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Cover image for Attention, freelance dev📢 Taking job interviews every year keeps you in a good shape

Attention, freelance dev📢 Taking job interviews every year keeps you in a good shape

arisa_dev
Developer Relations Engineer at Storyblok. Love Aikido🥋 A free tech knowledge-sharing community, Lilac organizer💪 A host of Anonymous.fm https://dev.to/anonymousfm-arisa
・5 min read

Hi there!

I'm Arisa, a freelance Full Stack Developer living in Germany🇩🇪

I'm developing Lilac, an online school with hands-on Frontend e-books and tutoring👩‍💻

Normally, I write what I learned from my everyday developer experience though this time is an interview experience I just completed recently.

The thing I want to tell people in here is super simple.

"I take job interviews every year although I really like the way I work as a freelance."

It's not that I'm fooling HR and companies (don't get me wrong!)

All I want to tell is that job interviews are so great to keep you being updated in a field.

I'm a freelance dev and mostly build things on my own or on a small-scale team.

In order to keep being updated as a freelance, you gotta find any chance to grab anyone who gives you feedback and evaluate you 👓

So my message is to keep taking job interviews to make yourself being updated.

Not too complicated, right? :)

From here, I'll talk about more details about my experience in the most recent one I had.

What kind of company approached me?

It was a startup software company in Germany.

The great news for a non-German speaker is that it's not so hard anymore to find English-speaking companies.

When I just started my career as a developer back in 2017, there were very few companies that agreed to offer full remote work.

I live somewhere in the south of Germany where not many people know the name of the city.

I love living in the countryside but all the attractive tech companies in Germany are mostly in Berlin...

Basically, it was not common to work from home around 2017.

It means less opportunity if you choose to live in the countryside.

But since 2020, things have changed.

Companies started to approach candidates from everywhere in the world because the full remote is a new standard we have nowadays.

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How the process started?

I only apply the one I was approached by HR or the head of Talent.

No agencies or recruiting companies.

Why?

I'm tired of getting their messages saying they have "great" opportunities in "Java" projects.

I mean, Java projects to a JavaScript dev 😑

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It's faster to talk with people who know what they're looking for.

Anyway, and I was approached by this company.

After I decided to apply, the process started with a 15 minutes call.

What was the process like?

Well, this one was not a lot.

Just the first interview with HR and coding challenge.

The first interview was for 15 minutes.

And the coding challenge was an assignment style to complete within 7 days.

Although we had Eastern during the process, in general, the process was about 3 weeks.

The first interview was very short and I didn't have much time left to ask questions from my side. (I had a few questions though)

But I was asked these questions.

  • Q0: Can you introduce yourself?
  • Q1: How are you going to do with your own project, Lilac after you're employed?
  • Q2: Why do you want to work with us?
  • Q3: What do you expect in your job position(senior) in our company?
  • Q4: Are you willing to learn new tools?

Before we finished, I asked one question about which language I can choose for my coding challenge.

This was the problem we had because this company is running projects mainly in Vue and Nuxt for Frontend.

They knew I'm from React and Next background.

Also, the backend was Python only.

It ended up taking just the frontend part as they recommended and I agreed.

I already had a feeling from this moment that they will eventually find someone with already equipped Vue, Nuxt, and Python skillsets.

But I'm taking job interviews to make myself keep fitting in a field.

It didn't bother me anyway.

(Ofc, I'll take the offer if the companies I apply offers me a job. But these things are the stuff normally to think later🍵)

What kind of coding interview was it?

Can't tell what exactly I had but I had a mock web app which this company deals with.

Getting API to display logs in a nice style with an on and off feature to show/hide logs for human operators.

And displaying logs in certain ways.

It definitely required arrays and loop in Vue and axios module from Nuxt.

I had to start from scratch to adopt Vue and Nuxt in the first 2 days and 1 day for Tailwind CSS.

Tailwind CSS was not that hard to adopt but I had 3 tools to adopt from a scratch.

The rest of the 4 days are committing to work on the project.

The submission was through GitHub private repo.

Honestly, it wasn't easy to do these things in 1 week but I learned Vue, Nuxt, and Tailwind CSS in a short time💪

How long was the process?

I guess the first interview was very quick.

It was done within a week since they approached me.

And the coding challenge was 1 week.

The review took a week.

Couldn't reach out to them while the Eastern holidays but I was busy with the coding challenge anyways 😌

So, it didn't take too long in my opinion.

What did I learn from this time?

Literally, A LOT.

I repeat, A LOT.

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I learned the journey to gain my skills will never be over 😎

Even it was quite packed in a week to learn 3 new tools, I really liked the process I learned new.

Also, even they couldn't give me feedback because of legal reasons, I could tell the senior position requires soft skills as well as high dev skills.

If I don't go for the job interviews every year to gain my skills, I can't imagine how many gems to gain my skills I'm missing.

Every single time of the interview process is new discovery.

There's nothing worthless interview experience I had.

You heard me, I had none of the waste from my past interview experience.

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If you're afraid of failing, don't be!

You don't have to tell anyone about that and even if you did, people know that it's not easy to get a job.

People who look very successful must have had way more failure experience than we do.

Don't miss the treasure 💎

Hope my story helps you!

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