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Majid Hajian
Majid Hajian

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The Art of Failing Job Interviews and Winning a Job! [Personal story]

Dear Friends,

A while ago, I shared my personal experiences on Twitter of when I was applying for jobs around 2015-16. Many folks liked it so I decided to write more in this newsletter.

Here is the original tweet:

6 years ago, I decided to live in Europe! for doing that, I had to apply for jobs.

I have had over 50 interviews within 1.5 years, which I was rejected by all of them! It was like every week one rejection letter!

I am now in Oslo because of my 51st job interview.

read more👇

— Majid Hajian 💙 (@mhadaily ) August 18, 2021

The story began when I decided to migrate to Europe back in 2015-2016. After living for 4 years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I thought it’s time for a big change. I had so many friends, most of whom had been offered jobs in Australia, Canada, the USA, and Europe. Meanwhile, I was doing the immigration process for both Australia and New Zealand.

To be honest, I really wanted to go to Canada, but some things happened, and that dream never came true.

In late 2015, I started looking for jobs in Europe. I mainly targeted Germany and the Netherlands; however, I had an eye on different western European countries too, such as France, Denmark, Sweden, etc.

I started by creating a Google sheet to track where I applied for each position, with the details about the job, including how I performed in the interview and a lot more.

I have created a simple template, and if you would like it downloaded from this link.

I search many different sources of jobs, but my main sources were Linkedin, Glassdoor, Stackoverflow.

I always needed visa sponsorship because I had to get a work permit to relocate to the company’s country, which was so challenging for two main reasons:

  • I held an Iranian passport, and well, it was more difficult for companies to sponsor me.
  • Not many companies generally sponsor relocation and work permits as it’s hard to apply for the immigration process. It is sometimes very time-consuming and risky; what if the applicant gets rejected, etc.

But anyway, I didn’t give up. As soon as I could find a job, I immediately applied and added it to my sheet for tracking.

All in all, for about 1.5 years, I tried and applied to over 100 Jobs.


Among all the jobs I applied for, I only received responses for about half, inviting me for interviews. Now you can imagine, I had about one interview each week. In reality, it was much like that; I had several interviews in a week and sometimes nothing for a month.

However, from the very beginning, I told myself that I would go to all of the interviews, and right after each, I would think then write about my strengths and weaknesses (as you see on my sheet)


Because I was ready to get rejected, I know that probably to get a job, I have to become way better. I was confident that I am good, but the rejection was part of becoming better. I was not afraid of it. In fact, I knew that part of being successful has so many failures.

So What did you do with rejections then?

Well, easy! I started to fill my gaps in terms of personal, technical, and behavioral aspects.

Let me give one example.

In one of my interviews, I was called to a remote whiteboard for pair programming in the first session. The interviewer started writing code and asked me to complete lines by lines. Guess what? I didn’t have any confidence in doing it. I was stressed to death.

Imagine in such a stressful situation how you would perform? Probably not well, and I didn’t either. I completely forgot everything! My heartbeat was high enough that I could hear it clearly.

I was so embarrassed and disappointed. After the meeting, I was down for a few hours, but you know, I couldn’t let that go. I had to improve this skill.

I wrote everything in my weakness and started to sharpen it. I researched and found videos and blogs and started to write codes without any help from my head, so on and so forth.

I practiced.

Since I had an awful experience, in my next interviews, I asked whether they had pair programming (whiteboard style) or not? I actually decided not to attend those interviews because I already knew I was not good at it and would fail.

But you know, it also was great practice for me, I could see if I have improved or not. So, in any subsequent interviews, I went along much more prepared than previously for at least this skill. At a minimum, I was not as nervous and stressed out as I had been initially.

Another example

Lack of technical knowledge was another reason I got rejected in many of the interviews. But, after every single interview, I started to research questions I didn’t answer well or something that they asked, and I didn’t know about it.

ES6 was so hyped in the JavaScript world in those years, but I was not really familiar with it. Still, interviews helped me understand the most important things in JavaScript ES6. I started learning them one by one until I remember in one of the interviews, I answered all questions and pair programmed with no issue.

Learn from mistakes but give yourself room

This is what I did, even though I got rejected in almost 50 interviews over 1.5 years. I didn’t stop applying and learning to fill my mistakes and hone my skills, and in fact, eventually, I got a job!

Each failure, especially in a technical interview, is a great opportunity to level up your skills. Just embrace it. Learn from your mistakes and be ready for the next one.

Do not underestimate or overestimate yourself.

The last thing I wanted to tell you was that I got a job from a company and from a country that I didn’t even consider.
For example, the majority of my interviews and jobs were for Germany. I was confident that I could get a job there, which I think I overestimated. In reality, I got a job in Norway! A place where I never thought there might be an opportunity for me.

Find all possibilities and study them well. I am sure you’ll find a way.

Last words

These are my closing words which I have learned in my life, the hard way, and I repeat them every day:

1- Be consistent
2- Be persistent
3- Never disappoint
4- Think about your ultimate goals
5- Never give up
6- Success is earned
7- Dream big
8- Focus
9- Do what you love
10- Stay humble


— Majid Hajian 💙 (@mhadaily ) August 18, 2021

I kept my story short, but if you’d like to know more, please tell me, and I will write it in more detail later.

This is my first newsletter issue where you can find it here, I will be happy to see you subscribed to my newsletter. You can always unsubscribe at any time.

Meanwhile, enjoy this beautiful lake that I shot.
Norway, Sognsvann

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