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Anna Wijetunga
Anna Wijetunga

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That Second Interview

All Flatiron grads are quite kindly gifted a free mock technical interview with a rep at Skilled.

To me, this interview felt quite authentic. I had all the nerves and sleepless nights that precede an interview.

And yet. The interview was not only an incredible learning experience but a true delight.

Let me tell you why this surprised me.

1) I finished the interview feeling positive. I'll explain why this is a jaw-dropper.

As a career changer, I struggle to exude confidence about my technical skills. Sure I have 20 years of work experience, but mere months of coding. Months, folks.

In this interview, my interviewer met me where I was. I was highly encouraged and never left "stuck" for long without a nudge.

Not able to complete the coding challenge, I still walked away uplifted because my interviewer said,

"You know what you're doing - you just need to practice. That's exactly how we all get better."

Can't tell you how validating that was.

2) Without nerves, I was the real me.

At the beginning, my interviewer spent a few minutes small talking, and that naturally led into the first gentle interview question - tell me about your coding journey.

But when he asked, it sure felt like he cared. So, every question that followed, I felt I could be genuine in return.

Thus my slowly nerves melted away and the interview became conversational.

This made an impact on me because I discovered that when I wasn't nervous about what the interviewer thought of me and if my answers were right, I could just be me.

3) Interviewing makes me better.

I've always had a wee bit of test/performance anxiety, and that certainly carries into interviews. From test taking to racing a marathon to interviewing, I become a stressed version of myself when the stakes are high.

What has always helped is practice. And yes, I am noticing a theme here, too.

My mindset is shifting around interviewing. My hesitations center around my technical skills - I'm just not good enough, I'd told myself, why interview?

But perhaps that needs adjusting. Maybe it's not up for me to decide if I'm good enough. Maybe I need to keep practicing coding but also keep interviewing.

The only way to get better at something is to keep doing it. If you wouldn't mind, just remind me of that before my next interview!

Thanks, as always, for being here and reading. Always love hearing from folks, so don't hesitate to comment below. All the best.

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Devin Ford

Awesome read! Very happy the interview went well for you, and the take always resonate with me.

I’m also a career changer, and while I have years of work experience they are not in the tech field, my only fallback is it’s something I’ve always enjoyed as a hobby.

As I feel I’m getting better coding, I feel the imposter syndrome creeping in as well. I’m happy I found your story, it’s always nice to know there are many people making a change and not just graduating and going for jobs.

Best of luck on your future endeavors, I’m sure you’re going to crush them!

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