Throughout my career, I’ve been in a few interviews. There are several questions that I expect to hear and a few unusual ones. Some of the unusual ones tend to raise a red flag. However, when you hear those red flag questions often enough, it really sticks with you.
In part 1, I addressed the question: “What does this company get from a senior developer, for all of that extra pay? (or) What do I get from a senior developer that I don’t get from a mid-level developer?” (asked as-if, the interviewer didn’t know the answer)
Now, I would like to address the 2nd question: “It looks like you have a lot of experience with leading and being in-charge. We don’t need that. We already have that covered. What we really need is a hot-shot developer. Can you just be a developer, and not get involved in any decision-making, leadership or direction influence?”
Before I walk-into an interview, I already have my mind made-up about how to respond to a question like this. It is either “Sure. No problem.” or “Well, it was nice to talk with you. Good luck with your search.” I really want to only give the 2nd response, but then my wallet starts aching in my pocket and the first sentence leaps out of my mouth. Like “Yes Sir! I will follow orders, Sir!”
After you say it, you try to feel optimistic that your new employer is already doing everything “right”. In which case, you won’t have any reason to speak-up anyway. You will just learn from all of this “right-ness”. Golly. I will be great to finally be working at a place that has achieved perfection. The growth-potential alone, (for me) will be worth-it.
I’m sorry, I hope that didn’t sound sarcastic. I really do try to imagine how it would be if that really did happen. It would be amazing, right? Unfortunately, any company who really does have everything perfect, is not going to say stuff like that. They are going to have open minds and they will want to encourage you to test their mettle. They have nothing to fear from your cross-examination. So they won’t say “our minds are closed. I hope that is not a problem”.
If you are the type of person who asks interview questions like this, and doesn’t see why it is a big deal, please let me invite you to read next week’s post about “developers who talk too much“. It will give you some insight into what you have been missing, and hopefully resolve your doubts.