Interview frustrations

2 minute read

A company that will remain nameless (unless someone convinces me otherwise) recently sent me this email:

Thanks so much for agreeing to your virtual on-site interview for a position in the <redacted>!

Beforehand, please take a look at the comments below:

  1. Your presentation is expected to be in front of a fairly diverse audience. Members of the interview panel are going to be there, and members from other functions, such as marketing, may attend as well. Prepare with this in mind.
  2. For your presentation, you may want to begin with a brief introduction of who you are and where you have been in your career. Consider giving the audience a sense of who you are and what has motivated you in your career development.
  3. From previous experiences, there will likely be questions and interruptions during your presentation. Some questions may be general, and some may be specific and technical. Manage your time wisely.
  4. Choose 1-2 projects that you have worked on in-depth and personally; you would know these projects well and be excited to talk about them. Convey your excitement to the audience. Talk about recent (rather than old) projects if possible.
  5. Be prepared to go into details on the projects you will present. Do give a high-level overview of the project (e.g., What is the problem? Why is it important?) . Do go into some level of technical specifics. What have you done? How have you done it?
  6. Give the audience a sense of how you think. What were the factors you considered when you approached the problem? What were the challenges? How did you overcome them? Provide specific examples whenever possible.
  7. You may present your slide deck directly from your laptop or send me a copy and I will flip thru the deck for you during the presentation. It is your choice.
  8. Please install Zoom and Microsoft Teams on your laptop prior to the seminar. We will use Microsoft Teams as default and Zoom as backup. We greatly look forward to meeting you!

They wanted me to make a hour long presentation as part of the interview. The last time I made a talk that long, I practiced it for weeks. Given that they gave me a week’s heads-up total, I took the weekend and put together what I could. I’d say I put in a dozen hours, realistically. I was pretty excited about the final product and was kinda looking forward to giving the talk. The day before my interview, I got this email:

Good Morning Jessime,

I must inform you, that your Zoom Interview for tomorrow, Wednesday, February 10th got canceled. Our recruiter will give you a call for more information. Have a great day and stay safe.

The recruiter called me and we talked briefly. They said that I interviewed extremely well, but that they decided to go with another candidate. That’s fair, I suppose. They were looking for someone with a few years of experience working with a specific technology I had never used. But… they knew that from my resume.

And from my first interview.

And from my second interview.

And when they told me that I needed to prep a talk.

The recruiter told me, “Don’t be shy about reapplying for another position.” Thank you, but I’m probably good.

Anyway, I wanted to share my presentation somewhere, so I guess I’ll share it here.

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