Golf at the on-site computer job interview
Golf Tips by Burleson Consulting
This is an
excerpt from the
upcoming book, "Win
your Computer Dream Job", by Rampant Techpress.
If you are interviewing for a
high-level staff position (DBA, Architect, Systems
Administrator, Network Administrator) there is a chance that you
will be asked to join them for a round of golf. Depending
on the size of the IT shop, Vice Presidents enjoy a free country
club membership, and some computer shops (e.g.. SAS in Cary, NC)
have their own on-site country club.
Many of the world's largest
systems have been designed on the golf course. Senior
computer managers are expected to participate in management
meetings on the golf course. During the course of a
typical on-site interview you will meet and greet the staff in
the mornings and participate in a social activity in the
afternoon, usually a long lunch or a golf outing.
Lower-level IT professionals are
not expected to be proficient golfers although mid-level and top
level managerial candidates are expected to have a USGA
handicap, but it's not about golf at all, it's about
evaluating your personality and demeanor. Any golfer will
tell you that you can learn volumes about someone during a round
of golf, and during these four hours you will be evaluated along
Temperament - Golf can bring-out the
worst in people and it's a great way for management to see how well you
function under stress. Because golf can never be played perfectly,
it's a great opportunity to see if you curse or throw tantrums.
Professional demeanor - You will be
evaluated for your manners and etiquette. Management will see if you
treat the golf course attendants in a proper manner (treat them with respect
and tip them appropriately, but don't become overly friendly nor fraternize
Morality - Corporations use many
unobtrusive measures to evaluate the honestly of any professional candidate,
and a golf interview is a great way to measure "cash register" vs. true
honesty. Many golf job interviewed are staged to allow management to
see whether you are honest. In some cases you will be given an
opportunity to cheat, and some managers will deliberately let you watch them
cheat, and then ask you to sign their score card! For more details,
see evaluating the honesty of the IT professional.
Attention to detail - Are your golf
shoes clean and polished? Do you keep your clubs clean? Do you
replace your divots and repair your ball marks? In addition, at some
point during your play you will likely be asked to help a fellow player
remember the score on the last hole.
For more details, see my
business professional golf etiquette tips.
Remember, it's not about how well
you play the game, it's about how you behave in a social
setting. For more details, see my notes on
professional manners & etiquette for the job interview.