Richard Dalmacio
Richard's Coding Blog

Richard's Coding Blog

I Got a Job Interview

Where am I at and how did I get here?

Sometime, two weeks ago, I got a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter asking for my resume. They told me that they would share it with their team. Soon after that, I was contacted by three recruiters and I was asked for an interview from each of them.

There was one job that I was really interested in getting the interview for because it was for Quality Assurance and it was also for a big company. Supposedly, I was also offered for an interview by another big company by the same recruitment company, but I was far more invested in the Quality Assurance one because I felt like it would better at helping me transition to other jobs in the same company.

The Quality Assurance job application process involved several steps. So far, I have completed three.

The first interview was the introductory one with the recruiter that contacted me in the first place. I gave an updated resume, we went over simple background questions like, "What program did I graduate from in college?", "What are you doing now?" and "Are you applying for / have any other interviews with other companies?" Afterwards, I was requested to give my academic transcript because I assumed he wanted to confirm my GPA on my resume and also confirmed that I did not apply for this company within the last six months. I was thanked for my time and we connected with each other on the LinkedIn platform and exchanged contact information.

The second interview was with the same recruiter. This time, I was asked the question, "What is my motivation for wanting to leave [my current position]". To that, I answered that I was currently working on open-sourced projects at my program. While it was not a source of income, it provided me with experience that was related to the corporate environment. It was a place where I could develop my skills as a developer and build my confidence by working together with other members of the team and completing sprints. The second part of the interview was asking me what programs I am proficient and worked with most. In response, I told them that I worked extensively in C# in college and used Java in testing with IntelliJ, Selenium and Apache Poi, but only for a short while. My most proficient programming knowledge at the moment was HTML and JavaScript. I told them that I am currently working on a full stack web development project with React.js, Node.js, MongoDB and Express.js and I have completed a live HTML5 trivia game with JavaScript. Throughout, I explained the details of my knowledge of using these technologies and gave examples of my work.

At some point, I was contacted by phone to schedule a formal video interview with the people at the company. After scheduling the interview, I quickly went into research. I looked at Glassdoor for any information from past employees to see if I could get any clues as to what to expect for the interview and/or working at the company. I could only get the general idea, such as dressing formally for the interview, and found that working for the company had overall positive reviews. With that, I developed my questions to ask after the interview was over. Thankfully, the recruiter that came up to me in the beginning gave me some tips, like providing small talk with the interviewers, talking about what I learned and being invested in the job opportunity by asking as many questions as I could.

For the third interview, it was a video conference call with two employees of the company. Based on the questions I asked them near the end, one was a developer and one was more into testing. I went over my background in about 8-10 minutes and then they started asking me the following technical questions:

  • What is Java and what makes it good?
  • What is the difference between abstraction and encapsulation?
  • What is polymorphism?
  • What is the life cycle of a thread?
  • What is method overriding?
  • What is exception handling?

To be completely honest, besides the exception handling question, I only had rough ideas on how to answer the rest. The only thing I thought to myself while answering was not to respond with "I don't know" because I know that it would not look good on me, for sure.

The last 10 minutes of the interview were spent me asking about the position, the company in general and I asked about how the interviewers liked working for them. One of the personal questions they asked me was where I imagined myself in 3 years from now. I responded that, if I were working for the company, I would try to get my hands on moving up in the company as a developer, rather than just sticking to the quality assurance job. They followed up by asking if I would rather be a developer or tester. I answered, like with the previous recruiter, that I would be more comfortable being in a position where I could understand the workings behind the code of the developers in a testing position rather than a developer. After working with my group for about half a year, I learned that people code differently from each other and have different methods of completing a task. I felt that learning the way developers solves their problems would help me transition more into the company. I also explained that a tester needs to be able to have multiple perspectives on utilizing applications, not just in the eyes of the developer, but in the eyes of a user.

In the end, I learned a great deal about the company and was genuinely hoping to work for them. Right now, I am awaiting a response on moving forward and I hope to share some good news, in the future.

 
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