How To Unleash the Interview Ragnarok

career Feb 17, 2022

The following is coming from one of my daily emails on self-driving cars and cutting-edge technologies. If you'd like to receive these emails, subscribe here.Some day in April 2019...

I'm calling my father: "The interview is over; and I NAILED it! He told me he was okay to hire me right away at the salary I wanted!"

This day, I just got one of the hottest self-driving car jobs in the country, at one of the best salaries (for my age), and in one of the best teams.

My interviewer was a Computer Vision Ph.D. creating a team of Self-Driving Car Engineers for Huawei, and I was going to be part of it.

And let me tell you β€” It was no accident.

For the months preceding this interview, I was on the road, doing over one interview per week to prepare.

All these interviews taught me how to succeed at interviews, and in this case β€” even get the interviewer to thank me for having the opportunity to meet me.

It was a meticulous preparation, that happened when I decided to:

UNLEASH THE INTERVIEW RAGNAROK

Here's how it happened:

A few months before my Huawei interview, I decided to DO AS MANY INTERVIEWS AS I COULD to explore other jobs, salaries, and companies.

But how do you find interviews to go to?

I decided to use 3 main channels:

  1. Recruiters
  2. Head Hunters
  3. Companies

So, let's briefly talk about each:

#1 How to Get Recruiters To Contact You

My first strategy was to attract recruiters to my profile and accept the interview.For that, I developed cutting-edge skills, and applied my portfolio strategy (that you can learn here).

Part of that strategy involved LinkedIn and posting Easy-To-Understand Medium posts at least once per month. Then, recruiters would contact me on LinkedIn, and I would go to the interview.

❄️ This was NOT what you could call "qualified" interviews β€” it was mostly consulting companies hiring anyone that agrees to get sacrificed.

And if you've been reading my emails, you know how much I HATE consulting companies.

Seriously, are these guys just gonna hire engineers fresh out of school, attract them with "AI", and ruin their careers by giving them the most boring projects they ever signed? Not on my watch!

The Portfolio Strategy did generate pretty interesting interviews, and after the months, even got me CEOs to offer me jobs right after reading my articles.

The second axis involved developing a network of Headhunters.

#2 How to Make Friends With HeadHuntersβ˜„οΈ

Headhunters bring more "qualified" interviews than recruiters do, and they often have exclusivity. If you neglect them, you neglect part of the market.

This is through Headhunters that I got my best interviews for Stanley Robotics (autonomous parking valet), Huawei (ADAS), and frankly, every startup that I visited.

I have been subscribing to many newsletters from them, commenting on their LinkedIn job posts, and doing my best to get to know their offers.

I even befriended two of the most interesting firms: When I wasn't interested in some offers, I would send them colleagues of mine who might be (and sometimes they would even pay me for it).

I did my best to make the relationship work so they could send me offers before anybody else when they got them.

And it worked like magic!


#3 How to Apply to Companies

In this case, the better your resume, the better your chances to get a callback. If you're interested in this part, here's my course on resumes where I'm explaining how to write the resume that got me my offers.

πŸ”₯ This is super qualified level, but your chances of getting a callback are the lowest.

However, it's through this technique that I got my job as an Autonomous Shuttle Engineer (I applied directly on LinkedIn).To unleash the Ragnarok, you need to do all 3. And sometimes even more:

  • I went to several meetups after work
  • I leveraged my AI community to bring recruiters
  • I asked employees from companies to pass my CV through
  • ...

Thanks to this, I got to do at least 1 interview/week for several months.

It wasn't easy β€” One week, I went to 5 interviews, and 2 of them were on the same day: one during my lunch break, and the other after work!

With the fatigue, most of these were a waste of time.
I would sometimes negotiate for days on offers I wasn't interested in.
I would sometimes try the technical interviews and even homework.
All of that, just to be ready for a potential "great" interview.

I don't mean waste people's time on purpose.
You don't go to an interview to be a gardener.
And you never know if the interview will be a waste of time.

But if consulting companies have no problem wasting your career, why wouldn't you waste 30 minutes of their time to practice interviews? (and maybe find a job)

You need to fail, you need to learn how to fail β€” this is the only way to learn how to succeed.

One day, someone will come to you, and you'd better be ready!

I didn't join them because my ambition didn't match their views β€” but that's a story for another email.

There are many takeaways from this email.

Unleashing the Ragnarok is something you can do right now, and that could change your life like it changed mine.

And you can use my material to attract recruiters to your profile, send a resume that gets opened, or learn how to be convincing during interviews.β€” This article is coming from one of my daily emails on self-driving cars and cutting-edge technologies. If you'd like to receive these emails, subscribe here.

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