DEV Community

Cover image for I failed the tech assessment and still got the job
Chris Bongers
Chris Bongers

Posted on • Originally published at daily-dev-tips.com

I failed the tech assessment and still got the job

I'm not saying it's good to fail tech assessment, but hear me out.

First of all, I've been on both sides of the interview table, and to be honest, I hate the assessment part.

For many reasons, which I won't go into now.

In this article, I wanted to share with you guys a real-life experience I had.

How it started

At this time, the company I was working for, for quite a long time, terminated. So I was back on the job hunting market.

I was also not feeling my best at this time. I got rejected a couple of times and almost switched career paths because of that. Then my dad sends me this job poster he found in a newsletter.

It said something in the lines of We are looking for our new backend developer.

Awesome sounds like fun, So I applied to the job.

Meeting one: Casual interview with the CEO.

This meeting was super chilled, and the CEO looks like a nice guy. He tells me about the ambitions he has with the company and how they look to expand. I talk about myself and my background, which interests him.

I mention I'm come from a "mix" background doing bridging between front and backend. And that I have experience in mobile development.

He mentions they have a client who wants a mobile app, but they are not sure to take it on because no developer can build apps.
Ok, that sounds promising.

He tells me he'll talk to the tech lead and see how he feels about it.

Meeting two: Meeting the tech lead

So, meeting two is with the tech lead. He asks me many technical questions on which I respond well.

He then also asks for my background and is concerned it's not fully on backend.

At this time, Symfony is their main framework, in which I have no experience.

I tell him I'm 100% certain I can make it work and pick things up easily.

All-and-all I have a super good feeling about this job now.
The tech lead asks me to do a final assessment and commit it back to them.

Doing the tech assessment

So this assessment was:

Pull a repo they created for me. Install a Symfony project, which will be an essential crud user management. Then there will also be some frontend where two different roles will see other things. All this must run in a vagrant solution.

At this point, I was a bit panicked.

  • I didn't even know what vagrant was...
  • I had never used Symfony.

But that didn't stop me.

I cloned the repo, did research on vagrant, and got it to work. Then I created all the code where I made all the functions needed.

I did not use any packages, just because I didn't know that existed. This was my biggest downfall in this assessment.

Git commit and send a mail to the tech lead I was done.

Review of the assessment

I got a call after a week or so. It was the tech lead. He went through to my code and said it did exactly what was asked, but he had some concerns.

  • He was concerned because I had no symfony experience
  • I did not use and bundles
  • I did something weird in vagrant

Based on that, he said I would need to pick up my knowledge a bit more.

I was upset!

The final call

I was a bit down by now, another interview failed, and it seemed like such a cool job.

I thought to myself. I'm sure I fit well with this company!

I gave the CEO the last call.

Hi, Chris here, I understood from the tech lead you're not going to continue with me?

CEO: No, sorry Chris, we seek for someone with more knowledge.

C: Hmm, you did tell you were looking for an app developer, right? Can I make a proposal?

CEO: Yeah, go for it

C: Hire me on a probational 1-month contract, I'll create this app for you in this month, but every Wednesday, you guys guide me into using Symfony better. Then after a month, you can decide if you want to continue or not?

CEO: That is a good plan, let's do so!

Review after that month

So, I created this app in four days, which blew their minds because they planned way more time.

I learned Symfony in no-time (doing some homework though)
By the time the month was over, the tech lead and CEO were so happy with me, they offered me a Medior function!

After six months, I even became a Senior tech lead myself!

Moral: Don't give up. Show people what you are worth. Don't always take no for an answer.

Thank you for reading, and let's connect!

Thank you for reading my blog. Feel free to subscribe to my email newsletter and connect on Facebook or Twitter

Discussion (20)

Collapse
panditapan profile image
Pandita

You probably taught the lead and the CEO a lesson as well because they would've missed out on your talents by caring way too much on your lack of technical expertise in Symfony. Which was easily solved by capacitating you every week.

Congrats on proving that you're awesome and getting the job! ✨

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Yeah, I think that is a general issue, being responsible for hiring, the manager will tell you we need x, y, and z.
But you can tell someone is good or not, but they might not have the paper to prove it.
It's so frustrating.

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza

Love your persistence πŸŽ―πŸ’―
When thinking on giving up, always remember this β€΅πŸ˜‰

Alt

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

100% And many more, no matter what it comes down to, blogging, getting a job, making a puzzle etc

Collapse
yellow1912 profile image
yellow1912

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm happy for you.

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Thank you, no longer with that job, but wanted to inspire other people to go for it.

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

πŸ‘in the words of children's writter Dr Sues. "You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose" I have found this is true so far.

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Very cool quote! 😍

Collapse
ducky98 profile image
ducky98

Fantastic Chris your story inspire me. πŸ‘πŸ»

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Awesome! I'm truly happy it inspires people πŸ”₯

Collapse
menaiala profile image
Menai Ala Eddine

You won how to sell your value.

You won't how show that you are hard learner.

Companies want these developers.

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Yes true, but you can only show this after they give you a chance, which is annoying at least.

Collapse
paras594 profile image
Paras πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ

wwoooowww...that was awesome and inspirational !! Loved it

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Thank you, glad you found it inspiring :D

Collapse
daftyw profile image
daftyw

Thanks for sharing.

Never thought of an interview this way. May be next time I would offer them some proposal so they would not doubt in me.

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Either that or if you are desperate think about doing a 1-month intern type of period.

Collapse
debadeepsen profile image
debadeepsen

Takes some courage and confidence to make a counter-proposal to the CEO like that! I'm happy for you, your story is really inspiring!

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

It might be a dutch mentality where no is what you have, yes is what you can get.

Collapse
idiglove profile image
Faith Morante

This is inspiring and such a nice "technique" of nailing a job! Congrats and Cheers

Collapse
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers Author

Thank you Faith, I'm sure it's very situational, but if it inspired people to get a job it's worth it.