How I learned to stop worrying and love the tech interview

From Polina Giralt
@polina_giralt

After finding a job and some reflecting, I felt compelled to write this post. Why? Because almost everyone I know stresses out during the interview process.

The short list of reasons why interviews suck

  • Feelings of imposture syndrome and insecurities… fear of rejection?

  • Time commitment and bending to other people’s scheduling constraints/inabilities

  • Distracting financial situations, if not already working

  • LinkedIn and obnoxious recruiters

  • Lack of control during the process


The long list of definitive benefits of interviewing

  • Whiteboard problems, pair programing, take home challenges = new puzzles each day!

  • Communication: learning how to market yourself

  • Skills introspection: understanding strengths and weaknesses

  • Catalyst for growth, pushing one’s boundaries applying for stretch roles

  • Someone wants to pay for coffee/lunch and hear about your projects? Boohoo

  • Validation that while explaining previous hacks/projects, people are genuinely impressed

  • Check out the cool offices of growing companies

  • Learn more about current initiatives and culture in the startup world

  • That feeling of taking ownership of one’s career

  • Swag!

  • Financial opportunity in the new job

  • The feeling of focus to find a job with continuous learning, mentors and new friends

  • Answer thought-provoking questions that shake and form one’s sense of identity

  • Opportunities to ask them questions such as…

“how do you show employees that they’re valued?”
“if you could have access to anything, what data set would you want?”
“what would I be working on during my first week?”
My advice to anyone who’s suffered though tech interviews, don’t think of it as a burden. It’s a sort of a privilege. Even if every interview leads to rejection, there is always something to learn from the experience to be stronger for the future. Focus on the good stuff.