A few years ago, when I went to Best Buy, I was impressed. Most of the staff was alert and intelligent. The store inventory was well organized. Now, when I go to Best Buy, it seems like nobody there cares.
I need a new digital watch. The watches are designed to break in 3-4 years. It’s cheaper to get a new watch than change the battery or replace the wristband. I’m offended by products that are designed to break, but that’s my only purchasing options.
My old watch was from J&R for $20, but I ruled them out due to insufficient subway service. Some trains still aren’t working after Hurricane Sandy. I would have to make extra transfers. I was already in Manhattan for an interview with a useless headhunter, and there was a Best Buy nearby. I decided to give Best Buy a try.
The cheapest watch was $50, and they weren’t as nice as my old watch. They were bigger, had more features I didn’t want, and lacked the ones I do want.
I decided to get the $50 watch. I figured that after a few years of inflation, the $20 watch wasn’t available anymore. I couldn’t easily search J&R’s website for my old watch.
However, Best Buy was out of the $50 watches. They had a nice display, but no inventory. It took me 5 minutes to get a clerk to tell me they were out of watches. They had more expensive ones, but the boxes were all crushed.
I went to J&R. They still had the $20 watch. It looked identical to my old one. I saved $30, and Best Buy lost $50.
I’m disgusted by Best Buy’s declining quality. It reminds me of Circuit City and K-Mart before their bankruptcy. The store was a mess and the employees didn’t care.
The headhunter was useless. He made me wait for 45 minutes! They gave me a form demanding my SSN! I walked out. I should have known better. I’d been in that headhunter’s office a couple times before, and they never got me a single interview. I should blacklist the headhunters with proven lousy quality.
I no longer look for jobs and work for myself. I hate recruitment. It makes my skin crawl. I have enough money to survive.
A little while I got contacted by a dedicated recruiter working for a tech company. I hadn’t applied to this company. In fact they asked me to apply about 5 years ago. I did back then and never heard back from them. In effect their second contact was predestined to fail as taking 5 years to give interview feedback is bound to piss someone off.
Anyway after finding out about the interview process, it seems they wanted me to write my interview answers on an Internet web-page not protected by a password or https or anything really. The Internet page had my name in bold at the top.
It is quite easy to get bitten. A page isn’t really secure if it can be accessed just by guessing its URL. Plus there are robots crawling the Internet that make both permanent and temporary copies of anything they find. The Internet archive crawls the Internet and anything it finds will be stored permanently.
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought interviews were supposed to be private.
The company wanted to test me in computer languages I hadn’t used for 7 years. I told the recruiter I was programming in different languages now and that I was prepared to solve problems, but didn’t want to be tested on syntax and precise library APIs. The recruiter ignored my request.
In essence they wanted to test me in computer programming languages I hadn’t used for 7 years and then publish the results in a non-protected manner on the Internet.
Maybe nobody would guess the URL. Maybe nobody would see the results. Maybe nothing bad would have happened.
I am an experienced software developer who sells quality software and makes a living from it. Call me paranoid but I don’t want to be rushing into writing some bad code and then having the whole world see it.
I cancelled the interview. What is your take on this? Was I being too careful or was I justified?
One of my worst interviews was at Microsloth in something-rotten-in-*****.
The recruiter booked quite possibly the earliest flight in the morning for me and so I had to wake up maybe at 3am in the morning to get to the airport in time.
On the second day of interviews, the recruiter wanted to meet me at 8am for a pre-interview talk. Well in my local time that was a 7am.
I think I did well in the technical interviews.
One of my many interviews was with the manager of the group.
I answered every single question he asked me correctly.
Then just before the interview ended he asked one more question. I said the correct answer. He then said he was in a hurry and re-worded my correct answer.
After two more interviews, the recruiter told me I hadn’t got the job as I answered the manager’s last question incorrectly.
Either the manager was not listening or lied.
Not nice at all. The preparations for foreign travel and everything took up several days of my time. To have it all wasted either due to a lie or due to the guy not concentrating is not nice at all.
Shame of this little man.
I actually forgot my question for you.
Why do you need a watch when everyone carries a cell phone with a built-in clock?
I suppose cell phones do emit some radiation and so it is safer to switch them off.
A watch is more convenient than taking my cell phone out of my pocket.
I also am offended by interview questions based on obscure language features. Most C++ technical tests have obscure questions on multiple inheritance, such as what happens when the two base classes have functions with the exact same name. I’ve never seen a C++ class that actually used multiple inheritance, especially not in the obscure twisted way of most interview questions.
My long-term goal is to start my own business. For now, I’m looking for a regular wage slave job.
When I did interview a few years ago, I found that small companies try to copy the interview practices of larger companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. I once had a set of interviews at Microsoft, UK and it total, spread across different days and pre-interview tests, had to answer something like 16 programming questions! By the sixteenth question, I was getting tired and, as it was needlessly lengthy, and didn’t answer it. Two weeks later their Human Resources woman telephoned me and said that the manager said I was too stupid to realize I got the last question incorrect. In actual fact I didn’t get it wrong, I didn’t even start to answer it, because my mind just gave up.
What I am trying to say, is that companies make the interview process an ABSURD ENDURANCE TEST OF NEVER ENDING QUESTIONS.
Or in your case, asking obscure questions.
THIS IS NOT WHAT PROGRAMMING SHOULD BE ABOUT.
PROGRAMMING IS ABOUT CREATIVITY.
PROGRAMMING IS ABOUT SOLVING PROBLEMS IN A NICE WAY IN YOUR OWN TIME.
YOU HAVE SEVERAL HOURS TYPICALLY AT WORK TO WORK OUT THE BEST WAY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SOLVE PROGRAMMING PROBLEMS IN REAL LIFE BY HAVING A HUMAN STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU TIMING YOUR RESPONSES AND WRITING DOWN EVERYTHING YOU SAY.
INTERVIEWS ARE ARTIFICAL. IT IS EASIER TO SOLVE PROBLEMS WITH JUST A COMPUTER.
Another offensive bit is the programming assignment. Do you really expect me to spend a day or two implementing something just for an interview? I used to do such silliness, but it never led to an interview or offer, so I stopped.