Main image of article Do This Before Tackling Whiteboard Questions
If you’re a tech pro who specializes in software development, sooner or later you’re going to have to face a whiteboard question. Whiteboards are a great opportunity to show off your skills; but if the question is particularly complicated, you’ll probably find yourself covering every square inch of it with erasable marker. At such moments, you might find yourself confused, at risk of losing track of your own work. Did the interviewer ask you to write a query that would return all documents dated after 8/2010, or before? Was the keyword in question “database” or “hardware”? If you don’t want to end up lost in the thickets, take a moment before you begin to work the problem, and write down the interviewer’s question in detail at the top of the board; that includes any parameters and special circumstances. Not only will that prevent you from becoming lost later on, but it will give you a few moments to organize your thoughts. You also won’t risk irritating the interviewer by asking them to repeat themselves. And remember to write legibly: While you might be able to read your own chicken-scratch without an issue, you want the interviewer to be able to follow your work.