Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We Have a New Record


<== This picture has nothing to do with the content of this post. But look at it! How could I not post that?

Yesterday I skipped out for lunch at 11:50 because I was expecting a grueling technical phone interview with a CIO and a department head at noon.

At precisely noon, the phone rang and I answered. Words were exchanged, questions asked and answered, and the call ended with the promise that the potential employer would follow up within a couple of days.

When I closed my phone, it informed me that the call had lasted nine minutes.

Nine minutes? What the hell kind of technical interview lasts nine minutes? 

I replayed it in my head trying to figure out what I had done wrong. I used my time-tested interview techniques. I generally avoided profanity and announcing a preemptive hatred of the user base, while being as honest and open as possible.

Them: "What do you think makes you a good candidate for an Information Security role?"

Me: "Well, in addition to being able to mitigate liability for the company through my certifications, I'm a complete paranoid. Are you recording this?"

Them: "Why are you interested in coming to work for (company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement)?"

Me: "I wasn't, specifically. I hadn't considered it until the headhunter called me. But my family likes the area and I checked your local pollen count against ours and you came out the clear winner."

Them: "In your opinion, what is the most difficult step in securing a server against data theft or loss?"

Me: "Getting the users to stop bothering me about restoring access to data they don't need but used to be able to access."

Them: "Your resume lists a lot of jobs over the past few years. Why?"

Me: "I've spent the past few years looking for a place that comes in under my maximum threshold for 'suck' and sometimes it takes a while to identify."

Them: "Tell me about your last dedicated security role and why you left it."

Me: "Process, while important, choked that place to complete stagnation. I left because they wanted a consultant to sign off on sending financial and human resources information over the internet in clear text and they picked me to do it. I refused and walked out the same day."

Them: "What type of business was (former employer's name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement)? What industry?"

Me: "I'm not sure. I always assumed they made widgets or something. It had no bearing on my day-to-day work, so I never gave it much thought."

See? Nothing weird there, yet the interview was over and I was left to wait with a lot of lunch to burn.

I picked up some Coke Zero. I wandered around Half Price Books. The headhunter called to ask how it went and I told her there was no threat of a restraining order but the interview had ended at the nine minute mark.

Her: "That's not good."

Me: "I had stuff to do anyway."

Her: "I would expect to hear back by the end of the week either way."

Me. "K"

When I got back to my desk, there was an offer waiting. 

The interview time to beat, ladies and gentlemen, is nine minutes. Difficulty: You must mention at least one allergen.



Jane said...

I'll never beat that. I did inform my current employers that I was allergic to soy before I accepted the job, but the interview process lasted several weeks.

You are winrar.

Garrick said...

I think you can do it, Jane.
The key is to CONSTANTLY look for work. All the time. Like practicing the oboe.

This kind of thing is not accomplished overnight.