What is Programming Pair Interview?
A Programming Pair Interview is a technical evaluation designed exclusively for coding and programming candidates. In this interview, the interviewer and the interviewee coordinate together to solve coding problems simultaneously, in real-time.
Throughout the course of the interview, the interviewer plays the role of a "navigator" and makes all major decisions regarding the code - fixing indentations, organizing the program, etc. On the other hand, the interviewee assumes the role of a "driver" and executes the command given by the interviewer by writing the code, fixing possible syntaxes, etc.
This unique "navigator-driver" structure of a programming pair interview enables the interviewer to accurately assess the candidate's technical abilities vital for the job. Thus, this method is generally used by IT and tech companies as a means to ensure efficient hiring. Alternatively, a programming pair interview is also called a 'pair coding interview.'
In addition to these methods, live coding interviews, also known as programming pair interviews, are another popular approach employed by IT and tech companies to facilitate efficient hiring processes
Benefits of Programming Pair Interview
Programming pair interview is as advantageous for the interviewer and the interviewee as it is engaging and collaborative. It comes with a plethora of benefits for the company as well as the candidate, as listed below:
- Better, more efficient recruitment by allowing the interviewer to evaluate the skills of the candidate first-hand.
- Rapid hiring process by eliminating the need for multiple test and interview stages.
- Enhanced ROI by helping companies leverage the pros of critical technical and soft skills assessment.
- Skill enhancement and learning opportunities for the candidate to ensure better quality output.
- Greater flexibility as it can also be conducted online with just as much efficacy.
How to Manage Communication and Collaboration During Pair Programming?
While a programming pair interview can help your organization in hiring the most competent candidates and building a powerful workforce, you need to execute it appropriately to churn out these benefits.
One of the most recurrent objections hindering this is the risk of miscommunication and ineffective collaboration. Here's how you can avoid these to ensure maximum optimization:
- Plan ahead: Before you start with the interview, make it a point to outline your tasks and expected outcomes. This assures a smooth flow of things.
- Set a limit: Don't overburden a single interview session with too many coding questions or tests. Keep it limited to 1-2 complex problems.
- Get the best tech: If you're conducting the interview online, the technology you use plays a significant role in ensuring effortless communication and collaboration. So ensure to have a stable connection and the required device.
Types of Programming Pair Interviews
Depending on the type of organization and their approach, a programming pair interview may be of the following different types:
- Architecture and design Interview: In this type of interview, the interviewer collaborates with the interviewee to assess their designing capabilities.
- Pair programming with a twist: To gauge the problem-solving skills of the interviewee, the interviewer may occasionally introduce small challenges in the test. This is called pair programming with a twist.
- Debugging exercise: This particular exercise of a pair programming interview is designed to check how well the interviewee can detect and fix bugs.
Terms Related to Programming Pair Interview
Here are some more related terminologies to learn more about the topic:
- Case Interview: A case interview is aimed at evaluating the problem-solving capabilities of a candidate. Here, the candidate is presented with a real-life business challenge and asked for some possible solutions to overcome it.
- Panel Interview: When more than one person interviews a candidate, it is called a panel interview. The panel generally consists of HRs, supervisors, and other employees of the company.
- Coding Bootcamp: A coding bootcamp is a technical course for a few days or weeks. It is crucial for those individuals seeking the technical skills and knowledge necessary for a job in the tech vertical.
- Collaborative Coding: Collaborative coding refers to the process of working on a coding project with a team of developers. Software development companies normally follow this approach to build complex software.