Looking around in the tech scene, I see many articles on how to nail your interview assessment.
Diving deeper into these articles, it looks like a 4-year course to even apply for a job. I just wanted to write down this article to show you there are multiple sides to tech interviews.
First of all, these high-end interviews exist, don't get me wrong. Most FAANG/Big/Corporate companies will make a selection like that.
However, it might not be what you are looking for.
As for me, I'm one of these people... I perform well in middle-sized companies 25-75 people.
I like to be responsible for multiple aspects of the job, some examples:
- Have discussions with the design
- Partially responsible for server architecture
- Have a say in languages being used
- Know the team
- Direct contact with the CEO
And there are more, I genuinely enjoy those aspects over perhaps working for a big corporate where you might only be responsible for a single specific point. You never get to meet the CEO and don't have a say in things.
What other interviews can I expect?
Well, this is very difficult. These small-to-medium types of companies are very liberal when it comes down to interviews.
I've tried to split out some of my own experiences.
1. The social interview
This is by far one of my favorite types. When you have a social interview with often the CEO, perhaps accompanied by a tech person. The interview isn't about solving a tech query.
These people are looking for a team player, someone who knows how to get the job done. Often they'll assess your personality fit for the company. The tech person might ask you some basic knowledge: Do you understand and use Laravel, Ionic, or React?
2. The die-hard coding interview
This one comes closest to the above-described interview methods, except this is often a single assignment for you to do at home. It's often a representation of what will be your day-to-day job. So please think about how you feel about this assignment/work when doing the assignment. You might come back after this to present and defend your solution. Sometimes there will also be a survey with some tech knowledge questions.
These companies are looking for a super skilled person, someone they can give hard to solve queries. You might even find you will need to manage some existing employees.
3. The triple interview
By far the most common assessment I've seen. It's a three-step combination of the above. The first step is a general non-tech interview with either an HR person or the CEO. The second step is a tech interview with potentially a tech assignment. And the last chat is a combination of presenting and seeing if you're a fit.
When applying to these companies, it's all about finding out if you feel good with them and they feel good with you. I like this approach since it gives you a good image of the potential workforce you'll join.
4. The odd-ball interview
Yeah, there is always that odd-ball one. Let me know what your odd-ball experience is.
It must have been when I got asked by the CEO of a startup to come in. (At this time, I was happy at my current job). I went in just for a chat, and they literally on the spot offered me double my salary and a signing bonus, no code is seen, no fancy talks, nothing...
Even though it was a weird experience, I did take the offer. At that time I could well use the money since I just bought a house.
However, the startup lasted only a year and ran out of money...
5. The nurturing interview
This one often happens when you enter the interviews through recruiters. They somehow act like your mom, from when you were 8. They want to control every step and freak out if you directly had contact with the company.
Don't get me wrong, I do get it. It's their job and commission on the line.
But from the person applying, it's a bit of a mixed feeling and hassle kind of way.
Stick to your guts
Well, these are my experiences and the types of interviews I encountered.
Some overall advice when applying for jobs:
- Don't sell yourself short
- Stick to your guts (Doesn't feel right? Don't do it)
- It's ok to say no
- Negotiate! The first offer is never the best
- There are many companies out there, have a look around
Keep in mind when applying for a job, you need to feel good at this job. It's useless to work somewhere if you don't enjoy it.
As a closure: Have fun, and good luck!