You shall not pass or How to behave with an employer so as NOT to get this job

    Greetings,% USERNAME%!

    For many years, I have been engaged in the fact that, in various roles (from team lead to the head of the development department), I lead the development of software.

    And, quite naturally, the hiring of various kinds of developers, testers, and analysts is an integral part of my activity - here is compensation for turnover, and the formation of new teams, and the restructuring of existing teams for new projects, etc., etc.

    At the same time, I constantly face the fact that candidates make the same basic, conceptual mistakes - both before the interview and during it - and significantly reduce their chances of a successful interview. Some of these errors are simply the result of ignorance or misunderstanding of some of the principles that employers are guided by when hiring, some of them are inept adherence to tips from the Internet, which, unfortunately, are often written either too popularly or too generally.

    Those who want to know more closely how the potential manager from the development sees the hiring process and what needs to be done if you DO NOT want to get a job - welcome under cat.

    Common Prerequisites for Misconduct

    Analyzing all kinds of mistakes made by applicants before and during the interview, I came to the conclusion that many of them are often due to the fact that the employer and employee look fundamentally differently at some basic principles that greatly affect the construction of their further relationship (hereinafter by “employer” and “employer” I will mean not a certain abstract figure, but a specific line manager who is looking for employees, in particular himself).

    Ignorance or unwillingness to accept the point of view of the employer is, in my experience, one of the strongest obstacles to further cooperation, therefore, before describing, in fact, typical mistakes, I will give a short list of basic “axioms” that guide the employer in finding new employees.

    Axiom 1. The IT labor market is a highly liquid market

    All sorts of magazines, television programs and popular personnel sites constantly reiterate that the IT market is constantly hungry for people, that finding a job in it is not a problem and that unemployment is not threatened by IT people.

    And this is certainly true. But this truth only means that it is difficult for the employer to quickly find a good specialist for little money. And from this it follows only that a good specialist can always quickly find a new job if he lowers his a certain level that is quite high compared to many other industries (yes, imagine there are many professions where it is difficult to find a job for a good specialist in the PRINCIPLE, and compared with them, the market is just an earthly paradise).

    But what absolutely does NOT follow from this is that the average specialist will quickly find work for a lot of money. It is especially worth noting that 80% of all vacancies in the development divisions are a search for "average" specialists, i.e. hands with which they work, not drive.

    Axiom 2. The applicant is a seller in a competitive market

    Someone likes it, dislikes it, agrees, disagrees - it does not change the essence. The applicant presents his skills in order to be bought by the buyer-employer at a certain price.

    Unfortunately, many smart articles form the very opposite view - something like a tender (buyers compete in absentia) or auction (in-person competition) relationships, when the applicant allegedly publishes his resume proposal, and employers begin to fight for the right to hire him.

    So, neither one nor the other scheme is applicable in 99% of cases. The fact is that, by their nature, both of them suggest that bidders / auctioners want toget this particular item of bargaining - a contract or an antique little thing. In most cases of finding workers, the employer has some, but a choice: not now, so in a month vacancies will be closed. And he perfectly understands this and is in no hurry, therefore, I'm sorry, but you are a seller, only one of many.

    Of course, there are exceptions, but these are one-time cases and the struggle usually goes for employees who are very valuable, we can say - system-forming.

    Axiom 3. The hiring process is a labor-intensive procedure with extremely low exhaust

    What does a typical hiring procedure look like from the point of view of a line manager looking for an employee? Every day, a girl personnel officer performs the initial selection of resumes solely by formal criteria - keywords, age, work experience, etc. - dictated by the manager. As a result, a pack is recruited, which the manager also raises daily or a little less in his spare time, spending from this action from fifteen minutes to half an hour of his time.

    With candidates who seemed interesting to him, the manager asks the personnel officer to arrange a meeting and, in fact, meets at the appointed time. If the personnel officer does not freebies, a week manager passes through from 10 to 50 resumes, depending on market saturation, requirements for applicants and their own employment. And if you pick up a normal pace and, again, the requirements for candidates are not exotic, you can easily reach a productivity of 5-10 interviews per week.

    And now for some fun arithmetic. For “average market” vacancies, the “conversion rate” —the ratio of those invited to interviews for those who have gone to work — is about 10 to 1. At first glance, it’s not so small (as much as ten percent), but think about the essence of this figure.

    Prior to the first interview, the manager knows for sure that the probability that this particular applicant is NOT suitable for him is nine out of ten! And as a result - every minute, every joule of energy spent on this applicant is 90% likely to be wasted! And, as in any similar case, the manager forms the stereotype of “hard - but necessary”, which gives rise to a somewhat specific attitude towards the candidates.

    Axiom 4. Do not know how - do not handle

    The simplest and most obvious of all axioms, one might say - worldly wisdom, dressed in the form of a proverb, for some reason is constantly forgotten when it comes to the so-called "Soft skills" - skills that are difficult to track and measure, such as interpersonal skills, analytical mindset and learning ability.

    In smart articles all the time they write that these same skills need to be demonstrated during the interview (and this is true), but for some reason they are silent that they, like any other skills, need to learn, and if you don’t own any skill, then it’s better not to mention him, much less to try to demonstrate.

    How to behave in order not to get this job

    So, the introductory part is done away with, now we will pass, in fact, to some examples of what errors personally cause me involuntary antipathy to your candidacy.

    Do not indicate in the resume the desired z.p.

    UPD: There was a lot of controversy over this item, and I gave some explanations at the end of the article.

    This error runs counter to all of the above axioms. No, really. I have a specific position. She has a specific payroll plug. Don’t be offended, bro, but I look at three or four dozen resumes every week. And I don’t want to cut my schedule, coordinate the time of the interview and, basically, spend my time in the end to find out that you don’t fit into this fork. Finally, it is simply annoying - we are not at the bazaar or at the tender, I want to immediately and clearly know what price you want for your product - your precious services. My resolution to the personnel officer will still be - clarify the zp, submit a resume for re-viewing. So why lengthen the chain?

    Request stupid details before accepting an interview

    UPD: There was a lot of controversy on this point, and I gave some explanations at the end of the article.

    I don’t know who invented this first, but recently there have been occasional candidates who consider it their duty to write something like “to save your and your time, I I would like to receive an answer to several questions. ” And then the list of absolutely stupid questions follows, the appropriateness and relevance of which BEFORE the interview, to put it mildly, is not obvious. Which means that I have to spend my time to come up with the correct answers, to write them out in writing and wait with bated breath if the forgiving person would be pleased to find my answers satisfactory.

    Therefore, in accordance with axiom number 3, I usually save my and his time by sending a resume to the basket.

    What questions do I definitely consider "stupid" and why:

    • What projects are you doing? Yoksel-moxel, we are engaged in various projects and I have already said all the common words that I wanted to say on this topic in the job description! Of course, I’m happy to talk about this topic - in the second part of the interview, and I will announce exactly the amount of information that I consider necessary, based on the results of the actual interview. But now I do not want to waste my time preparing an essay on our project portfolio for a person whom I have not even seen;
    • What technologies do you use? Similarly to the previous paragraph, we use different technologies and all of their “common” names I have already listed in the job description;
    • What processes are you using? My universal answer: we use an iterative approach with elements of Agile and a classic waterfall. Feel better? If we had full Agile or some other exotic - I would definitely write about it in a job;
    • What is the size of your company? There is a stopitsot person working for us in the company, I definitely didn’t count, but in any case, you will closely communicate, most likely only with five or six of them. Why do you need this information? Ask if a large company with us could have been with a personnel officer;
    • What is your bonus scheme in your company? I’m not at all sure yet that you are suitable for us at all, not to mention the discussion of the issues of promotion for a good job before the interview;
    • I would like to get acquainted with my workplace? You do not have a job in our company. We can look at where you may be sitting after the interview. There really, most likely, there is no computer, no phone, no stationery - we order them before the candidate goes to work.

    This list can be continued for a long time, the main thing is to learn the general principle. Questions that can wait until "after the interview" - should wait.

    In my practice, the best impression was made by the applicant (whom I accepted as a result and who later was more than satisfied), who before the interview sent a letter with the following content: “At the end of the interview, I would like to ask some important questions for me. I am sending them in advance so that you have time to familiarize yourself with them. ” And then the list is very similar to the above. But! He clearly made it clear in his letter that he respects my time and does not require additional efforts from me BEFORE the interview and seeks to increase the effectiveness of our interaction.

    To state that you have a very wide choice / to refer to high employment in other interviews / to emphasize that this interview is one of many

    Even if this is so, such a statement is a signal that the applicant is trying to use a model of market relations that is different from that set out in Axiom No. 2. As I wrote above, the employer is usually not ready to interact with the applicant either from the position of tender or from the position of the auction relationship, therefore such a mismatch between the behavior of the applicant and the employer cannot but cause (conscious or unconscious) rejection and is very unlikely to lead to hiring.

    And many employers know or feel this very well, therefore, as soon as this kind of bell rings, they, in accordance with Axiom No. 3, prefer to “basket” this candidate.

    Once again - before the first interview, your value for the employer is not even zero, but a negative value - with a 90% probability he will waste his strength on you. Therefore, before the interview, it is better not to get your own price - this will quite wait for the moment of the offer.

    In conversation speak abnormal intonation or choose a patronizing tone

    See axiom number 4. Yes, I know that they write everywhere - speak and be confident, don’t be pinched, take an active position. And it’s great, if you know how, it’s a big plus. Because if you do not know how, it is very easy to make a mistake in choosing the intonation and tone of the conversation. In my practice, I interviewed applicants who:

    • They talked to me in a quiet, insinuating voice (probably it was their interpretation of “speak confidently”). As a result, I had the feeling that I was talking not with the applicant for an interview, but with a pimp offering me some shameful entertainment - such, you know, a characteristic vrakaaadchivaya, well-you-understand-about-what intonation;
    • They filled up with verbal diarrhea like an exam: if you don’t know the topic, speak the teacher (“don’t get pinched”). The problem is that the interview time is limited and the more time you spend on verbal husk (which I filter almost automatically anyway), the less you have left to demonstrate useful qualities;
    • They took a protective position in relation to me (a misunderstanding of the essence of the term “active position in negotiations”) - i.e. everything that I say, they know, if they don’t know, they knew it just yesterday, but they’ve forgotten today, and it would be nice to understand that asking all kinds of children's questions is stupid and why shouldn't I stop wasting their precious time;

    Conclusion: no need to jump above your head, an unexpected may happen. If you don’t know how to say “confidently”, “freely”, “proactively” - just talk as you can, in your usual tone, your usual intonation. This is quite enough.

    Refuse to demonstrate the required soft skills position

    In addition to the “production” skills, in each full-time position, there is still a certain set of “soft” skills that every employee of the corresponding profession should possess. For example, if the position has the word “Lead”, “Chief”, “Senior” - this implies, among other things, that you will have Padawans or some other subordinates that you will lead over which you will dominate and dominate. And, accordingly, it would be nice to have at least some skills in teamwork and team management.

    If in the position there is the word “Developer” and there is no word “Junior”, then the ability to relatively quickly find a solution to new, previously unsolved problems is implied. If in the position there is the word “Analyst”, then I want to see the skills of analysis and a certain level of sociability.

    Accordingly, when interviewing the candidate, I look not only at how much he knows one or another programming language or software package, but also on how much he corresponds to the declared position with t.z. the above skills.

    If a developer cannot solve a simple algorithmic problem that he has not previously solved (really - a simple one) - this is bad, but tolerable. But if at the same time he refuses to do this after three minutes of fruitless attempts, this almost certainly means an abortion of the interview. The reluctance of the analyst to play interviews with the customer is similar. The tester’s unwillingness to figure out a test case according to one or two requirements - there too. The unwillingness of the lead developer to resolve a simple conflict between development, testing and analytics - with the same result.

    To be late for an interview and not to warn about it

    And last but not least. If you are late for more than 10 minutes - call and warn, especially if it is already visible in advance. Your vis-a-vis may have another meeting end-to-end, he may postpone the performance of any case, because only half an hour is left before the interview, etc.

    Actually, a small update. Judging by the fact that the article was taken away in the negative, and the content of the comments, most readers did not understand my main message. And the message is the following: all that is described above is not an attempt to stir up the public on the eternal topic “employee vs employer”, nor even expounding my thoughts and thoughts on the topic “what would happen”. This is, oddly enough, just information to action. To take it into account when building relationships with the employer or not to take it into account - everyone decides for himself.

    UDP # 2:
    According to the results of the violent discussion in the comments with a periodic transition to the characterization of my recent personality (although they have not yet called a capitalist pig — thanks, then), two points caused the greatest outrage of the masses, and I consider myself obligated to give some explanation.

    Questions before the interview- for some reason this item caused the greatest amount of negativity. I explain. The applicant can and has the right to ask any questions before, during and after the interview. Naturally, it’s perfectly normal to clarify some important aspects for you and get answers. But the question is a question of discord and those questions that are quite appropriate at the time of the interview (when both you and the employer already had a certain impression of each other), cause irritation, being asked before. I called such questions "stupid." What questions do I call "stupid"? a) Questions formulated in a general vein (“What are your projects?”, “What technologies do you have?”, “How many people do you have?”) - because general questions mean the same general answers and, in fact, not that they don’t answer, but they require a sufficiently detailed answer. b) Matters implying inherently

    Naturally, any questions can be asked, but do not be surprised that some of them can be perceived negatively. And I say this just for information - to follow or not to follow the advice - he decides to each

    Note ZP in summary , the second most discussed item.
    Yes, there is a lot of injustice.
    Yes, the dilemma of a fair price tag has been, is and will be. Moreover, I will tell you a secret - I also prefer that employers indicate the target zp in vacancies, it would be better if it was immediately the upper limit (oddly enough, I also occasionally act as a seeker), and I would choose from the available options.
    No, employers will not do so - if the price is indicated - this is, at best, the average price. Or even the price "from ...".
    No, I will not invite the applicant for an interview without knowing his target s.p. - I have a PHOT.

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