I have been in IT (information Technology) for almost 25 years, I have been a freelance consultant for the last 9 of those years. The number of interviews I have had is impossible for me to count, but I average 3 to 5 contracts a year, so probably twice that number of interviews per year. Now this article isn’t about the basics like information about your arrival, how you introduce yourself and your appearance examples of interview questions and answers, as well as examples of questions you should prepare to ask your interviewers.
This is about the Techies who are interviewing you. Now tech interviews are a little different than say a business interview, Tech guys want to prove how much they know. Which often times is very annoying and ultimately frustrating. Often times, during a phone interview I have heard pages being flipped in the CCIE exam book while the questionnaire tries to find some ultra obscure question that has nothing to do with the project at all. Recently during an interview for a company in Florida that needed a CISSP for a security project the interviewer ask me about TCP and UDP ports on H.323 gateway.
Now what an internal voice gateway, in a company that doesn’t use VOIP has to do with a penetration test of their external firewall is beyond me. The most memorable question I can recall was a guy in Silicon Valley he was technically very good and wanted to find another CCIE to help with a large data center move, after nearly an 1 1/2 interview he ask “Is it possible (and if so, how) to redistribute or originate a default route based on time of day?”, now the answer is yes you can. But more importantly why would you ever want to? And it didn’t have a thing to do with the move he just wanted to ask trick questions….How special.
As you potential and current CCIE, CCVP, CCNP and CCNA go forth to prosper into the tech world remember these sage words. Ninety percent of the questions other techs ask are BS, they can’t memorize anymore of the CLI than you can. If you get into an interview and you can here them flipping through a book to ask silly layer 2 and 3 questions that don’t have a thing to with the job or project your discussing, thank them and ask them to stop wasting your time.
And simply because you cant remember if the latest version of the IOS end’s in D or F and if the bug in the 7961 code is fixed yet does not mean that anyone else does either or that anyone even cares. Good engineers and tech’s know how to find answers and use common sense and experience to deliver a time efficient and cost effective project. It DOES NOT mean that you create a VLSM network so complex that no one can manage it just because you can. Unless you’re a consulting firm that has that goal in mind. And yes they do exist, you bring them in to do a project and they make it so complex they are the only ones who can make it work afterward.