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