Re: [Upside] Lessons in survival

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From: Karl Anderson (
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 16:10:09 PDT

"Stephen D. Williams" <> writes:

> Colin Coller wrote:
> > On Sun, 11 Jun 2000, Linda wrote:
> >
> > > [Some tips for those currently hiring for their start-up company ;)

Mostly crap. Nothing personal, Linda. If a company can afford to
judge me by how I look, they don't need me bad enough. I'm relatively
normal looking & dressing, nothing that really gets in the way because
that's just how I am, but I usually make sure that I'm wearing
something that would get me booted from the architectural firm that my
friend works at (& I always ride my bicycle to the interview). I'm
personable & smart, & if a prospective employer isn't going to notice
that in an interview, they're not going to notice it on the job.

Most companies that I want to work for ask me about my interests,
too. I want to work somewhere that values my creativity & ability to
use my technical skills in a new way. There's enough trade-school
grads pouring into the workforce. I expect the focus of the interview
(& my resume) to be technical, but I also expect there to be a human
side. One needs to be at least somewhat well-rounded to keep flexible
& creative. When my last employer said "you're in" because I had read
all of H.P. Lovecraft, & my current employer was impressed because I
pronounced principia right, I knew that they were kidding, that my
technical side is what they wanted, but they wanted a person behind
it, too.

I always make it clear that I'm going to work hard, but I'm not going
to work 80 hours a week for some lifesucking startup. That helps.
These hiring tips seem to be for people who want a zombie coding

> > I wonder if there are any (serious) intelligence tests that would identify
> > useful qualities in potential employees who don't necessarily have formal
> > education or experience in certain areas...
> >
> > Colin
> Sure, A) show some source you've written that is significant, B) solve
> architecture, design, and programming problems on the spot, C) discuss
> technical arcana with your opinions as to merits with explanation.
> These and various other interactive methods along with written tech detail
> tests are commonly used in the best interviews. Sometimes logic puzzles are
> added, although I think this can be deceptively negative.

> Even more interesting are the techniques involved in interviewing a Company.
> Few people seem to realize that this is important to avoid spending
> significant time in an environment that is sub-par with your expectations.

I'm leery of an interview that doesn't give me a puzzle or tech
problem to solve, or at least ask me about my opinions on tech
issues. The thing about logic puzzles, or programming questions that
are more puzzles than real problems, is that it's not the answer that
matters, it's getting to the answer. I interviewed well for an
entry-level Microsoft position because even though I was thrashing on
some bullshit logic problem about a cat chasing a mouse around a lake,
I was trying angles of attack, & knowing when I was stumped, & asking
for hints & then using them to make progress.

Karl Anderson 

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