Post Interview Thoughts:
Wow. That series of interviews was very tough. Probably the hardest interview loop I've ever been a part of, on either side. The interviewers were really great at locking in on the purpose of the loop system, which is to slowly zero in on a candidates weaker areas and understand them better, in addition to assigning different areas of focus for each of the interviewers. I felt like most of the interviews went pretty well, and I felt like overall they liked me. They liked my passion and desire to work on the team, but the big con that kept appearing throughout the day was that my troubleshooting skills were a little rusty. It's been about a year, year and a half, since I was actively troubleshooting complex issues on a regular basis, so those skills are a little rusty, and they keyed in on that pretty well. That, and the fact that I don't have experience supporting a 24x7, production environment. They seemed willing to look past it, because I went on and interviewed with the final guy, but there are three more guys going through the interview loop. If any of them have good operations experience combined with a good head on their shoulders, they will probably take the job.
I'm sort of okay with that- it is their job to find the best candidate for the position. I feel like I could do the job, and do it well, but it is an operations position that has an on call pager. It is doing something I'm passionate about- working on xbox live- and I'm excited to work there if I do get the position, but I'm realistically looking at the odds and not seeing them in my favor at this point. It's in God's hands right now- either I find favor in the eyes of the hiring manager, and he pursues me, then awesome. If not, then I understand.
But I still need to get out of this group.