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May 25, 2010
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So I had a phone interview for another job and wanted to say some things about it.
 
First of all, it's enormously frustrating, in any situation, when multiple people are sharing a speakerphone. As soon as more than one person talks you can't hear anything. Since this was a phone interview I was using my cell phone for the call which already had tricky reception going on (thanks AT&T). It was doing that echo thing where you can hear your own voice right after you say things. I was doing my best to ignore it but I'm sure that meant I couldn't always hear when the interviewers said something. Their reception was so bad that at the moment I was ready to write down their names I only got one for each of them, either their first or last only.
 
I've never done a panel interview over the phone like this before so that was all a little new. It sounded like they were interviewing about a thousand of us because they had a list of questions ready to ask and stuck to those. In this situation it was probably fine but I hope to not encounter that in the future. Much as I'm expected to think on my feet it'd be nice if they asked questions that meant something to them or that came to them in the moment. Their first question was probably the hardest where they asked me to tell them something about myself that isn't on my resume. I hate to say it, but my life's on my resume. I don't have my video game collection on my resume because it's not relevant to the job so it's a little awkward you suddenly asking me for irrelevant personal information. I didn't know how to answer the question so I basically reiterated my elevator speech (or a shortened version of my cover letter) but of course all that is on my resume in some form or another. I'd be open to ideas about how to answer that.
 
In the end, they were very nice, and even though I don't think it will work out this time I'm supposed to hear back this week. The good news is I think this is surely a sign the economy is picking up. Doug Fred over at The Engineering Daily has a great list of questions to ask the interviewer for a number of different kinds of jobs, if only I had read that beforehand.
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