Interview Fail

The road to professional success is often lined with twists, turns, and occasional potholes. In my own journey, I’ve experienced interviews that ranged from quirky to downright baffling. But each encounter, no matter how odd, held a lesson, molding my perspective and sharpening my resilience. Embracing each interview gone awry has helped mold the developer I am. Here are a few of the better ones I can remember:

The Slumbering Assessor at Schmire-stone Tire

Picture this: an interview room, four people - one eager to make a mark, two interested in the experience, the other… well, nodding off to sleep. At Schmire-stone Tire, as I passionately spoke about my experiences and aspirations, I found one interviewer struggling to stay awake. The atmosphere thickened with awkwardness but, in that unexpected moment, I learned the art of adaptability. Instead of letting embarrassment cloud my focus I took it in stride, adjusted my tone and rephrased answers for succinctness and quietly excused myself when asked if “I had any questions about the position, team or working at Schmire-stone Tire”

The Unexpected Faith Test

Then there was the time I interviewed at a faith-based entertainment company. Going in I expected questions about my skills, experiences, perhaps even my values. What I didn’t expect was an impromptu “Jesus test.” My interviewer’s candid inquiry into my religious beliefs took me aback. Not because of the question itself, but because of it’s unexpectedness in a professional setting. This experience taught me the importance of thorough research and preparation, not just about the role but the company culture, values and interview process.

The Fog of Technical Forgetting

Technical interviews are a rite of passage in our industry. On one occasion, I drew a blank on time complexity, a concept I’d tackled countless times before. On another, more recent endeavor the existence of memory caches completely slipped my mind. These instances, humbling as they were, underscored the significance of continuous learning and revisiting fundamentals. It reminded me that even with experience there’s always something new to grasp or an old concept to refresh.

Finding Gold in the Grit

The beauty of these not-so-perfect interviews? Each one was a masterclass in disguise. Whether it was enhancing my adaptability, understanding organizational cultures better, or diving deeper into technical nuances, every experience added a layer to my professional persona.

Failure, especially in the high-pressure world of interviews, is never easy. But it’s essential to view these moments not as setbacks but as stepping stones. They’re not indicators of incompetence but opportunities for growth. In the grand tapestry of my career these interviews are colorful patches reminding me of lessons learned, resilience built, and the journey that lies ahead.

Our failures, missteps, and even the quirkiest of interview experiences shape us. They are the chapters that make our story compelling, teaching us that every hurdle, no matter how high, can be surmounted with reflection, preparation, and a smile.