Was it luck? No. Or yes. I don't really know. But what I know is that I was preparing hard for it over a long period of time and I've passed it! This is what is important in the end. Right?
I would say that if you managed to get into the interview - you've done the hardest part. You know how it is. The moment you get a chance to prove yourself, you must do your best and impress interviewers. But! I've got an awesome advice:
This ☝️ It explains a lot about what kind of attitude you need to have. Don't fall in love with the job, cause it will be more painful to get rejected. I'm sure you know that feeling, at least once in our live we experience it 💔
What I focused on?
I'm the type of a person who believes that practice is very important, but nothing is more important than theory. Only with the foundation of theory can you build your tower of experience. So this is what I've done. Brush up the theory. There are myriads of resources to prepare and I'll list some of what I've used:
- Frontend Interview Handbook
- Toptal Frontend Interview Questions
- Blogging 😆
If you think that blogging is just a funny addition to this list - you're wrong. Blogging about a subject actually makes you understand the concepts better and remember them. As we say in Russian, you can wake me up at 3AM and I'll easily tell you what is Executional Context and what Scope is.
Since I was focusing on the Frontend Developer job this was my focus, but it all depends on your path of course. Whether you are Back End Developer, Dev Ops or FullStack, foundation is really important.
Wish I know
Wish I knew more than I do right now, but I have played a Job Hunting lottery and won it. I can't assess myself. Being reasonable I'm not bad but I'm not great either. The foundation of Computer Science, even a little part of it I have learned during CS50 course actually saved me a bit with one tricky question, so do not neglect it.
Do Frontend Developers even need CS? Well, that's a topic for a long discussion, but from my POV - yes. Basics, at least. It might seem like time consuming for you and "why do I even care, all I do is just align div" but trust me, with current trends in Frontend Development where more and more logic is going on on the client side, you will feel way more confident if you understand bits of it.
Interview - Test task
Different companies have different approaches and you can't really prepare for everything. I had a few of them and they all were very different. One company's interview was basically a test on the website, which I failed, but with my 68% out of 70% to pass I have been offered to try the second round. And, oh boy, I thought of everything, but I never thought I would need to record a few videos for them with some generic questions, like "What and how you've taught juniors on your previous job" and "Tell me how you would handle conflict". When I've submitted my videos I've got instant reply that my test score is 0% (what a wonderful algorithm 🙃) and that it will be reviewed by human. I have never heard anything back from them, even though I've sent follow-up email. Felt like I was part of some experiment or beta-testing 😂
Interview - Call
- RELAX No, really, just relax 💆♂️
- Don't call them Sir or Mam we are not in the army 👮♀️
- Be cool but polite 😎
- Please smile! Don't smile like a freak or idiot, but smile nicely and warmly 😊
- Try to speak clearly. People do pay attention to it 📢
- Do not only talk. Let them talk too. This one is the tricky part. You need to find that perfect balance of talking and listening 👂
- Do not interrupt. While this is just common sense - it's a huge problem of many* ❌
- Keep a glass of water at your table. You gonna speak and most probably speak a lot, so make sure you don't hurt yourself with sore throat 🥛
*This sometimes gets complicated due to internet connection and delay, but try your best to prevent it.
All of these are very obvious things, but when you are nervous during the interview it can get easily forgotten, especially if it's your first ever interview.
You are interviewing company as much as they interview you
Important thing to remember. Keep your eyes and ears open. There could be a lot of red flags during the interview process you can spot and even if they offer you a job, it doesn't mean you must immediately apply (unless you are too desperate and don't care). Trust me, I've been working under the exact same conditions with good teams and bad teams. Nothing is worse than a bad or toxic team. You literally don't have any motivation going for a job every morning when only what you'll do there is facing toxicity.
There's plenty fish in the seas
The job market is hot. There were better times, there will be worse times, but we have what we have. Consider rejecting a company if you spot a bad attitude that you won't like to deal with in the future. You are your most expensive asset and don't waste it for nothing.
Cash! I love cash!
We all want cash - that's normal. My point was, that I'm ready to sacrifice some money part for some time to get the environment people who would like to hang around with me and will be truly happy seeing my growth. So yeah, it may be reasonable to accept lower pay to start your journey. If you think I'm just telling bs here and I don't know what I'm talking about - I have accepted to lose 50% of my yearly income just to get the job in Tech because I wanted it and I was enjoying it. That's all you need to know about my opinion on this topic.
Please don't be afraid! Please follow your dream and go for it! There are no stupid people or people who can't do it. I've been sailing for almost 10 years with nearly zero relation to tech in my day to day job, but I could manage it, so do you. I've learned programming while being in the middle of the ocean with 30kbps internet speed limited to 500mb per day with 77 working hours a week. I'm pretty sure you are in a better position than I was, so grab your ass and start learning to achieve what you desire.
And as usual, I hope you liked it! Hope even more that my advice was useful for you! Your feedback is appreciated and welcomed!
You can catch me on my Twitter @SergiiKirianov and I would like to help you if I can.
Thanks a lot for you, my Twitter family for supporting me all the way! It was amazing and I never felt anything like that before. You were with me from the start and till now, I really appreciate it!