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Rule 10

How do you handle all interactions past the second interview? Well, some companies handle their interview process by compressing several sessions into one marathon day spent at the company. Some like to do as many as five separate interviews, spread over a series of days or weeks. This can often indicate a bureaucratic approach to hiring. Your raises will generally not be merit based at this company. Your compensation, raises, and even subsequent duties will all be on a set schedule. If you can deal with that, OK. Using Job Fairy methodology, you probably won't be there long enough for this to affect your career earnings.

Other companies, the kind that have you interview 15 people in a 4 hour stretch - those tend to be the younger, smaller companies. They have less process, less bureaucracy. However, they can have long work hours and can have a real cowboy approach to development and deployment. Whether or not you can live with that is up to you.

At every interview, you're looking at them as critically as they're looking at you. Listen, and observe. Answer only what they're asking; no more and no less. What you say can be used against you. They'll try to pry personal information out of you. You don't have to give it. Stare them down if they get too personal. Let them know, with a firm glance, that they're out of bounds. They know that they are. They just want to see if you'll defend yourself or not. Listening to what they're saying; not rushing to fill in the pauses in the conversation, but letting THEM do the work, can be revealing. It shows you if they're inconsiderate or not. If they are, you'll see it now - and better to disqualify them in the interview phase rather than to have to find a new job once you've been working there for months.

In fact, this happened to one of the Job Fairies. She interviewed with a guy I will refer to as "Shifty Sherman". He could not, for the life of him, make eye contact with her during the interview. His eyes darted nervously, back and forth, around the room. When she asked him an innocuous question about the history of the building they were in (she already knew the answer; she just wanted to see if he'd really been there long enough to know), she could not get a straight answer from him. She asked him the same question again later in the interview, phrased slightly differently. Again, she could not get a straight answer yes or no. Then she had her answer.

If he was like this about a small and irrelevant issue, what was he going to be like about the rest of her workload? Where she might not already have the answer, and she'd be at the mercy of the quality of the information he'd be providing? She walked out of the building after the interview singing a tune, knowing she'd never have to walk back in there again. Someone like her was not vulnerable, and therefore not attractive, to a potential boss like Shifty Sherman.

Of course, she got a rejection letter from the company, saying they'd picked another victim candidate. What fun we had with that letter! A lot of us Fairies sat around over drinks and nachos, laughing at it. Yes, recruiters & hiring managers, that's what we do. We get together frequently, drink (lots of) margaritas, and laugh at your antics. Real hard. Don't expect us Fairies to be any kind of responsible when we're off duty, y'know?

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