Continuing from the previous post, back in May 2000, I was shortlisted by three companies for their second round interviews.
I went to Digisafe first, and the interview were pretty much similar to the first one, except that there were more interviewers. Shortly after the interview, I got a call from their HR offering me a position in their company.
After that, I went for interviews at Giesecke & Devrient. I was interviewed by two group managers separately as both were interested in my experiences. The Smart card OS group was interested in my knowledge in cryptography, while the software development group was interested in my experiences in Visual C++ and MFC. I took a test in C++ and MFC during the interview and was told that I did quite well compared to other interviewees.
In the end, Giesecke & Devrient also offered me a position and I had to choose between the two of them. The salary package was about the same, but I eventually chose the German firm because I thought that the prospect and exposure would be better.
Looking back, I believed that part of the reasons why I chose the German firm was also due to the fact that I had to put in more efforts during the interview. They gave me the impression that they were very serious in choosing their employees, and it actually meant something if I was selected by them.
Gemplus also made an offer but their offer came too late as I had already signed the appointment letter with Giesecke & Devrient.
Upon securing a job, I was ready to embark on my journey as an engineer. At that point of time, I thought that I would be a software engineer for my entire life. Afterall, software development was probably one of the very few things that I excelled at. I thought that my working life would be spent mostly in front of the computer. I never thought that one day I would be meeting a lot of people and doing sales pitches to customers, partners and resellers.
But interview is actually a form of sales. You are selling the idea that you can be a valuable asset to the company and a desirable person to work with. You prepare your marketing material (resume), understand what your customer (interviewer) wants, and package your product (yourself) in a way that suits your customer’s needs. And the interviewer is also doing a sales pitch. He/she needs to understand what the interviewee wants, what other options the interviewee has, and tries to persuade him that the company is his best option. We have been doing sales throughout our lives without particularly noticing it, even if we are not in the sales line.
So, this sort of marked the beginning of my life as an engineer.