job screening question

Ray Wong rayw at
Fri Jul 6 09:39:13 UTC 2012

> Ugh, I know someone (thankfully no longer a current colleague) who ardently
> *defends* his use of questions like "what does the -M option to ps do?" on
> the basis that "any senior person who knows what they're doing should know
> all the options to ps!".  No, you useless tit, anyone who knows what they're
> doing should know how to read a bloody manpage.

Beyond that, if by "Senior" the role is the one the other tech people
turn to when they're out of knowledge/skills/ability, there's just too
much breadth to remember every detail about every tool. Quite the
opposite from remembering every option to a tool, it's impossible to
even keep track of every tool. The job as "senior" people is to figure
out the stuff that we don't always know within that company.

The main benefit of questions for HR to ask is the bozon filter: make
sure it's actually someone who does network, or systems, or database,
or whatever work. If one question (or even 10) could reveal the level
of responsibility someone were capable of, we wouldn't need the
interview process.

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