1. 41
  1.  

  2. 10

    Meditate Before Interviews - Even if it’s just watching your breath for 5 minutes. I find that doing this helps reset the mind and reduces subjective experiences of anxiety.

    This is good advice, but a surprising number of people have a real trigger around the word “meditation”.

    It’s super silly but it’s a thing. For a great example of this listen to the end of the latest “User Error” podcast (bunch of guys from the Linux community discussing generally non technical questions asked by listeners) around 19:20-19:30 where one of the hosts meditates, and the other two British guys utterly TRASH the idea.

    It’s a good point overall though. You’ve got to be relaxed and, in my view, at least as importantly, projecting an air of utter “I’ve GOT this” self confidence. People can positively smell it, and in my career I have found it to be essential in successful interviews.

    On a totally unrelated note, was the use of visible #####’s as headers intended or was that supposed to be rendered markdown?

    1. 8

      That’s an intentional part of the CSS. I wanted it to look hackery.

      1. 7

        That’s clever. I was so pleased when I went into readability mode and it actually worked!

      2. 6

        For people who are not open to meditation there is Progress muscle relaxation, a technique that can be used to calm down. It involves focusing one’s attention on a muscle group, tensing it, holding, then releasing it, and allowing oneself to calm as the tension leaves.

        I use it as part of my meditation practice.

        1. 2

          Thanks for that. Gonna see if my wife will give that a go, she’s definitely in the “meditation? I can’t do that” camp.

          1. 4

            Progressive, muscle relaxation worked for me as a sleep aid when I was younger. I think it’s a mix of physical and placebo effects.

            1. 3

              I think there’s a goodly dollop of neurological in there too.

              Even if the phrase “meditation” gives you hives, I’m pretty sure there’s a fair bit of science around the idea of a relaxed state with very regular brain wave patterns having various positive effects on the subject.

              I don’t know if it’s gone out of vogue or disproven, but I remember some such being under the heading of “the relaxation response”.

              1. 3

                My dad brought someone in to teach me this when I was a teenager too. It was surprisingly effective, I’ve got to be honest.

        2. 5

          Lots of good advice, but this one is spot-on

          Also, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know things.

          I ran quite some interviews, and feeling someone tells me they know some things, were they down is a clear no-no, where someone humble, telling me “I don’t know this. Can you please tell me more and explain it” is a huge, texas-sized green flag.

          1. 5

            Interviews are usually there to help the interviewer verify that you know how to break larger problems into more understandable chunks. Ask questions.

            This is the main thing I’m looking for when hiring. I want you to help me get into your head. How do you approach the problem, how do you break it down, what questions do you ask? Ideally, candidates will think out loud when they’re solving a problem.

            1. 3

              Speaking of thinking out loud (sorry for the pun), one of the big reasons I hate open office plans is that it hinders people from talking a problem out, even when it’s routine.

              My old work place had a safety checklist, and we found that even though it was written on paper on a clipboard, we had less mishaps when a worker spoke out loud each of the checks.

              1. 2

                I believe you were the one who said the “I’ve read your blog, you don’t need to prove yourself to me” line too. Lol.

              2. 2

                “Does code get reviewed before it ships into production?”

                Surprising that one would have to ask, but it’s a good question. I always ask what current real tech related problem the team is dealing with in the current work cycle.