A few months ago I reported my business unit was offered for sale. Not much to report about it (I know very little and I can write even less)
Obviously, most of us in the business unit, decided to brush up our Linkedin pages and get into the job market, just in case.
I remember in particular one interview. It didn’t start well when I replied “Sí, I mean, yes” after listening my name with a perfect Spanish z sound (as it turned out, one of the interviewers was Spanish too). It didn’t continue well due to my inability to reply to the typical Java interview questions (such as Big-Oh notation complexity for a java hashlist look up or differences between Spring container and JEE container). I didn’t pass the test.
But for me as an experience, the interview finished wonderfully when the Spanish guy asked “What are you looking for? What’s your ideal job?”
I think it is very difficult to match companies and people.
Companies would really like people that could commit to the project and I certainly prefer a company where I feel my work makes a difference. However, companies tend to look for people that can hit the ground running at the lower cost. And developers tend to look for companies with better conditions and more buzzwords.
One could think that model is flawed. But the fact is that the alternative is not always better. In a past life I had to do some recruitment. And the worst selection was a guy I thought he was going to fit perfectly in the culture. And as an interviewee I’ve never asked if I would be able to fully manage my own machine or if I would personally know the people managing the servers.
So back again to the interview “What are you looking for? What’s your ideal job?”. Putting in words, I want a place challenging, where I can learn new things and do different tasks day in day out. I want a place where I can commit and where my job makes a difference. I won’t talk about my current job except to say people are wonderful. I don’t know about the future in my current job. And I’m really proud that people still remember me from my previous job. I do remember them too. So people are very important too.
But, the fact is that suddenly, I realized how difficult matching companies with people is. Because I certainly could have answered all those questions, and that wouldn’t have made me more suitable for the job (in fact I aced the concurrency ones which I have a more solid knowledge background but less experience). I remember selecting people we used to ask for digital signature experience and hitting the ground running didn’t have anything to do with that.
But even if I were an incredibly valued employee, I wouldn’t have a clue if the job I was being offered is the one was looking for or if that’s my ideal job.
First published here