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This is a question Fantasists

Eddie Spunkbubble says: I used to know a sad case who fancied himself as a bit of a 007 and bragged that he always carried a loaded 9mm pistol in his attache case "just in case". Overheard by an off-duty copper, he was asked to make good on his claim. A packed lunch, red face and a stern warning "not to act the twat" and he never did it again. Tell us of Walter Mitty types.

(, Thu 5 Jun 2014, 11:40)
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James Bond comes for an interview (RP)
Once, we had to interview this guy who had a suspiciously good CV. He'd got a First at Oxbridge, fluent in Greek, Japanese and Russian, black belt in karate, in charge of various programming projects, worked for the government, last two projects classified.

Convenient, that. No references.

Even before he came in, we called him "James Bond" (we can't remember his real name). Anyway, he misses the first couple of interview slots - his car is a wreck, apparently - but soft-hearted nicies that we are we invite him back for a third attempt.

The informal, chatty part of the interview goes well, then we inform him that we're going to do a technical test. At this point, he goes very pale and sweaty, and with good reason.

Nothing. He can't declare a variable, can't write a loop in C++ (need I say that this was a programming job) so we let him use any computer language he likes. Absolute blank. In the end, he manages to write a total of 1 line of code, misspelled, illegible.

Now here comes the missed opportunity thing. Had we (innocent twits that we were) twigged at this point that his CV was a complete pile of sun-ripened donkey tripe, we could have grilled him till he squeaked. He'd obviously chosen unlikely languages, but we actually had people in the building fluent in Greek, Russian and Japanese. And the Japanese guy was into karate as well.

But no. Muggins here decides he's having a panic attack and let him off with a "thanks, but no". (*BANG* *BANG* *BANG*s head against table in utter shame.)

The agency rang up the next day to apologize - the next interview he had was even worse, as the interviewer was the one bloke who HAD got a first from Oxbridge in his subject in the year on his CV. THEY grilled him till he squeaked, then shopped him to the agency.

I'm sure he's working in the city now. Probably on a government IT initiative. Maybe air traffic control.

Frightening, isn't it?
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 10:28, 15 replies)
I've had so many contractors come in for interview and express surprise and horror that we give them a technical interview
which bellends are actually hiring and paying these bozos?

no wonder banking is shafted
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:05, closed)
We do an initial technical interviews by email, then if they pass that, over the phone
Weeds out about 90% before wasting time on actually meeting.

The email is a simple programming task; it's amazing how few of the submissions will actually do anything even remotely like the assigned task. Which is pretty shameful, as they can google, use textbooks, nick code from Stack Overflow, or whatever they like.

My favourite was one who made it through to the phone interview, but during that we could hear him typing feverishly into google before answering each question...
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:21, closed)
by rights these people should be starving or stacking Aldi shelves
some dozy cunts are actually employing them for long enough to pay their mortgages
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:23, closed)
To be fair, it doesn't really matter if they're googling the answer,
since there are basically no programming roles that require people to program without access to google.

So, instead of giving textbook academic problems, for which it is easy to google textbook answers,
give them slightly more complicated real-world problems which require the joining together of 3 or 4
stack-overflow answers into a block of code that solves the problem. Being able to google for the info
that you don't have, and then quickly assembling that info into a solution that you didn't necessarily
understand 10 minutes ago, is probably more valuable than already understanding it 10 minutes ago.

Although, yeah, its kind of advisable to do the phone interview thing beforehand, just to get rid of the
90% of applicants for senior tech positions, who haven't even seen a fucking computer before.
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:32, closed)
Most programmers are just professional googlers really.
I can't imagine what it must've been like having to consult memory and books all the time.
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 14:32, closed)
only if you don't know the difference between a software engineer and a typist

(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 15:33, closed)
Considering the general cost of recruitment and the ramifications of getting it wrong. Why do people
without any recruitment experience handle the process?
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:40, closed)
All of the recruitment agencies I have ever used
make estate agents seem honest, able and hard working in comparison.
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:51, closed)
Obviously I do not mean recruitment consultants/agents - who are all cunts.

(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:58, closed)
I find it odd how many places recruit people without any contact with someone who 'knows the job' at all.
A quick grilling from someone who does the job is usually quite effective at weeding out bullshitters.
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:54, closed)
That is also a problem.

(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 11:58, closed)
It's because...
...people like to think that recruitment selection is an easy thing that anyone can do and one that requires no special skills. It isn't, as you point out.

Please note, 99.9% of recruitment agencies don't specialise in recruitment selection, they specialise in sales. They promise the earth to get a few good candidates onto their books then promise the earth to get the rest of their (not very good) candidates in front of interviewers. They rely on being able to throw lots of candidates at any given position, knowing that the interviewers probably aren't all that great at interviewing. Shit sticks, being the founding principle.

And HR aren't recruitment selection experts either; they are experts at HR i.e. cost management.

Basically, 99% of British business relies on most people either being shit but enthusiastic (for which read "passionate"), or knowing their stuff but being entirely cynical (most probably because they are being managed by someone shit but enthusiastic).
(, Mon 9 Jun 2014, 13:33, closed)
CV = Complete Viction
I had a variation of this when working as a head programmer. We had a bunch of CVs come in and I half recognised one of them supplied by an agency. Some details fitted a guy on my course while other item, the rest being complete fantasy. Including the bit about him passing his degree.

I called him in just to see the look on his face as he entered the interview room.
(, Tue 10 Jun 2014, 23:01, closed)

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