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Why Resumes Are Useless Plus Links to Interview Questions

Resumes seem to be mostly useless, this is what Andrew Wulf thinks, and I can’t agree more. I have been conducting a few interviews lately to fill a PL/SQL contract position, and in almost all cases the resume was so overcharged with buzzwords and all kinds of technologies created in the past 10 years. However, when the moment of truth (the interview) comes, few candidates know the answer to very basic questions.

Moreover, the resumes I have seen were obviously made to order. I know that when I get the resume as an email file attachment and the Word document file name is something like: JohnDoeCompanyName.doc. This is an obvious hint that a different Word document (resume) is created for every company the staffing agency or the candidate submits the resume to. They basically tailor the resume to the specific job requirement the hiring company is looking for.

I totally agree with these quotes from Andrew Wulf’s article:

  1. Resumes become a kind of worm to dangle in front of the recruiter or HR fish, just enough to hook some interest.
  2. Tests rarely demonstrate ability other than memorization anyway; I’ve known people who aced certification tests and were utterly unable to develop any useful applications. Certifications themselves seem mostly ignored as well, probably for this good reason.
  3. It’s all in the way they communicate their knowledge, respond to specific questions on projects they claim to have worked on, and demonstrate a willingness to learn.
  4. Would you hire a homebuilder on the basis of ability to hit a nail into a board?
  5. The end result is not to find that one person with the exact resume matching a laundry list of technologies (they have 3.14159 years of JUnit!) but someone who can work successfully with the other team members, is capable of doing or learning anything required, knows how to think, and has some kind of track record of actual work.

In any case, here are a few links to Oracle interview questions:

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I am an Oracle Developer … huh!

I was reading the post by the Google Operating System blog titled Tough Questions From Google Job Interviews. Interesting post. For example, in one of the phone interviews the interviewee was asked:

Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.

His answer was:

A database is a way of organizing information. It’s like a genie who knows where every toy in your room is. Instead of hunting for certain toys yourself and searching the whole room, you can ask the genie to find all your toy soldiers, or only X-Men action figures, or only race cars — anything you want.

Not a bad answer. What else can I say to my eight-year-old nephew?! Maybe something like: a database is what buys your cousin these fancy toys so you will feel jealous 🙂

But, really, as an Oracle developer or DBA, how do you explain to “non-techie” people what you do? I usually do not go into details. When I’m asked: What do you do? I just say: I’m a computer programmer. Everyone knows what a computer is, and hopefully, everyone knows that computers need programs to work.

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It’s a Feature interviews me

Marian Crkon from “It’s a Feature” publishes a short interview with me. Check it out.

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