Friday, September 27, 2019

How to pass an interview?

This is sort of a generic post that I feel might help one or two people when they go for an interview. If you find it helpful throw me a comment. If you find it stupid and you feel that I am not right - say so as well. Criticism is WELCOMED!!!

The stage

The stage is simple: you are looking for a new job. For the sake of simplicity I will focus on a new job for a programmer.

The process

It does matter if you're applying for a job that is way above your current experience or if you're applying as an expert in a field  your client requires. In the first case it is extremely easy to pass: all you need to do is be open, make sure you outline what you don't know and what you're keen on learning, what you expect to gain (besides money!) from your new position and chances are if the employer is smart enough (and you engaged enough) that things will play out just fine.

The other situation is a bit different. You have to know what you're selling if you wish to sell it to someone. A good example (and a very good exercise before going to an interview) is to present your topic to an audience on a conference. So let's assume you apply for a position as an architect of some sort. Before you do the actual interview apply for a presentation at your local interest group (a meetup, conference - whatever!) and do the presentation. What's nice about it is you'll get immediate feedback from the audience. And remember: no feedback is also some feedback! It just means you have not been good enough to spark interest in your audience. And I don't mean Q and A session right after your presentation. If there are people hunting you after you're packed and ready to leave asking questions - you did a good job!

The reason I am bringing public presentations up here is because those are equally stressful as an interview and touch on the same kind of topics that you will encounter during an interview. Pretty much the same stuff. Imagine, if you will, you're presenting in front of 100 people (not uncommon even on local meetups). And all of the sudden someone asks you a question you know absolutely nothing about. How would you react? How would you react in a similar situation during an interview?


This far I have I have had countless interviews - only two of them were negative and I didn't even want the position I was applying for. From that I am gathering that you only pass interviews for positions you will actually find yourself useful. If you really really really want to work for Google - get interested in the stuff they do. If you want to work for Microsoft (although I find it hard to believe) get interested in what they do. Learn their ways and technology, learn about their requirements and prepare yourself for what will be asked. Don't be ashamed to say I don't know. It is way worse to lie you know stuff than to admit it.