Skip to main content

Coffee with an Interviewer


Interviews, particularly job interviews, are periods full of tension for the people facing it; much like taking a competitive exam. Till now I have only been an interviewee, cursing the interviewer for asking irrelevant questions, for showing his arrogance and stuff. Never before have I been an interviewer and had no idea what it is to interview a candidate. All that was about to change in the last ten days.

My company required people (or "resources" as they call it) for a particular new and upcoming technology which  is considered to be quite niche. As I had experience in that technology (and also the fact that I was free), I was asked to interview few candidates. At first I thought that this was a joke. How am I supposed to conduct an interview?!! I had never been on the other side of the fence. But after they made it amply clear that they were not kidding, I braced myself for it.

Like it will to most of us, it came as a surprise to me that the interviewer can too be nervous. In fact I thought that I was more nervous than the first candidate whom I was interviewing. Thank God that it was a telephonic interview. But after the mandatory questions of introducing yourself, the realization hit me that I was in the more powerful position. I became more confident and the interview went on smoothly.

I have conducted a lot of interviews since then. In the course of so many interviews, you come across a variety of people (some of them were even from Pakistan!!). Some people come across as absolutely ridiculous, the ones who will try to answer each and every question, even the questions they know nothing about. I have realized that saying that you don't know something isn't bad. It will save yours and the interviewer's time and if the interviewer is anything like me, he will appreciate your honesty. After all one is not supposed to know everything.

There can be some awkward moments when the candidate asks you some questions. You can (and I did) swing right past them by using standard answers like, "Think about it" or "Our HR department will get in touch with you". 

Interviewing is an art and it doesn't come easy. The entire weight of your responsibilities and the candidate's hopes are on your shoulders. You don't like it when you have to say no to someone. Its not fair, either for the interviewer or the interviewee. But neither is life.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Integrating React with SonarQube using Azure DevOps Pipelines

In the world of automation, code quality is of paramount importance. SonarQube and Azure DevOps are two tools which solve this problem in a continuous and automated way. They play well for a majority of languages and frameworks. However, to make the integration work for React applications still remains a challenge. In this post we will explore how we can integrate a React application to SonarQube using Azure DevOps pipelines to continuously build and assess code quality. Creating the React Application Let's start at the beginning. We will use npx to create a Typescript based React app. Why Typescript? I find it easier to work and more maintainable owing to its strongly-typed behavior. You can very well follow this guide for jsx based applications too. We will use the fantastic Create-React-App (CRA) tool to create a React application called ' sonar-azuredevops-app '. > npx create-react-app sonar-azuredevops-app --template typescript Once the project creation is done, we

Centralized Configuration for .NET Core using Azure Cosmos DB and Narad

We are living in a micro services world. All these services are generally hosted in Docker container which are ephemeral. Moreover these service need to start themselves up, talk to each other, etc. All this needs configuration and there are many commercially available configuration providers like Spring Cloud Config Server, Consul etc. These are excellent tools which provide a lot more functionality than just storing configuration data. However all these have a weakness - they have a single point of failure - their storage mechanism be it a file system, database etc. There are ways to work around those but if you want a really simple place to store configuration values and at the same time make it highly available, with guaranteed global availability and millisecond reads, what can be a better tool than Azure Cosmos DB! So I set forth on this journey for ASP.NET Core projects to talk to Cosmos DB to retrieve their configuration data. For inspiration I looked at Steeltoe Con

Add Git Commit Hash and Build Number to a Static React Website using Azure DevOps

While working on a React based static website recently, there was a need to see exactly what was deployed in the Dev/Test environments to reduce confusion amongst teams. I wanted to show something like this: A quick look at the site's footer should show the Git Commit Hash and Build Number which was deployed and click through to actual commits and build results. Let's see how we achieved this using Azure DevOps. Git Commit Hash Azure DevOps exposes a variable called  $(Build.SourceVersion) which contains the hash of the commit. So I defined a variable in the Build Pipeline using it. Build Id and Build Number Azure DevOps also exposes two release time variables  $(Build.BuildId) and  $(Build.BuildNumber) which can be used to define custom variables in the pipeline. So we have a total of 3 variables defined: Next we use these variables in our React App. I created 3 global variables in index.html and assigned a token value to them. < script   type = "text/JavaScript&quo