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I went to my first interview! It was terrifying.

sduduzog profile image Beautus S Gumede ・2 min read

Terrifying in a good way. I've never been in an interview aligned with my career and I'm still a fresh graduate. The post is for a Junior QA Engineer, of course it's not development but I read up on the role thoroughly and I feel it's really important that I start with it. Its gonna teach me so much about ensuring code quality and maintaining standards of the organisation, which at some point developers tend to overlook.

I also want to get into a hobby of Test Driven Development. Which I feel would be inline with the culture of quality assurance. I'm highly interested in taking up the responsibility of the role so much that my nerves during the interview were intertwined with excitement.

By the way, I just completed my degree in Computer Science, so job hunting season kicked off in the beginning of this year. I'm constantly sending out applications and hoping for the best. Regardless of the decision that will be taken by my interviewers today, I learned a lot. My first experience of a cultural interview was awesome. I also found out that I'm quite good with office humour,apparently.

I took a lot of advice from posts here on dev.to and it helped that I'm a talkative person so the interview felt more like a conversation about me, more than anything else. A treasure that helped me through the process is a post by @emmawedekind

Although typically cultural interviews aren’t as terrifying as coding interviews, interviewers can make or break your application.

I swear to God, half of my confidence came from it. In as much as I was beginning this journey, I felt prepared. Also being honest actually worked very well in my favour. I'm just still not sure how they received my humour πŸ˜‘

Here's one thing that terrified me. I misread the time on my calendar by mistake, I thought I was coming in an hour early but turns out, I was JUST IN TIME. So already I was thrown off a bit. Props to being punctual 🀞. Also I don't think anyone likes seeing a whiteboard where an interview is to be conducted. Luckily not required at the time, but those few minutes of waiting for my interviewers to join me in the boardroom, I couldn't help but wonder which "searching algorithm" were they gonna ask for, just nerves messing me up I guess.

Anyway, I can't wait to get my first job in tech 🀞

Posted on Feb 12 '19 by:

sduduzog profile

Beautus S Gumede

@sduduzog

Junior Full Stack Dev | I make stuff at home | I break stuff at work | I write code

Discussion

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As an interviewer (who has also been interviewed plenty of times), I often tell people not to worry about their nerves: being nervous in an interview tells a (decent) interviewer that you're an authentic human being, not someone acting from a script.

That may not sound all that important, since most of us try to be authentic, but there are countless pulseless egotists that come through the hiring process. They look amazing on paper, but when you sit down with them, they absolutely secrete arrogance. Others look like the second coming, but that's mainly because they're lying about their skills and qualifications; hiring them would be a mistake.

Authentic candidates are nervous because they're presenting their actual selves (mostly), and are worried whether they'll be seen as adequate. Liars show know nerves because they are already confident they have the interviewer snowed. Egotists show no nerves because they believe with utter conviction that the job is "in the bag": in their mind, there is no one else more qualified than them on the entire planet.

Interviews are naturally nerve-wracking, partially because we have to screen for those annoyingly common types, but take heart!

1) Your nerves helped prove your authenticity.

2) The fact they'd interview you so seriously means they take you seriously! If a good hiring manager detects deception, they usually cut the interview short, if they grant one at all.

3) If you get the job, you'll likely be working with other authentic people. A job that is easy to get is filled with unqualified people, and you don't want to be working with a Wally (or five)!

Also, if you don't get the job, remember that it isn't a commentary on you! The fact you got to an actual interview, and didn't get cut off in the middle of it, means you are to some degree qualified for that job! Someone else just better fit their specific needs, and that has nothing to do with you.

 

Thanks for this reply. I can't believe how supportive this community is. When they were done, they asked me what questions I had for them, I swear I had maybe one or two but I completely forgot them. I ended up just asking for my promised office tour.

I also had an espresso so I think it made me a bit hyper than usual

 

Best reply I have seen. Thanks for that, I'm job hunting as well

 
 

Thanks for sharing your story. From my perspective, it is always intimidating. Even after more than 20 years of work and more process that I could count, I am always nervous because it is exciting everytime.It is always related to new ways of life, new paygrades and so on...

I'll be entering an Skype interview in a few minutes (if the interviewer shows up) and because of that I felt the will to come here and comment.

Congrats and good luck!

 

With Skype I'm mostly worried about how they cannot interpret my body language at the time. Also network reliability, for some reason this makes it more scary. Although I just asked for a Skype interview with some other firm as an alternative for traveling 350 miles just for one.

 

Yes, these are a problems as well. Here in Brazil we prefer Skype for at least the first calls to avoid deslocations on early process.

 

Nice job, @sduduzog ! Everybody in the industry today has been through this, so it's just part of our journey, and you seem to have done well! And I agree so much with @codemouse92 's comment here that you gotta be as authentic as you can and that matters a lot.

If you're still interviewing, I gotta tell you that the best thing you can do is to practice, there are sites as interviewing.io and pramp.com that you can practice for free with other people and even interviewers and this definitely helped me a bunch! And also doing real interviews too as practice, for instance, starting applying for companies in reverse order of interest, so if you think you didn't do so well on your first interviews, these will help you get ready for your next ones.

I just have been through a whole lot of interviewing on the last couple months, with 11 companies, where I got 8 rejections but landed with 3 proposals :)

So just keep going, and you'll get there, I'm sure you will. Good luck!!

 

Thanks for these links, I didn't think they even existed at all. I'll even sure these with friends.

I remember when I started, I would apply for maybe 5 or more job posts a day, in consecutive days. I also noticed something that's a little bit demotivating. Recruitment agents would post more than 3 different jobs but use one email and have no reference for it. So is imagine that one person on some computer just sees a flood of my emails but not entirely know what I was applying for exactly.

I also feel bad at some point that my first interview is with such a great company that has a very nice environment. It would be a bummer of I were to not get the job there 😌

 

Nice progress! And don't feel bad, you might get it after all! Out of these 11 companies I tried, actually I got offers from the 2 first ones!

 

A word of advice use LinkedIn to chat with a employee directly in the company you are interested in and ask for a referral.

This differentiate yourself immensely since you took the time to chat and are truly interested in the work that person is doing for that company.

It sort of helps in understanding if that company is something your interested in working after chatting with the employee.

 

I'll give this a shot. I thought I had to know a person prior a referral in that aspect though

 

Yeah which is why you initiate a chat with them first.

Through LinkedIn with focus on the culture and things related to working with that company.

If you are still interested in the company while talking to that employee you can ask for a referral.

There's a lot developer positions which are filled through referrals. Most of them will be willing to help.

I do something similar as well which is to provide referrals through meetups that I attend when I'm chatting with a new person.

 

We all wish you the best of luck, man! Let us know whenβ€”not ifβ€”you get the job.

 

YES! Definitely. I can't wait for the next phase of whatever thats coming. This is so exciting 😁