Experience Interview: Purpose

In this section we’ll introduce the experience interview and discuss its purpose.

When you walk into the experience interview, you’ll meet a senior engineer or a manager. Over the next 45 minutes, they’ll ask you a bunch of personal questions — things like:

  • Tell me about the kind of person you find hardest to work with
  • Tell me about a time you wanted to change something outside of your main responsibilities

Most people prepare the least for this interview. It seems like the questions are random, and with all your other todos, it’s hard to make this a priority.

However, this interview can make or break your decision to join.

First, it has a huge effect on determining your level, and from our video on leveling, we know the impact this can have on your career and your compensation.

Second, this interview lets you get a strong sense of leadership values for this company, ultimately that’ll make a huge difference in your choice to join or not.

It makes sense to prepare. The good news is we only need a bit of work to have outsized results.

The first key to our preparation is to understand why are they asking us these questions?

The interviewer wants to understand two things:

  • Do you have the habits and beliefs to be successful at their company? "Are you a culture fit?"
  • At what level of leadership can you contribute? "What level are you?"

If we can communicate clearly in both areas, we will have excelled in this interview.