Article - A Story Of One Interview: What Would You Do?


An interesting (to say the least) conversation took place between yours truly and a vice president of software development several years ago during a job interview. Today I just wanted to share this experience with you and ask for your suggestion on how to deal with it:

VP: So, you have been working as a project manager for close to ten years now, right?

Me: Yes that is correct. The only thing I wanted to add is that I have also been working as a business/requirements analyst over that period of time.

VP: But I don't see any technical (developer) experience on your resume.

Me: Actually I have finance/management science educational background.

VP: So, you never worked as programmer?

Me: Not really.

VP: And how the heck do you expect to manage technical people?

Me: (confused) I am sorry, I am not sure what you mean ...

VP: Well, say you join our team and get assigned to work on a project. You are estimating the duration of the tasks and your programmer tells you that the activity would take 5 days. Whereas in reality it would take only 2 days. How would you know that he is lying if you don't have any developer background? What can you possibly do in this situation?

Me: (turning to the HR Manager who was also present in the boardroom) I would probably suggest that you fire your human resources manager ...

VP: (very surprised) What??

Me: (smiling) Well, you just said that most - if not all - of your programmers are liars. Shouldn't the personnel department try to do a better job when hiring people?

While this response was probably a bit harsh, I was just wondering what would you do in a situation similar to the one described above?

A) Roll up your proverbial sleeves and try to convince the VP that project managers do not have to possess technical skills in order to successfully run projects.

B) Agree with him, leave the office, cry a bit and forever abandon your project management career in software development and IT.

C) Ignore his comments, wait for the interview to finish and go look for a company with a less toxic  environment.

D) Realize that you chances of getting a job there are slim to none and make a snide comment; something along the lines of "Hey man, I know guys on crack that makes more sense than you!"

Please leave your comments below: A, B, C or D