I'll be coding as part of a technical interview process.
I'm highly skilled-- wrote&aced many complex systems/algorithms also in technical interviews over the years, spoke before audiences, etc. But then, I get exam anxiety. If it gets me, I do real bad. If it doesn't, I do real well. Not much in between happens.
The exam I'll be writing is with an interviewer-- he'll give me a question and I'll code the algorithm for it. This will be my second attempt for this. I failed the first time because of that anxiety-- couldn't tune in. As an extra, I didn't feel any comfortable with the interviewer. He started typing and I started hearing his keystrokes nailing in my head halfway thru the session, till I "cleared my throat". I've found out that the same interviewer will be the one conducting it again the next time. I worry that he'll be biased/defensive because of his mistake the last time. This isn't about hostility-- I didn't feel any such thing, and I don't think/assume he'll be that the next time. But still.
If I fail again, I'll be able to try but much later. There's no deadline for re-taking it. I don't know for how long, but I can delay it without a date.
Such exam is exposing yourself to something/someone you don't really know behind the curtain, on the spot. Or so I feel, and that's the part that gets me. I've done and still do many client calls. But can prepare for those-- have some control/choice in the situation. There's been many times I got stuck with the client and said sth like "let's do this the next time, need to prepare".
So, I'm very reluctant to write this exam, more so with the same interviewer.
What's your take on this, how would you go about it?
How do you handle exam anxiety?
Saw Anxiety during coding interview, How do you overcome interview anxiety when writing code?, Dealing With Pressure in Interviews and many other useful discussions. But asking still.
Note: This is not to blame the interviewer for my poor performance the last time-- I've been laying out the situation. I simply performed poorly. We can't always choose the circumstances in such process.
Writing my comment as the update here-- too long for comment.
I do agree the coding performance is the best indicator, but what's being tested there is whether i'm cheating (i.e. having someone else code for me - like jcmack says), NOT my coding.
never the 100% performance when someone watching over your shoulder, esply the mind-worker's, and will press the button if you'd fail. i sometimes gave multiple Qs to chose from in such exams, this gave them room to relax. once we hired someone who couldn't code well at all over one that way outperformed and we nowhere near regretted.
i don't believe the interviewer's judgement is much accounted either. i'd rather do these live still, but with a seeing hearing eye automated relieving me at least such tensions.