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Bombing technical Interviews?

steppinthraxsteppinthrax Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
Just curious, had a interview just yesterday (.NET development technical) and I bombed it (meaning I f---ed up). I probably got 50% correct on tech questions. This is not the first time this has happened. In addition I've had tech interviews that I've done very well.

I guess my question is what have been your guys exp with this, have you bombed interviews like this?

Also, how do you feel about tech interviews. I feel this way, are you paying someone for what they know right there in front of their face (within a few minutes) v.s. someone who can research and provide a adequate solution (takes time)?

Can you recover from this in the interview. When you provide poor resp to questions does your confidence pretty much go to the toilet and you just don't give a **** from that point forward?

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    epcgepcg Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Don't feel to bad it happens to everyone. My first big break went bad still got the job. Had others that just went bad let it go pick yourself back up and research what you didnt know and learn it. I made it my goal the next time that question was asked I would know it. Now go write down all questions you couldnt answer then watch a funny movie get your mind off of it.
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    H3||scr3amH3||scr3am Member Posts: 564 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You can't prepare for every question they'll throw at you, I'm in information security and that is a very broad field, I've had questions ask me about specific vulnerabilities, how they worked, how they were patched/fixed, and such, and I simply didn't know anything more then the name of the vulnerability and the service it attacked... I can't possibly remember all those details for each and every vulnerability out there, it's too much. Try your best on each, hope they give part marks, or see that you were working your way towards an answer, and hope that is enough to satisfy them.
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    pevangelpevangel Member Posts: 342
    Bombing an interview should be motivation to study. I haven't completely bombed interviews, but I've had interviews where I dropped more "I don't know" than usual. I usually can't stop thinking about the questions that I couldn't answer so I'll end up hitting the books and studying.
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    IIIMasterIIIMaster Member Posts: 238 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I bomb my first ever technical interview. I was honest with them during my first interview when I told them I haven't touch that material since I took that course since college. I did good the second half of the test but like you consider it a fail attempt. Rap up the the final interview process and they hired me. I guess with them it didn't matter I bomb the first part because it really gauge my experience. The second part I pass was the basic knowledge the expected my to have.
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    Russell77Russell77 Member Posts: 161
    Two guys are hiking in the woods and run into a bear. One guy says don't move you can't out run a bear. The other guy says I don't have to outrun the bear I have to out run you. Point being maybe everyone else boomed the test too. Don't let it rattle you. be honest about your skills and hope for the best.
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've bombed several major interviews (two with Google, albeit the one I should not have gotten a call for) and I still made out ok. As others have said sometimes you're not going to know the answer. I tend to think that they good interviewers know this and expect it. Generally, the idea is to see how far the person gets and how they got there. You could be wrong, but be on the right track and as many of us know what it looks like isn't always what it is.

    With experience you'll find you bomb fewer and fewer times. At one interview for a position they stated they'd been giving laptops to interviewees so they could search for an answer. I didn't need the laptop and had answered every question correctly, but it showed that they knew that sometimes it is more important to be able to find the right answer. But you will always have those managers who for one reason or another believe you should just know. So I'd rather bomb an interview and know that they aren't a firm I would want to work for then to maybe squeak by only to find out the environment sucks.
    WIP:
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    MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 Member Posts: 899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I bombed the technical part of the job I have now. I honestly did not expect to get the job after how poorly I handled that part of the interview. Luckily I nailed the other part of the interview with my personality. Sometimes those interviews where you feel you did horrible end up turning up good. I've had far more interviews where I've nailed the tech and every part of the interview, only to have them go another direction and not even get selected at all.
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    GGrillGGrill Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I believe most people have had at least one interview in their career that didn't go exactly the way they wanted. I have bombed some technical interviews in my career before and I know the feeling of losing confidence. There are some interviews in which they ask questions that you are unlikely to know the answer to in order to see how you respond.
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    BlackoutBlackout Member Posts: 512 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have bombed interviews, and been hired anyways. They said it was my ability to work through the problem, not the ability to answer it right away.
    Current Certification Path: CCNA, CCNP Security, CCDA, CCIE Security

    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect"

    Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi
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    E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,233 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've bombed a few, but considering where I've ended up it doesn't bother me. I only bombed interviews when I was employed and passively looking. When I was unemployed I nailed the only face-to-face interview I had. I seem to do well under pressure (knock on wood).
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
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    jeremywatts2005jeremywatts2005 Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have bombed quite a few technical interviews. It happens more than you think. Job descriptions sometimes are not accurate. I got into a few interviews over the last few months for incident response. I walk in thinking we are talking incident response and then the questions start coming and they are not Incident Response. Instead they are questions on Encase Enterprise or how to setup Fireeye or some other network appliance. Something not related to the description at all. Really frustrating for me since it waste my time. I even got into one interview for a night SOC manager and the interviewer started drilling me on Arcsite and how to configure it, set it up and even put in new filters. I looked at him and told him I could figure it out, but why is the SOC manager setting up Arcsite. He did not have a response. I honestly do not think sometimes companies know what they are hiring for and the job title is a placeholder for a different position they cannot get a budget for.
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    hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I interviewed for an entry level job and SQL was not required, but the test they gave me was 50% SQL. I did not even bother. I said here's the test, I don't know SQL, and it was pretty awkward being in the room with the guy and the HR person since she obviously dropped the ball and I felt stupid. Clearly the guy wanted someone to know SQL and the listing should of said that.

    At my network engineer interview I killed it but did mess up one question but worked through it, which he liked. So working through it is big.
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    ccie14023ccie14023 Member Posts: 183
    I've bombed many myself. I hate technical interviews. My thoughts on this have changed a lot. About 10 years ago, when I was on the interview team for Cisco HTTS, we interviewed hard. I don't see the point anymore. Now I am going to look at your resume and ask you about stuff you have actually done. Then I ask questions about this project or that project to see how well you understood what you were doing. This is much easier on the candidate and is a better way to judge them. If it were an entry level position I might do some technical questions since they don't have as much in the resume to go on. My main interest is to see if this is somebody who can learn quickly and has technical acumen, not necessarily a lot of specific knowledge about this or that technology. I want someone who is sharp and a fast learner. Unfortunately, there are a lot of total jerks out there interviewing people, many of whom want to show off how smart they are and stupid you are. If it's any consolation, I bombed one technical interview at my current job, which I've held for five years.
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    olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you knew the answer to every question in the tech interview youre probably overqualified
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    beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Better yet. Bombed interviews because the interviewee couldn't describe, let alone answer what it was they are trying solve from either an technical or business standpoint. Now, just how am I really supposed to help you if your just in the business of doing "stuff" or technical "things"?

    Yes, I can ask really uncomfortable questions as well. Yes, I was turned down by a recruiter because I asked difficult if not complicated questions about the companies practices. Actually would have been a brilliant position for me if they wanted to do some more interesting long term security items I brought up. Naw, lets do what we've been doing since the 90s - yeah! That'll work. Blah! Go for it, kiddies. Happens to everyone.

    Good news is you'll find you get really good at interviewing for the right position after awhile instead of the I'll do that for enough money jobs.

    - b/eads
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    discount81discount81 Member Posts: 213
    I have done bad in a couple of interviews, The questions asked were overly technical and obscure, not the kind of stuff I have memorized.

    Sometimes it is a superiority complex from the interviewer to prove how smart they are, some times companies have been burned by hiring a few lemons so they implement a stricter hiring policy which isn't always a good thing, they might be asking people about questions relevant to the companies environment that the interviewee might not often use, doesn't mean they can't learn about it.


    I agree with ccie14023, I think a lot of interviews should be more about seeing if the interviewee is a) a right fit b) a quick learner
    http://www.darvilleit.com - a blog I write about IT and technology.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yes, I had a analyst interview where they really went hard on me with virtualization (which wasn't mentioned in the job) and C# development. My strengths are VBA and SQL, of course they didn't ask about either of those. Needless to say I got killed and it felt terrible. But like others have mentioned just grind through and do the best you can.
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    AlexsmithAlexsmith Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I had a interview for a compliance position and the manager decided to ask a few obscure network questions. One of the questions was to explain split horizon and how it works, this was before I obtained my CCNA so I completely bombed on that question. I can agree with others in this thread and say that I liked the interviews that didn't write out a list of canned questions to ask but instead interviewed sort of like a conversation, going over my previous skills and job history.
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