90) A Phone Conversation with Phil of Intel, Fort Collins, Colorado

Hi and welcome to my autobiography!

I am glad you are here.

In the last post you read about what it is like to work inside IBM, creating a microprocessor known in 2004 as “The Cell” – which consisted of several CPU’s linked together to work smarter, created by designers working together in one big room they call “The Graphic’s Lab”.

I am Oliver M. Stanley, and I am blogging the autobiography of my crazy and wonderful life. In this post you will read about one of the best events in the life of a contract mask designer.

The Interview

“Hello, Oliver,” Phil said. “I heard you are  stuck in Rochester, Minnesota on a contract with IBM and wouldn’t mind coming back to Fort Collins, is that true?” “Yes, someone told me you might have an opening soon,” I answered.

“Tell me a little about your experience working on microprocessors,  Oliver,” the  hiring manager continued.  I  replied with my standard answer when I felt the interviewer’s intention was to get a quick impression of me as he opened the interview,  “I was part of a team that developed …”. My goal in answering phone screen interview questions was to provide somewhat detailed, but concise answers that made it clear, my role was one of support and my attitude was one of flexibility, humility and continuous learning.

Note: I didn’t set out to say these things to win the contract. I just found that expressing myself  during interviews,  from this perspective, accomplished many things and usually culminated in an offer of employment.

Most of the time a phone screen for a mask design contract opportunity was a sanity test for the hiring manager, because by the time he/she decided to arrange an interview, he had already made a decision and an exercise in self-control for the contract mask designer because saying too much – in my opinion – is about the only behavior that disqualifies the candidate.

The Invitation

“We have an opening set to start here in two weeks. The contract will run about one-year. Although it maybe more. Are you interested?”

In the next post I will share with you my answer.

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