My Other Tech Interviews


As a tradition, I’ve written about the tech interviews I’ve had such as my first ever tech interview, my interview at Goldman Sachs, my interview at Pivotal and my job interview at Google. I couldn’t justify writing an entire blog post to all the other interviews so I wrote this post instead.

Prominent Remote Software Company

This is probably the first internship interview I’ve ever had in my time at college. I passed the initial filter and they gave me a call. Didn’t go further than that.

Healthcare Startup Interview

I found this company at the Iowa State Career Fair when I was looking for an internship in my sophomore year. The first interview was a Skype interview containing nothing too technical. I eventually got a programming task which in hindsight is incredibly simple but given my depressive episode at the time, I couldn’t make it in time in spite of getting 2 extensions. No prizes for guessing that I didn’t the internship.

Insurance Company

Probably the most traditional job interview I’ve had. While it paid very well, it was more IT focused than it was programming focused. While I would like to attribute my not getting the internship to that mismath, it’s more likley that I came across badly.

Large CMS Maker

I applied for their internship and they gave me a coding quiz. They allowed me to use documentation so it went pretty well. I got ghosted for 4 months until the hiring manager realized that I hadn’t had a further interview.

The interview was conducted over Google Hangouts. It didn’t last too long since I didn’t know PHP, something they needed. Was supposed to be an internship but whatever. At least they gave a reason.

Controversial Social Networking Company

Said company contacted me a month before the fall of my third year. They wanted things to be done as quickly as possible. Problem was that I didn’t have much time to prepare. I had just started my holiday in Greece and right after that I had to go to college early to take part in RA and library orientation. There was a free afternoon which said company insisted on having the interview on.

The interview came around and I failed the simple question. Got rejected the next day. Expected. At least I can call sour grapes given the number of scandals the company has been involved in. I can pretend that I’ll be principled enough to reject such a job even though I would take it if they gave it to me, justifying it under “effective alturism” or “fixing the system from the inside”.

Various Coding Quizzes

Failed them all, abandoning them since I was too stupid to finish them. Ah well, back to CTCI.

Middle School

Running out of time, I ecided to branch into finding IT jobs since they had “something to do with computers”. The interview was rather traditional and although I thought it went well, I got ghosted. They probably picked up on the fact that I wouldn’t stay there for long. I regret being hopeful for getting this job since my cousin offered me a job but I foolishly refused it.

Upper Peninsula Beauty CMS Company

This came after applying to everything Indeed had to offer in the state I was staying in. They came back to me and I failed the salary requirement question. I then got a phone interview asking some questions to prod my technical skills. Having little experience, they said no.

University Transport Research Center

This university gave me a quick phone call to ask about my skills and comfortability talking with college students. Didn’t have much server development experience however. Got ghosted by them.

Google Part II

After my previous interview at Google failed, I was approached with the opportunity to interview for G-tech which falls under their business and sales unit. Not as prestigious but it was still development and I needed a job, so I agreed to be interviewed. Time was really tight so the recruiter did their best to be as accommodating as possible.

Honestly, these interviews were more in line with what I expected out of the Google tech interview. Hardline technical questions where the theme throughout. They weren’t hard at all, they just had a lot of little implementation details I got hung on. Unlike the initial Google interviews, these interviewers didn’t bother to help me at all. Ther were also a few behavioural interviews that went ok.

I got feedback very quickly and they said that I needed an additional interview. I wanted it as soon as possible but it was memorial weekend so the recruiter didn’t reply in time. Given that there was no conveivable way for me to get my work application extention in time, there wasn’t anything they could do. Ah well… At least I got to see a beautiful forest in the Bay Area and have some more Korean Fried Chicken. I practically stayed at a hotel on the same road as the previous Google Interviews.

Another University Transport Research Center

I applied to a lot of jobs at this University. Eventually one department replied. They were also doing transportation research but they were focused on autonomous vehicles. Cool. I didn’t have much time to look for a job and I was still interviewing with Google. They gave me a phone call to see if I’m human and to tell me what I’d be working on. They had just finished the backend to control their proving ground and they needed a frontend developer to make tools for the center’s partners to use. Very cool.

They liked me and scheduled an interview for the day after my second Google Interview. I nearly missed my flight and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to get to the interview on time. Thankfully I got back eventually and drove to the interview. The interview was very laid back with a casual chat with the senior staff. After that chat, I got an interviewing task. Rather unique since it was a system design question.

There was no NDA so I can tell you what I had to do. I had. They asked me to mock up an event reservation system. I probably broke through the abstraction and focused on modeling and developing the booking logic. Turns out that’s way harder than it sounds. Should write about how to do that one day. I was scared that I had a terrible solution but they told me that it’s normal for a brainstorming session.

My work permit was about to expire so I wouldn’t be able to get an offer in time to renew it. The position wasn’t available anymore due to headcount issues but they appreciated my performance during the interview. Bummer.

Country’s Stock Exchange

The first company from my Zimbabwe job applications that actually got back to me. This interview was the most unique. It was a 4 hour practical exam where we had to create two web applications. While these tasks weren’t technically difficult, I overthought the whole thing. Instead of making something that barley fulfills the requirements, I was focused on ensuring the applications were secure which meant setting up proper session management, properly handling passwords and what not.

I didn’t finish the task meaning that I had nothing to present after the exam. They ghosted me but at least I got a fre lunch.

Conclusion

I really suck at this whole job search think and I doubt things will improve. I enjoyed the times I got flown out for an interview. I just wished I was better prepared for these interviews. Maybe I would have gotten somewhere.