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I've never had this kind of interview before. They asked me to bring in my laptop and complete a coding excersie on-site. They said I can pick my own dev environment. They said it can be any language. The interview is in Dublin for a ReactJS developer role. They said it will be a puzzle and not really language specific.

My most proficient language at the moment is JavaScript. I know it would be easy to do a generic question like 'animal kingdom' in Java but I haven't touched Java in a few years.

How can I prepare for this interview?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Mister Positive, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Monica Cellio Mar 20 '17 at 20:13

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  • Did they mention anything about what specifically the interview will be about? – Erik Mar 20 '17 at 16:15
  • fill a text file with all the handy shortcuts and prebuilt functions your brain can muster. name it 'groceries' and leave it on your desktop. – hownowbrowncow Mar 20 '17 at 16:20
  • common questions are that fizz buzz nonsense, the "game of life" and maybe "design an elevator" - san fran seems to prefer that one the most. – bharal Mar 20 '17 at 16:20
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    Most good interviewers will choose a problem that is difficult and one that they feel the candidate may not be be able to solve. The reason for this is the interviewer wants to see that you're able to calmly and confidently work through a problem in order to solve it. It's neat if you're able to solve some brain teaser right off the top of your head, but most on the job problems will require troubleshooting in order to solve, and that's the most important skill for you to demonstrate. – The Muffin Man Mar 20 '17 at 16:32
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    I know it would be easy to do a generic question like 'animal kingdom' in Java... - why should you write something in Java if they don't use it in that position? – Brandin Mar 20 '17 at 18:23
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How can I prepare for this interview?

  • Get your laptop ready for travel
  • Make sure the dev environment of your choice is installed, actually works, and that you are completely comfortable with it
  • Make sure that you pick a language and are completely comfortable with it
  • Stop worrying about things you cannot control
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    And know your tools very well. I wouldn't want to be a carpenter who shows up for my trial period with a new nail gun that I don't even know how to load. They're letting you bring your own laptop and IDE. Better be able to grok it. – user8365 Mar 20 '17 at 19:51
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Probably briefly read up on any JavaScript concepts that you feel you should know more about. Maybe what a prototype is and how it works in the event that the interviewer is proficient in that language as well.

Most good interviewers will choose a problem that is difficult and one that they feel the candidate may not be be able to solve. The reason for this is the interviewer wants to see that you're able to calmly and confidently work through a problem in order to solve it by asking questions and verbally talking through your thought process. It's neat if you're able to solve some brain teaser right off the top of your head, but most on the job problems will require troubleshooting in order to solve, and that's the most important skill for you to demonstrate. Additionally, good teams want to make sure you are a good cultural fit as well.

It's totally possible that they ask you to solve some silly brain teaser that doesn't really demonstrate your ability to perform well on the team and they don't ask you back. I chalk those off as jobs I wouldn't have enjoyed working in anyways.

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