This IT pilot fish works for a big offshoring outfit, and he's asked to spend a Saturday as part of a panel interviewing potential new hires with Microsoft skills.

"I was to be on the classic Active Server Pages, VBScript and IIS hiring panel," fish says. "I reached the venue around 10:45 in the morning, and there were 13 or 14 candidates for the walk-in interviews that would start at 11 a.m."

Fish tracks down the HR rep in charge of the day's recruiting efforts, and she's already waiting to start. She tells fish that he's the only person who will be doing technical interviews. For candidates who pass that, she'll do a final round, and that'll be it.

Wasn't there supposed to be a .NET interviewer too? fish asks. "Well, that interviewer didn't turn up due to some personal issue," HR rep says. "So we canceled .NET hiring."

Wow, fish thinks -- but it's not his business, so he starts the first interview.

Twenty minutes later, it's clear that the first applicant isn't up to snuff, so fish marks the candidate's paperwork as rejected, passes the feedback to the HR rep and starts in with the next candidate.

"The HR rep immediately came over, interrupted me and said, 'If you think the candidate isn't good enough, don't spend more than five minutes with him,'" says fish.

"I asked, 'Five minutes?' She replied, 'Yes, five minutes, because this recruitment activity should wind up before lunch.'"

Fish knows that interviews are scheduled to run until 4 p.m., and he points out that there's plenty of time to give the interviewees a thorough vetting.

"Well you see, I came in from the head office for this recruitment work, and I should reach airport early," HR rep says. "Moreover, there are hardly enough candidates for us to proceed beyond lunch time at 1 p.m., so let's not spend too long".

Fish doesn't respond, mostly because the HR rep has already turned on her heel and walked away. But he wonders what's going to happen with the candidates who show up after lunch.

"Almost six months later, I met one of the applicants I interviewed," fish says. "I was happy to see him and asked how the work was.

"He told me that his profile was mapped to Java skills since the day he joined, and he'd been struggling with HR so he could change back to the Microsoft platform. I asked him about the HR rep who he was recruited by. He replied, 'It seems she has left the company.'"

Sharky loves an HR story -- or any true tale of IT life. Send yours to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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