Interview Outcomes

I had a flurry of excitement last week with phone interviews, e-mails, applications etc eventually leading to two interviews.

The second interview was for a job that I didn’t remember applying for, wasn’t on my spreadsheet and replied to my unprofessional personal e-mail address (jamesthemonkeh) for which I rarely use.  Apparently my CV was “…selected, from hundreds submitted, to go through to the next phase”.  Hundreds?  My arse.  But I went along with it anyway, had a good telephone interview and a proper interview two days later.

I never received the e-mail confirmation about the interview, but I still turned up, albeit at the wrong entrance, and with plasters falling off my hand having cut my hand open in three places the night before doing the washing up…two hours of bleeding…not pleasant especially when I needed a good night’s sleep.

There was a good connection between myself and the three that I met though the interview itself was only 45 minutes long, and that included a 15 minute test.  They clearly had decided in advance and were going through the motions, though my ego concluded that meant I was in a good position to be offered the role.  I glossed over the suspicion that something wasn’t quite right because I wanted a job.  I want to progress.  I want to contribute.

Thinking back, I stumbled when they asked me to explain why I thought I had intermediate JavaScript knowledge.  I bluffed my way through.  And then there was a question asking why I would describe myself as “creative” – something I have put on my CV header.  Why on earth have I described myself as “creative”?  That was what I immediately thought and had to bluff my way again.  Other questions I answered well and received positive responses.

The first interview was for the job at a green energy company.  I had a good feeling about it from the off, spent a good 5-6 hours on the coding challenge (I will probably upload it to my portfolio, once I change company details) and had a good interview.  Admittedly I turned up 30 minutes early to the interview but I thought that I had performed well and was in with a chance.  It was clear that he was probably interviewing around 10-12 people and had even more applications.

There was lots of good feedback about my coding challenge, in fact he said it was the closest to the design spec out of all of them.  Though there were a few buts.

I came away thinking there was a chance I would get offered both.  The problem in my head was what would I do if I got offered the one I was less keen on before the one I was really keen on?  I don’t like to mess people around, even though I know companies normally won’t hesitate to do the same to me.  I have decency standards.

Neither job was offered to me.

The one that sounded a bit odd, simply said “Thank you for taking the time to come in to **our company**. It was great to meet with you.  Unfortunately, we will not be taking your application further.”.

I asked for further feedback on what I could do to improve but they did not even have the courtesy to refuse to do so.  My ego took a battering as I thought I was a shoe-in, but in time I suspect I will be pleased not to have ended up there.  Something really was not right about it.

The second one I did get constructive feedback.  During the interview, I received specific advice on my code which will be beneficial – a couple of new ways of looking at what I do.  He also advised me to learn Sass, Grunt and Gulp before learning React.

Further to that, the feedback was “I’m really sorry to say that we won’t be inviting you to a second interview this time. It was incredibly close, and you had a really strong interview, it just came down to others having slightly more experience with JavaScript and having a bit of a firmer grasp on Front-end technologies like responsive design and pre-processing.

I really respect your passion and the level you’ve achieved through self-teaching, and I believe that with a little more time learning you will become a web developer.”.

Which is like your football club reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup.  A pretty damn good achievement but there is no reward except for the experience and a bit of kudos.

That I came assumedly 3rd or 4th out of roughly 10-12 interviewees doesn’t feel particularly great now, especially being quite drunk, and after receiving some unrelated pretty damn shit news today too.  It’s been a bad week and a very, very bad day.

I think the main lesson is to keep my ego in check.  Manage my expectations better.

Needless to say, I have not done anything constructive for the last two days and will not do anything tomorrow as I am going to have a fair-sized hangover.

I do have a coding challenge for another role, but it is in PHP which I don’t know so well so probably pointless in trying but I shall hopefully get over my disappointment in time for the deadline.  No harm in trying even though I doubt I’ll get an interview.

Down but not out.