Virtual Interview – Am I a Good Fit for Your Company?

When you hire a freelancer, the specific skills needed are important, obviously. However, sometimes it’s difficult to find out enough about a remote worker to guarantee they will be a good fit, and trustworthy. Of course hiring the wrong person is a waste of time and money. Here are a few common interview questions with my answers. This will help you get to know more about me, but don’t be afraid to interview me yourself. My contact info is listed below.

Question: Why should we choose you?

My clients benefit from from my very deep professional experiences, in a way that is more than just skills-based. It’s quickly noticeable that I work with a structured discipline. I am organized in my thoughts, and carry that forward to my work with concern for details and consistency. I believe that small things matter, but not EVERY small thing, and I’m wise to know which ones deserve focus (if not, I’ll ask).

Take this website, for instance. It’s design is not noticeably fancy, but I have put care into designing it to be useful and understandable, like my reports and dashboards. It is very thorough about identifying the types of work that I do, and the content is organized methodically. I was deliberate about the naming of each pages, structuring the content in a way that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Sorry, I know that’s a cliche, but I really stay mindful of that as goal.

Question: Who is your role model?

Joe Maddon, the manager of the Angels Major League Baseball team is someone I borrow from. He is relaxed in his approach to work and life, but his commitment to follow through on a process is what make a difference ultimately. Maddon cites many diverse sources of inspiration, such as Camus, Churchill and even Jackson Brown. He finds ways to apply the wisdom of philosophers and artists to every day problems, and I like to do the same.

Question: What is something you made better, faster, or less expensive?

I worked for a client whose database had several hundred million records, but his application for filtering them would take about 10 minutes to return results. I redesigned the data architecture and created an application that did the exact same thing… in less than one second! The first time I showed it to him he insisted that I didn’t have all the records loaded in the database because it was so fast.

Question: What’s the last book you read?

I rarely read fiction. I do like to read non-fiction, however. In my office, on my ottoman is The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–But Some Don’t by Nate Silver. I can share with you both good and bad impressions of it, ask me about it.

On my nightstand I have Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I find this book not only fascinating, but useful. Many people understand the influence of biases like recency bias and confirmation bias. In this book Kahneman explains that we use our brains in ways that influence decisions which are sometimes incredible.

I recently completed Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Question: Could you please describe a failure and what you learned from it?

I’ll pick a strange example to answer this because no one really considers this a failure, but I’ll explain. I would say in many regards the company I founded, Biziteks, was a failure. I focused so much on growth, that I failed to recognize I could simply create a very small, profitable company. Biziteks provided outstanding service and we grew significantly every year, but that came at a great cost to my own peace. We had over 200 clients, served by a staff of twelve. Now, with my focus limited squarely on B.I. development I benefit from some of the principles in the book, “Small is Beautiful.”

Question: What was an accomplishment you’re proud of?

This is something from long ago, but I want to use this because it’s actually a great metaphor. It is something that really did happen — once, literally. But figuratively, it’s an experience I have repeated a few times.

As a Junior in high school I won a cross-country race for the first time. It was an out-and-back course where you run to the halfway mark; turn around and run back. I went out at such fast at a pace I couldn’t keep it up for the entire distance, but I had established a pretty good lead. After the turnaround, I began running past everyone that was still heading out, and I realized that I could actually win if I could find enough strength to keep running, but I was so exhausted I felt like I couldn’t even finish, let alone win. With the euphoria of being out in front, I pushed through the pain and I actually won the race.

While it was fun to be the first to cross the line, I knew inside that it was an equal victory just to fight through the pain and finish.

Question: What is your weakness?

I like to believe that our weaknesses are like the dark side of our strengths. For example, I have a very strong attention to detail. It’s my strength. If I apply that without compromise, I risk going too deep on one thing at the expense of other tasks getting completed. I don’t want to spend too much time (and my clients’ money) getting things done.

The way I overcome this is twofold. First, I always maintain an awareness and I check myself (“Is this important to everyone involved, or just me, right now?”). Secondly, I offer my suggested solutions and explain that it can be done a different way that is not as good, but it would be faster, asking: “which would you prefer?”

Question: What do you dislike most about your work?

You can’t really create an SSAS Tabular Solution solely in Visual Studio. Well, technically, you can, but it comes with great pain unless you learn to use other tools such as DAX Studio and Tabular Editor, and switching among three different tools can be a real hassle.

Visual Studio 2019 is better than 2017 for SSAS Tabular projects, but by “better” I mean that it is just not buggy (like it is editing tabular models with VS2017). I keep both 2019 and 2017 on my developer machines because of this. Thankfully, you can do that, now and not junk up your machine.

Other Ways to Evaluate My Fit

If you haven’t already, please read the page on this website, About Chris Adragna. It explains how I got into this career, how it’s a good fit for me, and consequently how it makes me a good fit for you, too. It even has some details from three different profiling systems:

  1. Myers & Briggs Type Indicator
  2. DiSC Personality Assessment
  3. The Alignment System

All of that and more at this page:

Interview Me Yourself

Thank you for taking time to learn more about me. I’m happy to actually be interviewed by you. Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more about me and my professional skills:

Phone: 407-865-4940