The Top 5 Things I Learned After My First 100 Job Interviews

Hey! Most recently, I wrote a post on how to properly prepare for an interview in IT. If you haven't read it, I recommend you fix it and read the post at the link. This is important for understanding the context. So, the headline is not clickbait, I actually did 100 interviews. Some were unsuccessful, some were successful, I managed to work with someone, someone refused me, and I refused someone. In short, I have experience in interviewing. As proof of my words, I want to attach a screenshot of my Linkedin. This is how many more vacancies are indicated that I responded to, but it should be understood that not all of them are invited for an interview.

Linkedin Screenshot

Linkedin Screenshot

Now that you believe me a little more (I hope so), I will move on to the topic of this post and talk about the conclusions that I made for myself during these 100 interviews. I think that for many it will be useful. Imagine how much of your personal time you save while someone goes through these hundreds of interviews. You save at least 100 hours of your life.

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No Point in Repeating Theory

In part, I already wrote about this in my article, but still I want to say it again. Connecting to an interview on zoom, you do not need to repeat the theory the day before. Believe me, if you repeat the bootstrap syntax, this will not make it easier for you. It is perfectly normal to forget the theory, and an adequate employer understands this very well. If you have forgotten how to build a scrum methodology and cannot draw a diagram on paper, then why not just explain to the employer that remembering it by heart makes absolutely no practical sense. What will prevent you from just Google and spend 10 seconds on it during working hours. This is much more productive than spending hours cramming and analyzing each element of the circuit.

For theory, there is a test task, which, if you are at the interview stage, you most likely have already passed. You should have already demonstrated all your knowledge and skills at that stage of the interview. The interview itself is necessary to get to know you as a person, with what skills you are ready to offer the company, so that the company will benefit from it. And if you spend time memorizing information that you can google, then this is an inefficient use of your time and the time of the company.

Google Meme - Simpsons

Google Meme - Simpsons

I think this idea should be correctly conveyed to the employer, explaining position. I repeat, to convey correctly. No need to say - I don't remember it and I don't think it's necessary to remember it. So you will be rejected immediately. Prove that you see no point in wasting time on something that can be googled. This will be an extra point in your favor, because you show yourself as a rational candidate.

No Point in Being Afraid

I know a lot of people get very nervous in interviews. Many of my friends and acquaintances are shaking at the very thought that they will be asked some difficult questions. I perfectly understand that it is impossible to answer the words "do not be afraid" - "okay, I won't". I want to invite you to ask yourself a very simple question before the interview - What will change if I perform poorly at the interview? I won't get a job - it's a shame, but there are so many vacancies around, really none of them will suit me? Will employers laugh at me? - They have several interviews a day, they will forget about your existence as soon as you leave the zoom conference.

Zoom Meme - South Park

Zoom Meme - South Park

Nerves, on the contrary, prevent you from concentrating and showing what you are really capable of. Moreover, when your interlocutor is nervous, it is very noticeable by the trembling voice and excessive gestures. For the employer, your nerves are another sign - a sign that you are not stress-resistant, it is difficult to perceive the atmosphere to which you are not used to and have poor contact with other people.

Only once out of 100 interviews I was told - we understand that the interview is a lot of stress, tell us on a scale of one to ten how nervous you are so that we can take this into account when we discuss your candidacy. By the way, it was one of my first interviews and I still remember it. This company still had a garden in the center of the office and the interview was not online (this was before the pandemic).

Always Give Accurate Salary figures

At any interview, sooner or later the question of salary comes up. They ask you what salary you expect. At my first interviews, I developed a universal answer for myself, which, at that time, I considered brilliant - in fact, it's hard for me to say, this is my first time working in this field and I would like to hear your salary offers. Never say that. This is a mistake that I regret many years later.

The answer to salary questions should always include numbers. Always. Don't repeat my mistake. The most ideal option is to say the range, that is, to name three numbers. The first number is the salary you refuse to work less than, the second one is the salary that you consider adequate and acceptable, and the third one is your ideal salary. Always do just that.

Salary Expectations Meme

Salary Expectations Meme

When an employer hears such words that I mentioned above in his eyes, it makes you insecure and inexperienced, because you do not know what you are capable of and how much you value your own work. This leads to either a decrease in your value or to a refusal in a position. The answer must always be numbers. Ideally, each of the three figures that I wrote about above should be substantiated, i.e. describe why exactly so many, and not more or less. You need to be able to sell yourself. All this needs to be thought out in advance and be ready to answer without hesitation while sitting in front of the camera.

Talk About Experience, Even if there is None

Another important detail. I recommend talking about experience, even if you don't have it. In no case, do not lie, but you should always mention the experience. For example, if you get your first job after university and haven’t worked anywhere before, then why not write that you tried yourself as a freelancer and wrote landing pages for local cafes or portfolios for guys from the university. You can mention the scientific papers that you wrote or talk about your graduation work. If you spent more than one evening on this, this is already your experience.

Resume Meme

Resume Meme

Of course, you don’t need to talk about the experience of a pizza delivery man for an interview for a project manager position. This is unlikely to be interesting or useful to anyone. What matters is the experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. All this rests on your activity, which I also talk about in this article, and how important it is to be active.

At my first interviews, I only talked about hard skills, for example, when I got a job as a data analyst, I said that I knew python and SQL, but this is far from all that I have and know. I completely forgot about my knowledge of mathematical statistics, my analytical mindset and high level of communication. Do not forget about your soft skills. By the way, I also wrote a separate article about soft skills that every IT specialist should have. You can check it out here.

Prepare a Story about Yourself

Before starting the interview, I advise you to write a story about yourself. At each interview they ask - tell us about yourself, let's get to know each other and so on. The story about yourself is very important - it shows how you build your thoughts, how you talk, how you reason, how connected your thoughts are and how structured your story is, whether you deviate from the topic and if so, how much, and so on. I am sure that employers do not care where you come from and what school you studied at, it is important for them that you present yourself competently, because if you present yourself competently, then you will be able to present their product.

You should not devote more than five minutes to this, and if five minutes is a lot for you, then tell us about self-education, what courses you took, what technical and other technical literature you like to read, and what career path you are building in your head.

Also, a prepared story about yourself is important because it is one of the first questions for you as a candidate, and the first impression is very important, so do not be lazy to write this story about yourself - the further mood in the Zoom conference depends on it.


I told you about my conclusions, which I made on the basis of 100 interviews I passed. I wrote several years of experience in one post, and I hope that this experience was useful to you. Furthermore, I plan to write a few more posts about the interview, so subscribe to our site updates or to the community on Reddit, where you will also not miss the announcement. Good luck!


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