A few interview tips from the other side of the table:

1. Bring a laptop

I mean come up man! Bring a laptop. Especially if there was some kind of project or challenge to present. I have seen so many people do a big UI design presentation and then come in like “can I use your laptop???”. Of course you can, but your looking very unprepared.

2. Ask for clarification

Communication problems happen in business every day. Different cultures and accents can cause issues. The important part isn’t wether you understand everything said but that you ask enough questions to make sure you eventually understand. Most people just wrongly assume things and start rambling.

3. Know what kind of company you and talking to

In my case, this is a startup. We aren’t IBM or Amazon or Google. We work hard and we play hard. Work life balance is important in life but if your very first question is “work/life balance???” then you played yourself. Wait a bit, pepper it in on the sly. Just don’t ask it right away, it shows us that you aren’t ready to work harder than usual if needed. Maybe try “so how do you like working here? How are the people, hours etc?” Or something besides the first question being a bad signal.

Just some random tips for an interviewer.

From me to you, don’t make me have to tell you like DJ Khalid would ...

Congratulations, you played yourself.

  • 8
    I would not say unprepared, but ... idk tbh.
    It is like playing poker. Some companies want you to do Präsentationen, solve logical games on a white board or just by talking.
    If you have extra wishes for a non-standard type of presentation, you should not be mad like that to the interviewed person for asking you to give a medium to do his work.

    You want him to present himself?
    Present yourself as a company by helping him.
    That easy.
  • 5
    Like idk why you guys take "take your laptop with yourself" for granted.
  • 3
    I agree with the other points tho.
    Excellent post.
  • 3
    @-ANGRY-CLIENT- No one is mad at the interviewer, but it looks bad.

    Tech is what we do for a living. To me it’s like a carpenter coming to a job site without tools. He may not bring them all to the interview but they have the tools in the truck if they step on a job site.
  • 3
    Thanks for your tips!:)
  • 1
    @-ANGRY-CLIENT- Also, thanks for the props man. I just want to see all you ranters kill all your interviews and take over the world... I mean get good jobs hahaha
  • 4
    Our company asks to bring in some code of them if possible. One person brought all code printed and sleeved in a map.

    Still makes me chuckle.
  • 4
    In many startups, their idea is lousy pay and free overtime, and then sell the whole thing. But what's in for me? Give me equity shares, then we can start talking. I won't work my ass off just for you to retire early.

    As for code samples, I would hand out a website with a nice project and expect you to look at it. Ideally before the interview so that we can use the time for real talk.
  • 6
    I'll bring my tower PC to my next interview. Laptop... heh.
  • 7
    “If your very first question is work/life balance?? You just played yourself”

    God I want startup culture to crash and burn so bad for shit like this. People should not only be allowed but be expected to have lives away from work. The thought that you need to eat breathe and sleep your work environment to be effective and competitive is so toxic.

    Protip, no startup job pays enough for you to have no work/life balance and rolling the dice that you’ll be in one of the few startups that makes it big and sells out doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be compensated adequately when it does. It’s practically never worth the risk.
  • 2
    The companies I've been to, do not allow external equipment in their campus and you'd have to spend an awful lot of time at the security check.
  • 0
    Thanks man, I'll take the tip
  • 4
    Well of course, the wannabe new Steve Jobs' wish to have slaves entirely dedicated to them. It's not a "start up", it's a company. Every company ought to treat its employees with the same respect, and having work /life balance is compulsory - it's your problem if you yourself want to give all your time for your little company. If an employee is not a partner in your company, you have no right to demand to spend the time of a partner in it. If you wish that, prepare to give analogous cash.
  • 5
    @cabbagehands it's possible that the OP played himself by admitting that he has a shit job to offer and that he won't be able to convince people who have the choice.

    I have never done free overtime and won't do it. Temporary overtime is OK if the project burns, but I'll slack it off later. However, you get what you pay, and "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch".

    If a company still expects that, then good luck with a staff comprised solely of desperate people. Not only that some of them suck, the better ones will even quit the moment they land a better job. Right in the middle of the project.
  • 0

    Shouldn't OP be glad that the ppl who are looking for work/life balance are outing themselves by their first question? Should save the company a ton of time interviewing the wrong ppl.
  • 3
    Not everyone has a laptop, some prefer a desktop PC.
    Asking in advance for readiness to work overtime is a sign on incompetence, impulsiveness and lack of realistic plan ("I have the next big thing idea and I want it now" which is immature).
    It is your start-up and you are hiring people to work there. Offer them something usable in return like decent pay, paid overtime... They, generally, couldn't care less if you love and cherish the potential potential of your start-up.
  • 3
    @nnee asking if people are willing to work overtime isnt bad perse.
    The answer tells you what kind of person you have in front of you.
    Do they say
    No, but
    Yes, but

    People who say no are completely inflexible (unless a reason is given with it)
    "No, but" tells you that they prefer not to but if its necessary for a release they might do it.
    "yes but" tells you they don't mind unless they dont have time.
    "yes" tells you that either work is their life, or that they are prepared to cancel things if needed.

    It was asked on my interview too, but everytime I stay over for more than an hour they tell me to leave and get in later the day after.

    They dont hire or not hire me on just this answer, the opposite, they dont mind what the answer is, but it gives them a good idea about the person.
  • 0
    Good points. Although I've worked with people from various branches who categorically denied possibility to work overtime but still worked if situation required. It becomes easier to accept that if there are objective reasons for it, as opposed to someone's stupid mistake, e.g. poor management that could have been avoided, unrealistic deadlines, etc.
    A lot depends on context and work environment (pleasant vs strictly hierarchical).
    I've seen quite a lot bullshit that could have been avoided if only people could keep their infinitesimal ego in their pants and not try to blow it out of proportion every chance.
  • 1
    @Codex404 gets the point of it. The point isn’t the answer but how it is approached.

    It’s fine to ask about work life balance but when it is the first thing an applicant asks then it usually means...

    1. They are afraid to work in a startup
    2. They just aren’t a fit for one
    3. They plan to work their 40 and no more ever for any reason.

    - all of which are NOT negative things as a person, but all of which ARE reasons for us not to hire you for this particular job.

    I find it funny to see the negative responses. It’s funny because of all the assumptions and circle jerking that come out of it.

    In fact, most companies I have interview as have a great work life balance. Very few people working outside of core working hours, lots of perks and flexible schedule. But it’s funny how whenever it is mentioned all of these folks start jumping out of the woodwork saying “I hope startup culture burns” and other childish stuff.

    It doesn’t matter what you are like, if you want to work for a large company or a startup, what does matter is that you apply to the right jobs. If you hate startups then don’t apply to them. If you hate large companies then don’t apply to them.

    At least most of those people are really transparent about the fact that they aren’t a fit for a fast moving startup. That way we can end the interview soon and not waste any more of our valuable time.

    I knew this would cause some outrage, it’s funny how some people will refuse to take advice hahaha
  • 2
    @leanrob or they were exploited far to many time so now they expect it from anyone.
    Context is crucial.
  • 0
    I agree with that someone could look unprepared for not bringing your own laptop. But in my case, I have a gaming laptop and it's the only one I have since 3 years.
    It's very loud and I don't have money to buy a new one. It's also very heavy to walk around with such laptop.
    So I would never bring it to an interview since it looks more unprofessional to bring a gaming laptop to a presentation.

    One idea would be that the company would one for the interview, maybe? I don't know. It's just a suggestion.
  • 0
    @tyrogge does it? It shows who you are and being able to show that is a big plus in interviews already.
  • 0
    @tyrogge I only have an 8 year old crappy netbook as "laptop". Maybe I could argue that it enforces efficient programming. ;-)
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