[Small Talk] New Country & New Job – Part 1

Hi everyone, it’s been a while 🙂 I haven’t written anything for the last few weeks because of the big life change I am going through right now.

By the end of the last year I found a great opportunity to work abroad, more specifically to work in The Netherlands.

I had been thinking about working and living abroad for quite some time and that seemed like a perfect opportunity, why not give it a try? What did I have to lose? So, I contacted the head-hunter and started my research on the company, the products, the country and everything I could think about back then. It would also be my first time working for a really big company (awesome). I had tried other companies before but this time it was different, for the first time I really felt able to live in a different country with a completely different language and culture.

So, after a couple of days the head-hunter came back to me to schedule a call for an interview. Ok, no problem, I did that before, right? Right, but never in English. That was a major change for me, first job interview entirely in a foreign language with a person that didn’t even understood my mother-tongue. I did the interview and it went great, the interviewer was the head-hunter himself (great gut, by the way) and it was just a primary assessment of my objectives/capacities and also an alignment of expectations. For me it was awesome, then I knew that I was capable of speaking in English with another professional without major problems. Ha! Felt great. Therefore, the next step would be to have a interview with two leaders of the technical department. We scheduled the date and I’ve started to prepare myself for the interview, quite tricky as I didn’t know what exactly I would be working with (apart from a big picture of the system environment). What did I knew?

  • It was a major system for a specific business segment
  • It was on the Azure Cloud (Yeah!)
  • It was a multi-tenant system

That was pretty much all I knew. So I decided to focus on understanding the type of system that I’ll be dealing with.

The day of the interview came and it was once again a great experience. I spoke with two professionals that were involved with the same product that I would be working with. One worked in the development team and the other one in the QA team. So, another first, now I had to show for that two guys that I would make a good new team member and that I could aggregate to the development of their product. We talked about some general development techniques, about some patterns for cloud development and basic concepts, no problems so far. That interview showed me two weak spots in the way I talk about development. The first one came up when we started talking about scalability of the system. As a multi-tenant application intended to be used by thousands of users, maybe hundreds of thousands, everyday it had to be able to escalate up and down with a certain ease, right? How to prepare for that? I spoke for quite some time about the techniques that I would use to help me with that objective but the point was that  they were expecting me to talk about in a more conceptual way, they need to check if I understood the concept of scalability, so… a negative point for me there (I think). The second point, that one a bit more complicated to handle, was that I did knew a LOT of the technologies that they were using in their environment BUT, I haven’t really used most of them at real projects so far, just fooled around with some of them.

I ended the interview with a mixed feeling. For one side I had been able to speak with them about almost everything, and that should prove that I wasn’t a fraud, I had been able to shown my knowledge in most of the core technologies that they used and I talked about new technologies that were interesting to them (Thank you .NET Core!), for the other side It went clear, even to me, that I didn’t had the seniority that they were expecting for the position. So I would have to wait for their feedback.

A few days later the head-hunter contacted me saying that the technical interview went fine, but I won’t fit the seniority level, damn… BUT, they would be glad to consider me for a Software Engineer position. YEAH! So what? Now I would have to go for a third and final interview with the head of the Technology department, a little pressuring but what the hell? Things were going great, let’s keep it moving!

By that time, I knew that I could have a conversation in English and I didn’t really know what I could do to prepare for an interview with a Senior VP of a big company, so all I could do was to get mentally prepared for the talk. It went as a nice surprise that the VP was actually a nice guy and the pressure faded within a few minutes! This interview seemed to me like the most informal of the three that I went through and it sounded more like a conversation with a friend.

The last interview took place on October, 31st and in this same day I’ve been informed that they were preparing a formal offer for me. God!  What know? I barely knew that the challenges were just beginning :s

2 thoughts on “[Small Talk] New Country & New Job – Part 1”

  1. Nice read, great to hear your experience with the interview process was positive and love having you work as part of our team!

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