Mock Interview Pairing

Goals

  • Understand more what it’s like to be an interviewer and interviewee
  • Get some feedback about interview pairing
  • More practice with small code challenges

Intro - Why?

A common interview practice is a pair-programming session between you and a mid-to-senior level developer at that company. They want to see what your JavaScript skills look like as well as how you interact, pair with others, and more about your thought process.

In this session, you’ll get to know a little more what it’s like to be in a pair programming situation as an interviewer and interviewee. Both perspectives will help you in a pair-programming situation.

(This exercise assumes that you have worked on an exercism in the past and have exercisms set up. If you don’t, use these docs)

General Outline

  1. You and your partner picks an exercism (that both of you have not worked on before)
  2. On your own, work on the exercism you chose
  3. One partner is interviewer and gives their exercism challenge to their partner (the interviewee)
  4. Debrief
  5. Switch interviewer and interviewee roles
  6. Final debrief

Pair Up (5 minutes)

Pair up with someone in the class - someone that you haven’t worked with this or any module.

Each person should go to this JavaScript exercism list and choose a different JavaScript exercism (that both of you have not worked on before).

Work Individually (45 minutes)

Work on solving the exercism you chose. Each partner works individually on their own problem - do not share your work or solution with your partner.

Interviewer and Interviewee (45 minutes)

One person from each group raise your hand.

Congratulations! You are the interviewer for this first round (don’t worry, your partner will eventually be the interviewer next).

As the interviewer, you give the exercism that you worked on as the interview challenge. The other partner, as the interviewee, works to solve the problem in front of the interviewer.

Roles

Things to check off for your role:

Interviewer

  • Can you get an idea of the interviewee’s thought process? Is the plan coherent?
  • If your interviewee finishes ahead of time, ask them to refactor or approach the problem in a different way

Interviewee

  • Communicate your process
  • You don’t have to start writing code immediately

Here is a script that you should start out with:

Interviewer: Hello, my name is ___. Welcome to Googlebook. Today, we’re going to go through this JavaScript problem together.

Interviewee: Great, thank you for having me come in today.

Interviewer: I’d like you to walk me through solving this problem called ___ using JavaScript. We’ll spend about 40 minutes on it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Interviewee: Sounds good.

Proceed!

Debrief (10 minutes)

What was it like?? Take 3 minutes to write in your notebook:

  • As the interviewer, what is some constructive feedback you could give to your interviewee? Write them down to share with that person later in the lesson.
  • As the interviewee, what were some specific things you thought went well and did not go so well in your pairing? Write them down in your notebook.

Share out: What were your general observations as the interviewer or the interviewee?

Switch! (45 minutes)

Reverse the roles!

Debrief and Closing Thoughts

As the interviewer, what is some constructive feedback you could give to your interviewee? Write them down in your notebook. As the interviewee, what were some specific things you thought went well and did not go so well in your pairing? Write them down in your notebook.

Share out: Any other observations?

Are you more or less confident about interview code pairings?

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