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I started coding almost a year ago. By "coding" I mean HTML(5), CSS(3), and only few times I implemented some AJAX and JavaScript. I am interviewing for a position that expects me to know HTML, CSS, JS, JQuery, and AJAX. I feel confident in HTML5/CSS3 subject area and somewhat ok with javascript.

Will agency expect from me to write some code during the interview? I do have a live website as an example which contains snapshots of past projects which were sent to them.

I am little nervous, so any tips or recommendations are welcome.

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Robert Harvey, kevin cline, Jarrod Roberson, Yannis Jun 28 '12 at 0:22

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What type of position is this interview for? What does the company do? – Colin D Jun 27 '12 at 20:19
Hey, its for a web development position working on the front-end. – KPO Jun 27 '12 at 20:20
well, if they're looking for a strong JS candidate, you probably aren't qualified. They'll be able to tell by talking to you whether or not you can code or not. However, personality and determination go a long way too.. so do your best and demonstrate how badly you want it – hanzolo Jun 27 '12 at 21:19
How can any of us know what this agency will expect? – kevin cline Jun 27 '12 at 22:31

From personal experience, I have always written some code during an interview. Mostly it is in the form of fizzbuzz type questions, but I was once asked to write a fairly lengthy piece of code (they allotted for 45 minutes and I didn't even finish in that length).

But they rarely want to see perfection, it's usually more about your thought process and if you can back up what you claim you know.

My advice, always go into a programming interview expecting to write some code. If you don't have to, great. But if you do, at least you'll be prepared. Also, as Andrew Finnell pointed out, in his comment, do not rely on an IDE, intellisence, etc. There's no guarantee that you'll do the test in front of a computer. I had to do FizzBuzz on the wall with a dry-erase marker (the walls were painted with whiteboard paint :) )

I would be a little worried if they didn't ask you to write some code. That may be an indication that they don't value talent (or their people in general) and there's no telling who you may have to work with or what conditions you may have to work under.

For practice, try finding a site, such as Project Euler, that provides you with simple tests that you can answer in the language of your choice. Then practice by going through the tests in the language that you will be using in the interview.

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OK, will they allow to look up stuff online while writing the code because take something like Ajax or Javascript, i can't imagine anyone can know all the things by hand. – KPO Jun 27 '12 at 20:24
If you don't have to, seriously consider not accepting an offer ;) – Oded Jun 27 '12 at 20:24
+1 I have always encountered FizzBuzz style questions on interviews aswell. – Colin D Jun 27 '12 at 20:24
Expect to code using a Marker and Whiteboard. :) – Andrew T Finnell Jun 27 '12 at 20:32
Try Project Euler. Do them in Javascript to practice coding small tests. Also, it sounds like a lot of your focus is about Ajax. I doubt they would ask you to code anything like that (although I could be wrong, so it doesn't hurt to study it). I would think they would just ask you tests dealing with coding in Javascript. – David Peterman Jun 27 '12 at 20:38

I would go in expecting to write some code, so bone up on the languages and libraries they use, but don't worry too much about not knowing exact syntax off the top of your head. When you're not sure of some method name or syntax, just write the code as well as you can remember.

There is some value for an interviewer in identifying how familiar an applicant is with a particular language or feature, since in general, the more familiar they are, the more productive they can be.

For the most part though, familiarity with a particular language shouldn't be a big factor in a hiring decision, since it's more important to hire someone who is good at breaking down and solving problems than someone who has memorized an API.

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If i go for an interview, will they expect me to write code during the interview?

Maybe, maybe not.

It entirely depends on who is interviewing you. If it is a place that values good technical people, I would expect some code writing to be part of the interview.

This is more to see that you can do what you say you can and to see how you approach a coding problem.

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Thanks but i can't imagine them asking for basic stuff like html/css but maybe for JS...i guess. I will work on a example and go with it in mind. – KPO Jun 27 '12 at 20:20

This should be a comment, but I can't do that yet.

You may not be asked to write code, but you may be asked to look at a piece of code and explain what it does. You'd be surprised how many people just look at something like that and immediately say "Beats me", or "I can't do that". I got my first job because I was one of the few who looked at a language I'd never seen and said "Well, I think this does this and this over here does that".

One of the questions that I throw at interviewees is before the interview when they are filling out information, is I ask them to explain in detail how to fix an egg. Or how to change a light bulb. I could care less about what the answer is, what I'm looking for is the detail approach. For example, if I am asking them to change a light bulb, I want them to consider things like ceiling height to get an appropriate ladder, bulb wattage, how to remove the light cover, down to the proper disposal of the bulb and cleanup of the leftover packaging. The last interviewee that I hired did nearly two pages on changing a lightbulb.

Also, while you may not be able to code in it, at least be prepared to discuss it intelligently. Know what AJAX actually stands for, etc. Don't lie about your qualifications, but if they ask about it, say "I haven't done this specifically, but I've done that which will translate over".

Be honest, relaxed and confident. That speaks more than you know. (Ok, maybe that was a bit more than a comment.)

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Thanks John. I will keep all these under consideration. I am good at understanding structures so it shouldn't be a problem if they ask me to explain code. I will post back here when i get selected tomorrow! Thanks! – KPO Jun 27 '12 at 21:36

We started asking interviewees to write code on a white board because as my manager said "You can't BS your way through it." Any flaw that you have as a programmer will come to light fairly quickly. And while syntax is important, we also look at how well the interviewees follow directions and are able to think on their feet.

Also, be prepared to talk about your previous projects, not enough detail to reveal trade secrets, but enough to talk about some of the more technical challenges you had to overcome and how you overcame it. For example, let's say for a second you used JQuery to create a modal window that when closed would use AJAX to send back information to a server and the AJAX call would error out when a certain condition was met. Walking through that is a big help to get us a good picture of your technical skills.

Finally, if you include something in your resume be prepared to talk about it. It is shocking the number of people who don't understand that.

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Agree with the last line, a lot of times people add BS to get the interview. Thanks for the tips. – KPO Jun 28 '12 at 1:39
Looks like it went well. They didn't ask technical questions and said that the hiring company might ask and that they will put me on call with their lead developer. – KPO Jun 29 '12 at 2:41
That is good to hear! Good luck! – bwalk2895 Jun 29 '12 at 20:07

Not sure about agency, but your potential interviewer may ask you to write some code/pseudo code on a white board or paper. They might be interested to know how good you understand your primary development language without IDE and intellisense tools (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.)

Most important thing is just train yourself to be cool and calm, no panic. If you forget some technical details, just explain it in your own words. Bottom line - your potential employer wants to see how you solve problems and what is your approach and reasoning.

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