All of the topics discussed here in this blog comes from my real life encounters. They serve as references for future research. All of the data, contents and information presented in my entries have been altered and edited to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the clients.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Interview for OBIEE position and how to succeed

Hello All

Today's topic is everybody's favorite, that is about interviews. Interview is a pain in the ass and it is for a lot of people. The more senior you are (or you think you are), the more you dislike interviews. Doing the work and talking about your work are completely two different things. When you are at work, you may run into challenges, but at least you don't have to come up with a working solution in the next 30 minutes if you can't. However in interviews, you are expected to provide proper responses in 5 mins. Therefore, if you want to excel at interviews, you should prepare yourself on your emotional intelligence, not so much on memorizing the things you can google.

Some of the mostly overlooked questions are:

Tell me a little bit about yourself, in particular, your experience related to OBIEE, BI Apps, Informatica, project management etc.

What is the most challenging problem you have encountered in your past experience with OBIEE, BI Apps, Informatica, project management etc, and how you solved that problem.

What is your approach to _____?

See, these are open-ended questions, depending on how you respond, the interviewer can throw anything at you. But first and foremost, it is important to prepare a well structured response to all these questions before any interviews. You don't have to memorize your speech word for word, but you do need to follow your structure. Over time, based on your growing experience of interviews, you might refine your speech.

Oftenly, interviewers aren't much better than you either. However, they are in the position to make decision, therefore, you need to learn to interact with them properly.

Sometimes, interviewers make random comments at your responses that may affect you emotionally. You were describing how great your previous project was, or how complex your design was and then here he comes with 'That's not a big deal.' or 'Aren't you over-complicating things? ' or even 'How is that going to work?'. Suddenly, you feel you have been disrespected, looked down on or misunderstood. This is very common among experienced job candidates.  The more experience you have, the more likely you will resist other's criticism, especially in the engineering fields where people rarely worked on people skills. You have been through so many rounds of technical discussions at work, you are so used to arguing with your coworker and you always win, therefore, you can't handle when people don't show appreciation of how great you think you are during interviews. Your subconscious will look at this interaction just as another technical discussion or even a 'political fight' in the office. You start raising your voice and so does the interviewer. At the end, you may win the argument, but lose the interview; or this verbal exchange will leave a significant mark on your psyche that after that all you are doing is mumbling to yourself with 'this guy is an asshole' and you totally forget about the fact that the interview isn't over.

Over the years of interacting with engineers and managers, I have realized something when it comes to technical discussions. If it occurs during the interview, it's easy. Just answer the question with whatever you know, don't worry about trying to convince the other person. If the interviewer is saying something you don't like, just take it easy. Reply with 'ok, that's interesting you said it', 'ok, I see your point' or 'What you said also make sense, I think we can definitely discuss this in more details off line.'. For God sake, just get over with this question and go to the next, if the interviewer wants to show off his knowledge, that's even better, let him do all the talking, he might enjoy so much that he would hire you based on that. Now of course, if you are applying for management, sales or customer service jobs, that's different. For engineering jobs, the less you talk the better it is.

In today's world, the competition in IT is getting fierce, especially in niche markets like OBIEE, Hadoop, Salesforce, Tibco where there are plenty of candidates, the interviewers rarely ask questions where you can google the answer anymore. They want to find out whether you really have experience or not. Therefore, a lot of questions are open-ended, opinion based questions. While it is important for you to prepare your speeches, it is just as important to realize that there is nothing wrong with you if you don't get the job after.

Everything happens for a reason. How you perform during your interview is always an accurate reflection of where you stand in the job market and your relationship with this particular interviewer. There is no surprise no matter what the outcome is. Take it easy. Try to learn something from the interview if there is anything to be learned, remember the questions that you couldn't answer and research on it afterwards. Do what you can to improve your chance for the next interview. If you fail, don't take it too seriously. I have worked in this field for long enough time that I personally can tell you that you can rejected for all kinds of reasons that it might even sound ridiculous to you. Just chill out, don't think about the interviews after it's done.

Hopefully, after working in the field for long enough time, you build up your personal network well enough that opportunities will get referred to you rather than you having to apply and compete for it. Building contact is one of the most important things to do in life and that's how you can minimize your chance of getting interviews in the future.

Until then:


Karen Baker said...

A really good look at the interview process that stresses the importance of knowing yourself and the company that you are interviewing with. The number of candidates that just randomly click to apply on job websites means that the competition is really fierce for any one job. A candidate really needs to distinguish themselves to get ahead. Make certain you read about the company, and really undersatand how you can fit in if you take on the role.
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Anonymous said...

Tks very much for your post.

Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

Source: Top 10 interview questions and answers

Best rgs

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