Saturday, March 3, 2007

Interviews, CVs and integrity

I've been doing quite a lot of interviews of candidates for several development and QA positions, and I'm constantly amazed how some people don't write the truth about their knowledge and experience.

It might be that people think that they are more knowledgeable than they actually are.

I don't know.

I met people who claim to be proficient in algorithms, but cannot describe a sorting algorithm. I met people who claim to be proficient in some programming language, but as soon as you present a simple task to be performed in that programming language it turns out that they actually were only participating in a course where that language was used and don't have any real understanding or proficient of it.

What do these people think? Do they really think that their lies will not be exposed? Even if they fool me and others in the interview, don't they think what will happen when they actually start working and be expected to perform?!


  1. Hello There.

    have you asked them? what did they say?
    Anyway, there are many level of knowing. I know can mean that I worked in it for a few years, or that I merly read a book about it.
    The important thing is whether the candidate is a good programmer. learning this or that language is easy.


  2. Hello, Shmuel.

    I did ask. The response is embarrassment. They the ordinary response is "I used to learn that in a course 100 years ago".

    What bothers me is that the person claims to be proficient in that language and he isn't.

    I'm fine with a person who claims to be a programmer and knows only language X. If he's indeed a good one, he'll quickly also learn to be a good programmer in language Y.

    That's what makes a good programmer, in my opinion. The programming language is only a tool, not the goal.

    Nonetheless, I find that "bending the truth" in this case is not a good practice.

  3. Hello Shlomi,

    on the very same subject.

    I think that in most cases, a simple phone interview can help filter a lot of people.

    See also what Joel has to say about it in

    All the best,