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Try Something Down the Road Less Traveled

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 14 years ago
  • Author: Jason Singer

Try Something Down the Road Less Traveled

We received a job order from a client for a .NET Software Engineer. Among the many needed skills, they were looking for a background writing mobile applications. One of our candidates, Avery, had much of the technical experience, but hadn’t written a mobile app in a couple of years. Since his background was close enough with his other technical skills, our client interviewed Avery over the phone. It went well enough, and Avery told them he missed writing mobile apps very much.

They invited him for the in-person interview. Avery knew he had a shot, so this is what he did.

Avery downloaded a mobile app SDK and wrote a small app that showcased user interface, database retrieval and multimedia functionality. He downloaded this app to his mobile device. He called his recruiter and got the names of his interviewers and researched their names on LinkedIn, Facebook and others. He found that the hiring manager had posted the name of a book they were currently reading on their LinkedIn account, which Avery quickly found on-line summaries and analysis about the book, which he then read. Packed with his knowledge, his mobile app, and other various interviewing tools, Avery went off on his interview.

The story does have a happy ending: Avery’s interview went extremely well. Our client loved his ingenuity – who would think to write a mobile app and showcase it on their mobile device when interviewing for a mobile app development company? Avery knew how and when to bring up the book – the EXACT book the hiring manager happen to be reading – and discuss its various viewpoints. And, of course, Avery got the job and enjoyed working there until another chapter of his story had him back on the job market.

The twist to this story, however, isn’t written yet. The twist to this story is when you have an interview coming up, and you decide that it’s time to do something different, something that is down the road less traveled. I suggest that you run yourself through some questions that will spark your creativity and help create the interview you want.  Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Who knows me in the company? Can they help generate buzz about me? Will this help or hurt my chances?

  • Who am I interviewing with? What can I find out about them? Can this information help me?

  • Who is the company? What are they doing now? What news is about them on-line? Can this information help me?

  • What is the job? What do they need me to accomplish to be successful in the role? Have I done this before? Can I put together some presentation that showcases my knowledge, or my smarts? Should I prepare something, whether I use it or not?

  • Who are my friends? Can I share my ideas with them and see if they have critiques or even better ideas?

So go ahead, write the end of this story yourself.