MLH Fellowship: My Interview Experience after 2 rejections
A little description about what is the MLH prep program.
The MLH Fellowship Prep Program is a 3-week preparation program for aspiring technologists who are interested in experiencing the fellowship before committing to the full 12-weeks. You’ll build out your portfolio of personal projects & experiment with new technologies by collaborating in small groups through a short hackathon sprint.
As you might have read it is a 3-week look program focused on doing real-world projects.
Let’s talk about my application process
I applied to the MLH prep around March of 2022 along with this I also applied for the summer batch of MLH’s Open Source Track. The process for the application of MLH prep is similar to other tracks. You will be asked your tech stack, 4 essay questions, and your general information. For more details head over to the MLH website.
Once I applied for the MLH prep program, I received a mail from Amanda to schedule the first interview I was really excited and nervous at the same time. As I failed two times before in the first interview itself, yes I applied to MLH before also but got rejected in the interview process. Anyways moving on I fixed the interview and got the invitation link from Rashika.
MLH prep Mail
The First Interview
So as might have read in the above image they are looking for Passion, good communication skills, Eligilibilty, a decent setup, and Professionalism. I joined through the link on time, Rashika joined a few moments later. She asked me first some basic questions based on Eligibility criteria. Like Are you eligible to work in your country? Are you 18 years of age? and some basic info questions. Then she asked me to introduce myself, this is one of the hardest questions to answer because there is nothing right and nothing wrong. The way you are going to present yourself to the interviewer will decide your overall interview performance. I started first with my Name and College, then I talked about my tech stack and past experiences with some reasonable logic to the choices I made in my career. keep in mind you only have 15–20 mins so keep things short and precise.
The next question was Why do you want to be an MLH fellow? Again there can be multiple answers to this question let's talk about what I said. I started by sharing my passion for open source, I told them about my past contributions, my learning, and my failures. After this, I emphasized a community-based learning experience and how a community helps an individual. I concluded my words by stating why I love learning by going through things and solving real-world problems with the help of technology.
Result: got selected moving to the next interview round
The Final Interview
This time it was a technical round interview. All the questions will be based on the projects that I made. The form that you filled in the application must have asked you to fill in your project details this is the place where that project will be discussed.
Mail From MLH with the invitation link
MLH Fellowship: Code Conversation
We’d like to schedule a 15 minute video call in the next few days to perform a technical interview. During this call we’ll be walking through the code sample you submitted, discussing how you built it and what you would do differently in the future. We may also ask you some questions about your familiarity with the specific technologies & programming languages you indicated you were proficient with on your application. If time permits, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the conversation.
What we’re looking for:
Technical Proficiency: Do you have a proficient understanding of the language you used
Learning Potential: Do you respond well to feedback and have an aptitude for learning?
\ Communication Skills: Will you be able to successfully collaborate with other fellows?
* A/V Setup: Do you have a remote environment that will allow you to successfully participate?
* Professionalism: Did you show up on time and demonstrate a high level of professionalism?*
For me, it was on my project called Plycard. First I had a quick formal chat with the person then the interviewer asked me to share my screen and run the project on a local host. Then I was asked a question on why I used MVC architecture for the Nodejs backend? why is a .env file in your project? why use a NoSQL database? and what is the use of async-await?
Overall if you ask me I would the questions were medium — hardish in terms of difficulty, more on the medium side but if you have a single question that you can’t answer then you might get rejected, for me I answered all the questions.
Result: got selected!!
It was an amazing learning experience in every aspect of the process. From start to begin, I was learning something or the other. Right from writing a good essay, to showing up on time, speaking good English, and having an overall positive attitude. Even if you are rejected 2 times. let’s talk about rejection a bit I got rejected in the first round of interviews because of my communication skills, I got this feedback from the MLH community. After taking this feedback I started working on my communication skills. Once I was satisfied with my progress I applied again. That’s it this is the secret formula for success “Either you lean from other's mistakes which is hard, OR you learn from your own mistakes” have room for errors in your journey.