Had an interview and learnt that another candidate had a much easier, less technical interview than I did. Our interviews were based on a case study to which we had written an answer to, which formed the basis of the interview. However, speaking to another candidate I learnt that she was not asked extremely technical stuff that I was. And she was asked questions about the firm which I would have scored 100%.

I feel it is really unfair and unlucky.

Also I keep beating myself up and ruminating about the interview, any tips for me.

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    Seems to me you were taken more seriously than she was, that they were looking for different things from both of you. The lesson is this: stop talking about interviews with people you are competing against. – user1666620 Aug 11 '18 at 21:19
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    "any tips" is a bit more open ended than we handle here. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you wanting to get the job? Did she get the job? – GreenMatt Aug 11 '18 at 21:24
  • @greenmatt I just want to rant about how the inconsistency of interviewers and questions asked made it an unfair process. I am sure if I had her interviewers I would have aced the interview. Perhaps it is as the other said that my written task was really good so they decided to dig deeper. But with more difficult questions, my response and delivery would definitely be worse (got answers wrong!) than the other candidate's, since her questions were easier. Results not out now but trying to stay positive (I believe energy manifests outcomes) but also need to manage expectations. – magenta333 Aug 11 '18 at 22:36
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    @magenta333: A desire to rant is understandable ... but this isn't a forum for ranting, it's a q & a site. – GreenMatt Aug 11 '18 at 22:59
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    Here's a story that'll make you feel better. I was the interviewer and here's what happened with one applicant. ME: "How much experience do you have with .NET?" APP: "None. I mostly work with C#." A few other questions went along the same line - and it was clear the applicant didn't really have any C# knowledge. So I didn't bother asking any further technical questions. Imagine if you had also went to this interview, and talked to that person. "Dude, he asked you about LINQ and Lists? Ha - he didn't ask me anything that technical!" – Kevin Aug 12 '18 at 11:40

You may have been on the same interview plan but with different skills.

Some exams adjust what questions are asked based on the answers so far. A candidate who answers medium difficulty questions well gets asked the advanced questions. A candidate who has trouble with the medium difficulty questions gets asked easier ones.

In your case, they may have used the written response to set the type of questions before the start of the interview.

That strategy allows evaluation of a wide range of candidates without anyone wasting time on questions that are either too easy or too difficult.

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    Yep. I've done this before when candidates breeze through technical questions, we end up going deeper than others who may get stuck or have a harder time on them. It's incredibly valuable to understand how someone deals with real questions that make them think. – enderland Aug 11 '18 at 22:14
  • @Elysian Fields yea and I stumbled when they asked me those real, higher level questions. – magenta333 Aug 11 '18 at 22:39
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    @magenta333 Ideally, they would be asking you questions just around the limits of your ability to answer. If all the questions are easy, the interviewer is underestimating you. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 11 '18 at 23:37

Don’t beat yourself up about it and just move forward. Also, I’d reccommend not comparing the two interviews and talking about them as there’s nothing you can do about it.

It seems unusual for the interview questions to vary per candidate but if that’s the company’s mo then there’s nothing that can be done now. It may have been because you had both demonstrated different skills prior.

Take it as a learning experience and move on.


You don't say if either of you got the job. Is that even known yet? If you got hired and she didn't, there doesn't seem to be much to complain about. If it's the other way around, see below.

It is often assumed that the resume/CV (assuming it's true, and references are often used to do that) shows whether a job seeker has the skills needed. Interviews are often about determining if a candidate will "fit" in the organization as much or more than if they have the technical skills needed to do the job. To do this, it's frequently considered desirable to put the candidate into a more relaxed frame of mind than they probably are when they walk into the interview. As such, by having you discuss the answer you had prepared for their case study, they may have hoped to put you into familiar territory and thus relax you. That raises the question of what was your answer in comparison to the other candidate's answer. Was yours more technical than hers? If so, that probably explains why you were asked more technical questions.

Keep in mind that no two interviews are ever going to be identical. Some organization may make a point of having questions prepared in advance to avoid (potential) appearances of being unfair, but no two candidates will answer the same and different answers will lead to different follow up conversations.

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