aka the story how I completely froze on a technical interview
Last spring I applied first time to a US job, to a startup located in New York and a Skype interview back then was an amazing experience as it was very different from my previous interviews in Finland and also because I was so excited about the opportunity. I believe I did quite okay back then in the interview: after a slight freeze in the technical questions I was able to produce a solution which was not completely terrible.
Today, I had my second technical interview, this time programming exercises for a startup located in Palo Alto. I applied through a program called Startup Life which is a program for skilled people in Finland who want an opportunity in getting a job in startup scene in US. This time, I didn’t really win the grand prize in the technical stuff.
I had two simple programming exercises to perform, one with string manipulation and another one regarding binary numbers. Thinking now, they were real basic things and both of them were even exercises that I’ve had my students to do in their first programming course in university. However, I completely froze during it. It is the pressuring feeling when you know someone is watching what you code when I lost my focus and I had real hard time trying to get at least some results.
I was able to pull myself together so that I got some answers written but I should’ve been able to make a good solution without this much stumbling.
But you know what they say, failure is the route to success and this experience is definitely one thing from which I know what to take with me. I really need to practice coding with someone watching over my shoulder. I always believed that my 18 months of teaching experience would’ve taken that pressure away but seems like it hasn’t yet.