Rock Star Programmer: The Charlie Sheen Guide To Passing a Job Interview

In The Charlie Sheen Guide To Passing A Job Interview, John P. Lopez provides a very compelling case that answering interview questions exactly like Charlie Sheen would get you hired. I argue that job seekers applying for the position of a “rock star programmer” at a tech startup would do especially well if they had the aura of Charlie Sheen.

Lopez writes:

Seriously, if you didn’t know the back-story — you didn’t know the trainwreck that Charlie Sheen’s life has become, and the history of drug use and decadence — wouldn’t Sheen’s recent quotes be impressive?

Let’s say you were an employer, looking to add to your sales staff? Wanna play? Here are some typical job interview questions and REAL Charlie Sheen answers.

Admit it, you’d hire the guy if you didn’t know any better:

What is your greatest strength?

“I’m bi-winning. I win here. I win there.”

Describe a typical work week.

”I’m proud of what I created. It was radical. I exposed people to magic. I exposed them to something they’re never going to see in their boring normal lives.”

How many hours do you normally work?

“Sometimes sleep is for infants. I don’t sleep. I wait. When I can’t sleep I don’t fight it. I just figure that there’s a higher calling.”

What is your greatest weakness?

I am on a drug. It’s called ‘Charlie Sheen!’ It’s not available because if you try it once you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

[…]

What are your salary expectations?

“I’m not [broke] but I was kind of counting on some of that money to get me through the summer. Now I’ve got to like work. But that’s alright. Work’s good. Work fuels the soul.”

[…]

What do people most often criticize about you?

“You borrow my brain for five seconds and just be like dude, can’t handle it, unplug this bastard. It fires in a way that is, I don’t know, maybe not from this terrestrial realm.

Seriously, there is something very wrong with a culture in which programmers’ outrageous self-descriptions are taken at face value.

Men tend to over-estimate their abilities and self-promote more than women when it comes to math and coding ability. Instead of hiring programmers who act like Charlie Sheen, recruiters and interviewers should take imposter syndrome into account.

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3 Responses to “Rock Star Programmer: The Charlie Sheen Guide To Passing a Job Interview”

  1. FlawInTheSystem Says:

    “In The Charlie Sheen Guide To Passing A Job Interview, John P. Lopez provides a very compelling case that answering interview questions exactly like Charlie Sheen would get you hired.”

    He clearly provides a piece of satire, no argument, as shown with the following line you didn’t quote.

    “How would you describe yourself?

    “I’m a high priest vatican assassin warlock. I don’t know. All these words just sound cool together. They come from my grand wizard master.””

    Next candidate please.

    “Seriously, there is something very wrong with a culture in which programmers’ outrageous self-descriptions are taken at face value.”

    Indeed, but from my experience (Joined a small company after graduation, I am the 10th employee, now has 40+) they don’t last the probation period, and in most cases the first week. Ultimately the company itself loses out for such an uniformed decision.

    This could also be linked to Human Resources Bingo too. Larger companies tend to have requirements for programming positions finalized by HR, who have an odd tendency to add to the minimal experience needed. I’ve seen a few advertisements that require things like 5 years experience with an IDE that has only existed for 2 or 3 years.

    “Men tend to over-estimate their abilities and self-promote more than women when it comes to math and coding ability. Instead of hiring programmers who act like Charlie Sheen, recruiters and interviewers should take imposter syndrome into account.”

    We have started practical code tests, generally based off smaller problems we encounter developing products. You would be amazed at what people try and get away with on CVs, even during the face to face interview.

  2. Restructure! Says:

    He clearly provides a piece of satire, no argument, as shown with the following line you didn’t quote.

    Yes, but I found it tremendously funny, because most of it (not the warlock part) is true, for real.

    Indeed, but from my experience (Joined a small company after graduation, I am the 10th employee, now has 40+) they don’t last the probation period, and in most cases the first week. Ultimately the company itself loses out for such an uniformed decision.

    That’s true, but when an employee doesn’t work out, they usually post another job ad instead of considering the other interviewees who weren’t chosen.

    This could also be linked to Human Resources Bingo too. Larger companies tend to have requirements for programming positions finalized by HR, who have an odd tendency to add to the minimal experience needed. I’ve seen a few advertisements that require things like 5 years experience with an IDE that has only existed for 2 or 3 years.

    Yes, but there are some job ads where they say they want a “rock star” programmer, and I doubt there was any HR department for these companies.

    We have started practical code tests, generally based off smaller problems we encounter developing products. You would be amazed at what people try and get away with on CVs, even during the face to face interview.

    I think all interviews for programming jobs should have code tests for every applicant. (One time for a company I used to work for, I received a code test during my interview, while the person hired after me did not. I am female and the other person was male, so I sometimes think that if you claim you are able to code and you are female, people want you to prove it. However, I do not know for sure if that was the reason, since it was only a sample size of 2.)

  3. FlawInTheSystem Says:

    “Yes, but there are some job ads where they say they want a “rock star” programmer, and I doubt there was any HR department for these companies.”

    Any such ad is also advertising the level of maturity expected at that company too. Reap what you sew really.


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