Interviewing for a new position can be insanely stressful, no matter which side of the table you’re sitting on at the time. Job interviews are part performance art, part police interrogation, and part awkward holiday dinner with dyspeptic relatives. Very few people enjoy interviews, and fewer still are trained in how to do them well.
Interviewing often gets painfully difficult in the Information Technology field. The potential gap in knowledge and experience between applicant and reviewer makes it challenging to generate meaningful questions and to interpret arcane answers. Finding the best possible candidate for a critical role can be like dowsing for water with a blindfold and a stick – blind luck rules the process more often than skill.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re searching for a new position yourself or you’re stuck trying to fill a vacancy within your company, there are reliable methods for ensuring that you’ll learn exactly what you need to know about the other players in the equation before the interview is over. All it takes is some self-awareness (i.e., who you are and what you want), an understanding of the essential characteristics needed in the role, and the moral courage to ask some difficult, thought-provoking questions.
Keil Hubert, the American correspondent for London-based Business Technology magazine, has been hiring IT people for over twenty years, and has developed a great many strong (and usually snarky) opinions on the subject. Starting in the summer of 2012, he penned a series of humourous columns for Business Technology online about the seeming futility of the modern IT hiring process, and how to wrest success from the seemingly-inescapable jaws of HR-mandated failure. That one-time experiment led to a sequel in 2013, and spawned a bunch of one-off follow-up articles tied to the main theme.
Thanks to popular response to the 2012 and 2013 ‘interviewing’ series of columns, Keil has compiled them all into this eBook. He’s also added a wealth of supporting material, including behind-the-scenes commentary for each series, per-column annotations, example interviewing scripts, and an entire section on how to craft useful practical exercises to drop into your interviews. More than fifty percent of this content has never been published before.
In this collection, Keil will show you how to put on fully-immersive, actor-driven scenarios, prop-driven practical exercises, and multi-part questions that tease honest answers out of people who are trying hard to reveal anything but. He’ll show you how interviewing can be more like swordplay than debate, and why taking the initiative in a battle of wits can be critical to your success. He’ll also reveal why vapid logic puzzles (e.g., ‘how would you put a giraffe in a refrigerator?’) have no place in a civil interview.
You can, of course, read the original columns online for free. You can’t, however, get the supplemental material online, or anywhere else. There might even be a bonus column hidden somewhere in the text that was never published (hint: yes, there is).
Version 2.0 of this title includes an entirely new chapter on hiring veterans.
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