First post of post-bootcamp life...let's go!
Good news: I have applied for a lot of jobs in the DC area. I have also received a few callbacks and first-round interviews. How did they go? Here are the ones that I remember in order. Of course:
- My first bite came two days after demo day. I received an email from the recruiter had received a code challenge to complete before the interview. I panicked throughout and didn't complete the challenge, but I sent back what I could complete in 3 days. The phone interview with the recruiter felt terse and I was forced to give a salary range. I didn't feel good coming after the interview. I received an e-mail about two hours later that we would not proceed. It knocked my confidence back a bit, but it was a good learning experience.
- Received a phone call from Contracting Firm #1 and they were supposed to send me information via e-mail about a position I was being considered for. Never heard from them after that initial phone call.
- I had a phone interview with the recruiter at Contracting Firm #2. This one felt different because the recruiter was very friendly and really wanted to share the good about the company. First phone screen went really well. Then, I had a phone call with the recruiter and two members of the technical team. They seemed to like me, so I received a code challenge. Completed that in about...3 days. They liked my code challenge, so I got to meet with the owner of the company and a member of the technical team. We discussed my code without a computer. That was weird. They liked me and I have one more step to complete. Fingers crossed that it goes well.
- During a meetup, I met someone who was looking for two front-end developers. I gave them a link to my github and then invited me into the office for an in-person interview. I walked through the code of my final project. We had a discussion about where the company will go next. We ended the interview agreeing that I would send an e-mail with my salary requirements. I heard back a week later saying that although I was qualified, I wouldn't get the salary I wanted and should instead try for a larger agency that would give me the training that I needed. I wished them the best and kept it moving. It happens.
- I had a call with two people at two different start ups. They let me know that it was not a full-time gig. Hooray for potential contract/freelance work in the future!
- A meetup organizer got me in touch with a recruiter. The recruiter passed my resume to the project team. Although they liked me, they had a requirement that they had to meet--two years professional experience. At least they were up front about it and the interview ended shortly thereafter.
- I had a call with a digital agency's recruiter. She asked A LOT of behavioral interview questions. I tried to source every answer with a project I did. I should hear back from that team soon. (I hope!)
So as you can see, no offer as of yet. So of course, I am still chasing leads, figuring out two code challenges, and applying to anything that looks interesting. But I have learned a lot from these interviews. First, you learn that the job interviewing process is a numbers game. I think it helped that I got up and got out there in the DC tech community, but did it mean that I got a job? Not really. With a month on the job hunt, I have taken the following steps to help me professionally and mentally:
- Leave the house. There were days that I was down. Very, very, very down. I felt a lot better after I went somewhere and came back to the hoping and waiting game.
- Talk to someone about what you are feeling. It can be a friend, family member, mentor, classmate. Make sure you let it out.
- Maintain a clean social media profile. I had employers look at my social media and that helped several recruiters in deciding that they wanted to talk to me.
- Keep going to your local meetups! I got a job interview after one meetup and even more recently, I was encouraged to apply to another company that I think would be really cool to work for.
- Keep your head up. Job hunting is HARD. Job hunting is frustrating. If you need to take a day off to keep yourself healthy, do it. It will pay off in the long run, but be like Dory and just keep swimming!
- If possible, don't just stop coding. You would be shocked at what you forget if you take a long time off, but I think it is important to keep thinking like a coder.
Hopefully I will have good news for my next update. I have a lighthearted post waiting in the wings that I want to tweak before publishing. It was something that kept me sane through this process. Oh well, onward!