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What I Learned From Bombing My Technical Interview

Ceora Ford on November 12, 2020

So... I embarrassingly bombed a technical interview yesterday. It was... BAD. In all honesty, this interview had the potential to be great. Both pe...
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CREEE

Thanks so much for writing this debrief. That takes a kind of courage that is rare in the world.

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Omri Gabay

This is a nice response

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Ceora Ford Author

Thank you😊

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Christina Gorton

🤗
I had one interview where I put so much pressure on myself and was completely scattered(Probably didn't help I was only a few weeks out from just having my 4th child) I ended up crying during the interview.
They called me back the next day and said they thought it was their interviewing and wanted to give me another chance. The second interview was a little better but yeah... that is one experience I definitely learned from.

I am sorry it didn't go like you hoped but I am glad you can take the time to reflect on what happened and how you can improve for the next time. Let it sting for a bit and then keep pressing on.
You are a wonderful developer.

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Ceora Ford Author

Ngl, I almost cried. But thank you!! And thanks for sharing your experience 🤗

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Aaron L Marks

Thank you for sharing your experience. This is a particularly tough time to be doing interviews. I'm glad that you are being gentle with yourself. I get the feeling that you are acknowledging your mistakes, like in a retrospective, but doing so in a way that simply says "hey, I messed up and here's how I will do better next time".

We are all under an intense amount of pressure right now. The pandemic has increased the number of developers out there interviewing and has decreased our ability to be confident - because many of us are freaking the **** out. Keep being gentle with yourself and keep learning. You totally got this. I believe in you.

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Ceora Ford Author

All of this is so true!! And thank you so much😊

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Jason • Edited

I would recommend also asking some questions. Apparently the majority of candidates never have questions. It can be:
Questions about the company:

  • On your website you have X products that are being sold, how will this role help facilitate that?

Questions about the role:

  • Your looking to fill the role of {{role}}. What is the most important quality you look for in a person performing this role?

Questions about the interviewer (if they have provided their background via linkedIn or github)

  • I see that in your previous position you did application X. What kinda architecture did you use?

Remember you can take notes and write down the questions they ask.

What is a something (ex. delagate)? if you don't know it, learn about it afterwards, next time you'll know. In the mean time say 'unfortunately I don't know what that is. can you explain how it is used it in this company?' Maybe their explanation will cause you to say 'Hey I was presented with that same problem, here is how I solved it' Why is something better?

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Harrison

Thanks for sharing this. This was me today. I haven't been sleeping well for a while and had an interview for a position I am really excited about. I kept on getting confused during the call. I knew I wanted the interview to end ASAP which wasn't a good thing. I forced myself to continue, I hope I didn't bungle it too much. I know I could have done better. Still hopeful for the feedback though.

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Ceora Ford Author

So sorry to hear that!! Interviews are already pretty nerve racking. I hope you can get some rest soon!! And try to get feedback if you can! I just emailed one of the interviewers for feedback myself

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Harrison

Thanks Ceora. I'll do that.

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Cat

This was so very helpful!! And don’t worry— you’ll get the next one! I believe in youuuu! Message me if/when you wanna do mock interviews!! 💕✨

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Ceora Ford Author

Thank youuu💗💗 I’ll definitely reach out in the future because I need all the help I can get😭😅

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Christian Ledermann

I practice not only mock interviews but actual real ones by applying to jobs I don't really want. When you bomb these you can just shrug it off.

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Christian Ledermann

The post One tip that got me hired by Google, Microsoft, and Stripe recommends something similar (good read btw)
dev.to/devinterview/one-tip-that-g...

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Ceora Ford Author

Someone recommended this on twitter!! I’ll be doing this from now on 💪🏾

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Nick Taylor (he/him)

Borat saying Great Success!

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Theresa

It's so hard to do well in a technical interview when it's a job you really, really want and you're so nervous! I've forgotten things and given terrible answers in every one of my technical interviews - obviously I haven't cracked the code of getting past the nervousness. 😆 Just want to commend you for being so resilient, learning from your experience and sharing your experience so we can learn too - all great traits for a good developer.

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Ceora Ford Author

Same here! Hopefully, I’ll figure out a way to get passed the nerves. And thank you!!

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Meg Gutshall

I'm sorry to hear it didn't go well, but the very fact that you did a retrospective, learned from the experience, and then shared what you learned are all signs that you have exactly what it takes to be a great developer!

I know I'm late to the party, but have you considered sending your interviewers a link to this blog post in a follow-up email? I bet that would make you stand out... possibly enough for a second interview. 😉

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K D II

Thank you for sharing this. Even as a developer with 15 years of experience, I still experience this and walk away knowing it happened and just have to laugh about it.

All the tips you mentioned are spot on!

This is awesome and so you are you :-)

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Kori Roys

I hope they give you a redo. Seems like a missed opportunity for both you and them when you have this much ability to self reflect on what you'd do better given another chance.

Rooting for you!

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Ceora Ford Author

Thank you!! And it’s fine if they don’t. There will be more opportunities (I’m hoping anyway😅)

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Kori Roys

With your attitude and skills, most likely even better ones! I'm excited for your future! And yes, do get some sleep. 😴

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Z4ck987

The same thing happened to me too. Two weeks ago I also did an interview, I think I had enough sleep, did the interview practice with my wife, wrote notes on what to say later during the interview on a piece of paper. And yeah, I feel ready for this interview.

Unfortunately I feel nervous and overwhelmed, a big fan of this startup company, so I have to think I have to make a good impression. But precisely because of this, I couldn't think calmly, couldn't give a clear answer, even I was checkmate because I didn't know the answer. And now I feel depressed because I feel I have wasted this opportunity.

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Cat Boxer

Great article. Thanks for sharing. :)

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Ceora Ford Author

Thanks for reading!

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David Yao

Definately one of the best reviews of technical process from truely honest perspective. Surely you will do much better and nail it next time.

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Ceora Ford Author

Thanks!! I really hope so😅

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Abod Micheal (he/him)

try asking for a do-over and good luck

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Kurt Kemple

So much great advice in this post! Thank you for sharing your experience!

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Ceora Ford Author

Thanks so much Kurt😊

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Akin Wale

Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you all the best going forward.

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Ceora Ford Author

Thanks!

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Terry Threatt

Great post! Definitely had one of those and it helps to talk through it. Good luck on the next one.

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Ceora Ford Author

Thank you ☺️

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tajchana1

Great story, I feel the same way as you. I’m sure something will come for you soon. Keep the faith going 👍

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Ceora Ford Author

Thank you😊

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RolandiXor (Roland L. Taylor)

This is powerful.

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Jessica

Thank you for sharing your experience and reminding me of the steps we shouldn't skip. I might just make a checklist from this :)

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Ceora Ford Author

That’s great! Thanks for reading 🤗