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Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal? 506

Posted by timothy
from the seattle-freeze dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I have been trying to make the move to the Seattle, WA area. I liked the weather, the nature, the scenery and the tech environment. However, for whatever reason it seems like interviews are hard to come by. As a MS Stack software developer in LA, I barely had to do anything and recruiters always come knocking, either via LinkedIn or from past connections. Not to mention in general I got phone interviews for easily .8 of the positions I applied for. I wanted to finally make the move and fulfill a live long dream to live in Seattle. So I have been applying for positions in the greater Seattle, WA (King County) area. So far the ratio of positions applied to phone interviews is a dismal .1. Which is terrible considering the economy was much worse when I was actively looking for job in LA. Something isn't right because I am still getting offers for interviews here in SoCal, but not much from where I really wanted to be. What could I be doing wrong? Why such a contrast? Is the IT market in Seattle in poor shape? Or may be I just lack the proper connections in a new area? Am I just being screened out immediately for not being local? Or is it the prevalence of bigger corporations vs. smaller startups? And frankly as nice as the city is I can't move unless there's a healthy IT market to thrive by. I hope someone can point me in the right direction."
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Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal?

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  • by reedrudy (471719) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:50PM (#45611671)

    It's hard to imagine that a tech company would screen candidates based on area codes these days. I've been living in Seattle for over five years and still have a 415 (San Francisco) area code. I think people tend not to change their phone numbers when moving anymore.

    That being said, I'm graduating soon with a PhD in bioinformatics, have an MS in computer science, and I'm not getting any interviews with large tech companies in the area. Maybe I do need a local phone number...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:51PM (#45611693)

    This! The technical part of most of the companies I've worked for in Seattle were run by Indians that would only hire Indians if they are able to. My last name is Lee so it sounds like it could be Asian even though it is British. I changed my resume to just my initials to hide my common American first and middle name, and I got many more phone interviews. What really helps in the phone screen is to add in a few archaic phrases like maths, do the needful, passing out (graduating), discuss about (can we discuss about the job?), years back (that project was two years back rather than two years ago), or say "do one thing" then mention several things. That will land you an interview in the Seattle area.

    But seriously, the five of the last seven start-ups I worked for in Seattle required sixty or more hours per week. Most of them refused to hire white employees because so many refused to work past 7pm or every weekend. That's why it's so hard to even get a phone interview in Seattle if you have an American name.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:51PM (#45611699) Homepage

    I've found that same problem before: recruiters look at the place where you currently live, not where you've said you're interested in working. So if I say I live in Los Angeles and am interested in jobs in Seattle, I'd expect to get lots of calls for... Los Angeles. When I switch and use the address of a friend in the area I want jobs in as where I live, suddenly I get calls for the right area. I don't see any way around this as long as the recruiters are ignoring the information in the profile this way.

  • Seattle is Full (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lbmouse (473316) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:45PM (#45612311) Homepage

    The last thing they need is more Californians. Try Portland or Tacoma.

  • by puppetman (131489) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:50PM (#45612357) Homepage

    I think companies don't want to bother interviewing and recruiting for someone who's not local. If offered the job, chances are that you'll not actually follow-through with the relocation. I know when we go looking, and we get someone from out of town, they almost always drop out of the running, or can't move in the time-frame required.

    It's a chicken and egg thing. Potential employees don't want to move till they get a job. Employers don't want to hire anyone not local.

  • by cusco (717999) < minus city> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:51PM (#45612379)

    I've lived in Seattle since 1996 (and 5 years in the '80s) and getting interviews as a techie here has ALWAYS sucked. At times I've had over 200 resumes out and gotten two or three interviews out of it. The OP's experience is not atypical.

  • by Nivag064 (904744) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:29PM (#45613505) Homepage

    I am now a Java developer. I started with FORTRAN on mini-computers in the 1970's, and later COBOL on mainframes. Now I'm implementing a Java Enterprise (JEE7) application that will use a browser front end and having to come up to speed in JavaScript and associated frameworks like AngularJS.

    Actually one lunch time in the early 1980's I helped someone write a screen saver in VB, it was the first time I'd seen VB. Probably convinced my colleague that I knew a lot more than I did!

    I may be 'forced' into programming an Android tablet for a contract coming up. But if I was targeting mobile phones I would go to Android, Microsoft is way behind Apple, and Apple is way behind Android.

    I have been tracking Linux since the early 1990's. Got heavily into Unix when I went back to university to do a DippAppSci (about half the value of an M.Sc.) in 1991. Taught C to experienced programmers to make a bit of money on the side.

    The future for Microsoft is fairly bleak, in the medium to long term. If you intend still programming in 5 years time, then you should definitely develop your Linux skills.

    I am keeping an eye on Ceylon ( as an alternative for Java, as I'm concerned about Oracle's ethics. Ceylon will not only run in a JVM, but also in a JavaScript engine.

    I have a friend who has been developing and supporting software in the Microsoft environment for over 20 years, he only uses Linux at home. He would switch to Linux at work if he saw the opportunity.

    I definite would not advise anyone to go into VB or .Net now.

  • by Durrik (80651) <> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:09PM (#45614421) Homepage
    I just moved from Seattle to Phoenix, strangely enough it was because my job in Seattle ended and I couldn't get another job. The tech market for interviewees sucks in Seattle, I knew about the job closing for 6 months and still couldn't find a job there. So in a lark I applied to a job in Phoenix/Chandler. Had a phone call from them in 2 hours, an on-site scheduled 2 hours later. Call the day after the interview saying they're getting an offer together.

    The job turned out to be about 2 levels above what I was applying for in Seattle. Love the weather here and don't regret leaving Seattle at all. They actually appreciate 15+ years of software engineering experience here. In Seattle all they seemed to care about was big O notation, not what you can actually do.

A hacker does for love what others would not do for money.