So I had an interview last Friday. This interview was one of the shortest I’ve had so far but both parties were forward and straight to the point. The job I applied for was at a small company in the OC that specializes in developing a web platform for electronic commerce (ecommerce). This platform includes overall site design and database design and set up. Site design and database set up encompass every aspect of what an online store needs such as inventory, customer transaction processing, payment processing, and many more functions. Looking at their current active customer list I could see that this company will indeed grow in the next few years. They plan on looking for venture capitalists to invest in their company in order to grow. Overall I left with the impression that there is opportunity here for me.
Now here’s where the trade off comes in. The person I interviewed with asked me what I was expecting to make. I told him my usual range for the OC area. Once he heard the range, he asked me how important money was in my decision should I receive an offer. Now in reality, more money would be nice, but what I’m looking for in my first job is an environment where I will be able to grow, have a decent chunk of responsibility, and also strong support should I need it. Money however does factor into my decision right now due to my college loans. The range that the interviewer laid out for me was about $8,000 a year less than the minimum number of my range. That amount is approximately what I plan to pay back a year on my loans.
So what’s the big deal? Live frugally for a few years to pay back my loans. 8k a year means I won’t be able to get my own apartment. Any idea of any form of splurging is now gone due to how much it costs to live in the OC. Most importantly, it sets me back on my financial timeline.
What are the perks of accepting their offer should I receive one? Well first off my four months of unemployment will be over. I’ll be able to work for a company that will most likely experience a period of rapid growth if they can keep up their client base and their goal of going public. From what I can tell, the developers there are a close-knit group that help each other out when they don’t understand something. The management team evaluates your abilities by starting you slow and building from there. Also you get to personally interact with the customer whose product you are working on. This however doesn’t seem to be worth 8,000/year.
What can I do about it? Well I can pass on the offer and continue to job hunt or I can work there for a year or two and look for another opportunity with the new skills I’ve acquired. At this point I don’t know what I’ll do. But all in all, I left the interview feeling confident that I didn’t make any mistakes answering questions. My answers covered all the bases that would be asked about Object Oriented Programming (OOP), databases and database tools (MySql, MySQL workbench, JDBC). So ultimately I believe I left a strong impression. Hopefully I get an offer, but until then all I can do is continue my regular routine and contemplate whether the trade offs will be worth it.
Feel free to comment/offer your opinion. Thanks for reading!