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General Wonderment: Has this sort of thing ever happened?

 
Monu Tripathi
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John, a rancher(say a Ranch hand) walks to an interview and finds that one of the interviewer is a forum moderator @JavaRanch (lets picture EFH or Ulf). He realizes this as soon as he enters the room.

[It is important to state here that the Rancher is just 3 years old in the industry and just a Sun Certified Programmer for Java. This was necessary or else I can guess the answers to the following questions]

Should he feel intimidated?
Should he still believe that he is well prepared now that he has some idea of how knowlegeable one of the interviewers are? Should he run out of the room?

What would your reaction be?



 
Maneesh Godbole
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This has happened in real life.

If I walked in and found EFH, I would remind him, nay nag him, for the free drinks he promised me long time back.

Personally I do not understand why one should be intimidated after seeing who is sitting across the table. That does not change the knowledge I had before I entered the room (unless of course I was planning to dish out some nonsense during the interview)

@Monu.
Are you sure you want this to stay here or would you rather have it moved to Job Discussions.
This is Meaningless Drivel and it is Friday. You have been warned
 
Monu Tripathi
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This has happened in real life.

@Manish: Have you interviewed people?
Personally I do not understand why one should be intimidated after seeing who is sitting across the table. That does not change the knowledge I had before I entered the room (unless of course I was planning to dish out some nonsense during the interview)

I agree knowing who is sitting across the table wont change my knowledge but it might change my behavior in one way or the other. That can impact the interview as well. Eventually, both the parties will do their job but the thing is it is more likely that John will feel a little uncomfortable, i think.

@Monu.
Are you sure you want this to stay here or would you rather have it moved to Job Discussions.
This is Meaningless Drivel and it is Friday. You have been warned

I understand;I am not looking for an ideal response because there is no such thing.
Let this remain here
FYI, there was a reason why I edited that post, which had nothing to do with what was being said.

 
Maneesh Godbole
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Monu Tripathi wrote:
I agree knowing who is sitting across the table wont change my knowledge but it might change my behavior in one way or the other. That can impact the interview as well. Eventually, both the parties will do their job but the thing is it is more likely that John will feel a little uncomfortable, i think.


I beg to differ. That would indicate the hypothetical John is lacking a bit in confidence if he is going to let the presence of a certain individual affect him.
Consider the process of the interview. Why is John and EFH/Ulf in that room? EFH/Ulf need a guy with a specific skillset. That is the technical part. However, they also expect other skills from that guy such as good communication and teamwork. Why is John there? He has certain skill sets. He has heard about EFH/Ulf and feels his skillsets can add value to EFH/Ulf. So eventually it means an evaluation of possible value addition from both sides of the table. During this process, if John is going to feel intimidated, he is going to end up with the short end of the stick. To summarize: Attitude is everything.

When I was in IXth grade, our school had arranged a session for us by inviting many ex-students from various fields. The idea was to help us in our career choice. One of these students was working with a renowned advertising agency. As a part of his job, he needed to interface with numerous people from different walks of life. I will always remember a small trick he shared with us. Whenever he walked into a room full of strangers, or stood up, to address a gathering of people, he always mentally prepared himself by saying in his mind the four magic words. All these are idiots. This worked wonders for him, as it stripped off any kind of complex he might have otherwise carried.

My friends from the theater tell me, most of the stage actors, even renowned ones, suffer from stage fright and use similar tricks to fix the problem. It is astonishing how much a little psychology helps you go a long way. It is mind over matter indeed.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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The interviewee should not make any assumptions about the level of competence on part of the interviewer. If during the interview she discovers that the interviewer knows a lot -or knows rather less- she may use that to her advantage if she can. But in general, she should present herself as what she is, like Maneesh said.

By the way, I resent that a topic that portrays me as a competent person was posted in a meaningless forum...
 
Maneesh Godbole
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:..she discovers..- she may use .. she can. ..., she should.. she is..


Who is this lady you keep referring to. Looks like some female greenhorn was indeed interviewed by you. Needless to say, she had to be gorgeous, otherwise you would not recall her here
 
Monu Tripathi
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The interviewee should not make any assumptions about the level of competence on part of the interviewer...


Should not is not same as will not; besides if you already know who the person is it will be there in the back of your mind. I think, ignorance on this part would have been better, psychologically.


 
Andrew Monkhouse
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I think the interviewee should consider this an ideal icebreaker - all of a sudden they can share something with the interviewer that indicates that they a real interest in Java, and possibly stroke the ego of the interviewer at the same time.

Of course an opening of "Hey John, I remember you from all the inane postings in Meaningless Drivel" may not go down too well.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I agree with Andrew 100%. Seeing an interviewer you've heard of is the best thing that could possibly happen, because first, there's something perfect to chat about; and second, you already have an idea of what the interviewer likes and dislikes, and what they know. Awkward silences and ignorance are the interviewers most lethal weapons!
 
Bear Bibeault
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No need to be intimidated:

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I interviewed someone from here. She was sure to point out her name on this site so I would recognize it. (She uses her English name to interview, but her native language name here.)

This information was helpful because I did recognize her from the forums. Which allowed me to move past some types of questions very quickly - I already knew that she had worked with technology X through years on the forums.
 
marc weber
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Monu Tripathi wrote:... Should he feel intimidated? ...

Never!

Working with people more experienced and more knowledgeable is a perfect opportunity to grow!
 
Deepak Bala
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Bear Bibeault wrote:No need to be intimidated:



If this were the situation I would first offer a breath mint
 
Bert Bates
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From the "Life imitates Go" dept...

There is a saying in Go that you should always play against the stones, not your opponent. Well, it's a great saying, but it's hard to do in practice

I've had the opportunity to play against pro Go players a few times, and while it's wonderful, it's almost impossible NOT to change your game...

That said, it's natural to feel a little intimidated sometimes, but the best policy is to be honest. You know what you know, and you don't know what you don't know.
 
Pat Farrell
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:The interviewee should not make any assumptions about the level of competence on part of the interviewer.
By the way, I resent that a topic that portrays me as a competent person was posted in a meaningless forum...


But it has to. I remember being interviewed by Steve Crocker, who write RFC 1, and was one of the initial folks in the Internet long before it was called Internet.

I was confident that I was smart and experienced (20+ years and a nearly completed PhD). I was scared to death.

In reality, Steve was/is a great guy, we clicked and the interview went well. I got the job and we had fun.

I only want to work for companies that have interviewers who are highly talented, smart, etc. But you can't know that for sure going in unless the interviewer has a reputation.

So you think your competence reputation is meaningless?
 
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