Interviewing Evan Vaughan

Back to the blog, I am. Today, I’m excited to discuss some of my previous interactions with industry professionals. My conversations have ranged from formal interviews where I had to dress nicely and did the ‘try my best to impress’ sort of thing to super laid back, sorta just dropped in to say hello interactions. Without further ado, Below are some of my most memorable experiences.

Conversation with serial software business owner

I can’t remember how this conversation went word-by-word, but I thought I’d walk you through the interesting advice that I received. I had been working on a piece of software for quite some time and set out to meet some experience software developers to further enhance my coding skills. The advice that I received went something like this: Evan, you have the right mindset when it comes to coding and how the logistical pieces all fit together, but you’re in the wrong market; consider pivoting to the cannabis business.

Keep in mind that this gentlemen owns three large businesses and has a bit of money to spend. The fact that I even had the opportunity to meet him was incredible. Back on topic, I’m not entirely against recreational drug and alcohol use, but I would not become a contributor to either industry. So I took the advice as a compliment and went on my way.

As a side note, it’s quite interesting how prosperous the two industries are.

Interview at Webroot

This interaction was a full-blown interview where I had the don’t-fudge-this-up mindset. It started with meeting my first interviewee in the elevator, so I started with reading the guy and analyzing how he responded to my dry humor and small talk. This eventually digressed into discussing the technical position that I was attempting to fill. We talked about my previous software development experience, as well as the various types of programming languages required for the role. I knew that I wasn’t proficient in the mentioned languages so I immediately shifted my strategy towards explaining how quickly I can learn new content and how I could be valuable to the Webroot team in more areas than just software development.

Interview with NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab)

While pursuing my project work with Red Rocks Community College, I had the opportunity of working with an NREL cyber-security professional. We became well acquainted which eventually lead to an interview for a possible position at NREL. The interview was online and included five individuals, one of which was my original contact, the other four were industry professionals that were determined to find a new, skilled hire. The first ten minutes of the conversation were dedicated to explaining my background and providing information for why I was qualified for the position. The remaining twenty minutes involved questions that the interviewees had for me, such as what my interests were, what were some of my previous experiences with non-tech jobs, and how I dealt with certain situations. I responded with stories that I’ve accumulated from many years of working at Cold Stone, Best Buy, and various IT positions.