Ever have a panic attack during an onsite? I just did

New / Eng
iuz

New Eng

BIO
TC:100k YOE: 8
iuzmore
Sep 27 54 Comments

TLDR: After showing up 45 mins late, had a panic attack and walked out during a stupid simple code interview.

Title says it all. I'm looking to change companies because I'm totally miserable at my current gig. Have been doing phone screens and they've been going TERRIFIC. So much so that during the screen for this first interview they liked me so much it was insisted I skip to the final stage of the process for an onsite. Similarly positive responses during my other screens as well.

So today was that first onsite and it was a complete disaster. I had to deal with multiple unexpected high pressure situations at my current job in the morning, then ended up getting stuck in traffic due to a bunch of busted toll booths (even though I left over an hour earlier than I had to just in case) and finally after deciding it was time to call them to let em know I was running behind I realized I left my phone at home. I show up 45 mins late, have to pay $60 to park almost 8 blocks away cuz the checkin window for the $10 parking pass I purchased in preparation expired and it's now pouring rain outside. To make matters worse, it's a shared workspace in a large busy location and no one at the front desk knows where the company I'm supposed to go to is actually located. So further delays ensue.

I finally get where I'm supposed to be completely soaking wet, frazzled and clearly stressed out. I rattle off an explanation about broken toll booths and no phone, while getting this look like I was on drugs or something (I swear I totally wasn't). I apologize extensively and tell them I totally understand if they just wanna reschedule or even cancel the interview entirely. But, they wanted to make the best of the situation so we proceeded to do the coding interview. We go in this tiny room, I then start having issues connecting to the wifi and my IDE wont load properly on my laptop. After a couple minutes I get it sorted out, I'm hooked up to this giant screen and am presented with a extremely simple coding problem.

Honestly I dont know what happened at that point, but I just froze. Couldnt think straight, started getting tunnel vision, heart racing and hands shaking, could barely breathe. It seriously like I was about to have a heart attack.

I sat there for a couple mins hoping I could get control of things again, but I was too far gone. I just drew a blank. It was like I've never touched a line of code before in my life. I felt like an absolute idiot. Not to mention the feeling of impending cardiac arrest I was experiencing.

I stood up, apologized for wasting the interviewer's time and said "I just cant do this right now. I dont know what's wrong with me but apparently I cant map over a simple object array at the moment". The interviewer was empathetic and even said let them know if I'd like to reschedule for some other time. I extended my thanks apologized again and I walked out in absolute shame.

When I got back to my vehicle and finished paying my gold bar for parking, I literally just broke down. I'm not an emotional person at all. Total opposite actually. I've had bad interviews before and am constantly in high stress situations. I never let that kinda stuff get to me. As a matter of fact my ability to handle and manage high stress scenarios is something I'm often commended on. Its where I really shine. But I've also never had a panic attack before, apparently there's a first time for everything. So I dont know what the hell is wrong with me after all is said and done.

Worse part about it is when I eventually got home I turned on the laptop and the notes for the problem were still open in my IDE. I took a look at em and managed to sort out the problem in like 9 minutes.

That's my story. A little bit of schadenfreud for the peeps that are into that kinda stuff. Would be cool if someone could one up me though... Maybe peed themselves during an interview or even better, interviewed with someone who recognized you from blind???

TC: 100k
YOE: 8

comments

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TOP 54 Comments
  • Google perfy
    Bro u typed this all on your phone 💀
    Sep 27 1
    • New / Eng iuz
      OP
      At least my thumbs may have a future...
      Sep 27
  • Google / Eng batmobile
    Sounds like a real panic attack, in the medical sense. Just because you have been fine so far doesn't mean you are immune to stress. Maybe stress was building up internally?

    Rest over the weekend and go for the interview again. Good luck.
    Sep 27 2
    • Google / Eng batmobile
      Also, you should be careful and pay attention to yourself to make sure this doesn't develop into a disorder.
      Sep 27
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      Thanks. That's what I'm really concerned about . The truth is, I really wasnt even super interested in the position. Which is what makes this worse. Breaking down like that over something that I normally wouldn't care about seems like an indication that something underlying is going on in my head. I guess in hindsight, its probably why I'm even posting here. Cheaper than a therapist.
      Sep 27
  • Amazon bоb
    TC or GTFO
    Sep 27 6
    • geez.. pretty feisty for someone who just caked their pants mid interview
      Sep 27
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      For the record, I didn't even make it to the mid point of the interview before I choked.
      Sep 27
    • lmao poor OP
      Sep 27
    • Amazon bоb
      Sneaky bastard. We both know you just added it and it wasn’t there when I wrote my comment. You lower the bar on Earns Trust.
      Sep 27
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      If you can't trust people on blind, then who can you really trust?????
      Sep 27
  • Magic Leap ☄️💥🔥
    Well, it sounds terrible but... also memorable.
    Remember next time if a interviewer asks about a failure you had, bring this story up!
    Sep 27 1
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      I'll pee on the interviewers shoe during my next one... Now that's a story 🤔
      Sep 27
  • New / Eng
    iuz

    New Eng

    BIO
    TC:100k YOE: 8
    iuzmore
    OP
    Update: Recruiter contacted me and apparently they want to reschedule. Regardless, I'm quitting my current gig on Monday morning. That's the first AND LAST panic attack I'm having.
    Sep 27 1
    • Good. You owe your job nothing. It's noble to care about your team, but not worth it at this cost.
      Sep 27
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      No mental breakdowns the second time around, but I still didn't perform as well as I should have from a technical standpoint. Spending more time in meetings than building actual applications for the last year and a half at the company I was working for (which I did end up resigning from the following Monday after I posted this) really negatively impacted my coding abilities. Kinda like not speaking for close to two years - you can still formulate thoughts and ideas, but you struggle with expressing them verbally.
      Long story short, the CTO genuinely liked me but we both agreed that there were technical deficiencies I really need to work on. So I rescinded my application to spend the next few months focusing on honing my technical chops. I realized that at the moment I'm just not a strong enough technical candidate for legit companies outside of hack digital agencies. So working on changing that between now and the the end of the year.
      Oct 25
    • Wayfair zDkt58
      Are you sure you even want to be a dev?
      Oct 25
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      @zDkt58 Not a doubt in my mind. I love coding. I always have. I will spend 12+ hours a day at my console with a smile on my face. I dream in javascript and php -- not metaphorically either. I will literally wake up in the middle of the night because dreamt some solution to a problem I encountered during the day and need to test it.
      Oct 25
    • Nordstrom techn9ne
      Awesome, glad to hear it went better second time in terms of your anxiety! I would have been petrified to show my face again, you got cahones
      Oct 25
    • Wayfair zDkt58
      That’s good to hear, you’ll crush it next time
      Oct 25
  • Booking.com
    Баба Яга

    Booking.com

    BIO
    🤬🤪🥴🥺🤫😜🤦‍♂️
    Баба Ягаmore
    I absolutely understand your situation. I had similar experience when I was looking for my first job. The important part is to first figure out what is causing the pressure. What is so important that makes you afraid to mess up? Once you find the actual cause and resolve it, the rest won't be a problem at all.

    My problem at the time was I needed a job to continue my visa, and that gave me immense pressure, and I kept playing back in my head that if I screw up the interview, then I would be deported. I magnified the situation so much that I could not see anything else.
    Sep 27 3
    • Amazon bоb
      And look at you now happily sitting in your baba yaga hut :)
      Sep 27
    • Booking.com
      Баба Яга

      Booking.com

      BIO
      🤬🤪🥴🥺🤫😜🤦‍♂️
      Баба Ягаmore
      Lol.

      I spoke to a friend who asked me a bunch of questions. Why do I care so much about living in that country? Was leaving that country for another one not an option?

      At the end I got an epiphany that made me realized that I want a simple life not a stressful life. I should look for a place when I feel comfortable. After that, instead of worrying about visa, I went for the place that I want to be.

      Look for your epiphany. Your stress will be gone. I hope you get there soon.
      Sep 27
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      It's definitely my current job. It's a total shit show. I just feel bad bailing on my team so I'm trying to hunt and help carry them at the same time, but the place is killing me.
      Sep 27
  • Wag / Other
    sks5715

    Wag Other

    PRE
    Zillow Group, Symantec, PetSmart
    sks5715more
    Ugh. I’ve been there.

    I walked into a final onsite for a job I really wanted not long ago and totally bombed my assignment presentation. Like, they were asking me the simplest questions I should’ve (and do) know the answers to and I just froze.

    It was a combination of lack of sleep, stress at my current crappy/demoralizing job and some other personal stuff I had going on with family. I knew when I walked in I was not in the right headspace to be there.

    Everyone has bad days and performances. The trick is don’t let it define you or get the best of you. Learn from every opportunity, pick yourself up and try again.

    Best of luck with your continued search!
    Sep 27 1
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      I agree. I think it's really hard sometimes to recognize those outlying and intermediate factors that could potentially have such an impact on our performance in moments like this until after the fact.
      Sep 27
  • Cisco mghjjccb
    Are you preparing under stress (desperately trying to exit the current job)? Don't ... You will crash and 🔥
    Sep 27 0
  • No. The hardest part about interviews for me is pretending I give a shit about them
    Sep 27 0
  • Apple lPnq2Ah
    Op just remember soon you’ll be dead and none of this will matter
    Sep 27 0
  • Rover.com / HR looking4rc
    Where do you live?
    Sep 27 5
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      Creepy...
      Sep 27
    • Rover.com / HR looking4rc
      I was wondering if this was in Seattle lol I phrased that wrong. Wanted to see if you’d be open to a Rover referral because I like helping people.
      Sep 28
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      Haha. Thanks, very much appreciated but I'm in the midwest.
      Sep 28
    • Rover.com / HR looking4rc
      Yeah sorry didn’t mean to come across as creepy. If you’re open to relocating we fly people out for interviews if you make it that far.
      Sep 28
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      I was just joking about being creepy. 😁
      That's super cool of you to offer the referral though. Thank you!
      Sep 28
  • HackerRank Elcamino37
    Dude, I fully sympathize with you. I think it was just a bad day and that happens to each one of us. Of course interview process is nerve wracking and since this was your first on-site after a long time and with other issues, situation escalated. I’m sure you must have learnt from your experience - keep away from distractions ( office work ;)) on the day of the interview, etc. i’m sure you would do good in future, it just happened that so many unknowns happened with u.

    Good Luck!
    Sep 27 1
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      Yeah, that's where I messed up. The other distractions got the best of me. No more interviews on workdays. Need to get in the right headspace first.
      Sep 27
  • Microsoft Tattle
    It's ok man. Shit happens. Have a chill weekend and then start interviewing again. What are the chances of this happening again.
    Sep 27 0
  • Intel JmsIngram
    It's normal. I would have felt same. I would say move on. It was a bad day and you have 100s of other company to interview.
    Don't feel sad.
    Sep 27 0
  • Netflix nutcrack
    The best thing your interviewer could have done is to reschedule your interview when they saw you how late and stressed you are. Before asking any question. But they didn’t.
    Are you a male or a female?
    Sep 27 8
    • Booking.com
      Баба Яга

      Booking.com

      BIO
      🤬🤪🥴🥺🤫😜🤦‍♂️
      Баба Ягаmore
      If it's so obvious, enlighten us please
      Sep 27
    • Netflix nutcrack
      Sure. It’s called biology. Men and women are.. different. You are welcome.
      Sep 27
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      Deep.
      Sep 27
    • Booking.com
      Баба Яга

      Booking.com

      BIO
      🤬🤪🥴🥺🤫😜🤦‍♂️
      Баба Ягаmore
      You need to be inclusive. Don't discriminate non-binary people.
      Sep 27
    • New / Eng
      iuz

      New Eng

      BIO
      TC:100k YOE: 8
      iuzmore
      OP
      👆Woke.
      Sep 27
  • Lol, this was me during the first 30 interviews in my career. Would just straight blank out and forget everything. Or just be super nervous and do or say stupid things.

    Don’t worry about it. It goes away with time. Once you do X interviews and resign yourself to your fate, good or bad, you’ll be fine.
    Sep 27 0
  • Apple KGHP41
    Try to relax. Happens to all of us once in a while.
    Sep 27 0
  • Wayfair myting
    Same thing happened at my google interview! It was the very last one and I did great on all the ones prior to it.

    Get to the last one and I choke so hard... when I got home I solved it in 2min. Seriously 2min of code. I was ashamed of myself at the time and it cost me an offer.

    Don’t sweat it. Everything happens for a reason. Life is messed up and you should always try to look back and laugh about it.

    Think about it from the perspective of your death bed. Imagine you lying there, thinking about the life you lived... do you really think you messing up on this opportunity would depress you? No! You’ll probably laugh about it and it’ll put a smile on your face. Who knows what it’ll lead to! Life is mysterious and if you try to control everything that happens around you, you’re gonna be miserable. Go with the flow!
    Sep 27 0
  • Microsoft / Eng jmb1911
    Dude. Look I’m a damn rock star and even I shit the bed from time to time. Lack of sleep, bad luck, who knows but it happens. One time there was an echo on a con call and it was enough to make my brain explode and I lost it.

    Just laugh it off and try again, you’ll be fine.
    Oct 16 0

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