I’ve kind of dropped off the face of the internet for the last month or so. The reason is that I was preparing for an on-site interview with a big technology company in the USA. That company was Facebook.
I was approached by a FB recruiter on LinkedIn and even though i felt that I had no chance with the company, I went ahead with the process anyway.
See, I felt that I could make a big difference to billions of people worldwide by working there. That, and I would be working with incredibly talented engineers who are dealing with some of the most complex and challenging problems that we are facing today.
I had a few close friends tell me that I should really consider moving overseas for a while too, and this aligned with that goal as well, so I became excited about the whole process.
After going through a few phone interviews I was invited for an on-site interview at the FB Menlo Park HQ.
In the end, I was not succesful. I was found to be a good fit, but was not given an offer this time. I didn’t have high hopes and knew that this was a definite possibility.
I can’t say that I’m not disappointed.
I can’t say that I don’t feel ashamed.
I can’t say that I don’t feel like a failure.
But what I CAN say is that the whole process has made me a better professional, introduced me to some amazing people, and helped me realise the wealth of opportunities we have available to us as security professionals!
So what’s my key takeaway? Go for interviews!
I know many people who haven’t had an interview in several years, even decades!
You will learn a heap leading up to the event and even then, the interview process itself is great for a number of reasons:
You can reflect and learn where you have gaps in your capability. Communication skills? Don’t know a technology? Ugly handwriting? At least you know what you need to work on now!
You meet some great people who can open doors in the future. Learning about their approaches to solving problems and the challenges they face will give you perspective that your peers will lack.
If you haven’t been doing interviews, you might just forget the soft skills that are necessary to build rapport and positively influence your interviewer. This applies doubly if you’ve been working in a technical silo for a long time.
So go do interviews! You’ll become a much more well-rounded professional, quickly identify gaps, and hey if it works out you might end up in a better position than you were before.
But please make sure you’re open to your team about why you’re doing this. I’m lucky that I work with truly supportive people who want the best for me and my career. They’ve had my back through the whole process and now that it’s over, they’re still here to support me too. I’m grateful for that.