I am a new interviewer and am trying to learn how to screen a good candidate from a bad one. I had a case in which the candidate looked up the answer to my question on the internet and after just changing a few variable names here and there, claimed that she suddenly came up with the right answer. The answer matched the published answer right down to curly braces for compound statements and tab indentation.
My question here is not how to prevent someone from cheating, rather if there is any use in disqualifying such candidates. It says something about their integrity (perhaps I have been a TA too long :) ) but as my manager said, they would be tested in the loop later anyway when they won't have access to the computer.
Thanks everyone for your response. Clarifying a few things since they were asked:
- It was a Skype based screening interview with the screen shared.
- I think it was pretty clear that I didn't want to Google the answer since I explicitly said I wanted to test how you think about the problem and can code it (but not Google skills). Maybe I should be more explicit about that, good point.
- Don't ask questions from the internet - this is an arms race IMHO. Eventually what you ask will land up on the internet, especially if the question seems good.
- As suggested, I did go down the lengths of questioning about concepts rather than just the code (before and after the code was copied). The answers came back the same as the comments written in the reference code :-)
- I think posting the question would detract from the topic, but the question was not a standard FizzBuzz-style question. When I gave the question to fellow devs, they solved it well within 20 minutes (or less).