This is the history about how I almost got my first job.
Early in the year I meet a founder during a meet up organized by an startup at a bar. She mentioned the project she was working on, introduced me to the team and I actually thought what she was doing was quite cool.
During the year she send me a message via LinkedIn to know if I was interested in a position as a software developer. It looked pretty generic and I was busy so I didn’t even bother in replying. A few days later I see a survey on their Facebook page, so I fill it out just to do a good thing.
A week after that, I received an email from the startup, saying that they were giving away t-shirts to the ones who fill out the survey and I happened to won a t-shirt. I still don’t know if I was lucky or she was just looking for a way to brought me to the office. But now looking back I guess I probably was the only one who filled that survey.
I thought it was a good opportunity to see how the startup was doing so I mailed her to arrange an interview.
During the interview she told me the future plans of her company and asked me to join them. I said no at first but after a couple of minutes I accepted to do a couple of hours of work a week. The following day, I was attending an event in the office where her company was being accelerated at so we talked a bit and I can clearly remember she literally said: “I’ll email you, you start on Monday.”.
She didn’t mail me.
I send her an email to clear all the details, she replied that she was working on a few things out with her CTO and told me to wait. I did never hear from her again.
As I was quite busy with college (and a bit offended) I didn’t mail her again. A couple of week later I went to Facebook to see how they were doing. They moved to Europe to attend an accelerating process and then the company closed. Aka. they failed.
I don’t know if she was desperate or what, but that would explain why she wanted to hire me without even make me code a few lines of code so I guess she didn’t know what she was doing. It still surprises me how, until you get your first day at the office, you can’t call yourself an employee, at least at startups.
And this lesson apply to HR people and startups in general. You can never be sure.