Software Reality
Programming with
a dose of satire.

Site Map Search

Agile Development
Extreme Programming
Code Generation


Get Updated!

Get the latest stories delivered direct to your inbox! Join our FREE mailing list below:

You may be asked for more info, but you don't need to fill it in. Just click the link in the confirmation email when you receive it, and that's it - you're in!


Lots of people have left messages over here... including some "bonus" stories. Yes, it's the Software Reality Guestbook!

Read it, sign it, and be immortalised in HTML.

(:= Cthulhu's Corner

Interview Advice

Bow down to the Great and extremely Busy-Looking One.

Gag. Interviews. Ecch. Such a ballet of hypocrisy.

"An elaborate ritual of deceit and protocol..."

But, people are always looking for jobs, and that means going through an elaborate ritual of deceit and protocol to be initiated as an employee.

Alas, there are many young folks who have no idea what interviews involve. They operate under the mistaken notion one needs to be honest, forthright, and take every opportunity to showboat and strut their stuff. This is wrong.

For those new to the job market and interviews, let me offer the following rules of interviews:

Rule #1:
You are not a superman. If you were, they would be asking YOU for the job. Behave yourself and play the drone so you can observe from the shadows how things are done in the real world.

Rule #2:
You are not $deity's gift to $industry_name. You're a dime-a-dozen newbie in a tight market, so the intangibles count for more than your GPA. Brush your teeth and comb your hair. Wear some decent shoes, too.

Rule #3:
Nobody cares about what you did in high school. Nobody. If you put high school stuff down, they will remember high school and laugh at you for being the new kid. Your college GPA is also useless, and will only make the interviewer think he's better than you if he had a higher average or you're an uppity know-it-all if he had a lower average.

Rule #4:
You're interviewing, so dress as conservatively as possible, then get ONE cool accessory. That's how they'll remember you. For guys, it should be a cool tie. For women, a pin, earring, or dynamite lipstick color. If they're banging on your door, asking you to work for them, then be a slob in a Hawaiian shirt and they'll beg even harder.

Rule #5:
You have ZERO experience relative to other newbies. Everyone else did an internship or worked on the school paper, so if you didn't, you're behind the pack.

Rule #6:
You're not an individual unless you get hooked up at a really tiny company with terrible benefits. Because you're not an individual, don't act like one in an obvious fashion. You are playing a part and can shed the costume when the whistle blows. Until then, keep your nose clean and say "yessir" and "nosir" and build your experience.

Rule #7:
You should have lied on your resume. The job description is inflated to account for your lies. Lying is important in most industries because if you're unwilling to lie on your resume to serve yourself, you're definitely not going to lie to cover for your boss' mistakes.

Rule #8:
When they ask questions like "What is your biggest weakness?" or "How do you handle failure?", don't get all cocky and act like you have no weaknesses or failures. AND FOR $DEITY'S SAKE, DON'T TELL THE TRUTH! The one exception to telling the truth is if it involves overcoming a disability. Bonus points if you still have the disability and you're in a country where the disabled can sue if they didn't get hired and suspect discrimination. Your biggest weakness is perfectionism or tearing yourself away from your work. You handle failure by trying harder. You don't examine your failures. You try harder. Examine failures and you'll notice your boss is an idiot...

Rule #9:
If they should ask what you like to do outside of work, say "golf." If that's a lie, then you better study something about golf so you can act like you're a golfer. Everyone likes golfers. Nobody likes artists, writers, dancers, or other creative types. Nobody likes people who play other sports because they're prone to think themselves superior to everyone else.

Rule #10:
Shut up. I didn't say to keep your comments brief, I said shut up. Avoid speaking whenever possible. Nod a lot. The more you let the interviewer talk, the smarter he'll think you are. When you do have to say something, pitch your voice an octave lower than usual and act smooove. And then shut up.

Rule #11:
Get a few years of experience and *then* you're bad. When you're bad, you can ignore some of these rules. Get industry recognition and you're awesome. When you're awesome, you can ignore most of these rules. Stick with me and I'll make you so in demand, people will line up for miles to pay $1000 each to kiss your superstar butt. At that point, you'll make other people obey these rules.

Consider this your graduation speech. Probably some of the best advice you'll get. You're welcome.


Great Cthulhu Jones
CEO, R'lyeh Consulting

<< Back to Cthulhu's Corner Central

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Stories and articles are owned by the original author.
All the rest Copyright 1998-2007 Matt Stephens. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.