Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The interview

After the interview on Monday, I felt a lot like I did right after I tried to explain the different levels of computing to the Research Accountants -- that is-- as if I'd dumped my brain on the table and someone had pounded on it with hammers... I spent a lot of time saying the same things over and over. I spent a lot of time in a conference room with bright lighting and iffy video equipment (actually the equipment in the room was excellent, but I think a lot of people called in from their desks). And I answered a lot of questions such as "How many watts is a megawatt?" and "What is the unit of measurement for heat/cooling?" Duh... would that be a million watts and a BTU? Do I win the Kewpie Doll?

You know the one that stumped me? What is a bit. Not a byte, a the end of the day... when my brain had shut off. 2 days later I'm still embarrassed.

Those of you who were warning me about the level of difficult questions at Google.. forget it. The most difficult time I had came from trying to explain why I would only load a 20 KW UPS to 50% when the interviewer wanted the answer to be 80%. He was happy when I said "If I had a client who would only buy 1 UPS for some stupid reason, I would not recommend they load it over 80% because no matter what the manufacturer tells you, they don't do 100%" He was happy.

I was annoyed.

It was a stupid question. About the level of "How many watts in a megawatt?" and "What products does we make make?" My answer to that was "Besides the search engine, online shopping, the magazine jpegs, gmail, the calendar, the chat client, map and Earth? Or will those do?" (Guess who I interviewed with)

The true geeks-- the datacenter techs and I had a much better conversation. We talked about vmwares (J & J, I have some stuff for you to look at when I get back). We talked about the differences in servers between AMD and Pentium. We talked about the laws of decreasing return (at what point do you say it's not worth upgrading and we should just buy new servers.) Those were fun. And I very nearly invited them to VS on Wednesday. The Logistics person and I had a good time trashing vendors, too.

I dunno, we'll see IF there's an offer, and what it is. It's possible I was just being pissy because I'd had a damned long day... 6 hours of interview and lunch are enough to wear anyone out. I'm going to write up my "Tell me about yourself" schpeil to hand out if I ever do another interview with this company.


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