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Earlier today, I applied for a network development engineer position at Dell. Taleo handles their applications. Part of the application process involves acknowledging having read a Notice of Convictions document. However, at the time I applied for the position, I could not access the document, because I could not obtain an IP address for the domain name in the document's URL.

So here is the dilemma. Would it be better to answer truthfully, indicating that you did not read the document (if you could not access it)? Would it be better to indicate that you did read the document, even though you did not, because you attempted to access it? Or is there some other alternative, but you pay an "opportunity cost" for choosing it (namely the time spent on it)?

I decided to use the "attach" feature Taleo provides to attach a note indicating that I did attempt to access the document, but DNS queries failed (using two different ISPs) for the domain name in the URL. My reasoning was that this is something Taleo (or Dell) may be doing to filter candidates – at the very least, catching those people who were not honest about not reading the document (if they could not access it). It could also serve as a filter for those people who, rather than giving up on a problem, investigate it and attempt to find out what is wrong. Arguably, this is part of the skill set for the position I applied for.

As always, we'll see how it goes. But it did occur to me that this might be a sly way of filtering candidates.

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