The Worst Job Interview Of My Life

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The Worst Job Interview Of My Life

So I was looking for a new consultancy assignement for 2019 and I got this interview in a company, for a developer position.

I arrive at the company's office, accompanied by a HR manager. She rings the interphone and announce that we are there.

After a few seconds one guy arrive and open the door. With a big smile and some confidence, I shake his hand and say "Hello, I'm Clément, nice to meet you". To which he didn't reply or say anything. Okay

We take the elevator and joke about the fact that they try to use the stairs much. Once arrived, I follow the guy to the meeting room and we sit. He asks if we want some water, I say "Yes Please, Thanks!" and we wait while he's bringing us some water.

I take a sip in my glass and the guy sits accross the table. I understand at this point that he's going to lead the interview and thus, he must be the Technical Manager. Another person arrives in the room and come to shake my hand. Again, I say "Hello, I'm Clément, nice to meet you". And again, he didn't reply anything. Okay, whatever maybe it's just yet the confusion of saying hello and to sit and get our shit together before we start talking.

I still don't know who these guy are and I don't know their name.

The first guy (who I figured is the tech manager) has a copy of my Resume with him, and the second guy (who I figured is a developer, or lead developer) has a notebook and a pen.

The Tech manager looks at my resume and say, without any eye contact, "Okay, can you explain what you've been up to these last 3 years?".

Sure, no problem, I start telling them what was my job about 3 years ago, and what other jobs I've been going until this day, while mentionning I'm also working on side projects, startups and open source projects, working with Laravel and VueJS.

Then he says, still looking at my resume: "Looks like you didn't deploy anything in production in 3 years".

And I'm like.... WHAT?! Are you kidding me dude?! WTF. I explain him that I've pushed multiple projects in production, both during fulltime jobs and during side projects. To which he rolled his eyes. I was like, geez, ok.. damn..

So I try to talk and explain a bit more a bit about those projects in production, give examples and URLs to thoses projects, but then he interrupted me and asked : "What's Dependency Injection?".

Never have I been in a such cold, unpleasant atmosphere. To be honest, the position I applied for is a manager position. I didn't really expect technical questions. Especially not like that.

My brain fucking froze. He was looking at me with a dead, cold, judging look. I swear to god. I've been through so many job interviews in my life (successful ones) and I never ever experienced this. I felt so... misjudged, and uncomfortable.

I'm quite sensitive to this actually, so the effects on my me were terrible. I just froze, I didn't even know how or where to begin to explain FUCKING DEPENDENCY INJECTION, the most basic thing (well not really, but it's not that hard). I'm like "Hem.. well.. you know.. it allows you to bind a class to your application container.. and... hem... well... access that class from anywhere.. and.. hem.. use another dependence easily..".

As I'm writing this, I fucking hate myself for not having handle that correctly. I crashed, right there at the beginning, on the most basic stuff.

And at this point, I still didn't know who these guy were. Didn't know their name or their role in the company. Two strangers judging my lack of knowledge.

FYI, I never went to IT school. I'v learnt it all by myself. I never studied long ass school books about programming patterns and theorical stuff. I just know what I've been taught on the web, in tutorials and videos, for 7 fucking years. And god knows I became damn good at this. But...

Jesus Christ was I fucked.

Unfortunately, I'm not someone who's always ready with a reply, who's "quick on the draw". When I feel judged or attacked, I shut myself and I need some time to prepare a reply. It's my biggest flaw.

They then continued with other questions, from one to the other, without any pause. Even when I replied correctly, I felt like it was not enough. They didn't gave me any clue if I was right or wrong or if I gave them the answer they wanted. I felt like I was back in school. Holy shit.

Here are some of those questions, some of them are easy and some of them are tricky. Imagine yourself in this unpleasant atmosphere trying to answer all of this without any pause, and with your brain in slow mode.

What's the max length of an URL according to the RFC?

What's the difference between localstorage and VueX?

Explain all situation when you use the use keyword in PHP?

What's callback hell in JS?

What's the difference between Symfony 2 and 3?

Is Redis permanent?

What's the difference between Agile and Scrum?

What's the difference between JOIN and UNION in SQL? (I never used UNION in my life)

Is MVC a design pattern? (That's a fucking debate)

And many more. Honestly, except a very few questions, I knew every answer, or at least I could explain a bit, but the way they looked at me with such contempt, it destabilized me. They never gave me any clue if they were happy about what I was explaining. I didn't know if I gave them the answers they wanted.

It was so fucking weird. I was so uncomfortable. They were so unfriendly and cold.

The thing is, I think I managed to reply correctly to most of their questions, but the way I spoke was very unconfident because of the position I was into. I wish I was emotionaly stronger.

When their list of question was over, the manager (still didn't know his name) said: "ok, that's it, do you have any questions?"

I was like... what the hell... this is so bad...

He looked at the HR manager who was next to me and said: "we're going to check that other profile you sent us".

She replied "Sure no problem", then looked at me "I'll call you back this afternoon ok?".

Guess what, she didn't call me back.

I left the building in silence. The guy walked me back to the elevator and said goodbye with a weird smile, and I just left.

One step outside, front door is closing behind me, I stopped and my brain started working again. "FUCKING HELL OF COURSE I KNOW WHAT DEPENDENCY INJECTION IS, WHY DIDN'T I EXPLAINED IT LIKE THAT??". I was angry at myself and depressed at the same time. I walked back to my car, drove back home, took a long, depressing shower and went to bed.

"Fuck fuck fuck, how could have I missed this?" I thought to myself.

Never have I experienced such a uncomfortable feeling during an interview.

The guys never introduced themselves, never smiled to me (or if they did, it felt like they made fun of me), never asked me anything about my carreer or working experience. Just unexpected tech questions, that I could have all handle if I didn't felt so uncomfortable.

Now, I understand that sometime the interviewer must "act" and test your resistance to pressure, but this was just an unfriendly experience with people who didn't wanted to learn anything about me.

Even in small and startup minded companies, people can still act like this.

I take this as a learning experience. It happened once, it won't happen twice.

Now that I think about this again, I wonder if the manager had that attitude because I'm a Laravel Developer, and he's a long time Symfony developer. I know some people from these communities hate, or judge badly each other, so maybe it was that? I'll never know. If that was the case... I'm sorry Laravel Community, I failed to represent you.

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I consider myself as an IT Business Artisan. Or Consultant CTO. I'm a self-taught Web Developper, coach and teacher. My main work is helping and guiding digital startups.

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