This is a somewhat subjective quesiton but I'd love to hear feedback/opinions from either interviewers/interviewees on the topic.
We split our technical part into 4 parts. Write Code, Read & Analyse Code, Design Session & Code on the white board.
For the last part what we ask interviewees to do is write a small code snippet (4-5 lines) on the whiteboard and explain as they go through it. Let me be clear the purpose is not to catch people out. We're not looking for perfect syntax. Hell it can even be pseudo-code. but the point is to give them a very simple problem and see if their brain can communicate the solution to us. By simple problems I mean "Reverse a string", "FizzBuzz" etc...
Just with regards the comment about Pseudo-Code. We always ask for an explicit language first. We;re a .NET C# house. we've only said "pseudo-code" where someone has been blanking/really struggling with the code.
My question is "Is it innappropriate / unreasonable to expect a programmer to write a code snippet on a whiteboard during an interview ?"