Interview Experience

When I was interviewing for my new job, and even after I had gotten it, people said that I had an advantage of being recently out of college. Supposedly, I was fresh and people could mold me to be what they wanted, so they guessed I would be "desperately wanted."

Lies I say!

I cannot count how many times I have been turned down for positions because I was too green or too inexperienced. Companies don't want to hire college graduates into IT because they don't have "experience in building mission critical systems" or some such. Nevermind that I am a human being that has ideas about how things should be done and what I want to do.

Many companies won't consider candidates unless they have at least how many years that they asked for in the job posting. This suggests they want people who are pre-molded from somewhere else, so there goes the initial no-brainer assumption. And you're not even on the map until you have at least 50 years of C experience and at least 25 years of Java experience, nevermind that neither of those have been around for that long!

More infuriating, is that programming experience has nothing to do with actual programming skill, and judging by job postings, skill is something that no one cares for. From the line of business apps that I've worked on (and opinions from others about those and other apps), this mentality is evident and widespread. A kid fresh out of college might easily have more skill than someone who's been around for 20 years, but has just been writing crappy code all this time. But who has a better chance of getting hired just about anywhere? Not the graduate! So the decorated graduate scores the job at impossible odds by lying about his "experience", then has to fix or rewrite the muck that the old guy's been writing for 20 years. Way to breed resentment.

I discussed this with one of my new coworkers. He said that the only questions he would ask in an interview would be "Do you play video games" and "Do you code at home", with yes and yes being the correct answers. I suggested adding another, channeling the famous Steve Halladay, and making it the second: "Do you know what a linked list is".

Posted under Programming.

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