Interesting 27 hours
Got an email from the recruiter scheduling interviews for a role that really interested me. I sent back my availability. Unfortunately, this recruiter and the HM are in Europe (though the role is in US), so there’s a delay in responses, because anything I send after 9 a.m. is basically outside of business hours for them. This morning I woke to a request to do a 90 minute interview tomorrow. Not as much notice as I’d have liked, but okay… until I went to put it in my calendar later in the morning.
It overlapped with another call I have scheduled tomorrow. I was frantic. I thought I’d been stupid and provided bad availability information. I did not want to have to beg their forgiveness for making a mistake like that. I checked the availability information I’d provided and it was their mistake, not mine. I’d been clear that my open block ended before their requested slot did.
Of course, I noticed that around 10 a.m., so now I’m likely waiting until tomorrow morning to see their proposed reschedule. On the upside, this means second loop locked in theory, actual times TBD.
One of the things that was freaking me out too was they want a 30 minute live presentation during the interview. I can use a presentation I’ve given, but I cannot use a video of one I’ve given. I’m not freaked out about 30 minutes, but being ready to give one by tomorrow was a freak-out level request. I felt a bit relieved that I had a very good reason to say no (them scheduling it outside my stated availability), but I’m going to work on it today like I have to give it tomorrow anyway.
In fact, nowadays it seems EVERYONE wants a live presentation despite my selection of videos online. But they all want different lengths and that’s fucked up. If they could all standardize on length, people looking at multiple companies could optimize a single presentation for all interviews and knock it out of the park. Instead, I must have three or four different lengths ready to go. It’s like being told I need a 10-minute dramatic monologue, 15-minute stand-up set, 20-minute selection of show tunes, and 30-minute solo dance routine ready to perform.
Talked with a FAANG recruiter who is now shopping my resume around with their HMs for a few roles. I’ll know if any of them bite by Friday.
Talked with the recruiter I’d set up a call with nearly 5 weeks ago and had to say no after we talked about the product. BUT he works with another product I use and love and they’d spoken with him about recruiting dev rel. He hit the CEO up on Slack as we spoke, but the CEO said the Dev Rel role is 6 months out on the roadmap. The recruiter said maybe we should talk in 6 months, but I’m looking for at least 2-3 years in the next role, if not 15-20, so if I’m interviewing in 6 months, I had terrible luck or made a terrible mistake. (knocking on wood) I pray neither of those becomes the case.
A small treatise on saying “yes”
Talked with a recruiter about a role I’d be good for but it requires some technical experience I don’t have. They reached out to me, so rather than simply self-select out, I let them know I’d fall short on that requirement (at least for now) and will wait for their response. As I’ve said, if they reach out to you and you don’t see yourself in the job description, but you can see yourself in the job, be open with them about it. They may be flexible on the area where you’re weak and be willing to give you training/time to get stronger in it if you’re bringing other highly valued strengths to the table.
Be brave enough to say yes to role requirements you’re not good at… yet. The recruiter came back and said that was more a wish-list item and wants to share my resume with the HM. I’m good then.
Had a contact reach out about a role at their company, but the product wasn’t a fit. Again, hard to say no when a person or company you respect reached out. If I have a natural excitement and enthusiasm for the product, then I don’t have to work very hard for that to show through to my customers. If I’m excited about the product, I dive right in, start learning, start increasing my expertise, become a natural advocate and bug hunter, and my internal and external customers respond well. If I’m having to force myself to be interested, I can do a decent job, but it’s not going to be my best work. And considering the kind of salary I’m seeking and the level I’m at, I need to have that connection to the product to do work that justifies both of those.
One thing I like is more recruiters are not only open to talking compensation up front, many are bringing it up. Usually they’re open about their range and ask if my minimum is within it. Some will ask me for my minimums. This is good. One time I literally did a 24-hour turnaround from Seattle to North Carolina to do in-person interviews, and then they didn’t believe me on my minimum.
They took FIVE WEEKS from when they said an offer was pending to when they presented it, then they lowballed me by 10k on my minimum total comp, and another 20k of the package was a one-time signing bonus with performance targets, staged payouts, and clawbacks if I didn’t stay a year. I’d be 30k below my minimum for the second year, hoping some part of that would be made up in my annual review. I felt really bad because the person who would have been my manager had paternity leave coming up in a few months and was looking to get someone in role and ramped up before he left. The company not only wasted 5 weeks of that crafting a sincerely underwhelming offer, I told them I wasn’t going to let them even consider improving the offer because of how long they took.
In my exchange with one recruiter today, I said the following, which I think I need to keep on file for future use: “Comp is part of a 4-legged stool for me that includes product fit, mission fit, and team fit. I will consider all factors, so not coming in with the top comp isn’t a deal breaker, but top comp is a deal sweetener.” In talking with another, discussion: “hitting or exceeding my minimum gets you invited to the party. You don’t have to have the top comp, but you will have to win solidly on other factors to win without it.”