Interview tips for a senior swe who is not a Senior Swe

Jan 23 10 Comments

Guys
I have total YOE of 9 years with my relavant at around 3. I was a data Engineer - mostly sql before I took a full SWE role. It's difficult for me to compete with people vying for a Senior / Principal engineering role. I have at times overstated my experience to be around 5 to get shortlisted.

How do people who have been in the SWE role for a long time advise me to sell myself , develop myself to score good at interviews.

I have spent last few months narrowing the tech expertise gap - learning as much as I could
Reading good code
doing a bit of leetcode etc

PS : I really like being an SWE and would want to do that going forward.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 10 Comments
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    Three years of experience isn’t senior. You will need to demonstrate subject mater understanding and maturity.
    Jan 23 3
    • New //root
      Try telling recruiter that your relevant experience is only 3 years. Tell them you are looking for sde2. They may happily offer sde2.
      Jan 23
    • Barclays PLC kuberoot
      OP
      I will aim for SDE 2 in any decent company.
      Jan 23
  • Carvana STtE11
    I'd recommend going out for a mid role. You'll be much happier in the long run, as otherwise you'll be competing with senior engineers that actually have 9 yoe after you get hired. If there's an obvious skill gap between you and those on your team that are in, or deserve a senior role, that will cause unwanted friction.

    Go out for the title that fits your skill level not your yoe. Also, there's no shame in going for a step down at a new company, having less stress could be worth the pay cut (if there is one).
    Jan 23 2
    • Barclays PLC kuberoot
      OP
      I have no issue with that. But the companies I interview are not FAANG level where I can learn. They tie the role to total experience. If I were to say what you are saying - I would not be considered for any role whatsoever.
      Jan 23
    • Carvana STtE11
      Just be honest about your experience. Maybe update your resume to show a clearer distinction between roles for a period of time. If you have only 4 yoe, make that clear when applying.
      Jan 24
  • How's your system design? You need system design for senior.
    Jan 23 2
    • Barclays PLC kuberoot
      OP
      We have a small scale app - basically 3 Microservices. I designed it and did all prototyping using jmeter and stuff etc before pushing code.
      I do have extensive experience designing extremely load bearing SQL codes and pipelines

      We don't do a lot of scalable systems though. Like spinning new instances on aws etc... I try to learn that as a personal initiative.
      Jan 23
    • Mmm... polish up your system design knowledge, especially scalability if you want a big company. One of the most popular system design questions I got recently was design Twitter feeds. Had that with 3 different companies.
      Jan 23

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees