The Only Time I Failed a Tech Interview

The Only Time I Failed a Tech Interview

The Only Time I Failed a Tech Interview. I came across my notes from a technical interview I did back in 2017 with a funded tech startup. The interview consisted of a 30-minute video call. At least, that's what I believed at the time. The most learning-intensive 3 hours of my life.

The most learning-intensive 3 hours of my life

Recently, I came across my notes from a technical interview I did back in 2017 with a funded tech startup. The interview consisted of a 30-minute video call, followed by a coding assignment that took about 2 hours, and a 30-minute feedback session the following day.

Despite doing well on the call and having a stimulating discussion with their CTO, I did a pretty mediocre job of the coding task. It was a full-stack to-do list project that required building a bunch of interactive features in a short timespan and I found it challenging to complete in time. Still, I was fairly optimistic about getting the job because I knew other candidates were in the same boat.

When I received my feedback tomorrow, I was told that they chose someone else for the position and they were kind enough to provide a detailed list of reasons.

Here is what went wrong and what I learned from the experience. The test project was in Laravel and Vue.js, but the concepts apply to all tech stacks. All italics below are from the client’s feedback.

The good

Having completed about a dozen of projects in Laravel, I was right at home with setting up the environment and project infrastructure. I built my model relationships, controllers, requests, and policies very efficiently.

Given the limited amount of time, I thought I did reasonably well on the testing front as well. The feedback reflected as much.

Good overall performance in Laravel

Wrote a good number of HTTP/feature tests

An attempt was made at all requirements

Good use of route-model binding, request validation, middleware

Notice something about those four items? They all refer to the back-end. The “_attempt was made_” made me a little wary of what was to come.

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