Interesting job interview today

In: Personal

12 May 2004

Fresh graduate that I am, I have been submitting applications for quite a number of jobs, mostly revolving around the “web developer” and the “software developer” careers. Of course, I am always supplementing my income with web design and development work, and have always been on the lookout for freelance work. Sometimes I wonder about work, about whether to work for someone else, or to strike out on my own… ah, ah, ah… That’s a topic for another day.

So, back on track, I went for an interview today with a SME, and the interviewer was seemingly the owner (educated guesswork involved). He was young, he was entrepreneurial (he had at least 1 major startup that crashed, the current one is the one I was seeking a position in, and it’s successful enough). But what was most interesting was how the interview went.

You see, he was looking over my resumé, and he actually made suggestions on how I should rearrange it and present individual sections, in the most friendly, I’m-here-to-help-you-friend manner. I was surprised, pleasantly. This guy was actually spending time offering very very valuable advice to me. Great stuff.

And he was honest, he said he couldn’t meet my salary expectations, he said that the job I’m applying for (“Java Developer”) is a tedious, repetitive job. He also said something to the effect that starting at a small company like his is not something he’d recommend I do, “as a friend”. Everything made a lot of sense. Excellent career advice.

I didn’t get the job. He said “it’d be a waste” for me to go with this job, when I should be aiming higher. I believe that this is what he felt (not that “it’d be a waste” – that’s subjective), that he wasn’t going through this amazing amount of trouble just to make me feel better about myself for not getting the job. Sincerity shone through. Either that or he is a sterling actor (which I doubt).

3 Responses to Interesting job interview today



May 12th, 2004 at 3pm

Ah the real world. I’m still sheltered in my Ivory Tower and will be, if my plan for my life works out, pretty much all my life. The few “real” jobs I have had never gave me real interviews, but rather just asked me what I wanted to work on (oooh! sign me up for speech-to-text data mining!). And then other jobs have usually been referrals from previous jobs. Case in point: this summer I have a position that I really just begged for (no real interview or resume combing or anything). I can’t imagine the day when I’ll have to get a real real job from an ivory tower and will actually have to present myself seriously at interviews/presentations/visits. Scary thought. Good luck with your job hunt!


Alex Choo

May 12th, 2004 at 6pm

chu yeow,

that’s why i think you should spend 100% of your time on our top-secret project!



May 18th, 2004 at 8pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if every employer were required to have the same attitude and spirit of helpfulness? There ought to be a law! ;) I just found your site (was looking for info on Mambo Open Source, as I am about to vacate MovableType as soon as I can find a way to do it… I don’t like greed), and I am happy that your job hunting experience has shown you that there are some “good guys (guys in the generic, non-gender way)” out there!