Interview

So the interview was a disappointment for me. I was hoping it would be a more obvious fit, but I didn’t end up feeling that way. It started with the interviewer being a few minutes late, and then when his video camera came on it gave me an incredible view of his chin. That was my first impression: this man hasn’t thought to angle his camera sensibly. It’s just… I don’t know. Maybe I’m putting too much importance on this, but it suggested he didn’t care how he was coming across to me.

He also asked some woolly questions like “what is your main strength?” which I just found awkward and weird for a software development interview, and actually made me feel he didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t know what else to say.

Overall I came away feeling that it was just a job rather than a job that I particularly wanted. I already have a job, so… I know I’ve talked about money a lot, but I have more money than I know what to do with anyway. I wouldn’t move just for money.

I was completely drained at the end of it. I had a headache for the rest of the day. It wasn’t great.

The next stage, if there is one, is that they will want me to do a “take home programming test” which involves implementing a ‘simple’ piece of software for them so they can see what I can do. I have always avoided hiring processes that involve this kind of thing in the past, because it’s just working for free and even as part of an interview process I struggle to convince myself it’s a good use of energy versus putting out another application. I think the problem for me is this: An interview is a mutual thing. The company puts in their time and you put in yours. A take-home piece of work is not. The time required on my part is vastly higher than the time invested by the company. If the company seems reluctant to invest their time, what message does that send to me? If you’re a high prestige tech firm then you can get away with this kind of thing, but if you’re not, then you’re just de-prioritising yourself on your candidate’s list of possibilities, which means that the people you’re left with are the ones who didn’t have better options elsewhere.

If and when they send me the full details of this I will review it based on how much effort I think it will be, but if it looks like more than about 90 minutes then I’m out.

One thought on “Interview

  1. Eh, there might be something to be said for staying in the process long enough to see what they offer you as a package. Just so you have a baseline from which to negotiate beyond just your own current position. And, if you ever do get a job you want, you can use what you’ve been offered previously as a guideline for whether to try to up negotiate. Plus, it’s anxiety-relieving to do a functional performance test (my field has them too) when you don’t really *care* if you do well. It keeps your skills sharp and gives you a little bit of extra confidence that you know what you are getting into when you finally do get to the point of a job that you might actually care about. Idk. That’s advice I’ve heard. I haven’t really had the luxury of ever job searching ‘idly’ – either the job itself sucked and I wanted out *now* like with your last one for my own mental health, or the rest of my world was falling apart, or both – but your experiences are making me wonder if in a year or so I should ever ‘test the waters’ just so I don’t get complacent. Idk. Self-advocating on the job market sucks, but I *hear* it’s a thing some people can do…?

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