August 13, 2003
Nugget of Wisdom for Job Searchers
When you interview someone, you pick up on subtle things that people say that they could have said in, perhaps, a better way or more accurately. I just thought I'd share one with y'all since you might be looking for jobs.
When someone asks you what types of computers or what types of computer systems you've worked on or are familiar with, don't say:
"Oh, I've worked lots of different types of computers! At work we used to have a Dell but I have an HP at home. I've also worked on Gateway."
That makes you look like an idiot. It automatically gives you -10 in the "computer literate" category. The correct response would be something like "I'm most familiar with Windows systems but I've also worked on Macs and Linux systems." or just "I've only operated Windows PCs." (Just because I assume someone who doesn't know that all Dells, Gateways and HPs are Windows PCs wouldn't know Linux or a Mac if it bit them in the ass).
That is all. I hope this nugget helps you in some way. Trust me, just sprinkle a bit a computer jargon into your average interview and you'll get the job. Mention Linux and their eyes glaze over and they immediately think you know more than them.
This also works when you actually have the job. Say something like, "Yeah, I was just going to defrag the harddrive to free up some more random access memory for the USB so the SCSI would function properly instead of giving us the BSOD all the time. I mean, we only got 60 kilobytes free and if we maximize the system by expanding the protocols and changing the TCIP to allow pings, we can get at least 10 more MBs!" and, even though that sentence makes no logical sense and you're just playing minesweeper, they'll think you're smart and all is well. Try it sometime.
Posted by vixen at August 13, 2003 08:18 AM
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Actually, I do have answers to those questions but I was being sarcastic when I said to mention Linux (I just used that as an example of another OS that would run on a Dell). Actually, mentioning any non-Windows OS (OsX, Solaris, BSD...heck, even DOS) gets the same response of "whoa, you must be smart." I even got "You must know a lot about computers" once when I said I had an old laptop that had Win 3.1! Most people are computer illiterate.
I never claimed to be an expert. I know I'm just learning (although I have a learned a lot about running a Linux server with my new, mature and customer friendly webhost, http://www.eryxma.com).
I was also being sarcastic when I said you'd mention OsX. On the subject, however, I've brought my laptop to work before and someone has seen Linux load and asked me why I "broke" my computer because it didn't work right. I know people's eye glaze over when it's not something they're used to seeing. That's one of the reason I think Linux is so funny. With a desktop environment like KDE, it's basically, graphically, similiar to Windows. It has a similiar feel, similiar functionality, etc. However, you put it in front of the average person at an office (and I work with doctors and such so they're not idiots) and they get very, very confused. I think it's an interesting commentary on the state of computer literacy (AOLers are too, but that's another rant). People are scared of computer systems they don't know (just like the person who asked me how she could install Windows on her Powerbook because she didn't like the way it worked?).
On a side note, if I was interviewing you and you said that to me, I'd send you packing in a second. That's not the way to get a job. Trust me, I would never interview for a position in your basement. When I do interview, I always say that I have limited experience with certain OSes so your questions wouldn't be warrented. So far, I've gotten just about everything I've ever applied for. Seems to work.
Just so you know, the general public doesn't even how to turn a computer on. I was a project coordinator for a big computer project until just recently. I really thought people had more computer know how until then (I mean, get out of your room and go see the real world, you'd see it). That was my point with the tongue and cheek post.
You'd be suprised to know that even computer technicians and programmers at most companies don't even know that much. I know several highly paid programmers. They know how to program and that's about all. Ask one of them to troubleshoot something that isn't working. At Novell (a big name company) it took three guys with CS degrees to fix a USB mouse. They can't do it. I know some computer geeks who know 10 times as much and they don't make as much money.
Getting a job is all about how you present yourself and how you look on paper. It's more about being social and "leadership skills" than tangiable skills. And no, I don't really think that someone should say the defrag your harddrive sentance in real life. I don't think that someone should just mention Linux out of the blue. I was being saracastic! SARCASM! Look that one up in your Funk & Wagnels. If anyone actually follows my advice and doesn't get the sarcasm, they deserve to be laughed out of an interview. Darwin in motion.
Hell, Vixen, you don't know anything!!! Your suggestion that I would say OS X runs on Dell is absurd! Go to apple webite and check the price for the latest G5. Is it even close to Dell? Your sick ramblings didn't get me as mad as YOU, silly BITCH, trying to put words in my mouth. Words I would never speak. Where do you get off? And, i am curious, what makes you such an expert on Linux? You seem to think "Linux" is some kind of magical word, that it would get you anywhere with anyone. If you intervieved for me, I would ask you which version of linux are you currently using? What is the kernel version under that linux version? Assuming that you knew answer to that, I would ask you whether you recompiled that kernel. If you said "no", as you probably would, you wouldn't get hired! Why, you ask? Well, there are really 2 answers to that question, both valid and both should be mentioned. But why should I educate you on Linux, when you claim to know so much about it? Just because you have it installed on your "Dell" doesn't make you an expert. And it is not a magical word that will get you hired, unless you are interviewing with a computer illiterate person.
BTW, I wouldn't hire you if you interviewed for me. You'd give me that line about "other OSes" and I'd ask you "which ones?" and you say "OS X!" My Dell runs Linux, but I'd be smart enough to mention that I know Linux in an interview instead of saying I know Dell. You're being childish. I hope everyone who ever thinks about hosting with superuser comes here to read how childish you are.
Man, you are such a pussy. Get a sense of humor, it'll do you some good.
I'm so going to get you fired for harassing us *g*
WOW, that's really deep (NOT)!!! It this "advice" based on YOUR own experience as a candidate for a position? If so, you should be unemployed right now! Let me tell you that not all "Dells, Gateways and HPs" run Windows as you claim. There are other OS's that run on Intel architecture. And that last sentence about defragmenting HD to free RAM, etc. isn't cool or funny at all! It is just STUPID!!! I would advise everyone NOT to try it on their boss, unless they WANT to be looking for another job.