I recently completed another round of interviews for my company in the search for BizTalk consultants. Yet again, it was a fairly depressing experience. I offer a few humble tips to folks claiming to be BizTalk architects/developers.
My first pet peeve is gigantic resumes. I know that headhunters often beef these things up, but if your resume has more pages than you have years of job experience, that’s a red flag. Brevity, people. If you’re still listing the top 14 accomplishments from your college internship in 1999, it’s time to reevaluate your resume building skills.
In terms of the interview itself, I do NOT favor the types of questions that can be answered with one word or sentence (e.g. “tell me all the options when right-clicking a functoid” or “list me all the BizTalk adapters”). That doesn’t tell me anything about your skills. Tell me why you’d choose the HTTP adapter over the SOAP adapter. THAT’S a question.
A few tips if you’re out there selling yourself as a BizTalk person …
- Don’t list every possible subsystem/feature in BizTalk on your resume and claim experience. I simply don’t believe that EVERY person has used BAS. Come on. FYI, if you throw “Enterprise Single Sign On” on your resume, be ready for a question from me.
- When you claim to be a BizTalk architect, and I ask you to explain the concept of “promoted values”, and you tell me that “I like to just promote any values in a schema that feel important”, the next sound you will hear is me stabbing myself in the neck.
- When I see “experience building complicated orchestrations” on your resume, but my questions about “patterns” or “exception handling strategies” completely befuddle you, you’ve destroyed a piece of my soul.
- When you tell me that you’ve participated in full lifecycle implementations (design –> test) on BizTalk projects, and I ask you what your next step is after requirements have been gathered by the business, and your answer is “start coding” … you’re not getting the job.
- If you claim extensive experience with BizTalk application deployment, but you can’t tell me what artifacts may go into an MSI package, you’re not scoring any points.
- While I appreciate honestly when I ask you for your BizTalk strengths and weaknesses, your chosen weakness should not be listed on your resume as an “expert with …”
- If you tell me that you’ve spent significant time building BizTalk solutions that integrate with a database, and I ask how you poll for database records to kick off a process, the answer I’m looking for does not include “I build lots of custom data access classes.”
- Finally, an interviewer can tell when you’re simply regurgitating an answer from a book or website. I want to hear answers in your own words. If you’ve stammered through the entire interview, but when I ask about the Business Rules Engine you provide an sweeping, poetic answer, I know you’re faking it.
Sigh. I go into virtually every interview wanting to love the candidate, and roughly 75% of the time, I complete the interview sitting in a pool of my own tears. Any other tips you want to throw out there for BizTalk job candidates?
Technorati Tags: BizTalk