This is me sharing a 40-minute interview experience that I had on the day of writing this article for an internship at a development position.
After it completed, at first I didn’t have any views of my own about how the interview was, yeah it went well but I didn’t think if the questions asked and the discussions we had were good or not until I started writing a small tweet which soon overgrew to a thread of 5 tweets
So this is my full experience (as much as my forgetful mind can remember)
I got finally got a call 15 minutes after the timing of the schedule at which point I had lost most of my anxiety compared to when I was expecting the call. We started with a traditional “tell me something about yourself”. After some few basic points on where I study and whatnot, I started discussing the technologies I have worked on mostly Django and Node.js.
Explained my project lab works and the tech stack which was HTML, CSS, JS for frontend and Django + SQLite for backend + database. Then explained my second project Yelp Camp and the tech stack which was HTML, CSS, Js, Node.js, Express, Passport, MongoDB.
Got rammed in the DBMS section when he asked when would you use an RDBMS, non-RDBMS or Redis. Made wild guess that RDBMS is good for a lot of queries whereas non-RDBMS is good for non-structured data and flexibility. Need to work on my DBMS skills
The main issue raised was that I have no previous experience with even a single thing in the tech stack this company uses so I was asked to give some example where I picked up a technology pretty quickly and implemented something in it. I shared my experience in React which I had been using for less than a month and all the things I have learned in this month itself!
After this we dive into the world of Js, went from simple express to routers and what are they used for, what are async and callbacks, how do they work. Had a pretty long discussion about the event loop and how it works, though I wasn’t able to answer what kind of data structure it uses, I made a wild guess of the queue because I remembered this talk form JSConf in 2014 and somehow remembered only the callback queue and not the call stack :facepalm:
At last, somehow we ended up in Kubernetes land which is an unexplored territory for me but he assured me that he just wants to know how much I know and doesn’t expect a perfect example. I explained(guessed) how Dockers might work like a package.json file for a Node.js/React project which helps in setting up a project in a new machine very easy with the help of just 2-3 commands!
What I loved about this interview is that he just asked me one question about something, took some tools and technologies or jargons as we like to call then and asked me more about them until he reached the limit of my knowledge. At times when I told him that I have no experience of some specific conditions like a routeing clash in express he asked me to just answer as if I am creating this package and how would I like this to work in “my package”, this I think says a lot about a person than it should :p after all while working in a company we all have to follow some standards, better to have the same idealogy in the first place than to make a hard-fast rule of following them against the natural will.
Major Key Takeaways from this interview according to me are
- Gave an interview for a startup and it was a good experience, giving an interview after a whole year.
- It was a development role and I wasn’t even asked a single DSA problem but instead, we discussed some technologies I was good at and how I think or make guesses :P
- my projects on Django and Node.js
- how fast can I take on new technologies since I had no experience with what they were using
- I was evaluated on my JS skills and some good DBMS questions like “When to use RDBMS and non-RDBMS”
- The interviewer was the pretty experience with JS so he went as far as to ask what is an event loop and what kind of data structure it uses?
- He did not know Django and asked me to explain Django to him like he is a noobie, which I think is a good exercise!
- One thing I learned from the interviewer’s point of view was that he didn’t come prepared with a specific set of questions. He just went with the flow and asked whatever he thought would help him understand me a little better.
Hope this helps others especially the interviewers… I couldn’t have asked for a better grading of my knowledge ranging from
- what I know,
- how strong are my concepts
- how fast am I in learning because you have to keep on learning to survive