Interviewers - are you getting ready to interview your next engineering candidate? If you are prepared to have your candidate whiteboard something unrelated to the position, asking them to perform ridiculous logic questions, or ready to conduct yourself in a condescending manner, you might be a bullshit interviewer.
I’ve done my fair share of interviewing engineering candidates and also interviewing for engineering positions by people at companies I wanted to join. When interviewing for a job I wanted, I often find I end up having to deal with people who spend less time discussing the things I am good at, my relevant experience, and problems I have solved in the past, and instead focusing on bullshit logic and unrelated whiteboard problems.
How could this be? I suppose the biggest problem is that the people who are conducting tech interviews are often coders who graduated up to a senior level position where they are then tasked with interviewing new candidates for the company. These are people who are good at coding but often have no strategy whatsoever at identifying the characteristics of a good candidate. They just go with the format they think is right rather than seek out candidates who can think on their feet, use good judgement, have decent skills, and have common sense.
I’ve had to deal with this since forever. In my humble opinion, I’m somewhat experienced. I wrote the first ad server Facebook used in 2004. I’ve held senior level coding positions for 13 years. I’ve built products, built teams, and cloud build infrastructure over and over again. You’d think I’d have done better interviewing at some of the top startups over the last 5 years but I’ve had to deal with rejection from as many bullshit interviewers as you are probably are having to deal with right now if you are interviewing.
The funny thing about a bullshit interviewer is that they are actually doing you a service because you probably don’t want to be there in the first place. I occasionally googled for the company names where I was bullshit interviewed and I see stories like this:
I was bullshit interviewed by a CTO who asked me the question at the bottom of this article when interviewing for a PHP Facebook app coding position. Approx 1 year after I was rejected for not being able to answer that question, the company was hacked by a SQL injection attack and tens of millions of user passwords were released into the wild because they were stored as clear text in the company’s database.
Approx 1 year after I was bullshit interviewed by engineers at a prominent social news and entertainment website, they released a new version of their website which didn’t work on several levels and the entire brand was destroyed. They rejected me because I “didn’t have enough experience with OOP”. What?
The good news is that my experience tells me you will find the place that’s right for you. So don’t give up and try not to get discouraged. This might be the best time ever to be doing this line of work. You have a talent that could make you a billionaire.
Up for a challenge? Try our RockThePost SQL coding challenge.
Bullshit PHP Coding Interview Question
There are 25 horses and a single race track. The track has 5 lanes. Your job is to find the fastest 3 horses assuming you don't have a stopwatch and all horses always run at a constant pace. What’s the way to find the fastest 3 in the fewest uses of the track.