notes to self for next job hunt (some of which may be generally useful):
- don’t apply to general tech companies anymore for many reasons.
- heard back from very very few but that may be b/c I don’t know many people at general tech companies
- never been able to get through interviews; they’re presumably looking for computer science grads (not me)
- most of their missions are probably not stuff I’d be happy about at the end of the day. despite missions of doing xyz, it’s probably really about $$
- don’t apply to pharma companies any more. there’s lots of good software jobs in that sector, but i’ve struck out 3 times, and so that’s a clear pattern my background/whatever isn’t something they want
- next time only apply where I have a connection that can refer me or dig around for a referral. it’s super easy to apply for jobs, especially if you don’t write a cover letter; however, the less time I spend surely the less likely I am to hear back
- make sure (and I’ll probably fail to do it again this time, ugh) to write down what questions I was asked, how I answered, and how to improve on that answer. then study and reference those questions and answers for the next interview
- its good to have multiple offers at the same time, but then deciding is harder - & I don’t love to negotiating - so maybe don’t worry about multiple offers at the same time next time around
- I have relatively low expectations in any interview b/c I don’t do technical interviews well - I also try to seek out orgs that do not have crazy technical interview processes - eg., Roche had a whiteboard technical interview that I totally bombed, but was unsurprising in hindsight since the interviewer was an ex-Googler. I’m more of a thinker than a quick responder, making it hard to do well in very fast paced (for me) tech interviews. Though I know i have been a good software engineer where I’ve worked, so these fast paced tech interviews are probably selecting for a certain kind of brain function I guess?
- seek out orgs with interview processes that have take home assignments - or at least timed coding tests on something like hackerrank - instead of live whiteboard/zoom tech inteviews
- cover letters? I still don’t know whether these are worth doing or not. the advice seems to be mixed. they sure take a lot of time, so I hope they’re not necessary for most hiring managers; given my bullet above about spending more time on fewer applications, I could find time for a cover letter on every application if ther’s not that many
some data about this last job search:
- 48: orgs that took time to say No
- 51: orgs that didn’t respond
- 10: orgs that interviewed me (including recruiter only)
- 1: thanks hutch!