Ain't no mountain high enough

The interviewing continues

I’m still interviewing for tech jobs, mostly as a software developer.

Applying for software developer jobs is akin to auditioning for, like, American Idol. First, you submit your resume with dozens to thousands of other resumes, depending on the size of the company.

You get a call from a hiring manager who makes sure you answer questions in coherent sentences and don’t require an H-1 visa from them. They ask why you want to work at said company, and you gush over the company’s tradition of excellence and give your employment backstory in a distinct three-minute pitch, which you have down pat because you’ve been doing this a lot the past couple of days. Your back is straight when you say this, even though it’s a phone call.

Then come the actual developer interviews. This is where the American Idol part comes in, the part where a bunch of producers leads you into to room with a video camera to sing a couple of bars of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Sometimes you’re out of breath, or your pitchy or god forbid, your voice cracks, no matter how much as you warm up beforehand or point at the note like Christina Aguilera.

Other times, you have your good days, and you go on to the next round where the whole process happens all over again with a new group of producers. Repeat until you get it, or you don’t.

In a way, that’s how I feel right now with interviewing; just replace being able to sing “Ribbon in the Sky” to writing code on a webpage your interviewer can see — and judge — in real-time, while you talk out what’s going on in your head. I’ve been thanked for my time in some cases; in others, well, I’m still talking with people, I guess. This is the first time in a while I’ve had significant time in between jobs, so I’ve been studying and trying to learn the hot programming language is at the moment and trying my best to beat my Impostor Syndrome down with a nail-studded baseball bat. I’m reminded by friends to also apply for tech adjacent positions such as management or Product, even though I have never interviewed for those positions before.

It’s a little unsettling for sure, but I’ll get my break. I’ll make it to Hollywood Week soon.

Mom, on the phone changing the subject: Did you find a job yet?

Me: No, ma, I’m still interviewing.

M: Well, make sure you wear something neater. I’m not there to iron anything for you so—

E: Not yet, ma. Most of these current interviews are on the telephone or the computer.

M: Oh. Then you need to talk slower.

E: Okay.

M: Sometimes, you talk really, really fast —

E: Okay.

M: And your voice gets higher and higher and faster and faster, and no one can hear what you’re saying.

E: Mm-hmm.

M: Okay. Well, I’m going to go. Eat something, so you have the strength to talk.

If nothing else, all of this is making for a much needed distraction topic when I have my daily phone calls with mom, because “I feel inescapably hopeless because I’m too scared for my personal safety to evict my schizophrenic daughter” as an answer to “how are you doing tonight, ma?” gets really tough to answer on a daily basis.

To be fair: mom doesn’t actually say the above. She just says, “I don’t feel good anymore,” and all of those comments are inferred. She did, however, tell me to go eat something so I can talk.