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I'm a junior software developer, only a couple of years out of college. I had a conversation today with a recruiter from a recruiting agency, and he asked me which version of Angular I use.

I only know AngularJS - Which is Angular 1 - But I got mixed up on the spot and told him that I use Angular2.

A very amateaur mistake, I know... He sent me information about a potential job that he thinks I'm a good fit for, but I can see clearly in the job description that it's only for Angular2.

Should I send him a note explaining the mixup? We had a great conversation and I feel he might be able to help me land the type of job I'm looking for. However, if it'll make me look very bad, then I'll just make up an excuse for why I'm not interested, and chalk it up as a bad try.

In terms of the job that he told me about, I'm not super confident that it's for me, but at this stage of the game I probably would have proceeded anyways. My main push for telling him about the mistake is that he might have jobs suitable for me which are actually Angular1... But I don't know if it's worth making myself look bad like that.

What should I do in this situation?

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    Would not telling them mean you just stop working with this recruiter altogether? Or keep working with them and getting job recommendations you don't want? What do you gain by not telling them? – Dukeling Oct 24 '18 at 18:34
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Can you learn Angular 2 in a week? If not (like most of us), then I would go with something along the lines of

Hey [recruiter], I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me the other day and I felt like it was a great conversation. I'm really excited to be working with you! It just came to me that I mistakenly told you I had experience with Angular 2 but what I meant was AngularJS, sorry for any confusion.


I would think of it this way - your recruiter is working for you. He/she is the one trying to find you a job, admitting to your miscommunication may actually build trust in your relationship. And if you handle it well, it will actually show greater maturity that you can own up to your own mistakes and do it well.

Companies are not necessarily always looking for the sharpest guy, they're also looking for someone they want to work with.

And like others may have mentioned, AngularJS and Angular 2+ are completely different frameworks so you really don't want to be wasting time looking for Angular 2 jobs when you really want AngularJS.

  • As a former recruiter, I can assure you, this would be a great approach. Everyone makes mistakes. Don't overthink it. – Donna Oct 25 '18 at 3:27
  • Definitely, the recruiter might be sitting on AngularJS roles they could be sending OP's way right now because they think OP only does Angular 2. It's in both parties' interests to clear up the confusion asap. – delinear Oct 25 '18 at 10:20
  • Technically the recruiter is trying to fill open positions. As a side benefit you, the job hunter, get a job. So it's still in your interest to help the recruiter, by correcting misinformation. – stannius Oct 30 '18 at 22:58
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In a normal scenario: I would think that clearing up confusion or a relay of misinformation is absolutely essential.

In your scenario, I think that it's not as clear-cut. You've got experience using a framework; V1, V2, V7 - you still have experience, and you have a foundation to lean on when learning the newer framework.

What you need to be focusing on is this :

In terms of the job that he told me about, I'm not super confident that it's for me, but at this stage of the game I probably would have proceeded anyways.

If you find yourself not excited about the opportunity, unsure about if it's right for you, and you're not hurting for a [new] job, I would continue searching, and explain that as you learned more information about the role, you did some reflection and came to terms that you don't think you'll be a good fit. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this and it's the right thing to do for all parties involved.

Bottom line: If you want the job, take action to get up to speed on whatever you need to learn. If you don't want the job, don't pursue it and don't waste anyone else's time. It's your life, it's your time, and it's your career. Don't ever hesitate to make decisions for your life based on other people.

  • So do you recommend ever correcting the information? Otherwise the recruiter is just going to keep looking for jobs with the wrong skill set – David K Oct 24 '18 at 20:18
  • I mean it's always going to depend. The recruiter has a job to know what he/she is seeking in a candidate. In this case, the candidate feels as though they misspoke because of the difference in versions of the framework per what the client wants, but only noticed by looking at the job description. I'm sure candidates get weeded out in a more formal technical screening if everyone were to move forward, but in that case I would advise the candidate to open up about the confusion. Here, it doesn't seem like moving forward is the best move.. – Mark C. Oct 24 '18 at 20:24
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He sent me information about a potential job that he thinks I'm a good fit for, but I can see clearly in the job description that it's only for Angular2.

If you want to pursue it:

That sounds exciting, but from the description you sent, it looks like they are asking only for Angular 2 experience. I have work experience with v1 (Angular JS). Do you think they'd be open to someone that needed a little v2 mentoring? I'd be happy to learn it!

If don't want to pursue it, you can respond along these lines:

Sounds fine except the description requires Angular 2. I am currently working with Angular JS (which is Angular 1).

There is no need to say, "I'm such an amateur"
Because the recruiter just wants accurate information about what you are looking for and what you are qualified for.

If you don't fix this everyone in his company will think you know Angular 2.
They will be wasting their time trying to help you with that bad information.

  • I like this, especially the point about how his whole company will have the wrong info. But just to confirm, are you saying that I should basically not own up to the mistake and just ignore the fact that I said the wrong thing to him? – c36 Oct 24 '18 at 19:17
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    Since you said you were worried that it might make you look bad, I was offering a solution which avoided that issue. Odds are he won't care if it is his mistake or yours. If you feel guilty not telling him, tell him. "Hey, when we talked I think I said v2 - I'm working in Angular JS which is actually Angular 1." Do it like it isn't a big deal - because it isn't, you're just fixing some information. If you were communicating in writing (email/text) then say, "Hey when you sent me the v2 position I looked back at what I wrote and I typed v2 instead of v1." Fix it now and it's not a big deal – J. Chris Compton Oct 24 '18 at 19:51
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I think you should explain your mistake, but that being said angular 1 and angular 2 are completely different frameworks.

I think you should come clean and tell the truth, but I think there is no harm in applying to the job and learning angular 2.

However, take my opinion with a grain of salt as I only know react and vue.

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My advice would be to learn Angular 2.

This may seem slightly unethical, but it isn't, because the recruiter was asking the wrong question, and you're helping them out by answering the right one.

1) You are not an "Angular1" developer, or even a "JavaScript" developer, you are a "technical expert"

2) A high achiever is often someone who lies to you and then works themself harder than hell to make the lie true

3) The company is not looking for someone who has done Angular2, they are looking for someone who can solve their problem using technology

Our ludicrous field is big enough and complex enough that, even if you have done years of work in one language or framework, the chance that your existing knowledge would translate perfectly is close to zero.

Also, there are enough tutorials out there that you could, within a matter of a week, get enough knowledge to get through an interview.

Actually, someone who's just done a bunch of tutorials might have an easier time in an interview, because the kind of questions interviewers often ask are the kind they look up from the documentation, and that you normally abstract away from the actual development within three weeks. (e.g. "tell me all about how destructors work in C++")

Which brings me to the other point, which is that, under normal circumstances, most of the hard work on the job will not be about learning Angular, but learning their specific system.

You'll generally pick up how the framework works (or at least how they use it) within a few days of working with it. What you'll struggle with is the layers of complex legacy code, odd non-standard patterns, and other shenanigans.

After all, the whole point of these frameworks is to make it easier to solve problems. If they were hard to learn, then you'd just stick with regular JavaScript.

Now, if you don't want to get a job in Angular2, or feel that you'd struggle to maintain the illusion of expertise, then the other answers are absolutely right for how to approach the conversation professionally (especially obl's). And it would certainly be worth telling the recruiter that you're comfortable in either language.

But it is the job of the company interviewer to assess whether your knowledge is sufficient to make hiring you worthwhile for the company.

There's no reason to self-exclude when, if you can pick up the skills pre-interview, you'd probably suit the company just fine.

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