5 – Forget the Logs

You ask the candidate how they would approach diagnosing a stated complex system issue.  They respond with a lot of “ummm….” and “uhhhhhh….” and at the end of all the air movement, they neglected to mention “logs” in a coherent sentence.

4 – Open the Gates

You describe a situation where an application or service is unable to establish a connection to a service or resource on a different host.  You mention “firewall”.  The candidate says something like “turn it off”.

3 – Punch Cards and Vacuum Tubes

During the course of conversation, the candidate describes extensive use of outdated technologies, products and methods.  For example, still images Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines using Ghost or CloneZilla and follows up with NewSID.

2 – Deer in the Headlights

You ask the candidate to describe a process which is an intrinsic part of a core technology used within the main concentration of work for which the candidate is applying.  For example, you ask how a typical User logon process works in an Active Directory environment.  The candidate stares into the abyss.  Fate is swinging a huge, sharpened axe, while wearing one of those awesome grim reaper costumes.  After a few minutes, they snap back into the reality of the hear-and-now, and realize everyone is still staring back at them quietly, waiting for the answer.  But alas, it never comes.

1 – The Expert

You ask the candidate what they know about a particular technology or product.  The candidate responds with an arrogant demeanor and (either explicitly or implicitly) claims to be exceedingly proficient, or even “expert” with that subject matter.  True experts never state that title.  They simply deliver.


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