Specific Opportunity with FB. This was the title of an email I received roughly 5 months ago. It was from a Facebook recruiter. He told me they where seeking out new front-end talent and I might just fit in. I was stunned. I am some average guy, living in an standard sub-urban town in the middle of Germany, visiting an ordinary college in Frankfurt and jobbed at some pretty mediocre companies. I mean, just a couple of months earlier I applied as a part-time front-end guy at some random companies to go alongside my school — and got rejected by them. Why would they contact me?
Nevertheless, I answered that I was interested. Due to time difference it was a bit cumbersome to arrange a phone call, but we managed. A couple of days later I found myself in the middle of the Facebook interview process. I sent in my resume, mastered a programming challenge and had a couple of phone interviews. Then I got an invitation for an on-site interview. A couple of weeks later I was sitting on a plane to San Francisco. Me. Some average guy. Sitting on a plane, travelling to an interview at one of the coolest tech-companies in the world.
During the time of the phone interviews I read a lot about how other people took the interview process. How it was very challenging, but also rewarding. Even after receiving the rejection. And most people who wrote about it finally got a rejection. I was very excited about the whole thing, but I was sure: eventually, I will get my rejection as well. After all, I am just some average guy. How could I compete with those great minds actually getting those jobs? But I had fun during the interview process, so I kept going. I had nothing to lose after all.
At the Facebook HQ I had an interview marathon. I got a break at noon to get lunch after which I was shown around the place. At lunch my recruiter asked me about for how long my school will continue. I had just begun my masters course. It was another 3 semesters. But I told her I was willing to ditch it, should I receive an offer I was happy with. She said that Facebook would not want me to quit my masters course, but I insisted that I made up my mind about that already before even answering the first mail. After all: what reason would there be to do the whole interview process, if I wasn’t willing to accept an adequate offer in the end — except maybe getting sponsored a weekend trip to the Bay Area. She laught.
But it was true. That’s what I actually thought. When I’d receive my rejection – and I was still sure I would eventually get one – I could still tell myself “Well, you had a good time, you traveled to the US for the first time in your life and boy, you can maybe even put that on your resume when applying for a job at one of those mediocre companies again!”
The interviews where exhausting and I still had a nearly 12 hour long flight before me. Sitting on that plane home, I actually thought about it for the first time: what if I do receive an offer? I mean I had thought about it, but I never really envisioned it. Some of my friends of course knew about the interviews and some of them were pretty excited, but I always kept saying to them — and myself: keep it low, we’ll have to see what happens. Since in the end, I very well may fail. After all I am just some average guy. But on my way home, I realized: this is it. The interview process is over. There will not be anything more to wait for. I’ll now either get a rejection, or an offer.
A couple of days later I had an email from my recruiter in my inbox. Emails usually aren’t a good sign. Rejections come by email, offers by phone they say. It was a short mail. I was asked if I had time to receive a call later that day.