Interview Highlights for Second Coop

Most of my interviews last term were positive experiences: respectful interviewers, lots of learning, interesting jobs. After attending a couple interviews, I began to notice that there was a direct relationship between the number of interviews I had attended and my playfulness in upcoming interviews. Here are the most memorable exchanges and monologues from my interviews.( I tried to keep the wording as close to what was said but there are some differences):


Me: “What will a co-op learn at the end of co-op that he/she may not have known before coming?”
Interviewer: “How to drink beer and order at a bar” **facepalm**

Me: “What will a co-op learn at the end of co-op that he/she may not have learned before coming?”
First Interviewer: “[insert technical skills]”
Second interviewer: “if you’re lucky, you’re also learn how to fall asleep pretending to be writing code. We have a senior guy who does that and he would – ”
Me, so baffled by answer to accidentally interrupted the interviewer: “Does he do that during meetings?”
First Interviewer: “Yes, though some of the meetings are boring”

Me: “We have six midterms coming up next week”
Interviewer: “[Cheerfully] Oh, that must suck”
Me: “You’re just saying that”

Interviewer: “[something mindblowing]”
Me: “Oh, snapindoodles”

 Interviewer: “So you’ve developed games”
Me: “Yes, although I do prefer playing games over making games”

 Me: “How do you decide who to pick based on a 10 minute conversation”
Interviewer: “We already have an idea of who to pick and we would like to hear the sound of the applicants’ voices”
Me: “Aww, that’s romantic…oh sorry, that wasn’t professional, this is an interview”

Interviewer: “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your C# skills?”
Me: “-1 [laughs] okay, 3”

 Interviewer: “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your C# skills?”
Me, realizing 3 is too low: “6.5”

Interviewer: “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your C# skills?”
Me, the interview started off with CLR and CIL, 6.5 would be too high now: “5”

 Interviewer: “Why did you apply for this posting?”
Me: “Do you want to hear the real reason or the interview reason?”
Interviewer: “We’ll take the real reason and pretend you said the interview one”
Me: “The reason was because there were – wait, were there like 5 applicants?”
Interviewer: “There were 30”
Me: “Oh, for some of the other jobs, I applied because there were only 5 applicants but in that case, for this one [proceeds to say real reason for applying]”

 Interviewer: “What is object-oriented programming”
Me, still super nervous and speaking at 9000WPM: “It’s based on the SOLID principles and [some other stuff, 15s later], um, I’m actually not quite sure how to describe it.”

 Me, about a math problem: “How many regions do you think will be formed by connecting all the diagonals?”
Interviewer: “There will be 18”
Me: “That’s close, there’s actually [I look at diagram] wait, how did you get 18?”

Me: “It sounds like Security Automation is a technically demanding position. You’ll need big shoes to do this job and I have big feet! I think I’m ready for this position”. Almost died of embarrassment after saying this. Thank goodness the interviewers laughed.

 Interviewer: “The company gives us these rules…and we don’t follow it”

 Interviewer: “And we b**** about [something]”

 Interviewer: “What’s my job again?” [Later…] “Oh right, that’s what I do!”

 Interviewer: “We all have something to do, except for [second interviewer]”

 Interviewer: “Are you legally allowed to work in Canada?”
Me, shocked by the question: “[sarcastically] Actually, I’m not”. I learned from this experience and was better prepared next time.

 Interviewer: “Are you legally allowed to work in Canada?”
Me, ready now: “I’m actually from North Korea so…”

Although most of my interviews created positive impressions, some made for insultfully bad experiences and funny stories! These include:

 – the co-op staff who agreed to lend me a room in the co-op office for a programming interview kicks me out of the room at the very moment when I was doing the programming part of the interview. After the interviewe, she looks at me and smiles “See, that didn’t go so bad.” As you probably guessed, I didn’t get an offer.

 – Me, to both interviewers:  “Would you like to take a look at my app?”
First interviewer: “Sure”
Second interviewer, arms crossed, legs crossed, leaning back on chair, expressionless: “[eyes shift to first interviewer and raises one eyebrow. Might as well as have said ‘Seriously dude!? You actually want to check out his app?’]. Ouch

 – the interviewers arrive 10 minutes late and were setting up their equipment during the interview. The main interviewer looked at the door for the entire duration of the interview. Another looked bored and later left the room to help set up.

– I turned to the right during a phone interview. Face touches the “End call” button…happened twice during the interview! Man, the interviewers must have had a good laugh after the interview.


From these negative experiences, I decided that if I become an interviewer, I would always treat applicants with respect and sincerity, regardless of their their skill level or beliefs. It is almost always nerve-biting to know that a 30-minute or 1-hour interview will determine where you work next term. I appreciate the interviewers who understand the student’s nervousness and try to create a relaxed and open atmosphere.

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