My old manager told me to tell recruiters and companies that I applied to that I was still working. He would even vouch for me since he was still at the company. With severance, I would technically still be on payroll and if they called my manager, he would tell them that I might be called in to finish something up despite being laid off. I had never done that before, nor have I heard anything about it, so I figured I would go with that approach.
If you’re curious, it’s hard to say if this approach was effective. Whether or not I was working still never had any relevance during any of my interviews.
As mentioned before, I got a lot of phone calls. All I did was drop my updated resume on Dice.com and then my phone kept ringing and my email inbox kept began filling up. It was kind of cool to know that there were jobs out there and it was up to me to capitalize on it. There were a couple afternoons where I was pretty much on back-to-back phone calls. It’s kind of funny, there were a couple of interviews that had to be scheduled really far in advance, and I would think “I’ll probably have a job by then”. I would end up needing to go to those.
When it came time to interview, it was a very diverse process. Some companies asked technical questions and some focused on my personality and background. A couple of companies sent me timed programming tests and one sent me a quiz to test my terminology. One company had me take an aptitude test, which was basically a 20 minute condensed version of the SAT. You have to understand, every job offer I’ve gotten came from a company that liked my personality (no technical questions or tests); I was almost searching for that perfect interview/company again.
I’m a pretty competent programmer, but if you asked me to tell you the differences between an Abstract class and an Interface, I wouldn’t be able to go into that much detail. Or at least not as much as a recruiter wanted. And then there was that test that asked me to optimize a multithreaded system. Despite landing a few 2nd round interviews, the first wave of interviews and phone calls resulted in nothing.
I began to question my abilities. Feelings of inadequacy crossed my mind. I wasn’t depressed or anything, just tilted. Although, sometimes I couldn’t even blame myself. Mid-interview process, there were a couple of companies that decided they wanted to fill a different position, so they would close the job opening.
After a shaky interview down in San Clemente, I was given some words of encouragement from my girlfriend and her dad. When I told her dad that there haven’t been any job offers or good interviews yet, he said:
“..then we’ll keep waiting.”
A reminder for patience.
Before that interview, my girlfriend said
“Even if you bomb an interview, if God wants you to work there, you’ll get the job.”
A reminder that God is in control.
And so, I kept moving forward.