I've been invited to an in-person interview with the hiring manager. I don't know why, but I feel gloomy.

I found out that over 100 people applied for this job, and I keep jumping to the conclusion that there must be someone with more impressive credentials and/or someone who's much more charming than I am, so why would I be chosen?

Would love to hear how you guys motivate yourselves and how not to be such a debbie downer.

  • 3
    I think this question is too broad.
    – tymtam
    Jul 17 '17 at 5:41
  • this question could find a better answer in productivity.stackexchange
    – Rolexel
    Jul 17 '17 at 6:59
  • This question would much better fit standard discussion forum website, not a Q&A website. OP is clearly looking for moral support, not specific solution for a specific problem. Jul 17 '17 at 8:36
  • 2
    Put on hold. While I believe this may be an on-topic question, the way this is phrased is too open-ended. "What worked for you?" is something for AskReddit, not a Q&A site, and it was attracting a lot of simple answers. The question should be rephrased to narrow the scope and attract fully fleshed out, generic answers. Something like "How do I deal with anxiety over being one candidate of many?" or perhaps "How can I ignore feeling fatalistic about my chances when job searching?".
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 17 '17 at 8:44
  • 1
    How exactly do you know that "over 100 people applied for this job"? Even if you know that, you probably don't know how many were filtered immediately due to their CV, eliminating during a phone screen, withdrew of their own accord, etc.
    – Brandin
    Jul 18 '17 at 6:46

Think about the other positive things which will come out of the interview, even if you don't get the job:

  • You'll have more practice in interviews generally, and so will perform even better in future.
  • You'll learn about the sort of questions interviews for this sort of job involve, and will interview better in future.
  • You'll have introduced yourself to people who hire in this area -- even if you don't get this job, they will remember you when they are hiring in the future.

And of course you may well get the job.


If 100 people applied and you have been chosen for the interview then you surely have "impressive credentials and/or are charming".

No matter what the interview outcome is you still get plenty out of it:

  • visiting a town/suburb you have never been to,
  • visiting an office you have never been to,
  • getting a view of what is valued on the market,
  • you learn about yourself a lot,
  • you find out gaps in your knowledge,
  • you get better at interviews.

I see it like this: the perceived outcome of the interview should not have a major impact on your attitude to it.

Do your best, and it will be a positive experience.


100 people applied for the job. You wouldn't believe how unqualified some of those 100 are. You have been invited for an interview. They didn't invite 100 people for the interview, only maybe 10, and you are one of those. Someone in the company thought you might be the one to hire.

And remember that you don't have to be the best to be hired. People apply to more than one job. That one super talented person who is so far ahead of you that you have no chance will be getting a dozen job offers. So chances are he gets offered the job ahead of you but doesn't take it. So the job goes to the second best. Which may not be you, but the second best will also have more from one offer.

The psychological method: Tell yourself one hundred times a day that you are good. That you deserve this job. That you will get this job. This influences your subconscious mind. And your subconscious mind will influence how you do in the interview. Be careful to think about things in positive terms. Don't tell yourself "I will not fail" because your subconscious mind will remove little words like "not".

  • 1
    And maybe the most qualified isn't hired because his/her personality doesn't fit in that workplace's culture.
    – Purrrple
    Jul 17 '17 at 11:56

Depending on personality, having this sort of defeatist feeling could be turned into an advantage.

If you truly feel there's no way you'll get the job - and it's not just nerves, you have very little to lose - and could therefore approach the interview differently than you normally would.

You could be more relaxed or more assertive or more aggressive as regards to your expected salary package. View it as an experiment.


The very best developers may be choosing between multiple offers, and may not choose this particular job offer for different reasons.

Think from the perspective of the employer: they are not confident either that they get the best guy from the applicants, and often they do not due various reasons. There will always be more experienced developers in there, but there are also a lot of companies who fight for them.

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