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I have just been interviewed via Skype, after which I was given a coding assignment to complete. The interview was okay except that I got nervous and couldn't answer some of the questions properly.

I feel my nerves meant I wasn't performing at my best and I would like another chance; the interviewer did mention that there will be another interview if need be.

Taking this into consideration, is there a way I can politely inform them that I would like another chance in this second interview before they make their decision?

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I've been in your shoes before. I get rediculously nervous for interviews. I didn't email them, but they could tell I was obviously very nervous. Even though I had messed up a little they still asked me for another interview. I would say don't email them about that, but also remember to always send an email after an interview thanking them for their time and treat it as one last chance to put in why you think your a good fit. I would recommend you to do the same. You don't want the employer to focus on your mistakes... –  TheOneWhoPrograms Apr 2 at 6:36
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Hi Parth, Welcome to the site! I think you have the start of a good question here so I edited it a little to try to draw the focus to the main issue (the request of a second interview). I hope this is still the question you wanted to ask, good luck! –  RWY Apr 2 at 7:31

3 Answers 3

In my opinion I wouldn't recommend you write the email but just concentrate on doing the best possible job on the coding assignment. Why? I shall explain below.

I recently interviewed and hired a new developer for my team, and you can tell when someone is nervous. In my experience as both interviewer and interviewee, the interviewers will take nerves into account. Almost everyone I interviewed showed nerves to some degree.

They've already told you a second round of interviews will be necessary if you do well on the coding assignment, so don't worry about what has happened as you can't change that; worry about what you can change and that's how well you do in the next bit.

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+1 - almost all interviewees are nervous –  HorusKol Apr 2 at 6:39
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@StephanKolassa I disagree. 99.99 % of developers these days need to work in close collaboration with their peers/teammates. I expect a developer to have at least a reasonable comfort around other people and grow out of the classical and outdated "super shy and awkward coding guy" stereotype. Yes, growing and evolving this skill is probably the hardest part but I definitely expect you to have it after a few years of experience. Beeing nervous in an interview does not tell me much about this skill; but maybe how you handle your nervousness does... –  Radu Murzea Apr 2 at 8:08
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@RaduMurzea Nervousness in an interview does not necessarily translate to nervousness in close collaboration. On the job, you have the opportunity to consult with your colleagues and get to know them. You can rely on their advice, especially if you're new to that job. In an interview, all the pressure falls squarely on you. You're put on the spotlight and being judged on an accept or reject basis. That's a very different kind of pressure. –  Terribad Apr 2 at 13:40
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+1 for "Don't worry about what has happened as you can't change that; worry about what you can change." –  Kevin Apr 2 at 15:36

I'm going to court a little controversy and say that you should not ask for another interview.

As an interviewer, I have to assume that you are performing at your best. I can't think "Well, that was a pretty poor interview, but I bet Parth is better when not under pressure."

In your day to day work, I need to know that you will be able to cope with the pressure of deadlines, urgent client meetings, things breaking. If you can't cope with a friendly chat over Skype - am I going to be happy putting you in from of my boss?

That said, yes, we know everyone gets nervous in interviews. We're not expecting 100% perfection. You probably didn't perform as badly as you thought.

The interviewer is the one who decides which candidate gets a second interview - not you. Do not write saying "Gosh! I was pretty crappy, eh? Can you give me a second chance? PLEASE!"

Instead, say something like...

Thanks for taking the time to interview me last week. I found the whole process really interesting. Based on the questions I asked, I would love to work for XYZ Corp. I really think my experience with ABC could be a great asset to your project - and I'm keen to learn more about your 123 processes.

Please do let me know if you need any more information from me.

That way, you are showing that you actually want the job and get to reiterate your strengths.

Good luck!

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As someone who has done alot of interviewing, someone asking me for a another interview after the first one would be someone I would not further consider. Either he is telling me that he doesn't know how well he did and has no self confidence or he is reminding me of how badly he did. Neither one is a plus. –  HLGEM Apr 2 at 13:09

If the interviewer is leaving you to do the assignment, then either they're actively considering you or else they're a time-waster.

If they're considering you then presumably your interview was acceptable. They'll interview you again if they think it will help them decide.

If they're a time-waster who has already rejected you but hasn't bothered saying so then asking for a second interview won't help.

So overall you might as well sit tight. Perhaps when you submit the assignment you could say that your interviewer mentioned a possible second interview and you would like to know whether this will be required. That is, don't ask for a second interview, ask them for the decision they explicitly left open. I can't tell from what you report, whether they really meant a do-over of the first interview. More common is that their process calls for a second-round interview if they're happy with your first interview and your assignment.

I don't want to speculate what proportion of hiring processes allow for wasting the time of rejected candidates on pointless exercises. I hope it's small, but I fear that not everyone in the business is as professional as you'd expect. But the fact that they still want you to do the assignment after the first interview is cautiously a sign that you didn't actually fail the first one even if you feel you could have done better.

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