Senior Developer STAR Interview Question: When You Didn’t Get Credit

Pen Magnet
4 min readFeb 25, 2022
Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

This post is a part of my series about the Comprehensive Approach to Senior Developer Interview guide. It is a sample article from my 170-page eBook available as a PDF (priced $30, but the First 100 buyers coming from this Medium link get a special 50% discount).

Buying the PDF gives you all 40+ sample Q & A, and also enables you to spend your precious time reading other great content on Medium.

If you would rather read sample content on Medium: For the complete list of sample articles in the correct order, please visit: The Day I decided to apply for Amazon Architect Role.

Tell us about the time when you delivered beyond expectations and didn’t get recognized:

A variation of this question also goes like:

What if someone stole the credit for your success?

Such questions are quite easy to answer. Everyone has a story that speaks of unrequited dedication.

But it is very easy to fall into the boss or team-bashing trap. And your interviewer wants you to fall into it, especially when it is an elimination game.

What is expected here is not to justify why you were right in believing you were worth the credit.

Instead, they want to see your abilities & intentions:

  • To recognize what level of dedication is worthy of recognition
  • To objectively see the gap between your perception of your efforts vs your boss’ perception of the same
  • To bridge that gap

The most critical aspect in this question is not the action part but choosing the right kind of situation. Many developers fail here: they either cite the number of hours they worked, ticket count/LOC/features delivered, or calls they handled at weekend/midnights.

Justification doesn’t serve enough. No matter how dedicated you were during those actions, they are still part of your agreed-upon duties — that’s how your organization sees your value.

Appreciation/recognition might await you just at the next step that you missed seeing.

Pen Magnet

Author of Comprehensive Approach to Senior Developer Interview), Startup writer, Programmer, Tech Career Blogger, Education Engagement Enthusiast