Tuesday 21 May 2013

Thought Picnic: My Interview Weaknesses

Interviews are not the same
We all interview in very different ways depending on the situation, the circumstance and the opportunity. In my case, interviews have straddled the spectrum of a grilling interrogation to a friendly discussion sometimes without a definitive inkling as to whether I will be considered suitable for the role or not.
It is not easy to determine what to expect at an interview and when it is not face-to-face, it is more difficult to project oneself as well especially where a question presents a difficulty in coming up with clear answers.
My lacking in ability
Whilst I am fine with telephone interviews, I will only attend a Skype interview without the video element, though I can remember about 14 years ago where I attended an interview at a recruitment agent’s office, it was recorded on video and sent to panel working for the employers where current employees voted on who they liked and that determined eligibility.
Recently, I have noticed that I am not that good at core technical narratives, much as I have been doing what I do for over a decade, I fully understand the workings and the innards but the hypothetical scenarios I get given at interview leave me wanting for expression and jargon, I am almost tongue-tied.
Planning ahead of typical troubles
Another disadvantage I seem to have had comes from not experiencing some of the issues that come up in questions I have to answer, it was interesting when the interviewer said on reflection that I probably take time to plan out and capture as much as I can of the situation before I design and implement solutions – I end up with fewer management and critical issues and by reason of that, I am probably not as tested as those who have to fight fires daily because of unforeseen issues and much else.
Where one is engaged to design from scratch, one is at an advantage but in situations where one is to maintain an existing but flawed deployment solution change might be difficult to instigate and implement for more political than technical reasons.
Swotting to swat the quiz
I find I still have to learn to exude to the level that I know to do in a practical setting; reading gives words to the actions I have literally learnt to perfect, creating scenarios and painstakingly working through each to some working conclusion creates consistent workflow processes that I hope I will find words to express when asked at interview.
Most pertinently, I rarely attempt to reinvent the wheel, so many have travelled the roads I travel and have documented hard-won lessons that come in handy every time, I am grateful to them because it usually means, if I know what to look for, I will find a clue, a pointer, a thinking, a process, an implementation or a solution that I can adapt and use to perfect the imperfect situation I am facing.
Books still matter
Sometimes, that is simply what an expert is, not the person who can give a good talk but the person who understands the general problem and knows how to seek out solutions that work.
Meanwhile, back to the books, there is much theory to refresh until it becomes the Shibboleth of interview success.

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