Job interviews and how overwhelming it can all be
I am someone who thinks job interviews are fun. This is not because I have been acing all of my interviews. Definitely not, I have given interviewers blank stares, completed answers with Umm, Pardon me and the horrifying statement “ I forgot, how it works”. I have made my mistakes, and have been a complete idiot but I still think job interviews are fun. This is because I have taken all the fears and dreads out of it. There are ways to do that. You can forget that you are being interviewed and start thinking that you are discussing something. In this article I will discuss how you can develop a mindset like that.
Realize that coders are fun people
If you are a software engineer do not stop yourself from hanging out with other software engineers. You will realize that it is actually more fun to hang out with software engineers. Living in New York city has helped me a lot. Whenever my coder friends from Wyoming, Texas, Wisconsin or even from Europe or Dubai comes over to NYC for meetings, or conferences. I make sure I hang out with them. Show them around, give museum tours etc. No we do not talk about codes or speak in codes or say things like if(coffee !=’decaf’) No we do not act like nerds. But hanging out with other developers would help you open up to other software engineers and yes, you do eventually end up discussing projects. This makes you more compatible with your own kind of people in your own line of work. And while getting interviewed by a complete stranger senior software engineer. You do not feel like you are conversing with a stranger, you feel like the interviewer is someone you are capable of being friends with and are capable of having fun with. This takes away a lot of the nervousness.
Host coding meetups
NYC gives me an advantage of being around other coders and having many meetups. Just last week, I hosted a Python meetup in Central Park but nowadays a lot of coding meetups happen online. So, even if you do not live in a big city, you still have endless opportunities to meet other coders. I recently hosted a Google Kubernetes meetup in LinkedIn. Explaining and discussing codes with people even while not being interviewed will help you be on the mode i.e. the mood to always explain everything. This way you are very comfortable explaining how something works while real interviewing. You get great practice discussing codes with strangers.
Imagine being an expert in Google Kubernetes and than suddenly trying to explain how this diagram works. Even your expertise will fail you if you are not much of an explainer. To be a proper explainer you need continuous practice. What better way to practice than hosting meetups with strangers.
Hackerrank/ Leetcode practice
Do not stay away from Social Media
People are always telling you to stay away from social media. They will say things like its toxic, social media is bad for teenagers etc. But just like you need to know how to have conversations with people in real life. You need to know how to network in social media as well. I have met many many coders on tech twitter, I got three projects from people I have met on Facebook. Being a blogger I have gained my followers mostly by tweeting about it or posting about it on LinkedIn. Yes, there are toxic elements that can come into play. I have found myself helplessly entangled in Trump warfare in a twitter feud. But I let it go, my reason for using social media is to discuss projects and codes. Not bring world peace or change people’s minds. Social media has helped my career advance a lot. It allows you to meet and network with other developers and can bring future career opportunities if you play your cards right.
As a coder you are always capable of feeling like you are on top of the world even if you do not ace that dream job interview. Remember future opportunities are near.
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