Is it harder to get a job now compared to 5yrs ago? Or is it ageism?

Akamai Technologies hpBF22
Aug 18 18 Comments

I’m 37 and I’m noticing it seems harder to land a job offer than I remember it being 5+ years ago. In previous searches I had a ~50% offer rate for in person interviews. I never studied at all and didn’t even know what leetcode was back then. My offer rate is much lower right now which is surprising since the job market is supposed to be hot, right?

I’ve prepped leetcode with 220+ problems solved. I’ve got lots of relevant experience in tons of areas. But I’m getting rejected a lot which is strange.

I recently had a interview with salesforce where I felt I totally kicked ass on the coding questions. They were all LC easy with a few mediums. Was sure I’d get an offer but got rejected citing lack of experience with Jenkins (wtf?) Recruiter went out of her way to tell me they were very impressed with my coding skills and suggested interviewing with other teams.

Is the market becoming more saturated or is ageism starting to kick in? It could also be that I have to tone my personality down for interviews that could be hurting me as well.


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TOP 18 Comments
  • PayPal hal2thsnd
    Sometimes when you are interviewing, they’ve already made up their minds with a previous candidate. Don’t be too hard on yourself and keep leetcoding.
    Aug 18 1
    • Google 7456
      +1, all too often I've seen HMs prefer sub-optimal candidate due to personal fit preferences - don't take interviews as a sign of technical competence
      Aug 18
  • Yelp


    You’re too old. That’s the problem
    Aug 18 2
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      Username checks out.
      Aug 18
    • Tektronix BazzokaGrl
      A recent study showed recruiters considered 40 to be old. Those SOBs. Sucks but there's definitely some ageism. Make sure to dye any gray hair and take steps to look polished/younger.
      Aug 19
  • Jet / Other

    Jet Other

    Study Jenkins lmao
    They’ve probably made their choice before you came onsite
    Aug 18 0
  • Ageism is true and happens.

    If you think you need to tone your personality down, perhaps you need to. In interviews you need to act like someone who even younger people would want to work with (if you are applying to a place which is on the younger side)

    I don’t mean you should act all young. Just that you need to display an amicable and friendly personality
    Aug 18 0
  • New galo
    I was in a similar boat a few months ago and also got way fewer offers than before. However I don't think it's ageism, but a widespread cluelessness about how to tell who is a good enginer + Leetcode and the cult to algorithms that become harder as people spend more and more time preparing. Don't discount the Jenkins bit. If you have two candidates that nail a set of easy/medium questions, I can totally see "who knows jenkins" as the bit that decided it. Keep at it and you'll find your place.
    Aug 18 0
  • GoodRx AlCzervik
    Perhaps Salesforce has a Rooney rule which is why you got the interview at your age... I'm kidding... Market is competitve but companies are also getting smarter at assessing talent as well. Lots of factors already mentioned above as well
    Aug 18 0
  • Wayfair / Eng BScK77
    One thing I've noticed as I've gotten older is that hiring gets to be pretty role specific. As in, we need a person with experience building distributed messaging systems vs. we need a warm body that has seen Java before.

    The entire process makes no sense, anyway. I was told by SF that I didn't know enough about containerization to manage a couple Engineering teams. I then took a different job that focused heavily on containerization.

    Perhaps my favorite example is from right now. I applied to for a Principal Eng. Manager at Microsoft and have heard nothing on that job, but a member of the Executive Recruiting team found me on LinkedIn, so now I'm interviewing for a Partner Engineering Manager role.

    Finally, if you're in the Boston area, you'd have a strong shot at Wayfair. I'm hiring and my flow for anyone with > 3 years experience is minimal. Of course, I don't plan on being here much longer...
    Aug 19 3
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      How long does it take you guys to fill a position? Do you think the supply/demand dynamics have shifted meaning more engineers for every job opening?
      Aug 19
    • Wayfair / Eng BScK77
      It depends on the position. For junior roles, it's generally not a problem, but things seem slow for more senior roles. Caveat: That could just be my view of things, since I only have visibility to a small part of the overall pipeline.
      Aug 19
    • Wayfair / Eng BScK77
      Also, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others are all expanding pretty aggressively in Greater Boston, so competition is increasing as well.
      Aug 19
  • Bloomberg / Eng F.U. money
    Same here despite top schools on resume and actually doing decently on interviews.

    Did they ask you if you’ve used Jenkins before? What did you use for CICD?
    Aug 18 1
    • Akamai Technologies hpBF22
      I’ve been using Jenkins for ci/cd for years now. I told the hiring manager that too.
      Aug 19
  • New XOIS14
    I wonder if you are short selling yourself. Maybe aiming for more junior roles at given years of experience?
    Aug 18 0
  • Microsoft gskxs
    What’s your technical background?
    Aug 18 0
  • Amazon / Eng AMZNBucks
    Jenkins??? Lmao you don't need experience with Jenkins. Sorry that happened to you, Gramps. They probably already had someone else in mind
    Aug 18 0


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