My interview experience@MLH Fellowship

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In early September 2020, I was sitting all alone and learning new stuff, with nothing better to apply my skills at and at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, I didn't have any idea what I was going to do next.

One day a friend sent me a link for the MLH Fellowship program. I applied.

Motivation

I have always been super interested in Open Source development. For the past 1 year, I have been contributing to open-source projects like Mozilla Treeherder, and open source projects at a student-driven community (DSC TIET)

Being able to work at this scale of real-world projects, alongside other super impressive students and experienced maintainers and mentors, was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you like software development, enjoy contributing to Open Source or would like to start (even though you don't know much about it yet) apply. Just do it.Okay, go on right now and apply!

Application Process

The overall application schedule is:

  1. Online application: you fill a form and answer questions like

    • "Why do you want to be a fellow."
    • "Briefly describe what you learned when you created this code sample".
    • "What have you learned recently that you would want to teach other fellows if accepted" An important point to keep in mind is that you need to be quite honest with these answers. Make sure you indicate and write what you actually feel!
  2. General interview: a 10-minute interview where you explain where you come from and what are you interested in.

  3. Technical interview: you choose a piece of code you wrote and think it's representative of your abilities, and explain it to your interviewer.

The general interview (1 of 2)

10-15 days after I applied I got an email to participate on the first, non-technical, interview. It was super casual and it took at best 10 minutes.

My interviewer was a student and MLH Coach and was a super fun person. He asked me quick questions like my name, interests, my general projects and technical background.

I was super relieved when I got the news that I had passed to the next phase and I received the mail in the next 4 hours!

The technical interview (2 of 2)

Later that day I received an invitation to the technical interview. I scheduled it the next day after the first one.

Here your task is to share your screen and show your interviewer one piece of code you wrote that you find interesting. I had a cool django-templating project. The interviewer was super impressed because I had a well maintained commented code, and was up to the industry-grade mark with separation of dev and prod (.env variables and everything!)

Some of the tips for future applicants are:

  • Are you passionate about code? Yes? Can you prove it? Did you build any projects with that passion?
  • Have you been using Linux exclusively? Make sure that you are able to showcase it!
  • Just be super truthful in your essay writing part and make sure that you are very well able to convey your passion via your words!

Stay tuned for the next blog where I will share my experience during the MLH Fellowship!

Dōmo arigatōgozaimasu for reading this blog!

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