It always drives me nuts when a job interview turns into a chance for the interviewer to explain to the interviewee how wonderful he/she is and how much knowledge they have. This happened to me yesterday when I was on a call with a potential employer. The call started out how a normal phone interview does, where the employer explained his business, what they do, who their clients are and their specialties. Fine. This is good information.
At some point between this guy’s explaination of his company’s services and asking me what I do, the conversation unraveled into a chance for him to go on and on and on and on about all the cool shit he knows. Now I guess part of the reason this guy pissed me off is because I have a big ego as well, but I’m not vocal about it. He was vocal about it.
He knew from seeing my resume that I was an interactive art director, and the job he had posted for was for someone with Actionscripting experience, but yet he felt the need to ask me if I knew all sorts of things outside my skillset. I began to see that each thing he asked me if I knew, he not only knew, but he was an expert at it.
The conversation started to go something like this:
Ok Michael, let me quiz you a bit. Ok, um, let’s say you have a photography with the tops of all the people’s heads in the image cut off. Would you be able to fill in the missing pieces and make it look real?
No, I don’t think so. (What the fuck does that have to do with Actionscripting?)
See, I can do that. In fact, I could do it in Illustrator …Alright, how ’bout this: I have an old photograph will big chunks missing from it, like peoples’ noses. It’s an old photo. Would you be able to fill in the missing areas?
Uh, friggin’ no, son.
See I had to do that for my sister, she had all these old photos that needed retouching.
That’s wonderful for your sister.
By the end of the conversation when puke began rising in my throat, I gathered that this dude was an expert at – PHP, XHTML, XML, Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, high resolution photo retouching, database development, quantam physics and curing AIDS.
Now first off, I don’t know anyone that is an expert at everything and even if he was an expert at all that stuff, I’m not jealous, just try to be a bit more humble, ok?
And if he was a jedi master at all those things, what the fuck does he need me for? Sounds like you have everything under control buddy, I’ll leave you to your top-of-head-retouching work.
I guess if there’s a point to all this it’s:
a) Be humble and if you’re good, don’t speak, let your work speak.
b) Make sure you keep wise-ass thoughts for your internal monologue (or blog) or risk not being hired anywhere, because there are plenty of people in this world that you’ll have to work for that need their egos stroked.