How I Survived Recent Tech Interviews - Part 1

What I did before starting the search

While I adore my team and my manager at my current job, I had been stagnating and learning very little for too long. From all the conversations I had while trying to rectify this, I knew that the situation wasn't going to change soon enough. I decided it was time to look for a fresh start despite dreading the idea of interviewing, especially interviewing in the Tech Industry.

My plan was to see what was out there, see where I was with my knowledge level & figure out where I needed to be to get a better role. I decided that even if I was unsuccessful with finding a new job, I would at least learn what gaps I had to fill to find one eventually.

Reader, you will be pleased to know that I had 3 job offers within about 2.5 weeks. 🤩

This post deals with the things I did before I started the job search & I think it's really important to get this stuff done first. It helped me narrow my search, and to answer a lot of questions that come up in the "culture fit" interviews.

Figure Out The What

What is it that I wanted to do next?

In my current role, I worked with React, Gatsby GraphQL for the first year and the mostly Rails for the next year. I like & enjoy working with both stacks with a slight preference for React - but I suspect that's because the Rails work I did was mostly maintenance. I decided that I didn't want to be pigeon holed into either stacks & wanted exposure to more than just one stack and was happy to learn something new like Vue or Python as well.

Figure Out The Why

Why did I want to do this?

This was easy for me - I desperately want to learn and grow as an engineer. Nothing makes me happier than learning something new or and then getting fluent with it. I thrive on it!

Figure Out The Where

Where did I want to go next?

I had 3 criteria for the next company I went to:

  1. Somewhere with a culture of empathy, collaboration, fun and general alignment with my personal values.
  2. Somewhere I could work on a product that was good for the world or at the very least neutral.
  3. Somewhere that encouraged & empowered learning and growth.

TL;DR

  • Figure out what you want from your next gig, why you want it & where you want to be working next so that you can tailor the rest of the process to fit with these needs.

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