Imposter Syndrome vs Preperation – Hear for yourself

Consider a developer.   We’ll call this developer, “Mike Emo” 🙂

Below are Mike’s answers to the question – “Mike, Do you know node?”

The 1st recording is Mike as a victim of Imposter Syndrome who has not taken the time to work with an expert to Prepare for his interview

The Imposter Syndrome Answer – “Mike, Do you know Node?”

The 2nd recording is Mike AFTER he’s taken the time to meet with an expert in interviewing and preparation and taken the time to prepare for his interview

The Prepared Answer – “Mike, Do you know Node?”

Showcase yourself

I introduced two developers, Grant and Jim to a software developer manager who was looking to hire multiple developer for his expanding team.   We set up interviews for both candidates.

The hiring manager came back to me after both interviews and said “Jim did a great job showcasing himself to our team.  Grant…not so much”.

I replied. “[Mr. Manager], I’ve literally sat next to both of these candidates in the course of my career and wrote code with each of them and I can say Grant is in the same caliber of developer as Jim.  Both of these engineers are ‘top shelf’ a-players”

To which the manager replied.  “Well that may be Mike, and I believe you, but I can’t just override my whole team because the recruiter said he’s that good.   He has to showcase himself better than he does right now”

Phrasing Matters

There is a big difference between these two affirmative responses:  “Ah…Yeah…”,  and. “Yes, yes I do”


I hear the first example A LOT with younger developers, especially in the midwest (MN, IA, WI).  I think people are so afraid of overselling themselves that they go out of their way to self-deprecate.