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Defeating The Interview Lull

Published 6/1/2016

In today's episode, we talk about defeating the interview lull.

Today's episode is sponsored by Linode! Get a 20 dollar credit today by going to linode.com/developertea20 and get your first server up in minutes!

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey, everyone and welcome to Developer Tea. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and in today's episode, we're talking about roadblocks during the interview process. Today's episode is sponsored by Linode. With Linode, you can instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. You can get a server running in just seconds with your choice of Linux distribution resources and the node location. We will talk about what Linode has to offer to Developer Tealisteners specifically later on in today's episode. Inspiration for today's episode came from a question on Reddit. Someone was asking about their interview process. They had gone to an interview and the employer had gone silent for two weeks and they were asking what they should do about it, whether or not they should follow up with that employer. A lot of the comments basically said, yeah, you probably didn't get the job. Basically, people were telling this person that they could follow up but it may not even be worth it. I think that's terrible advice. Today's episode, I'm going to talk about four interviewing insights to think about as you're moving through your interview process. It's happened to most of us at some point. We get an interview with a company or maybe a client and we go through those initial phases and everything seems like it's going well, everything is a go. We go through the first phone interview, maybe an in-person interview and then we're waiting for a call back. Unfortunately for so many of us, that call back just doesn't ever come. It's easy to start racking your brain, trying to figure out where you went wrong and it's also easy to over-analyze every single little thing that you said and try to figure out the one or two variables that caused you to not be picked, to not be called back. In today's episode, I want to shift your thinking a little bit and help you get out of that spot of being stuck in the endless waiting cycle during your interview process and instead get you moving back on track to getting hired or winning that next client. As I said before, I'm going to give you four interviewing insights to think about as you're moving through your interview process. This isn't just for people who are stuck by the way but almost everyone experiences a period where they are uncertain about an interview and that is who this episode is for. So let's dive right in and talk about these four interviewing insights. The first one is being passive makes you easily forgotten or if you want the action version of that. Don't be passive in your interviewing process. Your job in an interview isn't simply to speak when you're spoken to and only to answer the questions that are asked of you. Instead, you should be involved with your interviewer. We've talked about questions you should be asking on other episodes in the past. Of course, we'll include those in the show notes. And don't forget that your interviewer isn't just there to get answers out of you. They are learning about how you act around other people. They're learning about how you think about your posture. They're learning about your motivation. So if you seem passive in an interview, the interviewer will believe that you're going to be passive in the workplace. That's how that works. If you think about the way that you are acting as this is how they will see me potentially acting in the workplace, that may change the way you act a little bit. Passivity doesn't often stand out as memorable either and also doesn't really put positive pressure on your interviewer to follow up. Because once again, being passive makes you easily forgotten. So instead of being passive, instead of just sitting there and answering questions as your interviewer sends them your way, be active and appropriately energetic. Act like you want to be there. That's what an interviewer wants to see. They want to see someone who is excited and happy to be in the interview. And they want to see someone who is hopeful that they are the person for the job. You have to go into these interviews knowing that you are the person for the job. And excited that you have the opportunity to show your interviewer that you are the person for the job. That is very different than walking in being uncertain about whether or not you're the person for the job. Being afraid of what your interviewer might be asking you, being timid about answering their questions or about talking over them, for example, that's going to make you look weak. It's going to make you look passive. It's going to make you look easily forgotten. So be active in your interviews. This takes a little bit of practice and it may not necessarily come naturally for you. But it's going to make a huge difference in your interview if you can learn to be a bit more active. Number two, always ask for a clear commitment on next steps and follow-up. Always ask for a clear commitment on next steps and follow-up. This is actually a really good practice just between you and your clients as well or between you and really anyone you're in a relationship with. This may be the single most important step in the interviewing process as well, no matter what happens at the end of an interview or a phone call, nail down next steps. Now that doesn't mean that you have to nail down the meeting time and location of your next meeting. That's not the point here. The point is I'm going to email you, for example. I'm going to email you in the next 24 hours in order to set up our next meeting. Or maybe you do have all of the information you need and they have all of the information they need to go ahead and set up your next meeting. Be very clear though that you don't walk away without some kind of commitment from both sides of the interview, both the interviewer and you as the interviewer. And this is very simple. This is very practical, a practical reason why this matters. And that is this gets you on that person's to-do list. This puts you as a line item in their calendar. This gets you in front of their eyes when they make that commitment. That means they're writing it down or they're sending an email. They're doing something to move the ball forward. If you don't make a commitment, they can get off the phone and go the next week without even thinking about that interview. Even though you are thinking about it every single minute of the day, they can easily move along with their day without having made a commitment. And then your interview gets stuck in this kind of never-ending cycle of waiting and waiting and waiting for somebody to get back to you. So it's a very simple shift in thinking. Always asked for clear commitments on next steps and follow-up. Today's episode is sponsored by Linode. Linode has eight data centers. Their plans start at $10 per month and you can get a server running in under a minute. Now they have hourly billing with a monthly cap on all their all their plans and add-on services. That includes backups, node balancers, and long view. You can spin up a virtual machine for full control. You can run Docker containers. You can have encrypted disks, VPNs, etc. You can even run a private Git server. And all of this is built on native SSD storage. Linode runs on a 40 gigabit network and they're all of their servers have Intel E5 processors. And here's the best part. They have a seven-day money back guarantee. If you don't like it in seven days, you can get your money back. Now I want to focus on a part of what Linode offers really quickly. That is the hourly billing. This is so cool. You can spin up a huge mega computer for just a few hours one day if you wanted to. And you're not going to pay very much at all for all of those servers to be running and computing whatever it is that you've decided to compute. So let's say that you had one day where a site that you built is going to get a ton of traffic. Well, you aren't going to have to scale up your servers for a whole month. You can just scale them up for that one day. And you're not going to have to pay for anything that you don't use. This is incredibly important to especially developers who need to scale quickly. Linode basically has your back here. They're going to be able to scale and you're only going to pay for what you use. Now if I haven't convinced you already, then Linode is going to give you $20 of credit for free just for using the code Developer Tea 20. You can go to Linode.com slash Developer Teato get started and that code will automatically apply. And once again, Linode.com slash Developer Teathat'll get you $20 in credit, you can use the code Developer Tea 20. All of this will be in the show notes at spec.fm. Thanks so much to Linode for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. So we're talking about four interviewing insights. The first one is being passive makes you easily forgotten so be active during your interviews. Number two, always ask for a clear commitment on next steps and follow up at the end of your interview. Number three, your interview isn't the only thing on the interviewer's mind. Your interview isn't the only thing on the interviewer's mind. This is a common mistake that people make in relationships of all kinds. And that is basically thinking that they are the center of the world. Now I'm not calling you out for thinking that because most people do this. People who are interviewing and don't currently have a job, the interview is probably on your mind every single minute after you interview. It's easy to expect that our interviewer is thinking about our interview just as much as we are. But the truth is that company is in business. And they are likely thinking about a variety of other things beyond your interview. Not to mention the fact that all of them are human. They have their own lives that they're thinking about. They may have children or they may have a spouse at home or they may have hobbies that they're heading out to do right after that interview. And that's what's on their mind in that moment when you are stressing out about whatever thing you said in the interview that you felt like you could have said better. The problem is if we believe the company we are interviewing with is only concerned about our interview or the position we are applying for. If we think that's taking all of their energy and all of their brain power, we are likely to believe that they have forgotten us or have decided not to talk to us or continue with the process with us. And many times that simply isn't the case. The amount of energy you spend on your interview in one day, your potential employer may not be spending that amount of energy, that amount of time thinking about it for an entire week. And time will go by much quicker for your employer than it will for you. Don't be discouraged if this happens. And this is going to lead us to our final point, but I want to stick on this one for a second. Your interview not being the only thing on the interviewer's mind, remember that when you go in and you are confident that you're the right person for the job, you don't just think that in the beginning, you think that throughout the entire process. That means even after a week or two weeks has gone by and your interviewer has not called you back yet, you still believe that you are the right person for the job. Even if they call you back and tell you that you're not, you still have to believe that you are the right person for the job. Now, I'm not saying to be unrealistic and I'm not saying that you are entitled to a job. This is a totally different thing. If you believe that you are going to be good at that job, if you believe that you are adequately skilled, and if all of your proof, all of your metrics that you have, all of the work that you've done in the past, backs you up on that statement, then your job during the interview process is to show that to your potential employer. They are not going to find out that you are good for the job. You're going to tell them that you are good for the job. That's the point of the interview. For you to show them, not forcibly or inappropriately, but instead to prove to them that you believe that you're good for the job and that you can prove it. So when your employer doesn't get back to you for a week or two weeks, it's important to remember that you're not the only thing on their mind. They have other stuff going on. Recognize and respect that about your employer. And that leads us to the final point. Number four, never be afraid to follow up. Your follow up email or your follow up phone call may take you five minutes. May take you five minutes of your time to follow up with your interviewer, but that could make the difference. It could be the difference between you getting the job and not getting the job. And as simple as it sounds, paying attention to detail and staying consistent with your pursuit of a job is hugely important to most employers. If you fall off the map after your initial interview, if you stop talking, if you basically go dark on your interviewer, then the employer may be interpreting that as a lack of interest. However, if you follow up and ask for a second meeting, your employer will recognize that you are still interested and actively pursuing the position. As simple as this sounds, this very often is the difference between who gets the job and who doesn't. Of course, as with everything, be certain you aren't badgering your employer. Send a follow up and give them ample time to respond. Don't send them three emails in a row. Instead, give them about 48 hours. That's a typical window of time. That should be plenty of time before sending another email and saying, hey, I just wanted to follow up with you and see what next steps are. Again, going back to our previous point for always asking for clear commitment on next steps and follow up. Always, always give your potential employer the benefit of the doubt until they explicitly turn you away. Never read into delayed meetings or silence in your email inbox. Stay persistent and stay consistent. Certainly, those signs may mean that you didn't make the cut for that particular position. They may mean that the employer has decided to go a different direction, but they may also be totally unrelated to you or they may be related to you, but when you show your persistence, when you show your consistency, that potential employer may change their mind. So let's go back through these four interviewing insights. Number one, being passive makes you easily forgotten so be active during your interview. Number two, always ask for a clear commitment on next steps and follow up before you end the conversation. Number three, your interview isn't the only thing on the interviewer's mind. And number four, never be afraid to follow up. Overall, when you feel like you've hit a low in your interviewing process, don't wait for someone else to fix it. This is your job, your livelihood, your career, and your responsibility. Be active. Take steps towards moving the ball forward and show initiative to your potential employers. The worst that can happen is you don't get the job. That's the worst thing that can happen, but it's far better to put forth effort and know that you didn't make the cut than to not get a job simply because you didn't send the follow up or you didn't ask for a clear commitment at the end of a phone call. Put forth the energy, be active in the interviewing process. Ask for commitments. Remember that your interviewer has other things going on than just you. So this is your responsibility, your thing to carry forward. Thank you so much for listening to Developer Tea today. I hope today's episode has been inspiring for those of you who are currently in that role state in your interviewing process. Thank you so much to Lynne Ode, the sponsor for today's episode for making Developer Tea today possible. With Lynne Ode, you can instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Lynne Ode cloud. You can get a server running in just seconds with your choice of Linux distribution, resources, and node location. And remember, you only pay for what you use. Lynne Ode is offering you $20 a credit for free by using the code Developer Tea 20 at checkout. Go and check them out, lyno.com slash Developer Tea. Thank you so much for listening. If you're enjoying Developer Tea, go right now and subscribe so you don't miss out on future episodes. And leave a review in iTunes. There's a link in the show notes that will take you directly to the place where you can do that. And that is a huge way to help other developers just like you find Developer Tea. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, enjoy your tea. MUSIC