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Telling the truth at interviews for Java positions

Posts: n/a
On 23 Nov 2004 09:02:42 -0800, Removed) (Jean Lutrin)

>> I'd be most interested to hear if others have had
>> similar experiences.

>Hi there,
>Answer slightly off-c.l.j.p.-topic, but as you ask...
>I have a job right now (should be working btw, not
>posting to Usenet but still took the time to go
>to an interview last week. The company was a small
>company (around 60 people), mostly employees and
>some freelance (I'm a freelance btw).


>And the guy, the main "Java architect", says to me: "Hey,
>what if I say to you that we have two Unix admins, one of
>them is really bad and we consider firing him, would
>you be interested ?"

Yes, it's all a bit strange really isn't it, you go for one job and
they offer you another. Still at least they made it clear what they
were offering you.

Good luck and thanks for the reply.


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Posts: n/a
lyallex wrote:
> hmm, that must mean you know all about the latest J2SE and EJB
> releases and Swing and Jakarta and Struts and all the other millions
> of things Java out there
> Sorry, I don't believe you.

Did you see my sig? I could elaborate but you might consider it "blowing
my own horn".

> There is more to life than money my friend. I have to enjoy going to
> work or I won't do it.
> the point I was making is that I was lied to in the interview. If you
> have had such an experience then I am interested to hear from you, if
> not, save your breath.

I was engaged to implement LDAP gateway in C. I ended up doing mostly
Java and very little C. Did they lie to me? Not at all. Once they learned
of my other skills they chose to partake of my experience.
Sorry, but I still don't see what you're complaining about...

Java/J2EE/JSP/Struts/Tiles/C/UNIX consulting and remote development.

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Gary Labowitz
Posts: n/a
"Chris Smith" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed).. .
> lyallex <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > I have just escaped from a rather unpleasent organization here in the
> > UK. At both the interviews I attended I made it quite plain that I was
> > after a senior Java developers position. I even made my position clear
> > to the MD. At all times I was assured that the position I was applying
> > for WAS a senior position and the salary appeared to reflect this.
> >
> > In the four and a half months I endured this nightmare I did not
> > recieve a single project that was anywhere near what I would call
> > senior.

> That seems to confirm my suspicion that you weren't lied to, but simply
> misunderstood the work that existed at the organization.

And I would add that it can work both ways. I was sent on a job once that
was listed as a week's work for someone who knew Excel. When I got there the
job involved entering data into a bunch of sheets for salesmen's reports.
After doing one I saw that adding a macro to the template would automate the
entry such that they could do it themselves much quicker. I asked if they
would mind my doing that, they said okay, and I did. I finished the work the
first day and left.
The agency that sent me there was ****ed because they were planning to bill
the client for a week and I only put in one day. The job they advertised and
hired for was simplier than the one they needed in this case.
Moral dilemma: should I have simply done what they asked for and wasted a
week? I would have made more money.
Moral dilemma 2: should the OP simply have done the simplier work and taken
the money, or leave and find work that deserved the level of pay for an

In the long run, the amount of money wasn't significant to me, but the
pleasure of having done the best job I could was.

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Chris Uppal
Posts: n/a
Chris Smith wrote:

> [...] so if I told you I wanted a senior
> developer, it would just mean that I didn't want to train someone up to
> a productive level on the job. It would not necessarily mean that I
> have inherently difficult tasks that I need someone to perform.

But would you think it fair not to make that clear at interview ? In
particular wouldn't you want to ensure that /you/ understood what the candidate
was expecting to get out of the job, and that you were in a position to supply
it ?

-- chris

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Chris Smith
Posts: n/a
Chris Uppal <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> But would you think it fair not to make that clear at interview ? In
> particular wouldn't you want to ensure that /you/ understood what the candidate
> was expecting to get out of the job, and that you were in a position to supply
> it ?

When I interview candidates, I always try to ensure that they understand
basically what kind of work they will be doing. That being the case,
though, I wouldn't feel any specific need to be any more explicit simply
because of having included the word "senior" in the job title. As I
said, that would indicate things about the need for supervision and on-
job training for the candidate to be productive, *not* about the type of
work being performed.

Then again, I also wouldn't perfectly know the type of work to be
performed before hiring a senior developer. Generally speaking, I'd
expect such a person to be capable of doing whatever is necessary to get
their job done.

The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
MindIQ Corporation
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