A Small World Indeed

On an interview yesterday, one of my interviewers asked about my experience at ITT.  Specifically, he asked whether I knew Chris :-o.

Now a quick flashback; Chris was my second level manager at
ITT.  Towards the end of my stint at ITT, he and I were butting
heads over whether to use Plumtree to satisfy an internal client’s
request.  Obviously, management wins in these situations.  He
also took me into his office one time and chewed me out for asking for
a raise (which he was nice enough to give to me anyways).

Back to the interview; I was kinda thrown off a bit and had to think
for a moment on how to respond.  I mean, I have no hard feelings
towards Chris, as I was able to work with a lot of freedom and
responsibility when I was at ITT, but I can’t say that we parted ways
on the best of terms.  I decided to give the honest
answer: Chris is one of those stubborn, hardnosed guys that can be
difficult to work with at times (I am too :-D).  I think he took
it well, as anyone who knows Chris knows that he can be a tough to work
with at times (as am I).  All in all, I think it was a bad
interview, but not necessarily any fault of my own.

To begin with, I had missed several tabs of an Excel spreadsheet
that I was supposed to fill out and email back to the HR
recruiter (who notices tabs in a spreadsheet?).  Doh!  In addition, there was tons of paperwork
and a set of pre-interview questionaires that the recruiter had to fill
out (would have been faster if I typed it instead of her).  That
alone took 1.5+ hours to complete.  Then, during the interview, it
really didn’t seem like the interviewer was very interested (seemed as
if he had more pressing matters).  He pretty much asked me the
same questions I answered in the pre-interview questionaire (even though he
was holding and obviously reading it).  Blah!  I also brought
along my laptop with demos of my work, but the interviewer was obviously not
interested, as I hinted several times that I could demo some of the
work that I mentioned in my resume.

Not only that, it wasn’t overly technical at all.  Actually,
there was no discussion of technical skills whatsoever, which is a bit
disappointing, as I think it gives good insight into the types of
people an organization has (and also gives me a chance to shine).

As an aside, I’ve always wondered why IT consulting companies still
rely so heavily on paper based procedures.  It would have been
much easier to have the forms online and allow applicants to fill it
out before the interview.  I mean, who keeps records of the
addresses of your employers filed in your head?  What about
reference contacts?

They did have a very nice building though.  Damn, it’s one of the nicest buildings I’ve ever been in (even nicer than the Merrill Lynch
Hopewell campus, which was a pretty nice building).  Even had a
huge Samsung DLP television in the conference room; Awesome.

Overall, not a very good interview, but who knows.

In any case, it’s one of those “wow” moments when you realize how
small the world really is.  As I learned in the last month, one of
my coworkers here at Immedient, Evan, previously worked at
MarketSource, where my friend Hoon had worked just a few months before
(he’s now an actuary).  Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, the
recruiter mentioned that she used to work down the street from where I
work now and she used to cold call our company (for what purpose, I
don’t know).

A small world indeed.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Hoon says:

    haha, this was a funny one.
    Yeah, some of those HR SOPs are ridiculous and very resource wasting such as paper waste!!!
    I can’t agree more on that. About those stupid SOPs and unreasonable procedures in completing a task, what I concluded based upon my past experiences is that people think they can "keep" their jobs by following those not-so-smart protocols. Although it may be true in part, I feel really sorry for those folks. But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

  2. Charles Chen says:

    The thing that *I* don’t understand is why this happens at *IT* companies. You’d think that someone would sit down, recognize what a waste of time it is to do all this stuff by hand and put something simple together.