Interview Coach

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Revision as of 04:52, 22 January 2016 by prefix>Crystal (many updates: example Qs, curriculum examples,)
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Interview Coach

  To become a Interview Coach, please email

As an Interview Coach, you will provide practice interviews and feedback to students practicing their interviewing skills.

Your role will be to:

  • know your audience is a group of women who are new to coding--students began their cohort with very little to no experience coding; Ada provides them with 7 months of intensive classroom experience in Ruby, Rails, HTML/CSS, and JS followed by a 5 month industry internship; please define terms, do not assume that they know something already, and do not refer to concepts as something that "programmers should already know", as something that "you can't get a job if you don't understand", or as “easy”. Things that are easy to you may be difficult to someone else, and trivializing them trivializes a person who struggles with them.
  • encourage and support students, as this is a learning process for them to help prepare them for actual interviews
  • ask students interview questions to allow them to practice their interviewing skills
  • provide feedback to students on what went well and what could be improved upon

What to expect

  • You give us your availability and we will send a calendar invite for a time slot
  • When you get to the location, we will have a room for a 1-1, hopefully with a whiteboard available (if not, we will provide paper)
  • Students will not bring their laptops with them unless you ask us to request that ahead of time
  • Students will be nervous (who isn't in an interview?!)
  • Students are looking for constructive, helpful feedback to improve their interviewing skills. This is a learning activity for them!

Time Commitment

  • we will send out a separate timetable with available spots, but our mock interviews are generally in the afternoons around 1-5pm.

Mock Interviews for Internships

  • These practice interviews will be 30 minute blocks consisting of:
    • 5 mins - get to know you
    • 15 mins - technical/whiteboarding problem
    • 10 mins - feedback including what went well and what could be improved
    • (followed by break between students)

Mock Interviews for Full Time positions

  • These practice interviews will be 1 hour blocks consisting of:
    • 5 mins - get to know you
    • 35 mins - technical/whiteboarding problem
    • 10 mins - feedback including what went well and what could be improved
    • (followed by break between students)

Tips for being a Mock Interviewer

  • Understand the Ada Curriculum (see below)
  • Do not "well, actually" your interviewee, instead let them complete their thoughts and hold your feedback until the feedback phase of the interview
  • Do not ask students if programming is a "hobby"; they all quit their jobs and found means to dedicate a year of their life to this program

About the Ada Curriculum

  • Students learn Ruby (~5 weeks), HTML/CSS (~2 weeks), Rails (~5 weeks), API Interactions (~3 weeks), JS (~4 weeks), as well as Agile, TDD< and CS Fundamentals (spread out throughout curriculum).
  • During the classroom learning, students code A LOT. Ada's curriculum is based on building practical coding skills and teaching students how to learn rather than focusing on theoreticals. Coding hours accumulate to ~30+ per week, on top of Lectures, Guest Lectures, Networking Events, etc
  • check out the classroom curriculum --> Cohort Schedule
  • know what Ada Graduate Learning Goals --> Ada Graduate Profile

Choosing your Interview Questions You may ask any questions that you like, especially if you have some particular questions that you like to ask; but please consider the following information when picking your questions to make sure that you have an understanding of where our students are and what they have learned.

Example Questions to Ask

  • Write a function to determine if a string is a palindrome
  • Write a function that counts the number of words in a string
  • Write a function that validates a phone number given some validation rules
  • Given coordinates of two rectangles determine if they overlap
  • Given two lists return the intersection of the lists
  • Write a function that takes an array of unique sorted integers (eg. [1,2,3,5,7,9,10,11]) and outputs a string of the ranges (eg. "1-3,5,7,9-11").

Example Questions NOT to Ask

  • Given a binary tree (with nodes that are either black or white) mirror the tree.