Always say yes: why you should get in the habit of going to interviews
Creating new opportunities, increasing self-esteem, and improving your skills: these are just a few of the reasons why you should get in the habit of frequent meetings with employers and clients. Nikolai Trukhin, Senior iOS Developer at an international fintech company, provides more detail.
In this article
Why do you need to go to interviews?
— It is well known that interviews play a key role in the professional life of every specialist. They create new career opportunities and serve as a means of self-development and self-assessment. Meetings with potential employers or clients are a litmus test of: how well you navigate your field of knowledge, the strength your communication skills, and your current level of readiness for new and challenging tasks.
To go, or not to go?
— The question of whether to attend an interview or not usually arises for experienced professionals who are satisfied with their current situation. In such a case, there can be a hundred reasons to decline, but it is always beneficial to have the option. In the initial stages of your career, though, it is vital to seize every opportunity for employment.
Contrary to popular belief, the ability to successfully pass interviews does not always correlate with professional growth and the acquisition of new skills. Even highly skilled professionals with impeccable knowledge in their field may struggle to answer basic questions during an interview. For instance, one of the members of the React Core team, Dan Abramov, once found himself at a loss when faced with a relatively simple question during a public technical interview.
In addition, even with solid preparation, tech knowledge can become outdated over time, requiring a renewed immersion in the field. It is important to keep this in mind, even if you have considerable experience under your belt.
What are the benefits of interviews?
The most obvious reason to attend interviews is, of course, the opportunity to change jobs and explore new horizons. In this world, there are always surprises waiting: a vacancy that may initially seem to be of little interest can unexpectedly turn out to be compelling and promising. To reap the benefits, you have to put yourself out there.
Another important reason for attending interviews is the opportunity to establish connections with representatives of the company. If the interview goes well, it can serve as a starting point for getting to know your future colleagues. Remember, the first impression sets the tone for the entire collaboration. Even in the case of a rejection, the meeting can still be valuable: you will leave a positive impression that can benefit you in the future when new job openings arise.
3. Realistic self-assessment:
Even specialists with extensive experience and numerous skills may have doubts about their competence. This hinders their potential to showcase their abilities at the most crucial moments in their career. By going through interviews and receiving feedback from employers, you can realistically assess your actual level in the professional market. This can help you overcome issues with self-esteem, such as impostor syndrome.
4. Areas for growth:
Interviews also provide a valuable opportunity to receive feedback. It's often difficult for us to objectively assess our skills, our knowledge, and particularly our weaknesses. Meeting with a recruiter or potential employer can help identify gaps in your knowledge and highlight areas where you are genuinely strong.
Having a job offer in hand gives you a significant degree of confidence and security. This is particularly important during periods of economic instability, when the risk of layoffs increases. Even if you don't receive an offer, the experience that you gained during the interview process can be beneficial in the event of a layoff. And an offer from another company can be a strong support during salary negotiations in your current position.
Without experiencing a company from the inside, it is difficult to determine if it is a good fit for you. Similarly, just as every employer cannot guarantee successful collaboration with a candidate after an interview, you also cannot be certain of how things might work out. With experience, however, your skill in assessing companies grows, and you become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of a given workplace. This helps you understand which company would be ideal for you and develop the standards you will set for your future workplace.
— The realization of the importance of regularly attending interviews did not come to me immediately. At the beginning of my career path, after completing specialized courses, it seemed unethical to attempt to leave for competitors. Several years later, when experience and conscience allowed me to transition to more interesting projects, it seemed risky and like a drain on my energy. Plus, I did not envision any immediate career changes.
Only after some time did I realize that it would be worth a try. This was based on the logic described above and also the perspective that, in IT, one should never stand still or tie themselves to a particular place, position, or tech stack.
— For many people, changing jobs may seem like something negative, especially when viewed from outside the IT market. The fate of your career, however, is yours to decide. It is not advisable to place the responsibility for its success on anyone else. You want to be proactive, not simply reactive.
Regularly attending interviews is a valuable resource for professional development, regardless of your specialization or career stage. It allows you to assess your current level and identify areas for improvement. It also provides an opportunity to expand your professional connections, prepare for unexpected circumstances, and gain a deeper understanding of the companies and positions that align with your long-term ambitions.
Remember that each interview is a step toward understanding your place in the job market and, ultimately, achieving your goals. Don't miss out on any opportunities in your professional journey.
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