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Resume writing with a scattered background&experience

Ron Miller
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 28, 2010
Posts: 12
I would like to ask, preferably someone with senior (5+ yrs) experience or a team lead, the following questions:

1) what should I say when an interviewer asked "how much experience you have and why I should hire you instead of someone with more experiences" type of questions.

I hated this type of question (I find it insulting in fact) but tried to put up my best smiley face and answered that "I have experience and expertise in what you looking for and I have very pleasant personality to work with, which is a quality you may not find in every candidate". I get a feeling that they are always skeptical of my capability and productivity, and am always looking for something else. I feel very uneasy and may have showed it visually. After I get out of the office, I felt crushed and hopeless (even disgusted at this company), unable to understand why my interviewer asked such question. I was looking forward to a prospect of working together, not this. If he is skeptical of my ability, test me or ask me to provide work samples, references.

Can someone explain this to me, tell me whether my feeling is rational or irrational?

How should I reason this type of question in future and how should I answer it without personal feelings.


2) I wrote in my resume that I have 9 months in PHP (in practical work) and 1+ year in Java (SCJP + Academic projects/OOP + Self-study). Really I began working hard-core with Java about 3 years ago at univeristy. After that I remained interested in Java and tried to apply Java technologies whenever possible. My problem is that I have only academic projects to show for, and after I graduate, I couldn't find a junior java anywhere (as every java jobs requires 2~3+ years - even for juniors). The only java job I can find was a
JUnit work, but that lasted only 2 months before I was layoff. My 2nd job is similiar but in PHP.

How do I solidify these experience in my resume, especially about the self-study part? I spent a lot of off-work hours studying Java. This is really hard to quantity, but it's close to one year or more experience in a junior role, I believe.

I am at a level where working with JavaSE 6 core libraries is becoming quite easy, and coding requires only looking up reference API in google. I know servlet and JSP quite well. I am almost ready for the SCWCD exam.
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

how much experience you have and why I should hire you instead of someone with more experiences"


Did you mean why I should hire you instead of some one else with the same experience range ? There are many factors to be considered when hiring someone. Experience is one of them. I can elaborate once you reply.


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Ron Miller
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 28, 2010
Posts: 12
Deepak Bala wrote:
how much experience you have and why I should hire you instead of someone with more experiences"


Did you mean why I should hire you instead of some one else with the same experience range ? There are many factors to be considered when hiring someone. Experience is one of them. I can elaborate once you reply.


Please do! I need to hear it.

Ron
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19004
    
  40

Ron Miller wrote:
1) what should I say when an interviewer asked "how much experience you have and why I should hire you instead of someone with more experiences" type of questions.

I hated this type of question (I find it insulting in fact) but tried to put up my best smiley face and answered that "I have experience and expertise in what you looking for and I have very pleasant personality to work with, which is a quality you may not find in every candidate". I get a feeling that they are always skeptical of my capability and productivity, and am always looking for something else. I feel very uneasy and may have showed it visually. After I get out of the office, I felt crushed and hopeless (even disgusted at this company), unable to understand why my interviewer asked such question. I was looking forward to a prospect of working together, not this. If he is skeptical of my ability, test me or ask me to provide work samples, references.

Can someone explain this to me, tell me whether my feeling is rational or irrational?

How should I reason this type of question in future and how should I answer it without personal feelings.



IMHO, I think it depends on how you got there. If it is early, then obviously, the interviewer doesn't really believe that. If he/she did, then they could have simply used the numbers from your resume, and not even call you in. Consider it as an open ended question, to get you to talk about your experience, why you are fit, why the experience is valuable, and of course, lead it to how that can help the company.

Remember, the purpose of any question is to get you to talk about yourself, and your experiences. Saying that you "have [a] very pleasant personality" (or trying to provide a canned answer) doesn't do that.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30965
    
158

Ron Miller wrote:Can someone explain this to me, tell me whether my feeling is rational or irrational?

A coworker once told me that "feelings are rational." It's ok to feel upset about something.

Personally, I think it is a legitimate question. The job of a candidate at the interview is to convince the interviewer he/she should be hired. This means explaining why you are different/better than others. It's very difficult to make a judgement about ones productivity at an interview so I think you might be reading into the question a bit.

As far as how to answer the question, what makes you special? You have an SCJP, you did projects, you enjoy Java, etc.

How do I solidify these experience in my resume, especially about the self-study part? I spent a lot of off-work hours studying Java. This is really hard to quantity, but it's close to one year or more experience in a junior role, I believe.

I am at a level where working with JavaSE 6 core libraries is becoming quite easy, and coding requires only looking up reference API in google. I know servlet and JSP quite well. I am almost ready for the SCWCD exam.

It's not equivalent to one year in a junior role. Sorry, but a year of work at home is not the same as a year of work on a real project. For example, what frameworks did you use for Servlets/JSP? In a company, you'd have used one. You would also have solved different problems. You do have a year of PHP experience in industry, so you aren't entry level. However, being aware of the limitations at home does help.

A college student also can code with the core libraries easily with the API and knows Servlet/JSP. My point being that you are really an individual with one year programming experience who learned Java on his own. This is what you want to convey as it shows you are being honest about yourself. Otherwise, the interviewer will be left thinking you don't know enough to know what you don't know.


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Ron Miller
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 28, 2010
Posts: 12
It's not equivalent to one year in a junior role. Sorry, but a year of work at home is not the same as a year of work on a real project. For example, what frameworks did you use for Servlets/JSP? In a company, you'd have used one. You would also have solved different problems. You do have a year of PHP experience in industry, so you aren't entry level. However, being aware of the limitations at home does help.


What frameworks and tools should I be proficient in?

I think my next logical goal is EJB, Struts, and Hibernate. What do you think and how should I demonstrate my experience and understanding in them?
 
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subject: Resume writing with a scattered background&experience