Ryan Martinsen

How to Fail Spectacularly at a Technical Phone Screen Interview

Back when I was looking for my current job I was actively interviewing with 3 or 4 companies. I had a phone interview scheduled one afternoon, but didn’t make it home before it happened. As a result, I was navigating the busy streets of NYC while fielding complicated computer science questions like, “why do you want to work here?”

I didn’t particularly care about this company, but embarked upon what I hoped was an enthusiastic sounding answer, complete with details of what I liked about their product. As I brought my beautiful speech to a close I wasn’t exactly expecting applause, but I was surprised at the complete and utter silence on the other end of the phone.

After a few seconds I ventured, “This isn’t [Acme Computer Company] is it?”

Them: Nope.

Me: Well, this is awkward. I also super like your company. You do neat things, too. In fact, uh, who is this?

Needless to say that conversation ended quite abruptly and I never heard from them again.

Work, Interviewing
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