Lesson Weekend

In lieu of an independent project this week, you'll prepare for a group whiteboard interview. Your instructor will plan out when you will conduct the group whiteboard interview, which could be this week or next depending on the program you are enrolled in and other scheduling concerns. Check in with your instructor about the exact schedule, timing, and structure of this event and when your Epicenter submissions are due.

Your interview will be evaluated on the following objectives:

  • Whiteboard solution has been submitted.
  • Whiteboard interview meets all requirements.
  • Interviewer evaluations are complete and include constructive feedback.

These objectives will be explained in greater detail over the next several lessons.

Overview

Technical whiteboard sessions are a common and stressful part of many job interviews in the tech industry. Preparation is an essential part of a successful whiteboard interview. Our goal is to simulate the process and better prepare you to find a job.

You will be expected to prepare for and take part in a peer-evaluated technical whiteboard session. During this session, you will get the opportunity both to whiteboard and to take on the role of a panel of interviewers. Here is an overview of the process.

  • The independent project prompt will have five whiteboard prompts to study. Take the time to practice whiteboarding your own solutions. You may form study groups and work with other students on your preparation. Your instructor will randomly assign you one of these five prompts for your technical interview.
  • Your instructor will set a time for the group whiteboard session during the same week or in the following week. Your instructor will also randomly assign you to groups of around four. You will not know any details about your group, your prompt assignment, or the time your whiteboard session will occur until shortly before your interview.
  • Each whiteboard interview session will last approximately 90 minutes. This 90-minute session consists of up to four smaller sessions of approximately 20 minutes each.
  • During each 20-minute session, one student will whiteboard one of the five prompts (which will be randomly assigned and given to you just before the session begins) while the other students take the part of interviewers.
  • At the end of each 20-minute session, the interviewers will fill out an evaluation form on Epicenter. During this time, interviewers may also give verbal feedback.
  • Once all of the students in your group have had a chance to whiteboard and the 90-minute session is complete, submit your whiteboard solution to the independent project prompt on Epicenter. You may take a picture of your whiteboard or written solution or turn in a txt file via a GitHub repository. If you are a remote student, the purpose of the txt file is to write and submit an answer that includes no auto-fill from VS Code.
  • Peer evaluations are anonymous for students, but not for instructors. You can find the evaluations that your peers have left you by going to the Peer evaluations tab in Epicenter.
  • Finally, instructors will review student evaluations to ensure all requirements are met for each student.

Ultimately, you will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Based on feedback received from the other students in your group, was your whiteboard satisfactory?
  • Did you provide satisfactory feedback for other students in your group?

Successful completion of the whiteboard interview is a requirement of the program. You will not be able to complete Epicodus or continue to an internship if you do not meet this requirement.

Over the next several lessons, we will cover the following:

  • Evaluation Rubric: The evaluation rubric will be provided along with instructions for each objective.
  • Whiteboarding Expectations: We will cover expectations from the rubric and provide a step-by-step process for having a great whiteboard interview.
  • Interviewing Expectations: A large part of your whiteboard session involves taking on the role of an interviewer. By learning how to be a good interviewer, you will get some insight on the other side of the process.
  • Giving Constructive Feedback: Constructive feedback is an essential part of being a good coworker. This lesson will cover the ins and outs of giving useful feedback.

Take the time to read through these lessons thoroughly and practice whiteboarding on your own. Your next job - and how much you get paid - may well depend on it!

Lesson 15 of 38
Last updated January 13, 2022