Below are common interview questions with my responses. This serves as a reference for myself and a quick place to learn more about me.
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am 22 years old, and though I am young, I feel like I have already done a lot of maturing. Some of that came from having a family. I have a toddler, some pets, and a lovely wife. I like to keep things clean, in fact I can be a bit OCD at times, which in business just means I have attention to detail. I am all about systems and technologies and follow Google and other tech giants religiously, following product news and updates. I like to watch science channels on YouTube. I am into R&B/Soul music, pistachio ice cream is my favorite.
What do you like to do outside of work?
In my spare time, I love to bike and hike around Lehi, as well as study software development. I have many personal projects that I work on, wherein I have taught myself the skills needed to build them out. I spend my nights playing computer games, tinkering with my computer, and hanging out with my wife. I can be a bit of a dreamer and like to visualize entrepreneurship ideas.
If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
I would like to be a Red Panda, since they are fairly rare creatures, a Flying Squirrel, because I could have wings for hands, or a Polar Bear (Ice Bear).
How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?
20,000, but more if you can take the air out of them.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in a long term position where I am frequently called upon for my skills, and where I can feel confident in promoting my experience and best practices for the company I work for as well, making changes for the better and helping my team succeed in earning revenue, and keeping it.
Why should we hire you?
Because I am flexible and can fit into many roles, I have experience in multiple parts of the business and have superb attention to detail. You will also see that I am very technical and confident in working in multiple business apps and systems throughout my workday. There is no doubt that I love what I do as an engineer and it contributes to me loving my job.
Why are you leaving your current job?
Though I have loved working at Nuvi, and Banyan before the acquisition, and have a lot of fond memories of co workers and the projects I worked on, I am looking to find a position that is more structured and where my job scope is more defined, nothing against those companies, but I feel as though there has always been a disposition that distracts me from doing good work and learning more.
Are you actively looking for positions?
I am always open to new positions, and will make time to review opportunities that come my way. I am also always looking for ways to improve myself whether that be through higher education courses or through taking new positions and part time work.
How are you looking for open positions?
I am on LinkedIn pretty frequently, looking for jobs promoted by my connections. I frequently subscribe to Indeed, Monster, and other job listing sites that spam my inbox. I also prefer to work closer to home, so I can be seen walking up to front desks asking about open positions as well as stalking local tech company job pages.
Can you explain why you changed career paths?
I worked in Account Management and Technical Support for a long time, and though I am comfortable being customer-facing, and engaging with clientele, I am now confident enough on the technical and operations side of things to search for something more up that road. I hope to continue to build on my technical experience.
Skills & Experience
What's your management style?
I prefer to teach a man to fish, but if he comes back hungry, I will hold the pole. I am an operator at heart, which means I don't always market myself as a leader, instead, I prefer to document and present my findings in training meetings or through training content like videos and articles.
What's a time you exercised leadership?
Though this can lead to me reaching beyond my job scope, I have been know to take additional time out of my day to contribute to others project, like at Nuvi where I assisted the marketing and product teams in filtering leads for their webinar, and created videos that were later sent to clients to train them on Nuvi's newest mobile app.
What's a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?
As layoffs were happening at Banyan, I was able to make points as to where specific key roles could be placed to offer the most value to the company, and though the idea was not immediately accepted, the changes were eventually made, before then, it was difficult to hear complaining co workers who had an easy solution, but ignored it due to business politics.
How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
Positive, even at the worst of times.
He can be a bit over formal, and transactional.
Caine is consistent, never late, and follows a routine.
Caine is a note taker, and is very organized.
How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
I of course do a lot better when I have time on my hands to deal with immense situations, and process my thoughts, but as long as I have a dedicated outlet or resource, I am confident that I can consolidate large issues or stressful situations well, and make the best of even the hardest problem.
What do you think you could do better or differently?
I am still young, and though I have technical experience, I still have a lot to learn about big business and this can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding. I want to feel more confident working with business leadership, understanding business funds, costs, and cash flow.
What are your greatest professional strengths?
I am process oriented, love to document them, create them, and market their importance, I am technical, and confident in setting up business applications, work stations, and system integrations. I try to be simple, smart, and kill them with kindness. I am patient, willing to be repetitive, and above all, organized.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
I was proud to know that, after working between Nuvi's partners and systems, consolidating app usage, cleaning up access, and documenting processes and application details, I was able to save Nuvi every month on vendor spending as well as create an Intranet that is still used today.
Tell me about a challenge or conflict you've faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
Unfortunately, at Nuvi, I had inadvertently caused an issue with a sales and marketing platform that caused us to spend a large amount of lead credits which we then had to replace to ensure our marketing team could still operate for the remainder of the year. This was a disaster, and though it is hard to repair those situations, I did what I could for Nuvi, documenting what happened, looking for opportunities to mend the issue, and more than anything, taking ownership.
What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
I get a lot of anxiety if I don't receive feedback, it can actually get to the point where I reach out and ask myself to get more feedback, which in a fast paced business, can get annoying and cumbersome to leadership.
I like to build my own processes, and though I try hard not to reinvent the wheel, I do require flexibility on the companies I work for to hear my out when I think there is a better way to do things.
Have you ever been discharged from a position?
I have not been discharged from a position, though I have been through multiple layoffs, wherein other co workers have been lost and where the companies I have worked for have been bought out, merged, or otherwise dispelled.
How do you feel about being customer facing?
I have been customer facing in may roles, I am very comfortable over the phone, and have been in high pressure sales and support positions before. I, again, want to play a more technical role, but depending on the benefits of a customer facing or support position, I would still be confident in doing a good job and would be excited to get more information.
Explain your process in handling escalated issues while in customer facing roles
I will always assume that I have the tools I need to do my job correctly in any position. I will always work to use what resources are available, including documentation and support content. If a technical issue goes beyond what tools I have or my job scope I will always work to act as the intermediary between the end user experiencing the issue and the internal member or team I need to partner with to resolve the issue.
From working with technical support members while in other roles, I have the feedback that the support team should always own communicating with the end users, and issues should never be left with internal members, even if those members are needed to resolve the issue. The support member needs to take ownership.
Have you ever worked with a software development team?
I have worked really closely with software engineering and development teams in the past, playing product support engineer and quality assurance roles, though I have not had a chance to work along side other developers as a software developer, which is sad because I would really like to get that experience, this is a weakness, but may work to my benefit because I would be excited to get more into that space.
What was your greatest technical challenge and how did you overcome it.
As an aspiring technical entrepreneur, I am always looking for ways to speed up common construction for websites and web applications, making it easier to start new projects, whether they are simple resume showcases or for friends or Utah local clients.
I commonly use frameworks like React to build the front end for these applications, but there were so many personal touches that I always wanted to ensure I used in each application, like form validation, date formatting, route templates, layouts, and of course creating common components like buttons and inputs. I also found that I needed common API endpoints as well, some that were more dedicated that could help me integrate into 3rd party services like Twilio or Airtable, and others that could send emails or trigger other actions.
I decided that on top of each projects dedicated API, I would use Google Cloud's Cloud functions to host API points that I could use from any client between my many projects, which made it a lot easier right off the bat, then, though this is a lot of work, I decided to create repositories for common react and Vue components, as well as other toolbelt like scripts that could be cached and imported in multiple projects.
Now, I find myself learning faster, and building smarter, with each of my projects using code that is written just once, and can be updated once as well to improve the quality of life for me as the developer, and to improve the user experience between these projects.
How skilled would you say you are as a software developer?
Though again, I do not yet have any formal education in software development, I have spent oodles (Yes, I said it) of time working on personal projects, learning more about different languages, frameworks, libraries, and platforms. I am comfortable creating simple web applications, working with front end languages, operating from the command line and using version control systems.
What's your dream job?
One where I am communicated with regarding on my role and responsibilities often.
One where new comers can pick up a ball when it is dropped, and where trust comes with the territory.
One where I can learn new things, play with new systems, and explore what drives the business forward.
What are you looking for in a new position?
One where I can commute easily, preferably, something in Lehi Utah.
One where I am offered a dedicated role, and am given a place to stretch and grow.
One where I am easily able to set expectations with others and where other feel comfortable setting expectations with me.
What type of work environment do you prefer?
I like to keep things open, I don’t mind some desk-questions. I like to work in the office where I can troubleshoot on site.
I like to keep an open schedule, but I don’t mind following any sort of schedule or adherence policies, I have been on-call before, which I am still willing to do based on the position.
What would your first 30, 60, or 90 days look like in a new role?
30 - I would get acquainted with all the resources I need to do the job well.
60 - I would be able to document my process and work with the team to make it better.
90 - I would be able to influence the company to make big changes that affect my position.
What are your salary requirements?
Based on the research I have done on others with similar skill sets, and my salary history, I am confident in requiring no less than $45,000 /yr for my work.
Do you have any questions for us?
How many of my position exist within the company?
What is the dress code and what hours should I plan on being available?
Not that it is too important, but what remote work options are available?
Will I be working under another individual or will I be operating between multiple teams or end-users?