Excuse me, we got a fire alarm

An engineer from Google was supposed to call me on Tuesday but he didn’t. Recruitment coordinator apologized and rescheduled the call to Friday. On the scheduled time I’ve sat by the table gripping firmly my fountain pen and staring at my mobile phone’s display. The phone kept silent. After a quarter I’ve e-mailed the coordinator telling her I’m ready and waiting. The mobile rang few minutes later and I got grilled.

First questions were about operating system. They went pretty well. So did questions about shell programming. I could exercise my idea about how to deal with telling the code over the phone. When asked to write something, I started writing it in a copybook. After a while (30 seconds or was it 45?), the engineer realized that I’m really dogged and going to write it from the beginning to the end. I don’t recall what exactly he said (I was coding at the moment, okay?), but I remember that he said something that would get him the answer quicker. But I was almost finished, wrote the last line, scanned it again to check for errors and dictated it. He didn’t really comment the code, he only said “thanks, that was it.”

The next question was tougher, it demanded a very precise knowledge of bash built-ins; this time I could only describe how would I generally approach the problem.

My run of good luck ended here. When it came to Python, the engineer asked four questions that I did not know answers for. In a row. I felt really embarrassed, because my answers were pretty much like of somebody who’s never seen a computer in their life. I’ve checked those topics afterwards and three of the questions turned out to be closely related to each other. Perhaps it was his hobby-horse. I was hoping to be asked some more Python questions so I could give him something. You know, Python was supposed to be my language number one!

I just started asking the first “humane” Python question, when I heard a sound in the phone. Buzzing? Beeping? Some signal? After a while the engineer said that they have a fire alarm and they need to leave the building. He kindly said goodbye and disconnected.

And this is how the interview ended. Again, I don’t know what will happen next. I’ve e-mailed the coordinator, asking when I will hear from them. I’ve searched the news for information about fire in Google building in Dublin (there was none). I started wondering if the fire alarm is their way to end an interview when a candidate fails to answer four questions in a row…

Meantime ― I will sit tight and wait for the result.

Author: automatthias

You won't believe what a skeptic I am.

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