A Funny Java Flavoured Look at the World

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Good cop, Bad cop

I was interviewing today at work. I remember when I first interviewed someone, not that long ago, I thought it was soo exciting, what responsibility. Then after the first one they are rather boring.

It is interesting sitting on the other side of the table and asking the questions instead of being on the end of them. It's funny really but you ask a question to usually get a small answer back which shows me you understood the topic of the question I asked. You probably don't really have to know in fantastic detail, just tick the box of knowledge. The number of different answers you can get to the same question is amazing, in fact you almost never get the same answer. The people who don't know the answer but give you a politicians answer of answering the question they want answered can be annoying. My favourite type of answer is people who mention technologies in correctly and trying to throw in keywords.

In today's interviews there was two of us doing the interview. We used the good cop bad cop technique and I got to be the bad cop. So after my partner introduced the company, bit about the job, asked them about themselves then I come in with some juicy technical questions. Things like

"what are your technical strengths and weakness"

"how do you keep up with new technology"

"tell me about a project you are proud of"

I will explain that the position we were interviewing for was an action script developer who is also okay with Flash. I have only basic knowledge of these topics but it's useful to get second opinions when interviewing and if nothing else different people come up with different questions.

We had a bit of difficulty trying to find a flash developer who is a wizard with action script. Most the flash people seem to be heavily into their designing and not so much interested in the action script.

It was interesting that although the interview told us a lot, I think we learnt the most when they showed us examples of their work, a program speaks more than a 1000 words.

The thing I found most surprising today was how long interviews take, we had three interviews and they seemed to take up most of the day.

The question I have always wanted to ask in an interview was

"is a Jaffa cake a cake or a biscuit"

although it says cake I think it is without a doubt a biscuit. If anyone has any advice on interviewing people please add a comment.


  • A Jaffa Cake is, without any doubt, a cake.

    This was actually settled in the English courts a number of years ago when HMC&E (as was) tried to classify them as chocolate biscuits (which are a luxury item subject to Value Added Tax) rather than cakes (which are a foodstuff and therefore VAT-exempt).

    The argument was along the lines that, whereas biscuits are hard when fresh and go soft over time, Jaffa Cakes, like other cakes, start off soft but end up going hard and stale.

    Also, if you baked a Jaffa Cake that was 12 inches across and served it up in slices, it would pretty much pass the "duck test" as a cake (i.e. "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you might as well say it's a duck").

    By Anonymous Rob, at Tue Jun 13, 11:36:00 am 2006  

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