Here’s my contribution to Ben Kelly‘s great new book on interviewing, “Standout: A career guide to gainful employment as a skilled software tester”. You can read and purchase your own copy HERE…enjoy!
“These days I conduct mostly “management” interviews, so I am looking for potential and cultural fit into our team. Principles I value are honesty, integrity and accountability, so those lines of questions are often meandering and my conclusions are more “gut feel” than straight forward. I like to talk to people about their hobbies and what they do with their down time, as that can tell me a lot about their personality, dedication, and work ethic. Discussing what books people are reading (or not) is another great way to get insight into people. I was once interviewing a candidate with someone on my management team, and I asked the question “what books are you reading right now”. My manager literally said, “what an awful question”, but after the nervous laughter settled down and we let the conversation flow, we learned a tremendous amount about the person – as they did about us! (We ended up hiring them!) One of the biggest mistakes I see candidates make is not being their authentic selves during an interview. What interests me is how you personally contributed to a project (don’t interchange “me” with “we”), what you learned, what mistakes you made, and what you want to know about me and our team. Feel free to laugh, say “I don’t know”, and talk about values and principles, because long after the technical qualifications have been met, those are the things that really matter.”