Phone interview - We and I - annoyed the interviewer?

TheFORCETheFORCE Senior MemberMember Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
Just wanted to post here an get some feedback. So i had a phone interview today about an IT security position. After the initial introductions i was asked to give some background information about myself which I did and then was asked to provide some information on the things i was involved with in my past position and current position. After mentioning that i am a part of a small team i started answering the question, saying that we do this and we do that, and we are responsible for this and we support that. The interviewer stopped and basically said "who is we?" and i answered "the team that i am part of" so then they say... well i'm not trying to hire the entire team i'm trying to hire you so you have to start saying what you do and answer the questions with I. I found that a little weird because first of all this is the first time someone even mentioned that to me and also, when i say i am part of a team, it is implied that i'm also directly involved.

The reason i answered that way is because i do not have specific tasks that only i am responsible for. Everything we do at work, we do as a team and everyone is involved and we bounce ideas of each other. My current position is also a security position so if you are familiar with those positions you understand that there isn't only one individual person specializing on one app and another on a different app, or when time comes to create a policy or procedure it doesn't get created by one person and that's it, things evolve and everyone provides their ideas and opinions so the final version is not something i can claim as mine when everyone else also contributed. These are tasks that the entire team gets involved with, as in we, not i. Now if you asked me specifically what my involvement in these tasks is then I will answer with I. . I mean i kinda understand what the interviewer is saying and basically trying to make me realize that i should be selling myself during the interview process but shouldnt the fact that being a team player and having a team mentality also be a positive trait to consider? What do you people think? Just out of curiosity because no one has ever brought this point to my attention before

Comments

  • darkerzdarkerz Member Posts: 431 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The best interviewers are narcissists who can gauge tension and emotion to avoid coming on as "too self obsessed", while sneaking in "team player", "go getter" and "self driven" attributes at a balance.
    :twisted:
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,306 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Maybe they just wanted you to narrow down the skills that YOU have vs the skills that other people in the team might have. If as a team you setup certain systems, but you weren't the one who actually did all the configuration, it wouldn't be fair to say that "we setup X" because someone else in your team did it.
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    Live and learn, I can understand the interviewers point. It would be annoying and tell me that "YOU" do little while "WE" do the work.

    So take this and learn from it, he is right in that he has no interest in "we", so get use to articulating what you do/can do:

    As part of my job "I" am tasked with bla bla bla

    "I" am also responsible for bla bla bla

    "I" have taken on every project that has been available

    Interviewing for a job is always hectic and I don't know anyone who enjoys it but the key is to be confident in what "YOU" bring to the table with what skills "YOU" have. Good luck!
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  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    I understand his point of view, so many people try and claim the achievements of others by saying WE in everything their team did. I have seen in resumes when interviewing people stuff like "configured and maintained Juniper switches" but what they actually did was rack a juniper switch.
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  • apr911apr911 Member Posts: 380 ■■■■□□□□□□
    +1 to Dieg0M. The number of times I've seen "configured and maintained" on a resume when in reality they racked, cabled and maybe dropped a configuration template on the device... Racking/Cabling and Copy/Pasting a prewritten configuration does not equal configuring or maintaining the device...


    YOU want a job not your team and thus the interviewer needs to know how YOU can contribute to their team, not how your team who they're not hiring can contribute to their team.

    It can be a tough balance to strike between highlighting your achievements and coming across as a team player and Darkerz is spot on
    darkerz wrote: »
    The best interviewers are narcissists who can gauge tension and emotion to avoid coming on as "too self obsessed", while sneaking in "team player", "go getter" and "self driven" attributes at a balance.
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  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You guys probably right, i'll keep that in mind next time and be more selfish, funny thing is, i'm probably the guy in my team that does everything for everyone else so maybe i messed up this time.
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    Whether you work in a team or not, YOU did a job. YOU performed certain tasks. The interviewer didn't want to hear what a team of people accomplished. He wanted to know what YOUR part was in accomplishing it. You performed a function in whatever it was that the team did. You just need to focus on what that function was.
  • NersesianNersesian Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    darkerz wrote: »
    The best interviewers are narcissists

    I was paged to the white courtesy phone?

    The interviewer kinda sounds like a prick, although we don't have the full story. Brush it off and keep applying. You may have handed the pressure well or you may have set them off, but there is no good way to tell at this point.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    To me, personally, using we is a good sign that someone is a team player. There are probably better ways to phrase things like saying "The team I was a part of" or something of that nature. Of course, use I as much as you can, but stress the team aspect in some of those so you can show that you are a team player and one who works well with others.

    Although, I've never had an interviewer call me out on using "we" or things of that nature before and if someone interviewing me pulled that card, i'd already assume that they don't like me and I won't get the job and would just end the interview there. From what you wrote, it sounded rather rude to me and definitely not someone that I'd want to work with. The interviewer was probably having a bad day, or they are a jerk.

    Learn from it, move forward, and good luck in your search.
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    The approach seems abrasive but he's interviewing you and you have to sell yourself. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill, but flatter yourself and your contributions. It's the same thing with your resume--cater to the req and be able to back it all up.
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