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It's not the first time I did this. Yesterday I had an interview, the company uses cakephp 2.x, CEO talked about how they suffer performance issues and how it's hard to scale and they really want a solution that can scale.

I came back home, did a little research, and then sent the hr an email today asking her to forward it to the CEO because I don't have his email.

My email contains a tool to help upgrade cakephp, some tips on performance and I remembered about phalcon framework which might solve their performance issues if they could somehow migrate.

Why did I do this? Because at the interview you talk a lot about different things, it's a conversation, so you forgot to say things which might help the other person. And after the interview, you get time to really understand the problem that the company suffers from and you have time to research and solve it. I couldn't find the cakephp tool, I had to google it for example.

And secondly, I believe that the world is a giant stackoverflow where it is my duty to help anyone if I know the answer, regardless of whether or not I get the job, here we are helping each other and expecting nothing in return.

Is it a habit I should stop doing or is it okay?

  • @JoeStrazzere no I did not and I ask for nothing in return. – Lynob Jul 17 at 11:51
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    the world is a giant stackoverflow - This is correct. Developers accept salaries only because landlords, grocers, and utility companies need to be paid to leave us alone, so we can get on with helping one another change the world. – A. I. Breveleri Jul 17 at 12:41
  • @JoeStrazzere No, but this is not why we do this, is it? If you're planning to hire me, you'd hire me and if you're not you're not. I like solving problems and helping people that's all. My price is expensive anyhow and I need to work remotely. so as soon as you interview me and hear my requirements you decide not to hire me, it feels good to help you before we say adieu :) – Lynob Jul 17 at 12:53
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    Did you let the CEO know during the interview that you would think about a solution to his problem and reach out to him later with your findings? – sf02 Jul 17 at 13:41
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    @Lynob But what are you trying to achieve with this question? – Chris Jul 17 at 21:00
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If you're looking to help and are confident your answers demonstrate your capabilities, it's a fine thing to do. You should be careful to phrase your note as a genuine offer of help and not an opportunity to show off more outside of the interview.

I would have a positive reaction to someone reaching out after an interview with a genuine idea for how to improve my business. I might be a bit turned off if the note reads like an after-the-fact effort to save a bad interview or a criticism of the ideas of the existing team.

3

Is it a habit I should stop doing or is it okay?

This can be a very good thing but it has to be done very "delicately".

This can go two ways: it's either perceived as "Wow, the person really knows their stuff and it would be great to have them on the team" or as "What an arrogant know-it-all".

In order to do this well, you need to

  1. Really know this stuff well as demonstrated through your experience and achievements. You need technical credibility backed up with some hard data
  2. Provide feedback that's constructive and specific to the situation. Stay away from generalities
  3. Use language that's very positive, humble, and non-threatening.
2

Demonstrating your usefulness by giving (well-founded) advice on issues that the company is facing is generally a good strategy. However, contacting the CEO about it without being prompted to might come across as unprofessional, primarily because you are following up on a conversation the day after it happened with something that is (or could be percieved as) unsolicited and only tangentially related. In the worst case, it could leave the impression that you think the interview went poorly but cannot let it go.

There are, however, a few things you could do to mitigate this risk.

Make the context clear

Chances are that, at the time your message arrives, the intended recipient (and others that might need to forward your message) will not remember your conversation in detail, does not expect a follow-up and is currently busy doing something entirely unrelated. Make it easy for them to switch gears and recall the relevant details.

Begin your message with who you are (to them), that you're refering to a problem stated during yesterday's interview and that you're offering a solution to that problem, as a demonstration.

Keep it short and to the point

Illustrate that you have a solution and how it might look at a high level. Don't go into detail, don't spend too many lines on explaining or defending your reasoning. If they have questions, great. They will get back to you and you'll most likely have garnered their interest in both your solution and your person. If they aren't interested, you have shown that you respect their time, as well as your own.

If possible, ask them during the interview

Tell them what you've told us: Some problems require a little bit of research, there's a lot to process and sometimes the best ideas hit you right after a conversation. Something along the lines of

That's an interesting problem, but I can think of a few solutions. Mind if I get back to you on that?

makes it clear that you're willing to go the extra mile, but you also respect their time and don't throw around unsolicited advice.

1

Is it a habit I should stop doing or is it okay?

It depends. While it causes no harm. You are sending someone something which could be useful for them. Heck, it may even lead up to you scoring the job.

On the other hand, it may cause some to think you are desperate for the job. You may also end up spending time which may not yield immediate benefits for you.

Not many folks does this after an interview, so this may appear a bit unusual. I'd say, you need to decide about such an activity on a case to case basis.

0

Is it a habit I should stop doing or is it okay?

It is not bad. It is just very unusual.

I assume you ae not a charity fund or something, considering that you try to get a job. Therefore, you should tell the respective company(ies) that you can help them fix their problems. In exchange, you may ask for:

  • regular employment (that is why you are / were there, for the interview);
  • XYZ amount of money, in exchange for your service to them. The amount should be related both to the actual work done, but also related to the (positive) impact on the company after they implement your fix.
0

As it a habit I should stop doing or is it okay?

There is nothing wrong with helping people and it is actually admirable that you would go out of your way to try to help people as much as possible. In this case ( job interviews ) reaching out after the the interview unsolicited to help the interviewer could be seen as strange or desperate.

It's up to you if you want to continue doing it or not but if you do I would recommend that you let the interviewer know during the interview that you intend to follow up on what was discussed. This way, they are not surprised if you send them some advice/solution for their problem out of the blue. This also gives the interviewer the opportunity to to politely decline your help. While their problem may seem like a real business problem during the interview, in some cases it could be a generic problem presented to all candidates and they are simply looking to understand your approach to solving it.

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I'm going to go against the trend here and say no, don't do that. Despite your intentions for the better, it almost certainly will come off as you trying to impress after the interview is over to score a few more brownie points. That isn't necessarily a particularly good impression - it comes across as a bit desperate.

If you really want to do this, then I'd clarify that you're going to do it in advance, or at least gauge the reaction, in the interview:

That's a really interesting problem - I've come across similar situations in the past and I'm aware of some tools that might be able to help with that. If you like, I can grab your email address and then shoot over a couple of links that you may find useful.

Key is to make it sound like you're just doing something very quickly off the top of your head that may help them out, not trying to pander to them by doing any significant extra work.

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