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    Default What were some red flags you saw during interviews?

    My last job was a complete nightmare and i saw the red flags during the interview but choose to ignore them because the job was good experience. The manager seemed a bit awkward, didn't have a copy of my resume, took a long time to ask the first questions, etc. When I asked him, "What's the company culture like?" he immediately lashed out at me with "What was your company culture like?" talking about my previous jobs. I was a bit taken back by his response, he claimed he needed an example. He also stated he worked 18 hours days and has taken a vacation in ages. He also lashed back at me a couple more times during the interview, for example I asked him "Does he still program?" since he mentioned he had a CS degree and he responded with "I do whatever I need to do." again it took me back. I left the interview praying he wouldn't make me an offer and a week later HR called to make an offer, I couldn't believe it but I decided to accept because I was a bit desperate and needed the experience. The HR manager was a complete psychopath. She would lie to my face, refused to tell me information about the job, and overall just gave me a very bad vibe. I ended up quitting a month later in a blaze of glory.

    I've also had an interview with an MSP where the owner was 20 min late to the phone interview, company misspelled computer with compuetr on job description, owner refused to answer some of my questions, etc. I have many more red flags that I saw during interviews but those were just a few.

    So what red flags did you guys saw during interviews? What do you guys think? Thanks in advance.
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    Well in retail I tried getting my foot into the IT door by attempting to take a job with The Home Depot in an office position that was posted for a certain location. When I got there and stated the position I was applying for, they told me that position didn't actually exist. But oh look! We have an opening in customer service instead!

    Took it in spite of my gut because I figure any job is better than no job at all. I got fed up with it about 2 months in when it turns out the majority of my job would consist of bouncing customer phone calls to departments where no one is around to answer them and finding products for customers in other departments because no one is around to help them.


    This time around I had an interview with TEKsystems to(once again) try to get my foot in the IT door, though now I would have an Associate's and a couple of certs between my belt. They first pitched a position to me where I would be driving around with someone to install network cables. It somehow felt like it would be a rung down from Help Desk since I'm not sure how much one could learn on that job other than how 568A and 568B are wired.

    Now they've called me back saying they found me a DoD contract and they can get me a security clearance. Just that they need some references. Not that out of the ordinary except it almost seems too good to be true to get someone to sponsor you for a security clearance as a first IT job with no experience, and people have pointed out that it's not usual for them to ask for references if you haven't even been interviewed by the hiring manager.

    They seem pretty well regarded on this board, but pretty overwhelmingly negative in other places(Glassdoor, Yelp, Indeed). Makes me feel like I need to have my guard up.
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    #3
    If I were you N7, I would take the job with TEK just for the sole reason of getting a clearance. There's only 2 ways to get a clearance, join the military or be sponsored a company that does DoD contracting. The second one doesn't happen very often due to the extremely high costs of the investigation.
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    #4
    Years ago I interviewed with a corp headquarters of a large national company. They made a huge point to mention again and again that they used the "do more with less" philosophy, aka we're intentionally understaffed and we're always going to push you too hard. The engineering manager kept telling me they were all A type personalities and if you're the kind of person who thinks you can go home at 5pm each night you're not going to last there very long. He was surprised I had my CCNA and went on some rant about how he just knows how to do the job and certs don't teach you anything. He said he was going to test "Mr CCNA", then asked me the diff between UDP and TCP and describe the 3 way handshake and was blown away that I could answer that...

    I was trying to get into security, but it was barely a pay raise, my current job was a 5 minute walk from my house, this was a drive then an hour+ on a train, after city taxes and commute it was actually a downgrade and I knew I'd be losing 3-4 hours a day from how he was talking. I had lots of free time at my current job and was working through my degree. No thanks, pass! Years later I'm making double, better drive, some work from home time and leave at 3pm each day, dodged that bullet.
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  6. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Basic85 View Post
    My last job was a complete nightmare and i saw the red flags during the interview but choose to ignore them because the job was good experience. The manager seemed a bit awkward, didn't have a copy of my resume, took a long time to ask the first questions, etc. When I asked him, "What's the company culture like?" he immediately lashed out at me with "What was your company culture like?" talking about my previous jobs. I was a bit taken back by his response, he claimed he needed an example. He also stated he worked 18 hours days and has taken a vacation in ages. He also lashed back at me a couple more times during the interview, for example I asked him "Does he still program?" since he mentioned he had a CS degree and he responded with "I do whatever I need to do." again it took me back. I left the interview praying he wouldn't make me an offer and a week later HR called to make an offer, I couldn't believe it but I decided to accept because I was a bit desperate and needed the experience. The HR manager was a complete psychopath. She would lie to my face, refused to tell me information about the job, and overall just gave me a very bad vibe. I ended up quitting a month later in a blaze of glory.

    I've also had an interview with an MSP where the owner was 20 min late to the phone interview, company misspelled computer with compuetr on job description, owner refused to answer some of my questions, etc. I have many more red flags that I saw during interviews but those were just a few.

    So what red flags did you guys saw during interviews? What do you guys think? Thanks in advance.
    Red flags hmmmm

    I interviewed at a local computer repair shop trying to be an MSP.

    What was the red flag?

    The interview/owner showed up an hour late. I'm not kidding, he was one hour late!

    At least 5-6 employees came out to apologize to me. I'm sorry he's running late.

    The manager/owner showed up and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. He said they put someone else in charge of interviews, and that why he was late.


    Another red flag

    I interviewed at a job and I didn't know the hours. The recruiter said he didn't know the hours at the time. I go to the interview and the hiring manager couldn't meet with me, so he sent some of the guys on the team. I asked them if the job was full time or part, and they didn't know.

    I felt it was a waste of my time.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

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  7. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    Well in retail I tried getting my foot into the IT door by attempting to take a job with The Home Depot in an office position that was posted for a certain location. When I got there and stated the position I was applying for, they told me that position didn't actually exist. But oh look! We have an opening in customer service instead!

    Took it in spite of my gut because I figure any job is better than no job at all. I got fed up with it about 2 months in when it turns out the majority of my job would consist of bouncing customer phone calls to departments where no one is around to answer them and finding products for customers in other departments because no one is around to help them.


    This time around I had an interview with TEKsystems to(once again) try to get my foot in the IT door, though now I would have an Associate's and a couple of certs between my belt. They first pitched a position to me where I would be driving around with someone to install network cables. It somehow felt like it would be a rung down from Help Desk since I'm not sure how much one could learn on that job other than how 568A and 568B are wired.

    Now they've called me back saying they found me a DoD contract and they can get me a security clearance. Just that they need some references. Not that out of the ordinary except it almost seems too good to be true to get someone to sponsor you for a security clearance as a first IT job with no experience, and people have pointed out that it's not usual for them to ask for references if you haven't even been interviewed by the hiring manager.

    They seem pretty well regarded on this board, but pretty overwhelmingly negative in other places(Glassdoor, Yelp, Indeed). Makes me feel like I need to have my guard up.
    FYI-Teksystems does the references a little differently than other recruiting firms.

    They will ask for references first, before they submit you to positions.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
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  8. Senior Member rwmidl's Avatar
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    #7
    Did an interview once where the person conducting the interview was more interested in their Blackberry than talking to me. At the end of the interview the head of IT came in and first thing he said was "we're not interested in hiring you for the position you just interviewed for, but how about this position instead?" I said I'd think about it, walked out and called the recruiter who set up the interview and told him I felt they wasted my time and the lack of professionalism exhibited by the company.
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    #8
    ^^^ That's happened to me and probably a lot of people in this forum. I interviewed for "Systems Engineer" basically network admin role and was called back with offer for how great I am and they want to extend offer for help desk. I was already working on a help desk at the time, and had decided no lateral moves unless two years had passed.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkingStudent View Post
    Red flags hmmmm
    Questions about that? The owner was about 20 min late to a phone interview because he was interviewing another candidate, which was off putting. Our interview lasted for about an hour, but he stated they schedule phone interviews in 30 min time slots, which would piss off the next candidate if he had another one waiting for his call, which told me they either have poor time management skills and/or the owner thinks he can do whatever he wants because he's the employer. I honestly should've just hung up on him because he had no regard for my time, what if a candidate was 20 min+ late to an interview without notifying the employer, what would happen? It turned out my gut instinct was right so from now on I'm always going with my gut no matter what.
    Last edited by Basic85; 12-01-2017 at 05:47 PM.
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    #10
    I had an interview for help desk position. Interviewer said it was for that position. Most of the questions were about if I could sell stuff, upsell stuff, and things like that. I'm not a salesman. I suck at selling ****, much less upselling stuff.

    I talk to other employees there - it was a sales job. Yea, you do some help desk style stuff, but you're constantly trying to sell them ****. I worked there for a couple months for the paycheck, but I took the first opportunity to leave. I couldn't sell ****, and that's what the metrics were based on.

    "Yes, I can take a look at your lines. Have you heard about our new premium package? We can double your speed for $10 more!".... Which sucks because they are calling because they constantly get slow speeds and the lines were oversold and maxed out. I left that company, they got acquired a few times, and now I'm buying internet through them. :/ They try and upsell me when I call to complain about the slow speeds, too. Thankfully, I have the local technicians number, so I can give him a ring to see if it's something out of the ordinary. He's really cool, and does everything he can to make sure things work as good as they should before leaving.
    A few certs here and there and everywhere...
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    #11
    I had an 2nd round interview for a network admin role with the VP of Sales and the IT manager. It all went well until the VP started to yell and aggressively kept pointing to the table saying we need someone to come in here and get it done and get it done now is that something you can do. I was immediately turned off by that role by the level of aggression it instantly showed me how much unrealistic pressure I would get from management. I went from being enthusiatic to not wanting to be in the room anymore. I passed on that role.
    Last edited by dmarcisco; 12-01-2017 at 07:00 PM.
    In life you have to make your own opportunities. Don't let anyone stop you from your dreams to many negative people want you to fail because they can't succeed.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by McxRisley View Post
    If I were you N7, I would take the job with TEK just for the sole reason of getting a clearance. There's only 2 ways to get a clearance, join the military or be sponsored a company that does DoD contracting. The second one doesn't happen very often due to the extremely high costs of the investigation.
    Yes, I figure if they actually get me a clearance it'll be worth doing whatever they want me to do, pull cables or plumb toilet jams.

    Although the massive negative reviews of them outside this forum makes me think I would need to make sure they actually got me clearance rather than just make an empty promise.

    About how much does it actually cost to get someone a secret clearance? My Google-fu suggested $1200 since it's the OPM that actually investigates, but that seemed too low if you just count the man hours.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkingStudent View Post
    FYI-Teksystems does the references a little differently than other recruiting firms.

    They will ask for references first, before they submit you to positions.
    It's anecdotal, but I've heard it said that they do that because they actually try to recruit other talent using your references. Say if I was just interning at a place and gave them the number of my supervisor, they'll supposedly look to see if there were other promising interns they can hire instead of you.

    I don't know, that almost sounds like multi-level marketing.
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  15. Senior Member yoba222's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    Yes, I figure if they actually get me a clearance it'll be worth doing whatever they want me to do, pull cables or plumb toilet jams.Although the massive negative reviews of them outside this forum makes me think I would need to make sure they actually got me clearance rather than just make an empty promise.About how much does it actually cost to get someone a secret clearance? My Google-fu suggested $1200 since it's the OPM that actually investigates, but that seemed too low if you just count the man hours.
    TekSystems where you live is not that bad. I think the people that hate them negotiated a really bad salary perhaps. They're not going to scam you or anything, and the DoD employs them on pretty much every base, so they are entrenched already.Depends on what kind of secret. A secret based on a NACLC investigation is much less thorough than a secret based on SSBI.
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    #15
    It would be nice if this forum worked properly.
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    .
    A secret clearance obtained from SSBI can be elevated without much fuss to SCI (one notch above top secret). That one anecdotally is like $15k. It might not be TekSystems paying for the clearance but maybe a bigger company like Booz Allen or Leidos or someone like that, but technically you'd be paid by TekSystems.
    Last edited by yoba222; 12-01-2017 at 10:38 PM.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    .
    If they're willing to risk paying for a clearance on someone with no experience it might simply be that the job isn't all that great and has high turnover, combined with a candidate pool that is small. Worth it as a stepping stone for a year or so in my opinion even if the job isn't that pleasant.
    Last edited by yoba222; 12-01-2017 at 10:38 PM.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by yoba222 View Post
    If they're willing to risk paying for a clearance on someone with no experience it might simply be that the job isn't all that great and has high turnover, combined with a candidate pool that is small. Worth it as a stepping stone for a year or so in my opinion even if the job isn't that pleasant.
    That... doesn't make sense though.

    If the job has a high turnover, wouldn't they lose out on $15k if they have to get me clearance?

    I did hear people consistently say that they generally pay 40-60% of what they actually negotiate with the client. Although upon reflection, if I get a security clearance at all it still seems to be worth it given the necessity of one in the InfoSec field I'm looking to get into(primarily private sector who contracts out to DoD or military).
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  19. Senior Member Moon Child's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Basic85 View Post
    My last job was a complete nightmare and i saw the red flags during the interview but choose to ignore them because the job was good experience. The manager seemed a bit awkward, didn't have a copy of my resume, took a long time to ask the first questions, etc. When I asked him, "What's the company culture like?" he immediately lashed out at me with "What was your company culture like?" talking about my previous jobs. I was a bit taken back by his response, he claimed he needed an example. He also stated he worked 18 hours days and has taken a vacation in ages. He also lashed back at me a couple more times during the interview, for example I asked him "Does he still program?" since he mentioned he had a CS degree and he responded with "I do whatever I need to do." again it took me back. I left the interview praying he wouldn't make me an offer and a week later HR called to make an offer, I couldn't believe it but I decided to accept because I was a bit desperate and needed the experience. The HR manager was a complete psychopath. She would lie to my face, refused to tell me information about the job, and overall just gave me a very bad vibe. I ended up quitting a month later in a blaze of glory.

    I've also had an interview with an MSP where the owner was 20 min late to the phone interview, company misspelled computer with compuetr on job description, owner refused to answer some of my questions, etc. I have many more red flags that I saw during interviews but those were just a few.

    So what red flags did you guys saw during interviews? What do you guys think? Thanks in advance.
    I applied once to a warehouse job that lead to being a union job they trained you in apprenticeship program such as a mill right or CNC machinist if they hired you.

    The hiring manager asked how old are you, at that time said in 30's. He said that isn't too old but knew he thought it was. Especially since guys I saw them hiring were recent high school graduates fresh out of high school.

    Another red flag was when he looked on my resume... you have a computer degree and an education degree and want a job here in a warehouse doing boundary work !

    Applied once to a railroad job and guy I was interviewing with said " I see too many jobs on your resume, can you explain why you have had so many different jobs?" Knew that was it.

    Walked into a teaching interview once. They asked if I knew any Spanish and said they liked their teachers to be bilingual. Started talking to me in Spanish couldn't answer them in Spanish ... so that was the end of the interview

    Had same problem with a hospital job applied for once working the help desk in an IT department. They said they liked their IT help Desk workers to be bilingual and fluent in Spanish. I said I know a little, but wasn't good enough. They hired someone with no computer degree, certs, or previous experience who was bilingual and trained them in computer skills. I learned that from friends I knew who worked at that hospital.

    Applied once to a housekeeping job at a hospital for extra part-time work in addition to full-time job. She looked on my resume and said "oh my God you have a Master's degree and want to work in housekeeping you are so OVERQUALIFED for this job sorry."

    Had several calls from places calling me for IT work while I been working at current computer job. Saw a lot of RED FLAGS when talked to these people on the phone. Sounded like they wanted to hire someone for nothing and no benefits and then get rid of them when work was done. One lady said she only had part-time $10/hr short term 1-2 month contract work. I told her well I am currently being paid $12/hr full time with lots of overtime offered, permanent position, healthcare & vision & dental insurance for both me and my wife, 401k, life insurance for me and my wife, disability insurance. I told the lady unless you are offering me all that offered at current job plus benefits and a pay increase from what I am making now or better not interested. I told her why would I leave my job for a part-time short term contract with no benefits that pays less than what making now?

    Her response was , "oh sorry wasted your time didn't realize you were only interested in full time permanent work" *click*... she hanged up
    Last edited by Moon Child; 12-02-2017 at 01:52 AM.
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  20. Senior Member LordQarlyn's Avatar
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    #19
    I applied for an IT Manager job, and during the interview, it was actually at network admin job, had nothing to do with management at all (except maybe switches and routers lol).
    My guess was they titled it IT Manager to get a higher billable rate, but it was very obvious during the interview that it was simply a network admin position.
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  21. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Basic85 View Post
    Questions about that? The owner was about 20 min late to a phone interview because he was interviewing another candidate, which was off putting. Our interview lasted for about an hour, but he stated they schedule phone interviews in 30 min time slots, which would piss off the next candidate if he had another one waiting for his call, which told me they either have poor time management skills and/or the owner thinks he can do whatever he wants because he's the employer. I honestly should've just hung up on him because he had no regard for my time, what if a candidate was 20 min+ late to an interview without notifying the employer, what would happen? It turned out my gut instinct was right so from now on I'm always going with my gut no matter what.

    Hiring managers will run late, it happens. They have other things to do besides interview job candidates. I know it's frustrating , but it happens.

    You say the time slot is 30 minutes, but you guys talked for an hour. He probably liked you, because he talked to you longer than the allotted time.

    I wouldn't hang up on him, you don't want to burn bridges.

    You never know who knows who.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

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  22. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    I applied once to a warehouse job that lead to being a union job they trained you in apprenticeship program such as a mill right or CNC machinist if they hired you.

    The hiring manager asked how old are you, at that time said in 30's. He said that isn't too old but knew he thought it was. Especially since guys I saw them hiring were recent high school graduates fresh out of high school.
    I thought it was illegal to ask age in an interview?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Another red flag was when he looked on my resume... you have a computer degree and an education degree and want a job here in a warehouse doing boundary work !
    I would question this too. Having two high level degree's, and you're seeking warehouse would raise red flags to employers. Why is this guy applying to warehouse gigs? How long will he stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Applied once to a railroad job and guy I was interviewing with said " I see too many jobs on your resume, can you explain why you have had so many different jobs?" Knew that was it.
    I think that's a good question. To many jobs shows no commitment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Walked into a teaching interview once. They asked if I knew any Spanish and said they liked their teachers to be bilingual. Started talking to me in Spanish couldn't answer them in Spanish ... so that was the end of the interview
    This just sounds like some sort of lame thing they made up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Had same problem with a hospital job applied for once working the help desk in an IT department. They said they liked their IT help Desk workers to be bilingual and fluent in Spanish. I said I know a little, but wasn't good enough. They hired someone with no computer degree, certs, or previous experience who was bilingual and trained them in computer skills. I learned that from friends I knew who worked at that hospital.
    I think you dodge a bullet on this one. The job doesn't sound very technical at all. Are you bilingual , do you have a pulse? Yes!! Ok you're hired.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Applied once to a housekeeping job at a hospital for extra part-time work in addition to full-time job. She looked on my resume and said "oh my God you have a Master's degree and want to work in housekeeping you are so OVERQUALIFED for this job sorry."
    I can see her point.
    1) They think " I won't be able to pay him what he wants to earn"
    2) He has a masters degree, how long will he say.


    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Child View Post
    Had several calls from places calling me for IT work while I been working at current computer job. Saw a lot of RED FLAGS when talked to these people on the phone. Sounded like they wanted to hire someone for nothing and no benefits and then get rid of them when work was done. One lady said she only had part-time $10/hr short term 1-2 month contract work. I told her well I am currently being paid $12/hr full time with lots of overtime offered, permanent position, healthcare & vision & dental insurance for both me and my wife, 401k, life insurance for me and my wife, disability insurance. I told the lady unless you are offering me all that offered at current job plus benefits and a pay increase from what I am making now or better not interested. I told her why would I leave my job for a part-time short term contract with no benefits that pays less than what making now?

    Her response was , "oh sorry wasted your time didn't realize you were only interested in full time permanent work" *click*... she hanged up
    There are a lot of IT positions that start out as contractor roles. Some recruiting companies offer benefits, but they're nowhere near the ones you can get at a full time position.

    It was pretty rude that she hung up on you. Higher pay will come with more IT experience.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    That... doesn't make sense though.

    If the job has a high turnover, wouldn't they lose out on $15k if they have to get me clearance?

    I did hear people consistently say that they generally pay 40-60% of what they actually negotiate with the client. Although upon reflection, if I get a security clearance at all it still seems to be worth it given the necessity of one in the InfoSec field I'm looking to get into(primarily private sector who contracts out to DoD or military).
    Government contract. The millions (or even billions) have already been allotted so it's not about maximizing shareholder wealth by turning out the best product or service possible. Just need to keep enough bodies at the desks to satisfy the SLA. Bodies that have a clearance and good enough credentials to maintain the contract. Not always the case but often it is.
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  24. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #23
    Any interviews that involve HR that go beyond 30 minutes. One HR person made me feel as if I were under interrogation for some criminal offense. She asked me how much salary I was making. I didn't want to tell her. She raised her voice to repeat the question again. I still didn't budge.
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  25. Member
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by antiquarks View Post
    Any interviews that involve HR that go beyond 30 minutes. One HR person made me feel as if I were under interrogation for some criminal offense. She asked me how much salary I was making. I didn't want to tell her. She raised her voice to repeat the question again. I still didn't budge.
    I don't find anything overtly wrong with being asked what you made in your last job, though I understand that some States do not allow employers to ask that question.

    I don't see why 30 minutes is off-putting. I'd imagine any interview can stretch beyond that when they want to ask you a few questions to gauge your skill and competence. Seems especially true in the IT field.
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  26. Senior Member McxRisley's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    Yes, I figure if they actually get me a clearance it'll be worth doing whatever they want me to do, pull cables or plumb toilet jams.

    Although the massive negative reviews of them outside this forum makes me think I would need to make sure they actually got me clearance rather than just make an empty promise.

    About how much does it actually cost to get someone a secret clearance? My Google-fu suggested $1200 since it's the OPM that actually investigates, but that seemed too low if you just count the man hours.
    A normal background investigation for a secret clearance is going to cost around $10,000 or more. Also they can't scam you on your clearance lol This isn't possible for a number of reasons that I'm not going to get into.
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