The technical Interview — It’s important to know what you’re talking about.

I’ve been working in the technical realm for about 10 years now. I’ve been intrinsically involved in the incredible progression of computers and the network known as the internet. When I first started working in the field, excellent I.T. candidates were certainly more scarce than today. There’s a relatively new epidemic of people presenting themselves as qualified technical specialists who just really… well… aren’t actually qualified. I did an interview yesterday for a web development position and was astonished to find that the candidate actually denied having any experience with some of the technologies listed on his resume. It seems that a growing number of candidates are expecting that the people at the interviewing table are not going to be tech savvy, and that including fancy sounding acronyms for technologies they’ve barely touched will help them land that tech job. This needs to stop now. If mySQL is on your resume, you’d better know what a LEFT JOIN is. To prepare for the interview I reviewed the candidate’s resume and developed a list of questions based on the technologies listed there. I couldn’t ask half of my questions because after the candidate realized I knew a thing or two — he just claimed he didn’t actually have experience with several of the key technologies listed on his resume.

It’s better to omit a skill from your resume that you’ve got very limited experience with; or just write what level of experience you have with a certain discipline that is new to you. When I’m looking for a technical candidate I don’t really care if they’re already a ninja in this or that language or if they can write regular expressions in their sleep. I just want to see that they are intelligent, honest, have accomplished something interesting with technology, and have a genuine interest in delving deeper into new projects.

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