Interviewing In Tech Is Difficult
Right now in the job hunt, I feel like I’m “always the bridesmaid never the bride”, so to speak.
As of right now, I’ve interviewed at almost 30 companies since my job search start date back in May. This means, to the non-technical reader, that I’ve had behavioral, technical, and team interviews. It’s been so difficult, so stressful and truly exhausting.
I’ve decided to write this post to encourage my reader to understand how to make comeback from being an underdog, learn from my mistakes and hopefully land an offer.
Reader, I’d like you to understand my background so you know where I’m coming from. I went to Flatiron School for software engineering for 45 hours a week and I worked nights.
I struggled with retaining the content taught in class so I was always in the remedial groups about to be held back.
When I graduated, I had the crappiest projects on my resume, the lowest self-esteem but some hope to try and turn my position around.
What to do if you have crappy projects
Well, if you have crappy projects or projects you’re not proud of and you want to add something better to your resume, I recommend joining a hackathon.
Hackathons allowed me to immerse myself in a team project, pick up new skills and helped me refine my current knowledge for my tech stack. It helped me build my self esteem as a developer and the opportunity to compete allowed me to network.
Hackathons also push you to present a technical project to the judges. This means technical stakeholders. Presenting and allowing yourself to refine your presentation skills will really help you place at these competitions if you understand what the audience is looking for. Hackathons allow for this opportunity and are appealing to interviewers, hiring managers and recruiters. They want to know if you have the competitive skills and have received recognition for competing; do you have experience working on a team? What’s the most difficult situation on a project and how did you mitigate collaboration?
What to do if you are bad at interviewing
If you’re like me and you’re TERRIBLE at interviewing, please check out Pramp.com.
This site is a LIFE saver and it helped me mock interview with strangers. I’ve been fortunate enough to randomly match for free with Facebook, Mozilla and other high tech company engineers who are also trying to make the next transition in their careers.
Pramp has technical, behavioral, system design, backend and frontend interview formats for you to practice.
How to get better at algos
When I first graduated from SE school, I knew nothing about algorithms and data structures, I had to teach myself everything.
There are SO many resources out there and it’s so difficult to pick which ones are the best.
Here is what I recommend and what has been recommended to me by a Facebook engineer.
AlgoExpert is awesome since it offers multiple solutions to every problem and it gives you the time complexity.
Leetcode is great since many interviews rely on it and I’ve been interviewed many times using Leetcode questions but I recommend AlgoExpert first and then try Leetcode. AlgoExpert will give you the tools necessary to tackle the leetcode problems and to understand these questions better as well. Leetcode doesn’t always offer solutions or time complexity while AlgoExpert does.
- Udemy Algorithms and DS Course
Taking a Udemy course to educate you while you go through AlgoExpert is the perfect way to nail the interview and cover all your bases. While the course goes over all of the pieces that you need to understand about each algorithm and data structure, applying that knowledge on AlgoExpert is the perfect way to solidify your learning.
Practicing your Resume
I can’t stress this enough,
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Your projects on your resume will connect you to your interviewer. Practice talking about each of your projects using the STAR method: Situation, Task, Approach, Response.
Your interviewer will have a better time understanding you and following you if you rehearsed. Please continue to practice and prepare for follow up questions about your projects. Your interviewer wants to know your role and contribution in each of them.
Happy coding and hacking, I know the interview process is not easy. But here are somethings that I know will help you pass. I recently learned about these techniques/resources a little late in the game, but it’s important to me that I share these with you.
Feel free to reach out,