Job interview descended into sweary shouting match, candidate got the gig anyway

And soon learned he had won the argument

On Call Welcome once more, dear reader, to On Call – The Register's Friday trawl through a mailbag containing stories of your tech support tales.

This week, a reader named "Tim" sent us the story of a chap he knew named "Colin" who was a Linux expert, but somehow found himself working on a building site.

Colin eventually decided he should put his skills to work and applied for a junior support role at a well-known internet company.

The job interview was … interesting.

The CTO joined the interview, and peppered Colin with questions about deeply technical hypothetical mail server issues.

Colin answered them all – which oddly did not please the CTO.

"It came to a head, with both on their feet shouting at each other," Tim told On Call. "Colin insisted the failure was only possible if someone had altered the mail server's source code."

The CTO angrily insisted that was a ridiculous analysis and eventually stormed out.

Which was when the interview ended – leaving the HR person who had witnessed it somewhat flummoxed.

But Colin got the job, and started the next day in a senior tech support role.

Not long into the gig, Colin was asked to fix the very same obscure mail server issues discussed in his interview.

He soon learned that the CTO who joined him in a shouting match was the author of the software, and had assumed nobody would touch his code.

Not long after "interviewing" Colin, the CTO checked the code – and found changes. Lots of changes. Bad changes that were the reason for the server's many problems.

Which Colin then got on with fixing.

Have you had a job interview get weird? Or survived bullying the boss? To share your story with On Call, click here to send us an email. ®

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