International Conference on Cyber Security
ICCS is the premier global cybersecurity event spanning three days with more than 70 distinguished speakers from government, the private sector, and academia...Read More
Many more people are interviewed for jobs than do the interviewing. That's why it's so important to know how to answer difficult interview questions. But as an interviewer, asking the right questions is essential to identifying the top talent for your business. Asking the wrong questions just wastes time. Asking the worst questions can damage your business's reputation. Here is a collection of the worst interview questions ever asked. 1. How lucky are you and why? 2. Are you more of a hunter or gatherer? 3. How honest are you? 4. What's the worst thing you have done in your life? 5. How would your friends describe you? 7. Are you a cat person? 8. If you could invite anyone, alive or dead, to a dinner party, who would you invite? 10. Are you a Coronation Street or EastEnders fan? 11. Tell me about your last travel experience 12. How many divots are on a golf ball? 13. Where do you see yourself in five years? 14. Are you single? 15. If you could be someone else for a day who would you be? 17. What super power would you like and why? 18. What would your last boss say about you? 19. Are you thinking about retiring? 20. Why have you been unemployed so long? 21. Sell me this pen. 22. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? 23. Would you rather fight a duck the size of a horse or 50 duck-sized horses? 24. Why did you apply for this job? 25. How much were you paid in your last job? These questions are irrelevant or unprofessional. They will not tell you anything meaningful about the candidate and does not give them any opportunity to demonstrate their talents. Google and other "cutting edge" tech companies commonly used brainteaser interview questions. But today they have fallen out of favour, and with good reason. Brainteaser questions only "serve to make the interviewer feel smart" according Google exec Laszlo Block. Research on the connection between being able to correctly solve a brainteaser and future job performance and/or IQ is questionable and inconsistent. As a result, questions like that are a bit of a waste of time. When interviewing a candidate, it's important to ask questions that will help you decide whether the candidate is the right one for you. In addition to technical questions that test the candidate's expertise, you need to make sure they are the right cultural fit for you business. A question like "how honest are you?" won't reveal any technical expertise or cultural fit. Any candidate is going to claim their honesty during a job interview, so you learn nothing. Personal questions, such as those that reference your age, sexuality, previous pay and favourite soap could present your business as prejudiced. While these questions may seem perfectly reasonable to you, you are not legally allowed to discriminate against someone on their personal circumstances. It is not legal to ask questions of this sort. If the client feels they did not get the job because of their answers to these questions they are within their rights to complain. Vague hypothetical questions, including "where do you see yourself in five years?" serve no practical purpose and have little bearing on the interview and the job being applied for. While it is important to be reassured that your candidate isn't going to leave as soon as they arrive, the focus of the interview should be the job at hand. If you're a candidate, remember that a job interview is as much an opportunity to find out about the business as it is the business getting to know you. It's a two-way street. So, if you get asked a question you don't think is appropriate, bear it in mind when you make the decision of whether or not you should take the job.
Hackathons might sound like scary things. But the truth is that hackathon is a collaborative event that can help developers learn new skills and discover new ways to approach challenges. The word "hackathon" is a portmanteau of "hack" and "marathon". "Hack" is a term for exploratory programming, where developers find new ways to solve problems. "Marathon" refers to the structure of the event: nonstop coding for 24 hours and sometimes longer. What Happens at a Hackathon? Also known as hack days or code fests, hackathons give developers an opportunity to collaborate on a single project and share their skills as they race to build, create and deliver a product within a certain timeframe. Hackathons are often structured as a competition, where teams of programmers, developers, designers and project managers come together to complete a software project. Hackathons usually start with introductions and presentations that centre on a theme. Here, participants will pitch their ideas and form teams based on interests and skillsets. Hackathons can be of 24h but can go up to a week. Shorter Hackathons, are high pressure, fast-paced events. Meanwhile, longer hackathons require more nuanced time management. After the work is done, teams will show their products to each other. Sometimes there will be a jury that will choose a winning team that will get a prize. But the real prize is the opportunity for the delegates to meet, share and collaborate. How Popular are Hackathons? As mentioned in our previous blog, developers like to learn new skills outside of work and hackathons are the places they love having the opportunity to go to. A report in 2017 by BeMyApp reported that 200,000 people participated in hackathons in over 100 countries last year. 75% of these hackathons were public in nature. They attracted 42.8% professionals and 21.1% students. Some 18.9% of the participants categorised themselves as independents and 9.6% as entrepreneurs. Another 7.6% were unemployed. The diverse makeup has generally aligned interests and skills. Over one third of participants had web skills and another 36% specialised in mobile applications. The other third was made up of other disciplines, including design, management and hardware. Hackathons attract people from a range of disciplines. What are the Benefits of Hackathons? Meet New People Hackathons are a social occasion as much as a technical challenge. They allow developers to mingle and spend time away from their usual teams. This allows them to decompress, readjust their perspective and come back to their work projects with new energy. They also help devs develop their soft skills, such as communication, team building and planning, which can be brought back into their work. Learn New Skills Hackathons offer devs a chance to get some real tech experience and develop their skills. This isn't only valuable experience for younger developers, it allows seasoned devs to explore areas outside their comfort zone and add new tools to their repertoire. Hackathons are all about thinking outside the box. It's that kind of thinking that will help your devs become top talent and help take your business further Networking & Finding New Talent Hosting a Hackathon gives businesses an opportunity to give new blood a chance to show off their skills. This can be very important if you have a new project about to start and you're looking for new team members. Hosting a hackathon that is themed around your upcoming projects can help you find the talent you need. If also demonstrates your business as one that is sensitive and supportive of the needs of developers. Hackathons aren't just for devs Participants don't have to have programming skills. As mentioned, this is a collaborative process that touches a number of people who work on systems projects. This includes, designers, project managers and UX specialists. The goal of a hackathon is always to produce the best piece of work possible, which requires a variety of skills on each team. In today’s digital era, the success of a business depends on its ability to sustain innovation. To meet growing customer expectations and beat the competition, companies must innovate fast and build new features to improve their product or service. The biggest advantage a hackathon offers is a structure to scale innovation and build new features. Concrete ideas derived from hackathons can help companies provide better customer experience and improve revenue.
A large part of interview prep involves making sure you say the right things. You need to paint yourself in the best possible light by highlighting your strengths, skills and character. But there are some things that you should never say in an job interview. They might seem like unimportant comments, or even positive things, but don't be fooled! You may ruin your chances of securing the job you want if you fall into the trap of saying the following things… "My current company is awful" As we mentioned in our article on hard interview questions, talking about your current employer in a negative way may backfire on you. Hiring managers are looking for people with a positive and constructive attitude. If the only things you have to say about your current employer are negative and dismissive, you're painting yourself as a negative person. Be constructive and diplomatic about your current company, instead. Or, if you really can't think of anything nice to say about the company at large, focus on your specific role and talk about that. "How much does this job pay?" Discussing salary can be a tricky subject to approach. It's important not to appear to be solely focused on the money. Particularly in tech, hiring managers are looking for people with a passion for what they do and not just working for a pay cheque. As a general rule, the best thing to do is to wait for the interviewer to bring up the question of salary. "I don’t know" Saying this in an interview usually indicates that you didn't prepare well enough. To an interviewer, this demonstrates to them that you aren't great at preparing. It also indicates that you can't think quickly under pressure. Some people use "I don't know" as a filler when organising their thoughts before answering. If you need time to think before answering a question, rather than saying: "I don't know… I suppose what I would do is…", instead repeat the question. "How would I solve this problem? I suppose what I would do is…" This allows you to buy time while your brain gets organised without making you sound like you don't know the answer. "I don’t have any questions" At the end of an interview, there is a strong chance that you'll be asked if you have any other questions. Having something to ask makes you seem engaged with the business and interested in the work. This positive attitude may serve you well when the hiring manager comes to choose their candidate. To help you out, here are 6 great questions to ask at the end of an interview. Who would I be reporting to? What are the next steps in the interview process? How has this position evolved? Who do you consider your major competitors? How are you better? What do you like most about working for this company? Will I have an opportunity to meet those who would be part of my tesm/my manager during the interview process? These questions help you understand what is come in terms of the interview process and shows that you are engaged and interested in the business. Asking a personal question to the interviewer, like "What do you like most about working here?" helps build up a rapport with them. "I was top ADC on my team" Unless you're absolutely sure that the person interviewing you is familiar with acronyms, avoid them wherever possible. You need to be articulating yourself in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Jargon only gets in the way and can interrupt your flow. Follow the lead from your interviewer. If they don't use acronyms, be sure to use the full names for things. This is particularly relevant for tech roles. Sometimes, the hiring manager isn't the one with technical expertise. After all, that's what they are hiring for! They may have a technical person in the room as well, but even if they do, pitch to the lowest common denominator in the room until you're sure everyone understands what you are talking about. It is possible to demonstrate your technical expertise without bamboozling people with acronyms and jargon. "I can do anything" This statement is irrelevant at best and problematic at worst. No one can really do anything, so this is a dismissive and arrogant statement. In tech, businesses are crying out for specialists. By all means discuss your soft skills and your transferable skills, but be specific about what you can do. "I think outside the box" This is another one of those statements that is irrelevant to many hiring managers. Instead of saying that you think outside the box, show them. Demonstrate a situation where your innovative thinking solved a problem or achieved a goal. Don't just say you can do something, give people examples and a context. That is what gives weight to your statements. "What does this company?" This is an inexcusable thing to say and makes you seem indifferent and aloof towards the business. If you're a contractor working on a project that involves one tiny facet of the business as a whole, it can be easy to disregard the big picture. But from the perspective of the hiring manager, this puts you in a negative light. Do your research, know who you're working for and understand what they do. You are being judged from the second you arrive at your job interview. What you do and what you say can have a huge impact on whether the interview is a success or a failure. But remember your interview preparation, avoid saying these things and you'll do great!