The answer may surprise you!
I’m prepping to get a new developing gig. I heard of these interview services, where you’re matched up with another developer in search of a job to do technical interviews. I figured it’d be good practice before having to do the real thing. How was it? In the words of the immortal Egg Shen,
Totally bombed it. I’m glad it was only a practice interview, because I would have gotten an immediate rejection. What’s more, I realized how much I struggle not only with technical questions, but live interviewing. The difficulty of the question was magnified tenfold simply by virtue of the fact that there was another person on the end of my screen watching me while I worked.
It reminds me of martial arts – I’d been taking some kickboxing classes, and thought I was improving in terms of technique. I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was becoming more badass. Then, I tried sparring for the first time. We were doing kicks only, which made me feel better because at least I wouldn’t get my nose broken. I still couldn’t do shit, though. Keep in mind, the other guy was also an amateur, and we were going as light as possible – we weren’t trying to kill each other, but I realized how hard it is to actually fight a living being. Someone who’s moving and throwing is much harder than a heavy bag. I had the same revelation when going from practicing on a heavy bag to moving on mitts – form and technique go out the window straight away. You have to adapt to higher levels of stress that mock the real thing as close as possible. With that in mind, I feel like my shit interview today was a win in disguise – that was a bomb that didn’t go into production, if you will.
That leads me to my next point – not only is performing under pressure difficult, it’s also hard to accept criticism. You have to be vulnerable enough to open yourself up to accepting your flaws. That’s a lot to swallow to try to get a job. Having said that, I do think it’s helpful and necessary, so I’ll keep going at it. Hopefully, I can hit a point where I become merely mediocre and pass most average interviews.