volunteer to help with interviews

If you ever have a chance to assist your boss with job interviews to fill a position, I highly recommend taking the opportunity. Maybe I’ll expound on it someday, but even for a quiet, slightly a-social (there’s a difference with antisocial!), introvert like me, it’s a really useful experience.

You get to see what you look for in potential employees, get to see their strengths and weaknesses, their experiences and work history, and see how that applies to your own situation. In a way, that can also build confidence in your own lot in life. You also get to hear your boss talk about the company and the open role is ways you likely haven’t heard spoken since your own interviews!

One thing I can attest to, is having your resume and/or things you talk about ready to match up to the job position as honestly as possible. And try to stress (if it’s true) your own geek-like passion that exists even outside the job. I still really feel someone who does sysadmin stuff or networking stuff or security stuff outside of a paycheck (on their own time) is almost always going to be a superior employee just because of their deep interest and passion. Write your own apps? Stand up your own website? Home phone system is fully Asterisk/VOIP? Show it off!

As far as my own reflection, do I have some action ideas? Sure. I’ve been at my current position 5 years, and I’ve gotten a bit lax in attending security conferences and plugging in a cert/study activity here and there as well. I wouldn’t mind continuing to demonstrate my involvement and personal learning. Maybe a grad cert, maybe another industry cert, maybe just some continuing education class (like something parallel to a bhusa) either in my field or even completely outside it (foreign language), or even contribute to some other project in our area.
Update: I also want to add, don’t wait until you’re out of a job or on the way out to do interviews. Feel free to just do them and look around, even if you’re not truly looking to move on. Get used to them, use them to get ideas and maybe meet people (central Iowa is NOT a large place to disappear in). Who knows, you might find an awesome deal that you weren’t expecting. If you *do* interviews just to do them, though, try not to seem like you’re knowingly wasting someone’s time. Put forth the real effort and then maybe later just say you’ve opted to remain where you are. There’s a certain level of comfort doing an interview when you don’t *need* the job. Be picky with recruiters, though. Too many can’t walk the technical talk, and your passion can be lost on them, aka a human keyword filter. And make sure they require your permission before they pass you on.