I’ve Been Busy?
Some of you would have noticed that it’s been a while since my last post. There’s only one reason for that: I’ve been busy.
Yesterday, I had an interview. ‘Not that bad,’ you might think. ‘Certainly not bad enough to qualify a lengthy break from posting,’ you could posit further. both very valid points, but when I tell you that it took my over 5 hours to get there, and nearly 6 and a half to get back, you might think twice.
I was, originally supposed to have the interview 2 days ago – on Wednesday. Heading to bed early, I set my alarm clock for 4.30am to make sure I’d be up. When I woke up, I saw that my alarm clock read, the all too familiar, 00:00.
It turns out that we had suffered a power cut during the night. As a result, I had slept through until 7am. Naturally, I was upset. Distraught, even. I was looking forward to this interview, as the position was sounded very interesting to me. Not only that, I was travelling there by train and the tickets weren’t cheap.
I waited around until 9am, and called the people I was interviewing with. I explained the situation and apologised profusely. They decided that since it wasn’t, actually my fault, they’d offer me another interview. The next day – Thursday.
This meant that my current train tickets were useless.
‘Great! Now I’ve got to spend even more money on some new tickets,’ I though, sarcastically.
So, off I went to my local train station. When I got there, I purchased a new set of train ticket. Strangely, these new tickets (for the next day) were the same price as the previous tickets I had. this made no sense to me, as I’d purchased the first set of tickets a week in advance.
My – decidedly, limited – knowledge of train ticket policies states that by ordering tickets early, you make some kind of saving. However, this is not the case, for some reason.
After this, I went home and decided that I wouldn’t do any more interview preparation, as it would give me a slight unfair advantage.
I reserved myself to having a relaxing day. I read a book, drank copious amount of green tea, and watched a few episodes of MASH and The Mentalist.
I went to bed early, again. Set my alarm clock, set my back up alarm clock, set the alarm clock on my phone, and set my TV to power up; just on the off chance that my alarm clock didn’t go off.
Luckily (?) all of my alarm systems went off – waking up everyone in the house.
I awoke, made my toilet, sat on it, and went down for breakfast
Sitting on a train – for any amount of time – is a very boring thing indeed; unless you have someone to keep you company.
I had, on the other hand, 2 books and a magazine. I’d finished one of the books and the magazine by the time I had gotten to the interview. they weren’t light reading, either. The book was “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, and the magazine was “Linux User and Developer”. As you can tell, they weren’t throw-away-pulp-to-burn-time-with publications.
So, I made it to Stone – the town where the interview was taking place – with0ut too many hitches (aside from an unplanned hour long wait at Stoke on Trent, due to my connecting train being 2 minutes late) – and booked myself a taxi from the train station.
The interview proper actually came after 3 tests – a common feature in most software development roles:
- Software development/programming knowledge test
- Numerical and Linguistic test
- Logic and Problem solving test
My favourite of these (‘You have favourite tests!? Weirdo‘) was the third one. And not just because I found it easy. It was filled with questions like:
Apparently, no one had ever managed to finish either the Numerical and Logic tests in the given time (10 minutes for each). I did both. Equally, no one had managed to finish the Software Development test in the given time (2 hours), again I did.
After the tests came the interview; which was based on the results of my test scores. Admittedly, I didn’t get 100% on all of them, but I did VERY well on 2 of them (wont tell you which).
The interview – line interviews for any position – was filled with questions to see how well suited I was for the job. Most of these were technical questions (What systems for designing code have you used? Which types of design documents have you used? etc), other questions were based on gauging how well I would fit into a team environment (If you were told to do something one way and you felt it could be achieved better another way, what would you do? etc)
After the interview, I had a short chat with some of the employees, and made my way home.
Travelling home seemed to take more time then travelling there did. Mainly because it took me 6 and a half hours to get home (and only 5 to get to the interview). Feeling very sleepy on the multitudes of trains didn’t help. However, on my short stop over at Manchester Piccadilly station, I stopped by the Juice Booster bar and got myself an energy drink that really woke me up.
That was until I got on the final train home… and fell asleep.
Luckily for me, the final destination of this train was my home town. So, I slept with comfort knowing that I wouldn’t miss my stop (a common bad dream of mine before any lengthy day of travelling).
Somehow, I woke up shortly before my stop. I looked out of the window, but couldn’t see anything, as it was very dark (and very late). So, I had no clue how close I was to my destination. However, I decided to guess how long (in seconds) it would be before we reached the station.
I was off by 4 seconds. Not bad, if I do say so.
When I got home, a short 15 minute walk from the train station (‘as opposed to a long 15 minute walk!?‘), I got out of my interview gear and into some comfortable clothes, and promptly fell asleep.
When I woke up, this morning, I felt that the whole process had gone quite well. The interviewers had promised that I would find out how whether I got the job or not within the week. So, I’m looking forward to hearing from them.
I’ll be sure to publish a post about the results, when I get them. Until then, have fun and
Stay frosty people