On Tue, 23 Oct 2012 12:05:17 -0700, John Larkin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>You didn't want to work there, so it was a great interview.
Actually, I did want to work there, and probably would have been willing to tolerate the manager. In retrospect, all he was doing was defending his design and avoided hiring a potential troublemaker (me).
>This is my first-pass qualifier question.
I noticed that nobody actually answered the problem. So.... > > +10V > | > C >+5V--------------B > E > | > 1K > | > gnd
>What is the base voltage?
>What is the emitter voltage?
Assuming silicon, and not germanium, 5V - 0.6V = 4.4V
>The best interview is to work on a real design problem, together on a >whiteboard, for a couple of hours.
Agreed. The last engineer I hired (back in the early 1980's) was one of maybe a dozen applicants that were filtered by HR. My boss gave me about an hour each as he didn't want me to spend 12 days on interviews. I wasn't hugely interested in what they knew. I was interested in their willingness and abilities to learn new things. My little memory test trick was my primary tool. There's not much that can be done in an hour, especially with constant interruptions. Eventually, about 4 people in engineering grilled the applicant. We then compared notes and passed it on to whomever was going to make the final decision. The overall batting average was lousy. We hired one clown that instantly retired on the job. Another specialized in finding excuses not to show up to work. Yet another acted like he was still working for his previous employer. Spending a day with the applicant would have brought much of this to the surface, but that didn't happen.
There's also a problem hiring engineers in very small companies. At literally all of my employers, engineers were directly involved in all aspects of product development, production, QA, and documentation. We needed a very versatile engineer, capable of doing more than just engineering. I didn't care if the candidate knew how to do everything. However, I did care if he was able to learn new skills. I was hired at one company to do RF design work, but spent the first 6 months cleaning up my predecessors mess on the production line.
>I also like to ask people what they designed last, and to describe >some circuits.
Yep. We also did that. However, I ran into one odd problem with an engineer from Japan. I could see that he was competent. However, I had great difficulty determining what he did at his previous employer. It wasn't a big secret as it was all on his resume. Yet, he wouldn't talk about it. I eventually determined that in Japan, he was considered part of a team. Discussing a project without the inclusion of the team was like taking personal credit for the teams accomplishments. When I switched my questions to reflect the accomplishments of the team, the answers were forthcoming.