I’m working on this project, you know, at work, and it turns out it’s a
little larger than we first anticipated so we’re getting some
contractors on it.
I’m interviewing these contractors, and I’m finding that lots of people
look great on paper but don’t live up to the hype when you talk to
We’re looking for ASP.NET developers, specifically. I’ve talked to five
developers with excellent looking resumes so far, and only two are
remotely close to anything I’d consider an ASP.NET developer. It’s bad
to the point where you wonder if the people who put down “proficiency in
ASP.NET” have actually been online before in their lives.
One of the first questions I ask a candidate is what the events are
(and in what order) for an ASP.NET web form (System.Web.UI.Page) when it
executes. For those who actually aren’t ASP.NET developers, this is like
asking a college English professor to give you the alphabet. If you
don’t know it, or can’t at least get the main ones, it sort of debunks
you as being anything you claim to be.
It turns out that this is a tough question for the people we’ve so far
For those going to interviews, let me help you out: When you don’t know
the answer to a question, say so. You might take the opportunity to
think out loud and talk with the interviewer to see if you’re on the
right track, but make sure they understand you’re not trying to put up a
smoke screen. Do not change the subject and start talking about jobs
you’ve had in the past that are entirely unrelated to the job you’re
interviewing for. Do not hem and haw about and then give up with the
statement “I know I could do a good job for you.” Just be straight and
do your best. Unless you’re interviewing for a sales job, chances are
the interviewer(s) will know if you’re lying.
Furthermore, if you’ve used a technology (or application or tool or
whatever) only once or twice, don’t list it on your resume. Just
because you’ve ridden in a car doesn’t mean you know how to drive one.
Save us both some time. Oh, and if you tell me you know how to program
and that you rely on copying and pasting example code then tweaking
it… just get up and walk out. You’re not going to get the job.
Finally, don’t oversell yourself. I understand that people in
interviews get nervous and some people react to nervousness by
talking… curb your yammering skullcave and let the interviewers ask
you questions. If you have a question, ask it. If you’re asked a
question, answer it. Don’t go off on some diatribe about the 47 other
jobs you’ve had and every project you’ve ever worked on. Answer the
question, provide reasonable detail, and move on.
Save me time. I value my time. You’re wasting it. Just… just don’t.