A few weeks ago, I did several phone interviews and concluded that no abundance of skilled IT auditors are looking for jobs these days.
First, isn’t the purpose of the interview to determine what a person’s experience is, and whether that experience is a good match for the position? At least 3 of the interviewees provided negative information about themselves unexpectedly:
- “I have no experience with Oracle applications.”
- “I’ve been out of audit for a while.”
- And my favorite, on a resume: “Languages: FORTRAN (I’m not a developer).” Huh?
Second, when asked that dreaded “tell me about yourself” question, why do people talk for 5 minutes giving every detail of their life? What I’m looking for is how well people can summarize and get to the point. You never want to waste your best points on the opening question. And no, I don’t care what your dog’s name is (save that for your Twitter feed).
Which leads me to the third concern: Respond to questions with brief answers; if I want to know more, I’ll ask (how come auditors are supposed to know how to interview others, but can’t provide a decent interview themselves)?
Fourth, don’t tell me that you have skills if don’t. Seeing “Server Virtualization” on a resume led me to ask one person: “What type of server virtualization audits have you done?” The answer: “I don’t have any server virtualization skills.” When I asked, “Why is it on your resume?” there was dead silence. Makes me wonder whether I should ask if you really have that CISA certification.
Fifth, when asked to list 3 questions one would ask control owners when reviewing a control narrative, I wondered whether some auditors can count. I didn’t ask for 5 questions, but 3. I want to know that you can follow directions, prioritize, and be specific.
Along the same lines, if asked to BRIEFLY explain something, be, uh, brief. Again, if I want to know more, I’ll ask. If I have to keep interrupting you to find out the information I really care about, you’re going into too much detail.
The interview that really irked me was with the guy who asked more questions than he answered in the first 5 minutes. He tried to control the entire interview, and if he tries to gain control over the phone, imagine what he’ll try in person. I have enough problems dealing with IT already. No thanks.
Most auditors know that if an external auditor asks a question, you answer that question without volunteering additional information. Why do so many auditors forget that when THEY are interviewed?