Sunday, August 28, 2016

On The Torture Known As Interviewing

Earlier this year, my day-to-day existence underwent a bit of a shake up when my employer for nearly sixteen years decided to close their Seattle office. What had been a fairly stable livelihood for me suddenly went up in the air.

After enjoying a short respite from the rat race, the search for new employment began. It was not the fun kind of search, unlike a treasure hunt in every way; in fact, it wasn't something I would wish on my worst enemy.

For my profession, the interview process involves three parts; in general: 1) the first part was a call with the company recruiter, a short evaluation of my aspirations and general fit; 2) the second part was a technical phone screen lasting about an hour and typically involving some coding exercises on a shared screen; 3) the last and worst part was the in-person interview, which would last anywhere between four and six hours, and it involved lots of white-boarding, code exercises, and discussions to evaluate my emotional intelligence.

Multiply this excruciating process by however many interviews I had, and you can imagine what kind of state I was in. I was exhausted. I'm not one you would ever expect to be able to talk for five hours straight.

In hindsight, some of it was amusing. For instance, before each interview my various recruiters -- without fail -- would advise me to "be outgoing" and to "act like a team player". I did almost laugh the first time I heard that. I would have directed them to this blog, but I knew they were only trying to be helpful.

All I can say is that I'm glad my search is over. It's a huge relief not to have to be so damned extroverted. Hopefully the new job sticks for a while. I don't look forward to going through that again.

It's definitely time to start working for myself.