Down the memory lane - My First Interview

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Wow, My First Interview experience! Surely something to remember and learnt lots from that. The entire process of the interview helped me in taking up the success and failure with the same spirit and energy.

Thanks to this week's #MyFirstInterviewExperience challenge by HashNode. I wouldn't have written this article otherwise.

The day before the Interview

Way back then, I did not have much luxury with internet. In fact, I had to go to internet cafes for checking emails and uploading my resume(or CV) to the Job portals. Hence getting a notification for a Job interview and act on it was not as dynamic as it sounds today.

I had my dinner and was about to go sleep when my friend informed me that, he got an interview call from a Big Software firm and his interview is next day morning. I remembered applying for the same. So I rushed to the internet cafe, almost forced the guy to reopen the cafe and checked my emails. Guess what I found? I got the invitation too and my first ever interview is, tomorrow!

That night, me and my friend were like,

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The day of the Interview

Usually nervous, butterflies in stomach, I reached the interview location. That was the first time I could see how a big software firm look like from inside. What I could observe sitting at the reception was, the cleaned floor tiles, big walls, people walking around with so much confidence and the beautiful receptionist.

I was told that, there will be 2 written rounds of logic/programming, 1 round of puzzle and reasoning, 1 face-to-face technical round, 1 round by manager and finally HR will speak to the selected candidates.

When I reached the room where the first written round to be conducted, I found roughly 100+ candidates were waiting. That made me like,

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The Interview Process

I cleared first two written technical rounds and my confidence level was just rising high. I did well in the puzzle round too and that got me into my first ever face-to-face technical interview.

As I was a fresher out of college, I really didn't have any baggage of experience. That could be the reason, most of the questions were around C, C++, Data Structure and Algorithm, Java and Networking basics. The interviewer was cool and calm. He made me really comfortable and I remember answering most of his questions correctly(at least, as per me).

After the face-to-face technical round was over, we were just 12 candidates waiting for the interview with Manager and HR respectively. The manager round went well with questions mostly about knowing me, hobbies, what were my weaknesses, strengths etc.

Following that, I finally got to the end of the tunnel which was the HR round and probably the most simple interview round I had that day. The lady who took the interview was very candid, joyful and I never had any stress at all.

It was all over for the day. I had entered the office around 8:00 in the morning and got out of it by 9:30 in the late evening. A day of extreme satisfaction, proud factor, feelings of meeting people with experience and knowledge and finally, the thought of getting an offer!

I was told, the selected candidates will be informed over an email within a week. Great, overall an awesome day.

Finally, The Day

Being impatient I was checking emails at least twice a day by visiting the internet cafe. After three days of waiting, I finally received the email with a regret that says something like this,

All of us really enjoyed meeting you and talking to you. Unfortunately, at this time, we decided to proceed with another candidate. It is a decision we didn't make easily.....

My learning from it

Obviously It was disheartening, sad and confusing to me. It took couple of days for me to realize,

  • I was rejected already. Now if I look back, I gained more than what I actually lost. I was among the last 4-5 who could make it to the final round of the interview from 100+ crowd.
  • I had my friends to talk about it. It is always better to talk about rejections openly. It reduces the pain and clear the way out for future thinking.
  • I was more confident on my technical skills, reasoning skills, communication skills than ever before.
  • I knew how to work out on tension and nervousness before an interview.
  • In retrospective, I could spot few instances where I could have done better. May be, a better eye contact with the manager. May be, more smiling face to the HR. May be, my technical face to face could have been little better. I started working on those.
  • I also learned, how to behave as an interviewer. I still remember the comfort zone I was offered by the interviewers. I keep that in mind when I interview someone even today. Inspired by that, I wrote an article last year. Please read.

Conclusion

Many takeaways for me from my first interview experience. I was taught to handle rejections and at the same time, to be prepared for the next possible success.

I got my first job within 15-20 days after my first interview. That experience was also amazing but, it was never like My first ever interview!

Hope you enjoyed reading it. I feel great sharing it after long time.

The cover photo is from freepik.

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