Job interviews can be hard work. I’ve had quite a few in my time, and you need to do at least a little homework before submitting yourself to the scrutiny of others. Most of my interviews have been quite ordinary, with someone asking questions and someone else interjecting occasionally trying to trip me up.
My most memorable interview, though, was for my position at Modem Media in London. I visited their “cosy” office on a rather warm summer’s day, the coolest area was near the system administrators who had a portable air conditioning unit pumping the hot air over Piccadilly Circus, and Glenn White occupied a glass walled room in the centre of the office.
As interviews went, this one started quite normally. What was the best lesson I took from studying at University? How did I go about managing my schedule? What did I do in my spare time?
Glenn had, and possibly still has, this tactic to thrown you off guard though. Or perhaps it’s to test your ability to rapidly adapt to a changing or hostile environment. Or maybe just because he’s got a rather twisted sense of humour and likes to play with people’s minds. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying that, and will probably point out that this was indeed the case.
Glenn: Describe how you would break down a project in to tasks after being given a technical requirements specification.
Ben: Well, I’d start off by…
Glenn: What’s your favourite colour?
Ben: Erm, well, black mostly, but I also like purp…
Glenn: A project manager approaches you and wants you to do some urgent work, but you’re scheduled by another PM. What would you do?
Ben: Well I’d tell the…
Glenn: What music do you listen to?
The “sensible” questions are made up – I don’t remember what he asked. The colour/music ones are real though. I remember those!
All in all, it’s my most memorable interview. The rest pale in comparison. I took that job over the others. I’m not sure if it was Glenn’s interview technique, or just because the job looked like more fun than working for over-dressed kiosk development people who wouldn’t even show me their offices. I like to think it’s because of Glenn, and the fact that I remember this almost 9 years later is probably testament to that.
What was your most memorable interview? Perhaps your’s was full of pain and anguish. Perhaps you had to go play paint ball with your boss-to-be. I’d love to hear about it…