Do not fluff your resume (redux)

Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
I've previously expounded on this subject before, but I feel the need to do so again.

I just finished a phone interview with an applicant. Now since it's a phone interview, we play nice, we don't get very technical until you're here in person. We make the questions relevant to what you say you know.

One line in particular caught my attention:

Extensive experience in BGP,MPLS,TCP/IP,IP Routing

The line caught my attention because it was bolded. Now, the resume was what we were given from the staffing company, so I'm not sure if he bolded it or they did, but regardless, it served it's purpose.

I asked five questions:

1. How do you save the configuration on virtually any Cisco IOS device?

2. What protocol does MPLS use for it's label distribution

3. I want to peer two routers via eBGP, but I want to peer with their loopbacks. What command do I need to ensure is present in the neighbor configuration

Now, for the IGP's, since he didn't list a specific protocol, I asked which he was most comfortable with. He said OSPF.

4. What command do I use to display the ospf neighbors

5. Explain how the DR/BDR election works

He got the first question right.

And nothing else.

The resume was very impressive looking. Otherwise, he never would have gotten the phone interview. It took 10 minutes to expose the fraud, and the only reason it took that long was because I wasn't being a dick and cut him off while he was busy trying to apologize for not knowing the answers.

Do not fluff your resume, folks. I know times are tough and folks want a job, and that drives them to desperate measures, but in the network game at least, any interviewer worth their salt is going to ask you questions about what you say you know. If a company actually does manage to fall for the fluff, you're probably going to be looking for a job again shortly, as the company is comprised of idiots and isn't likely to survive.
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Comments

  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    I can answer 4 of those questions, the BGP one is still above my knowledge level, but other than that one (maybe the MPLS question but I know that's LDP) those are CCNA level questions. Wow...that's pretty bad. I had someone put down they knew Token Ring on their resume so I asked them what it was. I didn't get a response that was even close. So yeah, even obscure stuff don't put it down unless you can speak intelligently on it.
  • keenonkeenon Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    your way too easy on them. i have created what my boss referred to the "Kobayashi Maru" its a lab with 10 tickets dealing with L2 and L3 technologies. I have had 1 person answer 1 of them correctly
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    QHalo wrote: »
    I can answer 4 of those questions, the BGP one is still above my knowledge level, but other than that one (maybe the MPLS question but I know that's LDP) those are CCNA level questions. Wow...that's pretty bad. I had someone put down they knew Token Ring on their resume so I asked them what it was. I didn't get a response that was even close. So yeah, even obscure stuff don't put it down unless you can speak intelligently on it.

    Well, the questions were tailored to the resume. He listed "Extensive training" which I'm like ok, we'll see about that, and 5 years experience working for a tier 1 service provider. For someone who actually has that level of experience, those questions are incredibly softball. I would never have asked a CCNA about MPLS or BGP (unless the CCNA was saying they had extensive experience in it).

    Your resume is basically you standing up and saying 'I know how to do this.' Make damn sure you can.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    keenon wrote: »
    your way too easy on them. i have created what my boss referred to the "Kobayashi Maru" its a lab with 10 tickets dealing with L2 and L3 technologies. I have had 1 person answer 1 of them correctly

    I had to be. My boss specifically said 'be nice'. For the phone interview. Once they actually set foot in the door, we're allowed to ambush them, and we do. We just use the phone interview to figure out whether or not they're even worth talking to any further, as if they can't answer that basic crap, there's no need to spend anymore time on it.
  • keenonkeenon Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Agreed +1
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have worked with and have friends whom do this all the time and they never ever learn. Most of them actually never get found out during the interview process, it seems there are an awful lot of folks out there whom just suck at interviewing or simply don't care. I have a hard time understanding that one because when I was in management, I was very thorough with my interview process and candidates had to prove to me they had the skills and knowledge to do the job required. Anyways, a couple of these people have had periods where they end up getting let go from a job or two in a row before they manage to find someplace that they can manage to squeak by unnoticed. Every time one of them gets let go they all seem to share the common trait of assuming it's not at all because of them but because their manager was a dick or similar...
  • JustFredJustFred Posts: 678Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have always kept this old adage at the back of my mind " you can get by on charm for 5 minutes but after that you better know something" anyway i think thats how the saying goes.
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,776Mod Mod
    I don't understand why some people like to make fool out of themselves. I've interviewed Windows "engineers" that open their eyes wide when you ask them about FSMO roles. They list "expert in AD....blah blah". Reality always catch up to you. Although you may fool someone initially it will come to a point where you will have to prove that you know what you claim. It's just a matter of time.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    I actually prefer to understate my experience on my resume. It gives me an opportunity to surprise folks with what I really know when they sit across from me, and that tends to leave a positive impression.

    "Fake it till you make it" doesn't apply in my world.
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    I don't understand why some people like to make fool out of themselves. I've interviewed Windows "engineers" that open their eyes wide when you ask them about FSMO roles. They list "expert in AD....blah blah". Reality always catch up to you. Although you may fool someone initially it will come to a point where you will have to prove that you know what you claim. It's just a matter of time.

    I seem to remember Petri.org stating if you wanted to know if someone really knew AD, ask them about FSMO roles and how they pertain to AD.
  • Success101Success101 Posts: 132Member
    This is interesting. I've heard of individuals who are (insert certification) but can't answer anything related to the certification. However, if you going to put something on your resume, you better know exactly what it is at the very least. Do you interview all applicants? Such as entry level help desk personnel? I would assume you ask them questions related to certs/position?
  • keenonkeenon Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I actually prefer to understate my experience on my resume. It gives me an opportunity to surprise folks with what I really know when they sit across from me, and that tends to leave a positive impression.

    "Fake it till you make it" doesn't apply in my world.
    I agree completely, if I know something but don't use it alot I make it know i haven't touched it in a while.

    On the other hand I have had more than my share or interviews that turned into white boarding sessions.
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    Success101 wrote: »
    This is interesting. I've heard of individuals who are (insert certification) but can't answer anything related to the certification. However, if you going to put something on your resume, you better know exactly what it is at the very least. Do you interview all applicants? Such as entry level help desk personnel? I would assume you ask them questions related to certs/position?

    It depends. For our team, our boss randomnly picks and chooses one of us (usually whoever has made the grave mistake of not being busy at the moment) to sit in for the interview. He believes it's proper for us to have a say in who we might be working with, so he spreads the interviewing duties around rather than defaulting it to a select group of people. Occasionally, one of the other teams wants someone from our team to help vet their candidates, and we do so if someone is free, but for the most part, we interview people for our team, and we are far from entry level.
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    Your resume is basically you standing up and saying 'I know how to do this.' Make damn sure you can.

    ZING! It's common sense?
    It depends. For our team, our boss randomnly picks and chooses one of us (usually whoever has made the grave mistake of not being busy at the moment) to sit in for the interview. He believes it's proper for us to have a say in who we might be working with, so he spreads the interviewing duties around rather than defaulting it to a select group of people.

    I like that.
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  • higherhohigherho Posts: 882Member
    I got asked these questions before the phone interview (from a career fair) and the job listed network + to CCNA knowledge.


    Q: What are the 7 layers of the OSI model?





    A:








    Q: How does OSPF work?




    A:








    Q: What are the LSA types? Should be able to answer at least 2-3



    A







    Q: Where would you find a Designated router on a network.



    A:









    Q: What are differences between OSPF and BGP?



    A:







    Q: You are asked to evolve a TCP/IP addressing scheme for your Organization. How many network numbers (subnet number) must you allow when you design the network for your organization?


    A:









    Q: You have an IP of 156.233.42.56 with a subnet mask of 7 bits. How many hosts and subnets are possible assuming that subnet 0 is not used?


    A









    Q: How many usable IP addresses are in a /25



    A:







    Q: What are 2 sub layers of OSI Data Link layer?



    A:








    Q: What are the characteristics of OSPF areas?



    A:








    Q: What are some other OSPF areas.




    A:



    I had on my skill sheet Experience with the following Cisco technologies and I listed OSPF. Then the phone interview I got asked what do I know about the OSPF routing protocol (other than the questions above) then I shared my recent experience of upgrading our back end dev network with OSPF (I still do not have my CCENT but I did tell him I am aiming to get it before April 13th). I did not list BGP at all on the resume (kidna through me off but thankfully I knew very basic stuff).


    I agree with the main poster 100% you put "Experience" or "proficient" down and then list a technology, be prepared to justify it.
  • Patel128Patel128 Posts: 339Member
    I actually prefer to understate my experience on my resume. It gives me an opportunity to surprise folks with what I really know when they sit across from me, and that tends to leave a positive impression.

    I totally agree with you on that.
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  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    @OP

    Great post this make a lot of sense and I myself am guilty of this. Not quite as bad as that candidate though ;)

    I've seen it go both way to be honest. But I think taking the high road and "telling the truth" is always the best options and less stressful ;)
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Posts: 614Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    I don't understand why some people like to make fool out of themselves. I've interviewed Windows "engineers" that open their eyes wide when you ask them about FSMO roles. They list "expert in AD....blah blah". Reality always catch up to you. Although you may fool someone initially it will come to a point where you will have to prove that you know what you claim. It's just a matter of time.

    I actually blanked on a phone interview once when asked about FSMO, just completely blanked. About 40 seconds later my brain started working again but boy was that awkward.

    @OP - I agree, I don't put items on my resume that I can't discuss in depth.
    Thanks, Tom

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  • Raidersfan81Raidersfan81 Posts: 124Member
    This stuff happens everyday in life and in every job type. It will never stop. When people want a job or need money some people will go to extreme measures and try anything.

    I know quite a few people who did this exact stuff and got by the interviewers and then learned on the job from willing people. Then I've seen it happen where nobody would help them and go tell the managers and they would be eventually let go.

    It's a savage world out there.
  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    QHalo wrote: »
    I seem to remember Petri.org stating if you wanted to know if someone really knew AD, ask them about FSMO roles and how they pertain to AD.

    I don't see how asking about FSMO roles relates to knowing a lot about AD. Sure if you know what they do, where they should be, and when to transfer them that's great, but I can think of more relevant questions to determine someone's AD level. I would rather know that they are very comfortable with DNS, Sites and Services, Group Policy etc. before I care if they have FSMO roles memorized.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    FSMO role memorization might not be critical for many positions, but asking if someone knows what they are or what they do at all is a great tactic, IMO. Almost anyway can explain the more core technologies behind an Active Directory environment, but if they don't have any idea what FSMO roles are it shows a lack of knowledge. DFS and FRS questions, even very basic ones, are also good.
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  • SteveO86SteveO86 Posts: 1,423Member
    I can answer those five questions can I get an interview icon_smile.gif LOL

    Yea I agree with you totally, I've met some people with great looking resumes and certifications that could not even explain NAT or get the basic concepts of routing protocols (metrics used and AD, and why some routes are in the routing table but not others)...

    There is no harm is saying you don't know or you will need to look something up, just don't try and BS your way out of it like you know it.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    I can answer those five questions can I get an interview icon_smile.gif LOL

    That depends, you willing to relocate to the Atlanta metro area? hehe
  • ColbyGColbyG Posts: 1,264Member
    I'd like to see a thread where we talk about interview questions we got wrong or didn't answer fully.

    My most recent was interviewing for my current job a little over a year ago. I was asked why one would choose to me to MST over RPVST. My only real answer was if it were a multi-vendor network. Knowing that I hadn't used MST much, they didn't give me too much grief about it. I did some digging on my phone as soon as I left the interview room.:/
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Posts: 1,423Member
    That depends, you willing to relocate to the Atlanta metro area? hehe

    That depends, is the pay good enough? icon_smile.gif
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    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
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  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    rsutton wrote: »
    I don't see how asking about FSMO roles relates to knowing a lot about AD. Sure if you know what they do, where they should be, and when to transfer them that's great, but I can think of more relevant questions to determine someone's AD level. I would rather know that they are very comfortable with DNS, Sites and Services, Group Policy etc. before I care if they have FSMO roles memorized.

    Considering that knowing what they do and how they work is generally something that comes up with the poop hits the fan, I think having someone that knows how to resolve an issue with them is very important rather than relying on if your Google-fu is strong that day. The other stuff is just common everyday Windows Admin stuff. You better know how to do that. Just IMHO. :)
  • XiaoTechXiaoTech Posts: 113Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I kind of regret doing this when I was living in Japan. I was desperate to get a job to stay there, and one company was looking for a translator. Now, at this time, my speaking level was an advance intermediate but I don't think I had any business applying. I e-mailed them before to ask how "fluent" they needed the applicant. They told me to apply and they would let me know based on my resume. I did...I didn't fluff the resume out per se, but I did spend some time writing "perfect" business e-mails in Japanese when I inquired about the job. I got the interview, but failed due to my speaking ability being too low for the job. Live and learn. :)
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Interestingly, I found myself taking "expertise items" off of the resume over the years. As my career progressed and the game level went up, I have been realizing that what I previously considered a fair familiarity with a technology was in fact the ignorance of a noob standing next to the abyss of knowledge... (I'd like to think I'm getting wiser :)) The point here is that in some cases this resume fluff could be ignorance, rather than a malicious act on behalf of the candidate...
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  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    One thing that I've been told is that class experience counted as experience. I had people from work tell me this so I thought it would be alright to put basic windows and linux skills on the resume. I had that for a while and it didn't feel right so I took them off. Plus how does someone define "basic" skills? I know it varies from person to person because it depends on their skillset.

    After I found out that anything is fair game on the resume, I took way more things off the resume. People didn't tell me that the stuff on the resume is fair game when I needed help on the resume when I first started out.
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  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I take expired certs off my resume that I no longer consider relevant to my career experience/level. Or if I do and I have not upgraded my skills I put the version down. I took CCNA off my resume asap because after a couple of years I forgot most of it and my career was not headed that way. It was not expired but I didn't want to give the impression I was comfortable at least with learning the material. I took Citrix off later because I knew I was not headed that way anymore and it was also expired (even though I had the second to last version).

    Lately I use my cover letter to give specific details on how my experience can benefit an employer if I am applying.
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