Another interview has come and gone. This one stands out in many positive ways. If anything the takeaway from it was, “determination.”

My interview was scheduled from 2pm to 5:30 at the company’s main location. We’ll call it George Way. I’m staying about 30 minutes outside Toronto at Ann’s place. I decided to take the metro rail which around the TMA (Toronto Metroplitan Area) is outstanding. The web site even has a trip planner that tells you which and when the trains are that you will take.

The morning was COLD. It was just below freezing out; but the winds where about 10-20 mph with 25 mph gusts. Throughout the day, my fedora blew off about 3 times. So I started by running to the local superstore for a pair of gloves. Sadly, I couldn’t find a scarf. (I realllllly could have used a scarf). From there it was off to the station.

The local station wasn’t a far drive; but you really got a feel for how much traffic was generated. I parked in lot 4 (which was numbered by distance from the station). It was a good half kilometer walk to the station proper. I think there was room in covered lot 1 which was connected to the station; but I didn’t discover that lot until I was walking to the station.

I purchased the metro card which would make instant “On and off” far easier and wandered up to the track. My timing karma was doing well and I got a train within about 4 minutes. The GO rail is a beautiful train. It is a double decker train car with nigh-comfortable seats that is first and foremost CLEAN. The upper level is noted as a “Quiet Zone” which means that conversations and audio from devices is not permitted.

The view was heavenly. On one side of the train I could watch the towns and the highway heading into the city. On the other I has a view of Lake Ontario. I truly look forward to this ride in the spring when the trees and flowers have come back to life. There was only one other person in my car as there were at least 8 cars on this train and as it was after rush hour… the load was in general very light.

After about 20 minutes my day’s challenges began to present themselves. The train came to a stop in the station 2 before the first destination, Union Station. And we sat there. As it turned out, the next train up the line had had a fire and there was smoke coming out of it. So we were stuck wating for something up the line. After 20 minutes I sent the recruiter an email explaining my odd situation and explaining that I could always contact LYFT if things got too close on time.

I wandered to the next car and discovered the two train monitors working the ride. I was in a tie for the interview and they asked me if I had any further information. I smiled and said, I don’t work for the transit system; I’m not even from the country. I listened as they chatted about other stoppages they’d experienced. After about 5 minutes they got the go ahead to proceed to at least the next (my penultimate) stop.

The train was held again, so now it was time for me to take a Lyft. I rode one station to Toronto’s Union station. Looking on the GoTransit site there were 3 locations for the street that I could get rides to. One was in Toronto, one was in Hamilton, and one was … much further. I chose the one in Toronto and it led me to another train that was leaving in 40 minutes. I wandered around the food court and had a late Tim Horton’s breakfast.

By the time I got off the train 2 stops out from Union, the snow had started and I was freezing. I was told it was less than a km to my destination which would be about 20 minutes. My interview was now in 45 minutes. I checked Apple Maps and it told me it was a 30 mintues drive to my destination!!?!??! Go Transit managed to send me to the Toronto Street that wasn’t the one I needed to be at. Lyft #2. With 10 minutes to spare… I’d finally reached my destination. Perserverence and determination.

The interview itself was rigourous but good and complete. For the first time in my career I was asked about why I listed my hobbies on my resume and how they fit into my job. (I’ve been hoping someone would ask that.) One interview included a question to architect a series of UIViewControllers. And one asked some more algorithmic questions. One consistant question which we’ve discussed on the podcast… what are solutions for preventing UIViewControllers from becoming MCP-esque monotlihic monsters.

Everyone was encouraging and most felt badly for my experience on the metro pointing out that it was rare and not likely to happen often. My last stage was to talk with the recruiter. Making an educated guess at salaries for Canada’s larget city, in Canadian money, etc… not the easiest thing. I estimated a salary of X and suggested that I’d seen a range of 60-115% of X.

It was a long day and an even longer walk back to Union Station from the office (which is happily next to a Tim Hortons… as common in Toronto as Starbucks is in Seattle.) The ride back during rush hour was crowded but not so much that the train was SRO. At my stop back where I was staying I’d parked in probably one of the furthest spots from the station. By now the temperature had dropped well below freezing and the winds were around 25-30 mph.

The worst part of the interview… Feeling good about it.. but now having to wait. If this one pans out… it’ll be a very new life for the family.