a recent grads hunt for a job in the american software industry… part I

i was thinking about the past couple of months since i came to the US from India in january… i landed in JFK airport with a tonne of confidence and a elephants size worth of ambition!! but in the next couple of weeks all of that just vanished… like vapor in the wind… i heard that the job prospects for s/w developers was low… many people cudnt get a job.. very dissapointing… but i managed to get an interview within 2 weeks for a financial company because my cousin took the initiative to arrange it for me… they advertised the position as a junior developers position…

scene 1 (in front of the office door proir to the interview day)

i’ve never been to manhattan before… so the day prior to the interview, i venture to go out into the wilds of the city alone! it wasnt bad.. any person with a lil form of common sense cud manage to figure out the ways and means of the MTA ( the ny city transportation agency )… thanks to google maps, i figured out the place of interview.. it was in a huge building… without walking in, i gave the office door a look of determination and said in my mind, “i’ll see u buddy in 24 hrs as a future employee”… oh, how was i wrong!! the opening of the door part happened, but not the future employee thingie!!

scene 2 ( day of interview)

i put on my greenish grey raymond suit bought from india… it seemed like a 5 year old kid trying out his dads shirt and tie.. the suit was big for me… i looked dumb, but i had no choice.. it was the only suit in my “amassment”! not letting this be a confidence buster, i head for the office.. i walk up to the door i aquainted with the previous day.. so far, everything went according to plan… but now i was facing a problem.. the door was locked.. but i could hear noises from inside… i knew there was some mechanism for letting the people inside know that they had a visitor… and i knew that it wasnt by knocking.. coz it seemed too naive in this hi tech office.. i find a box near the door.. so i press a button,  not knowing what it did… and no, there was no label on it!! i heard a buzz sound that twitched the door knob. so i grab onto the knob and try to turn it. but no use.. did the procedure 2 more times.. still no use. the third time i did it, a lady came and opened the door for me.. i knew this wasnt the way things had to work.. i did something dumb but just didnt know what it was… i introduced myself and the sweet lady led me to the interview room…

scene 3 ( in the interview room)

i walk into the interview room and took a seat feeling stupid already about my suit and the door ring incident.. after a lil while a man with a large frame cheerfully walks in… gives me a firm handshake and asks me to take my seat… he starts asking some past history… my problem now was that words werent coming out of my mouth!! english was begining to feel foreign to me… i knew i had turned him off… he asked me simple general questions about OS and database some of which i didnt know.. but the guy was overall impressed with my answers.. he then walks out and sends in 2 people for the technical round… this was where everything started to turn against me.. they started asking me about trees and data structures.. i knew the questions had simple answers.. this was knowledge that u cud acquire in just a weeks time… i just didnt know the answers to most of the questions… nor did i know asp.net or SQL… what was i thinking before i attended the interview? i thought they would ask me just reasoning questions that wud test my reasoning capability… that was what interviews in india did for most junior developers positions… now i felt like a complete iddiot!! no man in a right sense of mind would hire me after listening to my answers! i was around 100% sure that this company wudnt hire me…

scene 4 (post mortem)

after the interview, my cousin who works in the same office meets up with me and takes me to a mexican place called chipotle… over food we talked about the potential for me getting a job  there.. after  my discussion with him i figured out that chances were very grim. but one good thing that came out of the interview was that i realised that i wasnt ready for an interview.. i had more equipping to do.. i just knew a bit of C#.. i needed to add asp.net and sql into my resume… and so my adventure in that direction begins… more in next part.. stay tuned…

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