re: Hiring process of your dreams VIEW POST

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Pair programming sounds like a great idea.

I'm always inspired by the "2nd interview" quiz I was given for an entry-level job that was going to require putting data from spreadsheets into Mailchimp-like and Microsoft Word Mail Merge documents:

I was given a 3-column, 2-record spreadsheet. First & last name, plus M or F.

I was told that I had 15 minutes of quiet time with a computer, open internet, to edit a letter in Microsoft Word so that, when merged, would greet the person as "Dear [Mr./Ms.] so-and-so."

I've always been inspired by that exercise. Nothing about it that you can agonize over whether you're doing it "nicely enough" -- pure "testing output" answer. Short timeframe.

When I interviewed for a more senior position with a company that ate or starved based on the quality of its estimates (consultants), they asked me to tell them how I'd estimate the number of pennies that would fit in the room they were in. I kind of bombed the question (never been good at candy jars), but I thought it was a great "don't agonize over this ... we just want to get some quick idea of whether you're completely untrainable, in the wide band that is normal, or frighteningly off-the-charts fast" type of skill test.

But pair programming sounds like a good idea when more time and effort is necessary.

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