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how any interviews before landing a job?

What's the average for people out there ?
5,6 ..10?

Frustrated guy
Tuesday, December 2, 2003



Tuesday, December 2, 2003

One or two, to be honest.  But I've been doing this for 20 years...

Grumpy Old-Timer
Tuesday, December 2, 2003

I don't think anyone can site specific statistics that will give you a definite answer to your question.  There are so many variables involved.  Education Level, Years of experience, having an "in" somewhere, where you are located, what technologies you are proficient in, supply and demand in the job market.. etc.

Right now, and for some time, there has been on overabundance of programmers.  Simply put, that means that competition for job openings and internships is fierce.  Employers can be picky about who they choose.

This jobless recovery isn't pretty, benefitting mostly the wealthy while hanging the jobless out to dry.  Then again the Bush administration is all about business.  Big business and big money.

Sorry got off topic there.  At any rate, i've had one friend who had like 11 interviews over six months before he landed a position that he was satisfied with.  Obviously this implies that the employer was satisfied with him also.

The big thing is not to take, "not getting an interview" or "not getting the job" personally.  This can make you bitter and upset.  You have to focus on either moving on to different work or starting your own business both of which while you keep looking for a job.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003


words of wisdom from a dude in LA
Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Five visits, eleven people.


Tuesday, December 2, 2003

I hate to say  it but the number of interviews could be dependent on how good an individual is at what he does.  We all like to think we are great and to be fair many people who are do not come off as so in the short span of an interview.  There are, however, a lot of mediocre and bad programmers out there and chances are that we are some of them.

As for the anti-Bush guy- how in heck can you make a connection between the over-supply of programmers, clearly the result of the bursting of the tech bubble, and the presidency of George Bush?  I'm not blaming Clinton, but your position makes no sense even chronologically.

Name withheld out of cowardice
Tuesday, December 2, 2003


1.5 guy
Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Name Witheld has a clue.  I'd gladly criticize Mr Bush for any of his numerous other failures, but an oversupply of programmers isn't one of them.

To the original poster: your question is meaningless.  Clearly you're looking for some affirmation that you don't suck, but you won't get it here from a bunch of anonymous strangers.  Maybe you really are that unemployable.  Who knows?

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

>> "As for the anti-Bush guy- how in heck can you make a connection between the over-supply of programmers, clearly the result of the bursting of the tech bubble, and the presidency of George Bush?  I'm not blaming Clinton, but your position makes no sense even chronologically."

The fact is that I did not make any connection between the over-supply of programmers and the Bush presidency.  I'm saying the Bush administraion is more or less pushing big business and not sticking up for the little guy.  The fact that a few companies are hiring temporary workers is a good sign, but does'nt do much for the large portion of people still out of work.  The latest reports about how manufacturing is booming and the jobless claims are going down are good news, but you also have to know how to read these things.  Manufacturers are producing more with less people.  This a good thing, unless you are a person who would like a job.  Jobless claims are down is a good thing also, it simply means that less people are losing their jobs.  The unemployment rate is down like 0.01%.  Another good thing, but until the jobless claims decrease below the amount of people being hired those out of work people will still feel the pinch.  It will take time, but I think we are on a recovery.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

I've heard the average time to land a new programming job is greater than 6 months.  That might not be right.  Don't know how hard those people were looking either.

That was before the economy started picking back up too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

It's been 2/3 for me as well - I get three job offers for every 2 interviews since I get unsolicited job offers.

"Right now, and for some time, there has been on overabundance of programmers.  Simply put, that means that competition for job openings and internships is fierce."

I disagree with this. There is an overabundance of people who honestly don't know what they are doing and for those people, yes indeed, 'competition will be fierce'. These folks are 80% of the 'programmers' out there and more than 80% of the ones looking for jobs.

If you know what you are doing and have a track record and can produce references or actual successful products you have created or managed, you should not have to go on more than two interviews to get an offer. If you are going on more interviews than that, you may need to be more selective in who you apply to, pay a coach to help you polish your interview skills, or as a last resort, honestly consider if another line of work might be more fulfilling for you.

Now, you may want to continue going on interviews to get a handful of offers and cherry pick among them, that's a different issue. As for me, I have always made sure in advance that the company I am applying to is one I would enjoy working for and one that is doing well enough that I don't have to worry about people being laid off and the remaining workers being told to work extra hours to pick up the extra work, and such scenarios like the unfortunate one brought up in the recent 'who to fire' thread.  Thus I haven't had to cherry pick after the interviews since I know what I want before hand. Others may prefer to cast a wide net and cherry pick. That's fine too.

Hiring is real good right now, things have picked up. But you might want to consider relocating if the jobs where you are are not giving you the offers you are looking for.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, December 2, 2003

I have been on 4 interviews so far in last 2 months am currently jobless, waiting on 2 of them, I tried e-mailing to find out the status after a week, no reply came.

I've got great previous references, 3 years of experience, and have products which have shipped and are in use.
I could give a link to my reference letters and resume if you want.

Frustrated Programmer
Tuesday, December 2, 2003


I'm doing contracts right now, otherwise I'd look at your resume. I believe you're competant.

Are you in the US? That's the area I'm seeing a pick up in. Are you applying only in areas near you, or willing to broaden your horizons? There's still a glut in the valley, so that's not necessarily the best place to be looking. Also, be sure to target companies that are ones you'd really have a passion working for. Not necessarily big companies, but niche companies perhaps that you know of that are working on the sorts of things you have a passion for.

If you want to post more anonymously (that's always safe and really the best way with matters of discretion such as job searches) with a bit more specifics, folks might have some suggestions for you. It's happened before that people have found employment as a result of posting here.

I feel that with strong references and successful products you've done that have shipped, you should definitely be able to find something as long as you're open to moving if you happen to be in an area that hasn't gotten up to speed with the tech recovery.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, December 2, 2003

My first programming job took four interviews to land, I think. My current job I landed on the second interview I had, although the first wanted to hire me, but needed to finalise a contract at his end to have the money to do so.

Mr Jack
Wednesday, December 3, 2003

three or four rounds of interviews is not uncommon for some senior positions. This might include a social engagement or two.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Blank anti-Bush guy.  Still off topic but I don't have the will not to respond.  You don't blame Bush for the over-abundance of programmers but you seem to blame him for the "jobless recovery".  Based on what you write, I assume you are a democrat.  The traditional Democratic responses to high unemployment would be a Keynsian stimulus, which Bush has done, protectionism, which Bush has done and an inflationary monetary policy, which is insane and Alan Greenspan would never do it.  There is no school of economics that I know of that would suggest high taxes in a recession are a good idea.

Mind you, I don't agree with any of these policies.  I understand why Bush did them.  Even if you believe that the business cycle will come around again, the president need to take some kind of action so he can claim credit for the recovery.  Not doing so is what sunk his father.

I think that we, as programmers, should attempt logical analysis in most aspects of life and attempt to resist the emotion and instinct that leads to political partisanship and religious wars.

Name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, December 3, 2003

When I was looking for my first "real" programming job, I sent around zillions of resumes and never got any decent response.  A friend of mine clued me into this local company that was hiring programmers and suggested I go in.  I had already sent them my resume and received no response, but I didn't have anything else to do so I dropped by.  They made me take a 3 hour test  (actually, people usually get it done in between 2 and 6 hours, it took me 3 to complete it).  I think most people simply don't finish, there were tons of people that stopped after the first two pages and just left.  Anyway, they immediately graded the test and offered me a job based on that alone.  It was a crappy $12/hr position and there were no talented programmers there (only "smart" people that the "managers" thought they could train - too bad the managers didn't know how to program either!).

Anyway, I stayed there for about 4 months, and then got so frustrated that I put in my two weeks notice.  That night I put my resume up on and the next day I got called by a recruiting agency for an interview as a web programmer contractor at Real Networks (Seattle, WA).  Landed that job and was very happy.  Too bad for 9 months I had 2 hour commute EACH WAY.  Geesh.

After 6 months working there I got offered a full time job but with a significant pay cut (from 65,000/yr to 50,000/yr - of course I would have gotten more vacation/sick leave/benefits/etc., but seriously, the commute was killing me).  I turned it down and continued as a contractor.  After two more months we got notice that our entire department was being shut down.  Time to start looking for a job again!

Well, I put my resume on again, and their automated job search thingies emailed me about a job that fit my resume, so I clicked the "apply now" button and forgot about it.  About two weeks later I got a call, and two subsequent phone interviews, and finally, an in-person interview.  I got the job and started on Dec. 1st.

So, to answer your question directly, it took me one interview to get my first job, one to get my second, and three to get my third.  I didn't interview with any other companies during those times either.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

I can't resist a political / economic digression either ...

First of all - employment is a lagging indicator.  The jobs may come back, or the recovery may be based entirely on productivity improvements (and Bush buying his way out of a recession).  But I think it's too early to tell.

In one sense, Bush has done the right things to jump-start the economy: increased government spending and cutting interest rates.  But in another sense he's gone about it all wrong.  The money has gone to things like tax cuts, which have primarily benefited the wealthy - now, it's true that the wealthy get the lion's share of any fair tax cut because they pay most of the taxes - however, that's also the reason why the Bush tax cuts won't have as much as an effect on the economy as, say, a payroll tax cut which DOES increase discretionary spending among the working class.

Secondly, the Bush tax cuts have starved the states, which have in turn jacked up state and property taxes to cover for the shortfall.  Law of unintended consequences strikes again.

Thirdly, while increased government has created many jobs (the TSA is a good example), a large chunk of that money is going overseas to Iraq instead of here at home.  Or the money is going to subsidize the private corporations directly (for example, the recent Medicare bill), which they might use to create jobs ... or they might take the money and run.  Government subsidies tend to encourage inefficiency in the private sector.

It would be amazing if Bush managed to spend all that money and not have an effect on the economy.  However, the price of buying ourselves out of a recession is going to have a long-term negative effect: deficit spending creates its own tax, the interest payment; and large deficits push the value of currency downward as we've already seen, the dollar continues to drop steadily against the Euro and Yen.

You and I are probably in agreement that Bush's policies have been mainly for show rather than for real stimulus.  I used to like the Republicans back when they claimed to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but now that Bush has blown a carefully nurtured surplus, cut taxes and increased spending more than any other Democrat president, that illusion has been shattered.

I look forward to voting this tax-cut-and-spend president out in 2004.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Oops, I forgot one interview I had!  I interviewed with over the phone.  It took about an hour and they asked all kinds of very specific questions about perl itself.  I'm talking small syntax things that nobody in their right mind would remember unless they had used them the day before.  Like, what does this mean: $|.  Or this: $"

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

"now that Bush has blown a carefully nurtured surplus"

I wasn't aware that the federal government had an account where they keep leftover money from year to year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

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