I have my first phone interview on Thursday!

I have my first phone interview on Thursday!
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#1

Hey everyone,

After a good 12 months of learning to code, I made my first job application. I must have beginners luck, as I have a phone interview with the company on Thursday.

I wanted to know if anyone else has had a phone interview for a junior position. What was the experience like? How technical will the questions get? Were they nice to you?

The interview is supposed to be about 15 minutes, and if I get through, I will have an in-person interview next week. 15 minutes doesn’t sound too gruelling but I’m still pretty nervous as it looks like the company has some really smart people in their team.

Any feedback muchos appreciated :slight_smile:


#2

Let us know how it went!

If the phone interview is just 15 mins, they will probably just want to find out if it’s worth getting you in for that face-to-face interview, so they will be very high-level, maybe recount your CV and just get an overall feel for you.

The F2F one will then be a bit more in depth, looking into your actual experience, perhaps with a test as well.


#3

Voila! I managed to pass the phone interview last week, and now have a 2 hour face-to-face interview tomorrow. First hour is questions, second hour is a pair programming exercise.

The phone interview itself was more technical than i’d imagined. If I can remember correctly the questions, in no particular order, were something like this:

  • Is there anything wrong with having inline styles in your html?
  • What are some cases against using JavaScript in your websites?
  • How would you get the highest value in an array?
  • Do you use version control?
  • What is version control?
  • What is DNS?
  • What is your favourite thing about JavaScript?
  • Why do you want to work for us?

There were others which I can’t remember. The interview was 15 minutes but went by in a flash as I was super nervous. It was a really good experience to get one done though!


#4

Thanks for sharing, and good luck!


#5

well done mate!

here you go http://www.travandlos.com/12 :slight_smile:


#6

Congrats and good luck tomorrow!


#7

Congrats! Good luck tomorrow.


#8

Thanks everyone! I’m on the train up there now. Didnt get a whole lot of sleep last night. I shall give a comprehensive report when I get back. :slight_smile:


#9

Congrats and good luck!


#10

So the organisation I applied to have whittled down the group of prospective candidates to three, and I’m happy to say that I am one of them! I now have one last interview on Monday, where the manager of the project will decide who to take on.

The 2 hour interview was certainly exhausting. The first hour covered my experience with programming, and the interviewer then delved deeper into my knowledge of the project. The second hour we did some pair programming which consisted of two parts. The first part was a algorithm challenge where you had to write a function that returned a boolean if the date string passed in was a leap year. Not too bad. In the second part we practised what I’d likely end up doing on the job, which involved regular expressions and inspecting the DOM, and I think that went fairly well too.

I’m now really hopeful, as I stand a good chance of getting the job. I almost didn’t apply to this position as I wasn’t sure I was really ready, I was also a bit terrified of the whole interview process and I definitely felt insecure about not having a CS degree. But they seemed impressed with what I had managed to teach myself over the last 12 months so my advice to everyone here is just this to apply, see what happens and let them decide whether you are ready or not. :slight_smile:


#11

That’s great news. Congratulations on making it to the next round!

You said it’s been about a year since you started learning to code but would you mind sharing a bit more?

  1. Did you have any previous coding-related experience at all before joining FCC? If so, what kind? Hobby or professional? How much did you know going in?
  2. How far along the FCC syllabus did you get before applying?
  3. Did you learn anything else outside of FCC’s curriculum? If so, what?
  4. How many jobs did you apply for?
  5. Generally speaking, what were the listed requirements for the positions you applied for?
  6. How many of those requirements did you think you fulfilled?
  7. Out of all your applications, how many replies did you get?

I hope I didn’t ask too many questions!


#12

Wow, great job so far! I hope you get the job!! Please keep us updated.


#13

Hi @GitCoderr

Here are your answers :smile:

  1. I started coding in January of last year, mainly with sites like TeamTreehouse, CodeSchool and that kind of thing. I enjoyed html/css and got funky with frameworks, using sass etc, but I was pretty pants at JavaScript. I could do basic jQuery stuff, but I had no idea what I was doing. Joining Free Code Camp was when I got more serious about JavaScript and by committing to complete all the algorithms I got much, much better. It was great, as it forced me to learn most of the built-in JavaScript methods. I found this was a big confidence boost as it made most data manipulation tasks fairly trivial.

  2. I finished the front-end track.

  3. Angular, Firebase, bits of Laravel, Rails and mySql. My website is built on Jekyll so I knew that. I also knew a bit of Node & Express from a CodeSchool course. But my main skill is definitely JavaScript, and that’s what FCC helped me most with.

  4. This was the first job I applied to. There were tons of vacancies available through recruitment websites, but I decided to wait until I saw a vacancy that genuinely interested me. I was browsing Stack Overflow one day and I saw it. If you are lucky enough to live near a big city with lots of jobs, I think this is a solid idea as it means when you do end up applying you will make the time to craft a really good application that you care about. I spent hours on the cover letter to make sure it was perfect, and I edited my website a little bit to suit the job also.

  5. ruby, python, html, css, js, jekyll, testing/database/git experience

  6. I’ve never used python, and I’ve only done a little bit of Ruby. But I don’t think it mattered as I demonstrated I could write JavaScript well and possibly that made them think that I could make the jump to other languages without too much difficulty.

  7. 1 job, 1 reply :slight_smile:


#14

Well done my friend this is great news! I look forward to hearing about how you go!
Never forget though, developers are in demand, there is never a need to feel insecure about anything. You have already gone above and beyond what many people are willing to do to be happy. There is only success ahead, with or without this particular job :slight_smile:


#15

Awesome and very informative answers. Thanks for the willingness and taking the time to share with everyone!
Break a leg in your next meet man!


#16

I went to the meeting and I don’t think it went that well. The interviewer asked more about my background and then we started talking about some of the project I’d made. This part went badly. I wasn’t logged on to the WiFi and my projects relied on external libraries so initially these didn’t work. I debugged this quickly through dev tools, logged on to the WiFi and things worked, but this threw me in the interview. Furthermore, one of the projects I showed him I hadn’t looked at the code for over six months, and the other one I had made at least two months ago. I was asked to explain my code and words failed me a little bit.

He then asked me questions about how I would improve these projects and again, because I hadn’t really thought about this before (these weren’t projects I had planned to continue developing), I was struggling to find answers. On reflection, I showed him projects which were most relevant to the position when I should have just showed him the projects I had spent most time thinking about.

He then asked me a whether there was anything I hadn’t said in the last interview which I’d like to say now. I struggled on this one too. But I did find it a bit of an odd question and I didn’t really know where to get started. The interviewer gave me no hints here, which was a shame, as objectively I had no idea how the last interview went. However if I had thought about this before the meeting I would have been fine. So it’s totally my fault. Towards the end when we started talking about the actual project I would be working on things got a little better but it wasn’t a great meeting!

Anyhow, I found out on Monday that I didn’t get the job. I did however get some really useful feedback which confirmed some of my feelings about the meeting. They said:

The main thing to be aware of is that as well as looking at technical skills and competence now, firms will be looking for potential. It came across less clearly from you than from the other candidates what you might learn next, how you could make the things you’ve built already better, etc. People sometimes worry that self-criticism can seem like a weakness, but actually an enthusiasm to improve is always an asset and helps show employers what level you’re likely to be at in 6 months, which is something they’ll almost certainly be taking into consideration when choosing a new hire at junior level.

So I’m taking the following strategy for other interviews:

  • Improve some of my older projects (put myself through that critical process)
  • Blog about this process as I do it
  • Show employers my best work rather than most relavant.
  • Make it clearer (through GitHub activity, blogposts etc) what I’m learning and where I’ll be in six months
  • Put all of my FCC projects on GitHub, as well as the algorithm solutions
  • Show employers I can do TDD (this was a weakness in my technical interview)
  • Reflect more on interviews if the interview is a multi-stage process!

It was a great experience nonetheless to go through a fairly rigorous interview process. I feel more ready for other interviews in the future. The main thing that struck me is they don’t care that much about the breadth of your skills (despite job ads) and it’s more important that you can think about one problem deeply, than many problems superficially. And I think you can manifest this kind of thinking if you just narrow your focus a bit. Instead of learning many languages, focus on learning one really well. Instead of trying to learn every JS framework, stick to one and get really good at it. Forget about the job ads. They are definitely a wishlist. Nothing is mandatory.

Really inspiring to see other success stories on here. Good luck everyone :smiley:


#17

It sucks that you didn’t get the job, but I’m glad you are taking it as a learning experience. I’m sure we all could also learn from this as well. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. :smile_cat:


#18

Thanks for sharing your experience! Keep a positive attitude and good luck moving forward.


#19

Thanks @jinrawx and @bonham000 :slight_smile:


#20

Sorry to hear that you didn’t get the job but take this as a great learning experience and this will set you up just right for the next perfect job you will land. Kudos to you for trying and remaining positive!