DEV Community

Cover image for PARdon me for my awkward interview
Jenn Junod
Jenn Junod

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at


PARdon me for my awkward interview

Too many of us are in the situation of interviewing for tech roles. Be it, the C-Suite, a developer, a product manager, customer experience, marketing, or sales, we’re in this together. In the last year, I have applied to 300-something jobs, interviewed with maybe 40, and fortunately found a few contract gigs to keep me afloat while I continue to look. All that to say to the company I interviewed with this week, PARdon me for my awkward interview.

Yes, you are not misreading, nor mistaken on my grammar fopaux. PARdon. The interview was with an engineer with a blockchain company and all I could think was, remember PAR. Jenn, you must remember PAR. JENNNNNN REMEMBER PAR, you gotta get a job! All of that turned into:

Problem: I can’t remember my job history.

Action: I will flounder around a project that my mentor helped me create to understand what this company does.

Result: forgetting words, confusing myself and the interviewer, and deep frustration with why can I understand something when it's explained to me but the minute I have to explain it, words don't work.

You see, PAR was some of the feedback I received before the holiday season when I had an opportunity to meet with a group of CTOs and ask them for feedback on how I show the how I did things not just what I did. Splendid feedback that I’ve been noodling on how to share with you. Yet with all of the advice I was given, I forgot how to be myself while working on remembering it all. 🤦🏻‍♀️ If I could go back in time, these are the parts of the feedback I wish I remembered and practiced to prepare for interviews.

  1. While looking for work, create a Target market list:
    • Roles
    • Companies
    • Technology
  2. Don’t be scared to ask a company/person what are their current pain points and the problems they’re trying to solve.
    • Technology?
    • Features?
    • Awareness?
  3. Understand the 3 Levels of Networking
    • What job title seems relevant?
    • What company do you envision?
    • Who do you know?
  4. 90 Second Networking Summary (Elevator pitch)
    • PAR + Example + Ask
  5. PAR- Problem Action Result
    • Problem:
      • Career Objective- create content and establish technical skills to transition into a Developer Relations role
    • Action:
      • Creatively took risk of starting something new publicly to make tech more accessible for others by starting the live stream Teach Jenn Tech.
    • Result:
      • The ability to share access to thought leaders in the industry created a space for others to ask questions and learn with the show and personally gain more technical knowledge.
  6. Keep learning, Reading Suggestions:
  7. Remember:
    • Never leave the jury wondering
    • Breathe
    • Comment and interact with companies on social to showcase how I can contribute
    • Stay present, use social, your network, and if there’s a hiring thread, post on it once a month.
    • What is the problem statement and/or what does it solve for the customer
    • Business outcome vs Experience outcome
    • To frame what you want to do, showcase things you like to do and how will that impact the world.
    • Bring Humanity back into business

If you walk away with anything from this, remember you’re not alone in this mess of a job search. You are worthy the way you are. By practicing the tips outlined in this article, such as creating a target market list, understanding the pain points of a company, and effectively communicating your skills and experience, you can increase your chances of success. Stay present, stay connected with your network, and always strive to learn and grow as a professional. You got this, you beautiful human you.

Thank you to Rick Manelius, Ed Frank, Dayal Gaitonde, Dawa Sherpa, and Randall Noval for the conversations and advice!

Top comments (0)

What are you learning?

Each week we have a Welcome Thread where we'd love to hear about it.