We all go through the phase of interview at least once in a life. (Unless you are a son or son in law of big businessman, in which case you interview less fortunate ones). I said at least once, because there are some smart and creative folks who crack the toughest in the first chance and they never look back to find another job. (Or if they leave their current job, they try to open a business in which case too, they interview others)
But I am talking about common people who have to appear for an interview several times in their lifetime. Interviews are kind of pain sometimes but they also make sense for candidate selection. Of course, no one wants to hire a jerk. Interview possible could eliminate them. (Not always. Look at the Italic font!)
For me appearing for an interview in kind of nightmare experience 2-3 days before interview day. It's like stage fright where I want to run away from interview, either be phone, Skype or face to face onsite. But once after 10-15 minutes I feel quite comfortable. (That too depends on how many questions I could answer until that point)
Several years of experience appearing for an interview seasoned me. (Just seasoned, I am still nowhere close to getting a job given any interview). I learned lot of things during these years. Some good, some bad, some disheartening and some depressing. I think this post could be best mode to them forward in case it might help someone.
These opinions are mine and mine alone. No organization, group or person is associated with them. Please take them with a pinch of salt as neither two interviewers, nor two interviewees are same.
- If you are asked to give presentation at the beginning in front of whole team, make sure to seriously prepare for it. Anyone will ask any question, be prepared for this.
This is good chance for you to give positive first impression on group of interviewers as presentation are usually put at the beginning of day
- Never answer the technical question immediately. Talk with interviewer ask any questions you might have. Cleat out all test cases and assumptions before even jumping into it
It shows that you are seriously interested in a question and you are jumping on it after careful thinking and assumptions information
- Always try to keep calm no matter how much interviewer try to grill you / be mean to you. Not keeping your head would most probably result in rejection from that specific person
Sometimes interviewers put a pressure on candidate to see how they perform under duress and gauge their ability to solve the problem. This is perfectly normal and nothing personal to be taken of
- Ask questions. Keep the interviewer engaged in the conversation. It might be question about the problem fired at you or HR type of question which is asked right at the end of an interview
Asking questions indicate that you do care about interview process and are interested about company to get more information.
- Keep smiling. Nobody wants to hire the person with gloomy and sad face. I understand that sometimes interviews could really be rigorous, but hey it's just smile. Try not to show your frustration on the face.
It shows how much control you have on yourself. And again how are you able to handle stressful situation. Somewhere in the future, you might be promoted to project leader position. How do you treat your other team members when you are under lot of stress and cannot take it anymore.
- Your overall interview went really well. You are definitely going to get a job. No, no, no, no! Sorry to break your heart, but this is hardly the case. I have seen the people with bad interviews and still managed to get the job while people who thought they had positive experience, could not.
There are evidently lot of points. Sometimes some interviewers might not like you, people try to judge. Or your positive experience if just an illusion. Company also get someone much better than you in terms or performance and past experience. List is endless.
And again, nothing personal :-)
- Ask the HR how long will they take to get back about results and contact them if response does not come within given timeframe.
This will keep you from surprises. Sometimes, HR never responds. But it is also important in terms getting constructive feedback from team. You can also start over for other companies if you are slapped with negative result as quick as possible. It gets rid of false hopes whatsoever
- Sometimes interviewer can ask you only one question throughout. It's kinda good if you are lucky and click the answer within acceptable time in your head. But sucks if you have no idea how to solve it. If you feel like solution was not really met and interviewer kept giving a cue until an end. Well, that's not a good indicator. 90% of time that means rejection
If you try to make solution at least run for some test cases, that's a significant positive factor towards advancement
- Your Skype interview with bunch of people is going well, they ask lot of technical questions and you answer them too. However, in between you are stuck (> 2 questions go unanswered in line). End of technical question and someone in the team suddenly switches and start asking HR style questions right at the end. In my experience, that's big red flag.
Well, these were some of the pointers from my own experience. That of course does not suite everyone, but just after my interview is over I try to go over and gauge these points to make a guess if I am going to the next round or not.
Again, take these advices with pinch of salt. Hope this will help someone down the road!