The clarity that a candidate has in her mind about why he/she is making a job change and what he/she is looking for helps me decide if he/she is the right choice. The reply to a question like “Why are you looking out for a change?” reveals a lot about a contender. Validating the reply with logic, which is crisp and clear is an important attribute of the candidate.
Even with a long career span, it is not advisable to make decisions without seeking advice from seniors and well-respected peers. At the end of the day, it’s the candidate’s call to choose the path but it’s better to seek advice and diverse views. Candidates with 6-7 years of experience find it difficult to decide between technical and managerial career paths.
I recently interviewed a computer science engineer with 4 years of experience who wanted to switch from core software development to the telecom domain applications. He had no telecom experience or qualifications. On probing, I felt that he was quite unsure of what he wanted to do but the good part was that he accepted it. I advised him to consult his seniors and well wishers in the industry and then decide. He actually changed his mind after this and decided to work in the technology area for more time. We hired him for the simple reason that he was open to suggestions and did not hesitate to learn!
The one-word answer to my dislike in a techie is “Arrogance”. I recently interviewed a junior candidate who made an absolute absurd salary demand. More than the demand, the way of communication was quite objectionable. I am coming across an increasing number of young IT professionals that have an attitude of “making hay while the sun shines”. They aim for higher salaries and change jobs frequently without realizing the potential damage they may be doing to their own careers. There is a fine line dividing self-confidence and arrogance and young IT professionals who are presently in high demand should watch that line carefully.
Regarding the candidate who made the absurd salary demand we thanked him for coming over and politely communicated that we will not even consider making him an offer. Honestly, he had a good chance but I don’t regret not offering him the job.