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Global Domination

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Monday, June 19

TekCheck

Here's a bit of advice. If you want to get a job in IT, be honest about which skills you have and which you don't. You can't bluff a computer into believing you know a tool you don't.

When I applied for my present job, I wanted to be able to tell people that I knew .NET and C#. They were the tools/technologies being used to great effect by some of the teams in my last place. It was clear from looking at the jobs market that if I had these skills I'd be more employable. Friends told me that I could learn it pretty easily, and I'd done a bit of background reading about it. It looked easy enough and I reckoned I could get away with bluffing some interview questions on it. But I wasn't stupid enough to claim it as a skill. I could even have spent a few evenings doing some self-tuition and gotten away with passing a rudimentary programming test in C#, but I DID NOT CLAIM IT AS A SKILL.

Why am I emphasising this?

It seems that my wisdom in not lying on my CV was very sensible. I got the job on the skills I claimed I did have. The employer, though wanting me to program in this new technology, reckoned that if I could do what I claimed to be able to do, then I should be able to train up. So they tested me on the stuff I said I knew.

I passed the test. It was a pernickety and bloody awful test to take, but I did well enough to impress them. I interviewed well too and wanted the job by the time I left the building. Had I not passed the test enough I wouldn't have gotten the interview.

I got over 80 in the test, I'm not saying how much over 80. The test is measured in percentile terms. So 80 would mean that only 20 percent of the population could do as well as you did getting 80. 90 would mean you're in the top 10 percent and so on.

On Friday I was revved up to do the personal interview of someone who was in for a junior development role. He claimed to have loads of skills and technologies under his belt. He was an MSc student and seemed, from his CV, very keen.

He scored under 10 in the test. That's equivalent to the level of an aubergine.

DON'T LIE ON YOUR CV FOR TECHNICAL JOBS. TESTS CAN FIND YOU OUT!

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