Software Engineer Interviewing - Part 2 - Mindset

Secret Sauce for your Interviewing Mindset

Here is my tip for rocking your next interview: PREPARE!

As an interviewer, it is very frustrating to interview an unprepared candidate. Remember that most senior engineers have a busy schedule between planning, code reviews, project work, architecture reviews, etc. We’re pulled in many directions. You appear on our calendar as an interruption. When you show up with zero preparation, you are wasting our time.

The easiest answer for an interview panel is “no”. It is less risky for us to reject you than to take a chance on you. Even if in 2 or 3 years our engineering team is crumbling to small pieces without your contribution, we will not reflect back and say, “If only we hadn’t passed on that candidate who showed up to the interview totally unprepared.”

Ok, I probably sound like a harsh, intolerant jerk (spoiler alert: I’m not).

Who has the power?

I’m trying to hammer home the fact that even in an extremely tight labor market, an employer has all the power until they give you an offer. Once you have an offer, you have the power. They want you. You can reject or accept the offer. Until you have been given a solid offer through a phone call or an email, you have no power.

The only way you can affect the outcome of the process is through preparation. The best mindset to have is that you will prepare as much as you can, put your best self forward, highlight your abilities and demonstrate your value. You should also try to enjoy the interview process and view it as a growth experience.

Now that I’ve convinced you, let’s talk through general and specific preparation strategies.

Next Article - General Preparation.