[svlug] interview questions

Scott Hess scott at doubleu.com
Thu Oct 5 10:17:29 PDT 2006

On 10/5/06, Joe Buck <Joe.Buck at synopsys.com> wrote:
> I wrote:
> > Oh, come on.  For the vast majority of jobs (that is, unless we're talking
> > about a CEO or other leadership position, or a position that's somehow
> > about changing the world), if the person I was interviewing answered that
> > even if s/he had all the money in the world, s/he'd still want the job I
> > was offering (based on your other questions, be a sysadmin or the like),
> > or even something similar, I'd conclude that I had a tool and a liar on my
> > hands.  I suppose that a clever tool could say s/he would start a company
> > to do exactly the service you were hiring for, but I'd still smell "suck
> > up", and you can't trust people like that.
> On the other hand, if I had all the money in the world, I'd still spend
> a lot of time programming and would spend a lot more of my time
> contributing to free software projects.  So maybe I was treating your
> question unfairly.

I disagree that you're being unfair.  It's a trick question, there's
the honest answer, and the answer the interviewer wants to hear.  "All
the $$$ in the world" was the premise - some of your best candidates
would be doing things like solving world hunger or AIDS or malaria or
working to change the political system, etc, and if the interviewer
thinks those people aren't good candidates, well, then it's better for
those candidates to move on.

I totally love my work, and have a pretty low threshold for just
leaving if I don't care for how things are going, so I can pretty
honestly say that I'd be doing something similar to the job I was
interviewing for (otherwise I wouldn't be interviewing for it).  But
if there were more than one question along those lines, the interview
certainly wouldn't last very long.


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