closed with you sitting in the traffic jam, like it is commonly done here in Arizona often. If you leave in plenty of time, but something happens unpredictable, then call and tell the contact person what has happened and how late you will be. Maybe they will want to reschedule, or maybe not because they are hoping you are the right person. Things happen and employers should understand. Even interviewers are sometimes late. How often have you heard “Sorry, I was in a meeting” after you got there on time and waited 20 minutes in the lobby? Yes, you want to be on time, but if you are late because of circumstances beyond your control, then being a responsible person and calling to let them know is what you should do and the employer should try to understand and respect you for letting them know. You should not have to camp out in the company parking lot to insure that you won’t be one minute late.
    Fourth, employers try to get you to tell them why you left your last job. Should you lie because if you tell them the truth that your boss would not give you the recognition you deserved after completing a huge project? Is that bad-mouthing him? There is always going to be something negative as to why you left. Employers need to stop baiting the interviewee and then judge him because he told the truth. Would they rather hire a liar or listen to what is said and decide if it was a good reason and not bad mouthing? If it was a conflict that resulted in a law suit, then lie, what choice do you have? Just don’t say something about them that makes you look bad.
    My final thought is to employers. You are always looking for the right person, which is someone that has a BS/BA degree or better, but also has 5+ years of experience with this, and that, and the other, and in the same industry your company is in. You limit yourself to finding the right person because you don’t know how to find the right person! That person does not exist most of the time. With all those variables, the only way you are going to find the right person is if they are already working at your company doing that job, or at your competitors’ and they quit to work for you. We go to college and get a 4 year degree to be qualified to quickly learn anything in our field by ourself or with little training. In the computer field there are many languages, systems, environments, applications, and industries they are used in. No one person can know them all or wants to. Realize that a person cannot have the knowledge and experience you want unless you give them the job and give them a chance to learn on-the-job as they do it. That is what the college degree was for! Not just a piece of paper that means you are minimally educated. Nobody can know everything. There is no way to get the experience without getting the job, so if you can’t get the job without the experience, then there is no right person. You have to get real and hire people that have skills and experience that are similar and/or demonstrate they have the ability to do other things such as your job. You just want a person to walk in and walk on water! You need to look at what they have done, and say “if they have done that, then they should not have any problem learning and doing this job” and hire them. I did not have the experience and knowledge required for most of the jobs I have held, and the employer could not find that person, so they hired me. They thought I could do the job because of what other jobs I had done. These days employers want you to have a certification in everything! Employers need to give people without the desired experience a chance and they will find the right person more easily because the right person does not usually exist and you have to hire someone. If they come along and you don’t hire them because they were 5 minutes late, or did not wear a tie, then you let them slip through your fingers.
    I am sure some people won’t agree with this, but some will.

  85. BY Luis says:

    I thought it would be pointless to write an opinion, after the hundreds already out there. But here I am, hoping that this will be read and help even one person.

    People, get real. Unless you were born before 1929, you are living the worst recession of your life. You can tell everything you want about recruiters. You can yell that they are idiots, air heads, obnoxious, whatever… actually it is fine to get your frustration out. However, after you are done with that, please take this to your head, and don’t let it go: on the desktop of the hiring managers there must be dozens of resumes of people with similar (or even better) qualifications and experience than yours. This race is not about gaining points or running faster, but it’s more similar to a gymnastics competition. I’m afraid anything less than perfection may not even get you through the door. Be humble, and accept that even if you are a perfect match for a position, there might be another dozen like you. Don’t loose points by dressing improperly, using your cell phone… you know, just play the game, and don’t allow that something stupid like being late 5 minutes spoils your interview. These days there is no margin for error.

    Good luck to you all (including me :)

    Luis

  86. BY Luis says:

    People, GET REAL. Unless you were born before 1929, you are living the worst recession of your life. You can tell everything you want about recruiters. You can yell that they are idiots, air heads, obnoxious, whatever… actually it is fine to get your frustration out. However, after you are done with that, please take this to your head, and don’t let it go: on the desktop of the hiring managers there must be dozens of resumes of people with similar (or even better) qualifications and experience than yours. This race is not about gaining points or running faster, but it’s more similar to a gymnastics competition. I’m afraid anything less than perfection may not even get you through the door. Be humble, and accept that even if you are a perfect match for a position, there might be another dozen like you. Don’t loose points by dressing improperly, using your cell phone… you know, just play the game.

    Good luck to all (including me :)

    Luis

  87. BY Scott LaCroix says:

    DrewM … you’re not going to get a position with an attitude like that. And if you already have one, then hold on to it tooth and nail. If you can’t go 5 extra minutes to be polite and stand out from the 100 – 400 other resumes in the crowd, then you can pretty much expect those “oxygen stealing HR tools” to toss your resume in the circular file where it belongs. Lord knows, *I* wouldn’t want to work with you everyday. Try a little respect, my bet is it will help you with every stage of the interview… because I don’t see any there at all, so I’m betting it’s already hurting you at every stage.

  88. BY Mark says:

    This is just generalizations the author the author¿s opinion, not fact.
    What are “khakis”? Are they some kind of universally, American understood clothing? Are Dockers that are light tan considered khakis? Are khakis what military soldiers wear in training for combat? Please define khakis.
    How someone dresses for an interview is relevant to the kind of job they are trying to get, for example, a software engineer position where the on-the-job dress is semi-casual such as non-suit slacks and a sport shirt with no tie. You come dressed in a business suit with a tie and dressy shoes. The manager that interviews comes dressed in normal work attire. You feel uncomfortable because this is not how you dress often as well as the interviewers since they are not dressed “professionally” like you. They show you around, the only one in a suit. The employees all stare at you because you stand out. You feel uncomfortable and come across as not fitting into the company culture. You should dress as you will be dressing in the job. So Dockers (khaki or black colored), a nice dress shirt and an optional tie are appropriate, but not your jeans and a T-shirt even if that is how everyone dresses. Don’t overdo it, but all men should not have to wear ties. Who ordained that professional men must wear ties? Which king was it? Off with his head! Some men dislike ties and shouldn¿t be judged by the color of their tie or lack of it!
    An interview is a two-way street. You should know something about a company, but why should you invest a lot of time into studying its website? You may not even get the job anyway, and may not fit the requirements, so knowing a lot about the company is not going to get you the job! You find out about the company and job at the interview. Why know the details or history of each company you are interviewing for? Just know what the company business/products are for the first interview.
    What is this about never being late? It is bad if you come really late because of an accident on the freeway that was closed with you sitting in the traffic jam, like it is commonly done here in Arizona often. If you leave in plenty of time, but something happens unpredictable, then call and tell the contact person what has happened and how late you will be. Maybe they will want to reschedule, or maybe not because they are hoping you are the right person. Even interviewers are sometimes late. How often have you heard “Sorry, I was in a meeting” after you got there on time and waited 20 minutes in the lobby? You want to be on time, but if you are going to be late because of circumstances beyond your control, then being a responsible person and calling to let them know is what you should do and the employer should try to understand and respect you for letting them know. You should not have to camp out in the company parking lot to insure that you won’t be one minute late.
    Employers try to get you to tell them why you left your last job. Should you lie because if you tell them the truth that your boss would not give you the recognition you deserved after completing a huge project? Is that bad-mouthing him? There is always going to be something negative as to why you left. Employers need to stop baiting the interviewee and then judge him because he told the truth. Would they rather hire a liar or listen to what is said and decide if it was a good reason and not bad mouthing? If it was a conflict that resulted in a law suit, then lie, what choice do you have? Just don’t say something about them that makes you look bad.
    Employers: always looking for the right person, someone with a BS/BA degree, with 5+ years of experience with A, B, and C, and in industry X. You limit yourself because you don’t know how to find the right person! That person usually does not exist. The way you are going to find the right person is if they are already working for you doing that job, or they quit from another company to work for you. We go to college and get a degree to be able to quickly learn anything in our field by ourselves or with little training. In the computer field there are many languages, systems, environments, applications, and used in many industries. Realize that a person cannot have the knowledge and experience you want unless you give them a chance to learn it on-the-job. That is what the college degree was for, not just a qualifying piece of paper. To get the experience you need the job, but you can¿t get the job without the experience (¿Catch 22¿). You have to get real and hire people that have skills and experience that are similar and/or demonstrate they have the ability to do your job. You need the ability to look at what they have done, and realize “if they have done that, then they should not have any problem learning and doing this job” and hire them. I was hired and did not have the experience and knowledge required for most of the jobs I have held, and my employers could not find that right person. They thought I could do their jobs because of other jobs I had done. Employers now want everyone to have a certification for everything. Employers need to give people without the desired experience a chance and they will find the right person more easily because the right person does not usually exist. If they come along and you don’t hire them because they were 5 minutes late, or did not wear a tie, then you let them slip through your fingers.

  89. BY Mike says:

    This is just generalizations the author the author¿s opinion, not fact. What are “khakis”? Are they some kind of universally, American understood clothing? Are Dockers that are light tan considered khakis? Are khakis what military soldiers wear in training for combat? Please define khakis. How someone dresses for an interview is relevant to the kind of job they are trying to get, for example, a software engineer position where the on-the-job dress is semi-casual such as non-suit slacks and a sport shirt with no tie. You come dressed in a business suit with a tie and dressy shoes. The manager that interviews comes dressed in normal work attire. You feel uncomfortable because this is not how you dress often as well as the interviewers since they are not dressed “professionally” like you. They show you around, the only one in a suit. The employees all stare at you because you stand out. You feel uncomfortable and come across as not fitting into the company culture. You should dress as you will be dressing in the job. So Dockers (khaki or black colored), a nice dress shirt and an optional tie are appropriate, but not your jeans and a T-shirt even if that is how everyone dresses. Don’t overdo it, but all men should not have to wear ties. Who ordained that professional men must wear ties? Which king was it? Off with his head! Some men dislike ties and shouldn¿t be judged by the color of their tie or lack of it.

  90. BY Mark says:

    This thing sucks because it limits how many words you write to an unknown number.

  91. BY Mark says:

    This is just generalizations the author the author¿s opinion, not fact. What are “khakis”? Are they some kind of universally, American understood clothing? Are Dockers that are light tan considered khakis? Are khakis what military soldiers wear in training for combat? Please define khakis. How someone dresses for an interview is relevant to the kind of job they are trying to get, for example, a software engineer position where the on-the-job dress is semi-casual such as non-suit slacks and a sport shirt with no tie. You come dressed in a business suit with a tie and dressy shoes. The manager that interviews comes dressed in normal work attire. You feel uncomfortable because this is not how you dress often as well as the interviewers since they are not dressed “professionally” like you.

  92. BY Mark says:

    They show you around, the only one in a suit. The employees all stare at you because you stand out. You feel uncomfortable and come across as not fitting into the company culture. You should dress as you will be dressing in the job. So Dockers (khaki or black colored), a nice dress shirt and an optional tie are appropriate, but not your jeans and a T-shirt even if that is how everyone dresses. Don’t overdo it, but all men should not have to wear ties. Who ordained that professional men must wear ties? Which king was it? Off with his head! Some men dislike ties and shouldn¿t be judged by the color of their tie or lack of it. An interview is a two-way street. You should know something about a company, but why should you invest a lot of time into studying its website?

  93. BY Mark says:

    You may not even get the job anyway, and may not fit the requirements, so knowing a lot about the company is not going to get you the job! You find out about the company and job at the interview. Why know the details or history of each company you are interviewing for? Just know what the company business/products are for the first interview. What is this about never being late? It is bad if you come really late because of an accident on the freeway that was closed with you sitting in the traffic jam, like it is commonly done here in Arizona often. If you leave in plenty of time, but something happens unpredictable, then call and tell the contact person what has happened and how late you will be. Maybe they will want to reschedule, or maybe not because they are hoping you are the right person. Even interviewers are sometimes late. How often have you heard “Sorry, I was in a meeting” after you got there on time and waited 20 minutes in the lobby?

  94. BY Mark says:

    You want to be on time, but if you are going to be late because of circumstances beyond your control, then being a responsible person and calling to let them know is what you should do and the employer should try to understand and respect you for letting them know. You should not have to camp out in the company parking lot to insure that you won’t be one minute late. Employers try to get you to tell them why you left your last job. Should you lie because if you tell them the truth that your boss would not give you the recognition you deserved after completing a huge project? Is that bad-mouthing him? There is always going to be something negative as to why you left. Employers need to stop baiting the interviewee and then judge him because he told the truth. Would they rather hire a liar or listen to what is said and decide if it was a good reason and not bad mouthing?

  95. BY Mark says:

    If it was a conflict that resulted in a law suit, then lie, what choice do you have? Just don’t say something about them that make you look bad. Employers: always looking for the right person, someone with a BS/BA degree, with 5+ years of experience with A, B, and C, and in industry X. You limit yourself because you don’t know how to find the right person! That person usually does not exist. The way you are going to find the right person is if they are already working for you doing that job, or they quit from another company to work for you. We go to college and get a degree to be able to quickly learn anything in our field by ourselves or with little training. In the computer field there are many languages, systems, environments, applications, and used in many industries.

  96. BY Mark says:

    Realize that a person cannot have the knowledge and experience you want unless you give them a chance to learn it on-the-job. That is what the college degree was for, not just a qualifying piece of paper. To get the experience you need the job, but you can¿t get the job without the experience (¿Catch 22¿). You have to get real and hire people that have skills and experience that are similar and/or demonstrate they have the ability to do your job. You need the ability to look at what they have done, and realize “if they have done that, then they should not have any problem learning and doing this job” and hire them. I was hired without the experience and knowledge required for most of the jobs I have held. My employers could not find that right person.

  97. BY Mark says:

    They thought I could do their jobs because of other tough jobs I had done. Employers now want to have a certification for everything. They need to give people without the desired experience a chance and they will find the right person more easily. The right person does not usually exist and if they come along and you don’t hire them because they were 5 minutes late, or did not wear a tie, then you let them slip through your fingers.

  98. BY B J says:

    Lynn M – My point was that HR does not really care enough about you to listen to your feedback. They do not want conflict. They want control. I am sure that I don’t understand your position perfectly, but I did just find a job after being out of work for 7 months. That may not be long for you or others like you, but I do have a feeling about what the job market is like. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in IT for 25+ years. The last 20 have been as a project manager. I have interviewed and hired many people and always have a high level of respect for the interviewee. I will not waste their time and I am always honest in the interview. Unfortunately, due to legal issues and other organization politics HR has taken over the process in many organizations. They have no respect for candidates. They are more concerned with CYA activity. I wish you well in your search.

  99. BY B J says:

    I also like the idea that many of the posters have said regarding joining forces with each other for recruiting or the formation of a business venture. I will give it some thought. Thanks to all for your posts. Good luck to you all. I would rather have luck than skill any day, especially in this market, but to have both is fantastic

  100. BY HW says:

    I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read these posts and know that I’m not alone. Frankly, I am currently employed but the situation at work is one that I do not care for and it’s beginning to effect me negatively, so I’m looking. I’ve experienced situations mentioned earlier and, again, it’s good to know others feel as frustrated as I do.

  101. BY Smmiles says:

    Agree that the article’s title promised more than delivered.

    It’s my experience that many jobs are posted, taken down, then reposted. It appears that recruiters and companies are “employee shopping” or crossing fingers that they can actually get the headcount approved.

    Funny story: I interviewed with a well known Agency who thought “scheduling” meant keeping an appointment book. LOL.

    “Bright eyed & bushy tailed” seems to be a key factor in some of these interviews….which the seasoned may not pull off quite as well.

    Good luck everyone.

  102. BY Brad says:

    I would like to think, that it would go without saying that you never say to a potential employer that you have ever A) assaulted a previous employer or B) involved a previous employer in litigation either because of incompetancy on your part, or by you suing the previous employer. This does not appear to be the case however. :-)
    Pajamas to a job interview?
    Come on people lets get real.

    It’s no wonder, with no student left behind, they’re not teaching people how to do the 3 basic R’s of education, it would stand to reason that the lazy educators wouldn’t give them any career counseling either.

  103. BY brad blosser says:

    Attention Tony Giaccone on July 15, 2009 at 08:57 AM EDT

    You sound like an intelligent and reasonable hiring manager.

    send me an email in a couple of years osiguy at live dot com :-)

    I’ve been a network admin for 3 years and I’m going back to school for an AS and a BS in computer science – application programming and development

  104. BY Joe says:

    Wow. You people get interviews? I have been out of work since February 2009 and haven’t had one interview. The rules have changed. I am going to have to drastically cut my hourly rate and accept work in any part of the country just to get a job. The problem is the rates are way below what it costs to live in some areas, namely the east and west coasts where housing costs are very high. I wish I had some words of wisdom to tell you about finding work. All I know is 1) try to get a job in a small company, one without a HR department, 2) go for contract work, the rate is agreed to up front so you don’t waste time interviewing, 3) know someone in the company, the only job I ever got from an ad was right after I graduated. Good Luck.

  105. BY BJ says:

    Joe and All – I didn’t mention that the job I got after being out of work for 7 months was for a 60% pay cut, but what can you do. I need to eat and it’s better than nothing.

  106. BY Kat says:

    I have 30+ years experience, lots of UNIX and shell-scripting, C, and more. Was considered one of the top techies until I pissed off a couple of new, inexperienced but politically placed managers by telling the truth about some software they purchased.

    After 26 years with the company, two years ago my company moved me back to the mainframe IBM/COBOL, which I hadn’t worked on for 15+ years. Why? Lord only knows. I was sure it was these managers, but…. It turned out that the company decided to move some applications that I had worked on in the UNIX environment back to the IBM (again, Lord knows why — it was a joke).

    SO — after 2 years of that resume-destroying, soul-destroying work, I quit/retired. What a bad time to quit — no interviews at all.

    So, now I’m working part-time at Starbucks as a barista. No office politics (that I care about at least), no taking work home, no stress. Thank goodness my spouse still has a job & the mortgage is paid off, because minimum wage wouldn’t cut it for the mortgage. Needless to say, I could only afford pretty minimal health insurance, so I hope I stay healthy.

    Good luck everyone.

  107. BY BobbyC says:

    If you are so concerned about “standing out”, why don’t you call the hiring manager and ASK HIM what you should wear??? If he gets upset or acts condescendingly toward you for asking, DON’T INTERVIEW FOR A JOB WITH HIM. Or you could at least practice on him and decline any job offer (and maybe use that job offer to negotiate for a higher salary somewhere else)
    Studies have shown that interviewers mostly want to hire someone they are comfortable with… although this in no way improves their chances of hiring a productive engineer. Be aware of that.
    And DO NOT COMPLAIN!!! Don’t complain about the economy. Don’t complain about the job search. Don’t complain about your last manager. Don’t even agree if the interviewer complains about something. Complaining is a sign of low self-esteem and this negativity only brings others down. Employers ultimately want productive engineers who don’t take themselves too seriously and can energize others because they love what they do. Make sure this is something you love doing first and then give them what they want.

  108. BY BobbyC says:

    If you are concerned about “standing out”, call the hiring manager and ASK HIM what you should wear! If he gets upset or acts condescendingly toward you for asking, DON’T INTERVIEW FOR A JOB WITH HIM. Or practice on him and decline any job offer.
    Studies have shown that interviewers mostly want to hire someone they are comfortable with… although this in no way improves their chances of hiring a productive engineer. Be aware of that.
    And DO NOT COMPLAIN!!! Don’t complain about the economy. Don’t complain about the job search. Don’t complain about your last manager. Don’t even agree if the interviewer complains about something. Complaining is a sign of low self-esteem and this negativity only brings others down. Employers ultimately want productive engineers who don’t take themselves too seriously and can energize others because they love what they do. Make sure this is something you love doing first and then give them what they want.

  109. BY Kathryn says:

    Years ago, I used to place programmers in contract positions. The requirements were frequently ridiculous. At one point I also worked in HR, and became convinced that you had to dislike people to work in HR. Yes, it is rude for hiring managers not to let people they interview that it is a “no” but they have the power these days (not to mention that the legal department advises them not to get into any discussions of why it’s a “no”). And it is also a shock to find that great qualifications aren’t enough anymore when there are 100 other people applying for the same job.

    You probably have a better chance if you know someone at the company that you’re interviewing at. But only if they aren’t the enemy of whoever is doing the interviewing ;)

  110. BY DrewM says:

    Most HR people are nothing more than oxygen thieves — they know amost nothing about the actual requirements of the positions they are hiring for. How many people have seen the requirement for a BS degree in Computer Science for a “network installation” job? Obviously, the hideously large pool of tools who do HR work have never worked in the IT field, so how are they possibly qualified to accurately assess the ability of a candidate to fill the need for the company? Also, where do these HR clowns get off saying that a job seeker should send them a “thank you” note for the interview? For what? Wasting MY time or for them just DOING THEIR JOB? UNBELIEVEABLE!

  111. BY DrewM says:

    Also, for anyone who works as a contractor for a company, these HR goons are paid with the revenue the contractors generate for the company through their efforts out in the field. In other words, HR is mere OVERHEAD, but these HR seat heaters think the job of candidates and employees is to kiss their butts and keep THEM happy. Am I being too subtle regarding my utter contempt for HR “people” like Allgeier and Fyock in the article above?

  112. BY Nunayo Bidness says:

    I can’t believe how UTTERLY POINTLESS this article was. Dress well and don’t be late? You’ve got to be kidding me. This was supposed to be “What Do Interviewing Managers Think?”…not “The Basic Interview Tip”. Please delete this useless article from the net!

  113. BY Rob robertson says:

    1:
    Read all the comments and then say consumer confidence isn’t in the total crapper. You can’t.

    2:
    Perhaps the HR people stating their position couldn’t get pass the anti-bot math question at the end of the posting process, hence the one-sided “HR sucks” thread.

    I wish everyone good luck out there.

  114. BY Marcus Aurelius says:

    The interview is real frustrating for me. I worked for a consulting firm and had to go through that process on a regular basis, once I’m in a shop they are very pleased with me but … I buy the personality thing, I don’t think hiring managers want perfect personalities (what is that?) but are more concerned about an employee who “plays well with others” I’ve worked with a couple of people who have serious personality problems and it makes the job so much harder, no one wants to help them or go to them for help.

    Anyway, the craziest interview I’ve been in was a couple of months ago, the job description called for a mid-level technical person working applications on a Unix system of some sort. The actual position was way more high-level than that and involved installing and administering an application running on MS and then leveraging that application to other departments. It was misleading.

    Not only that but the hiring manager was a complete basket case. The first interview involved with him telling me how “cool” and technically savvy he was and what a bunch of loser basket cases he worked with and how he was viewed as the “anti-Christ” by his fellow workers.

    I managed to get two more interviews with that firm (and one of them centered on a recent data conversion gone wrong) but in the end the job went to someone else, which wasn’t all that bad considering what a jerk the hiring manager was.

  115. BY DBach says:

    I agree with most on this board. I’ve had perhaps a dozen interviews in the last 6 months and the only thing I could find was an “entry level” job at 40% of what I was making previously. It’s “1984″ alright. . . pay-wise that is! But I think many, many companies are so short sited with the massive downsizing they are doing. My co-workers left behind now hate their jobs since there is no way they can keep up with the work load and they are ready to bolt as soon as things pick up. And me with my “entry level” job will bolt as well.

  116. BY TimE says:

    So WTF is up with making programmers being interviewed WRITE CODE ON A WHITE BOARD!?!? It is the most pointless exercise I can imagine. Programmers write code using a text editor that makes revisions and line insertions easy. I personally write code the way many artists create pictures, by “sketching” out the rough outline and then going back to “fill in” details, which is nearly impossible if you are trying to write the code on a white board, with the result always looking like a big mess. I actually brought my laptop with me to the last interview, but they would NOT LET ME type the code into an editor..it HAD to be on the white board!?!?!? And the code they asked me to write (and I have 18 years of experience) was something right out of a 3rd year class from college. This kind “test” will inevitably convince them (falsely) that a programmer just out of college “knows” more than I do (which of course is a joke), since that kid took a test on B-trees (or whatever) just last month, whereas I just spent the last 5 years to doing cutting edge research.

  117. BY RK says:

    Amy- Great Start for Job Seeking 101. As a tech sales person and a former recruiter in Engineering, I found out one thing, HR and testing eliminate candidates, they don’t identify the RIGHT one. In this economy they might receive 100+ resumes per opening. Good luck all!!!!!

  118. BY G. Ben Lund says:

    Ok here is my spill on whats pertains about Interviews from a candidate’s point of view. Being dressed reasonably and on time for the interview is very important it is the hiring managers time your wasting other wise, and even if you get this right you may still be wasting their time. How well do I understand the material and the field is very important as it relates back to being the right candidate with the fact that going into the interview with the attitude “I am here for the money” and not knowing what is expected. I would put forth an effort to say showing how strong you understand programming and the technical requirements of the position at hand has to be up there in priority because it is the meat and potatoes of why I am there. Please remember I am not complaining just stating that I can’t tell you how many times I passed up a position just because some manager or requiter put 3 years on a requirement just because he or she thought it was what they wanted when in fact I have confidence enough to say challenge me and I would put money on the fact that I can run circles around most people having said 3 year of experience. Again just tooting my horn. Whether it is XYZ technology your working with or a simple/complex concept understanding. My skills are above and beyond what I think you would expect, but no one has test my metal yet. As for any basic programming knowledge, I know enough to choke a horse, as for solid understanding gee lets see Java using NetBeans, Visual Basic v6 through v9 .net, and C#.net v7 through v9 with my involvement spanning from 2003 to 2009. And for what I am a programmer at heart and not one of you hiring managers in 6 years dared to touch me I cry out what is your problem. You see I am not fragile I am agile I know my stuff inside out, and know object oriented programming like the back my hand that wasn’t hard at all. The biggest complement I ever had was from a friend of mine Rocky Silvernail and that is “If there is anything that Ben doesn’t know it is because he hasn’t used it 2 to 3 years” so I dare you to test my metal. I would bet money you wouldn’t be sorry for trusting me. I hope you have had a good read if you feel like taking a look, my name is “G. Ben Lund” and I do program because I enjoy it. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  119. BY Confident Man says:

    Dressing up to the nines, especially on a hot day is ludicrous. Not to say you should come in in flip flops or shorts and tanktop, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t show up in comfortable clothing. Whoever said you have to wear a suit and tie to interviews or get really dressed up, was a moron. We have become so conditioned in our thinking that everyone should dress ‘professional’. This isn’t a fashion show. Who cares what you wear, you’re coming to say you can do the job, not walk down the runway sporting your attire. Every interview I have gone to, I have dressed comfortably. Dressing what people deem ‘professional’ is not me. And I do not want to represent something I’m not. I have had no problem getting jobs with the way I dress. It says a lot if it’s a hot day and you were too stupid to dress comfortably and you are prespiring all over.

  120. BY Dave in NJ says:

    In my career the most productive interviews have not been interviews at all, but professional conversations. During the interview describe your skills and experiences, and be sure to express how you feel about being part of the team. Make sure your “value-add” is well understood and back it up with relevant career experiences. In other words, “Why are you the number one candidate?” And one last point, you are interviewing the company too so ask the tuff’ questions. Deflections to these is a strong sign to move on. Interview via a professional conversation with good communication, confidence and honesty. The rest is up to you.

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