Robyn Willaims (may a higher power rest his soul) impersonating a hot dog during an interview with a social worker in the classic film, Mrs. Doubtfire

Module: Web-enabled Interview Simulation

Parent Chunk: 4 - Programming the WWW

Our interview simulation exercise follows this flow:

interview simulation step flow

Jump to a section

local_diningModule "hamburger" guide
check_boxLearning Objectives
extensionCore Concepts
motorcycleStep 1: Job Posting
motorcycleStep 2: Application Preparation
motorcycleStep 3: Website Prep
motorcycleSetp 4: Interview Prep
motorcycleSetp 5: THE INTERVIEW
motorcycleSetp 6: Evaulate
flight_takeoffExtension Exercises

Module Hamburger Guide

A one-page, two column learning guide with questions that drive to the heart of the matter.

Web-enabled Interview Simulation Hamburger (*.pdf)

Editable Hamburger (open document text *.odt format, now readable by Microsoft Word 2013+!)

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Learning Objectives

  1. Thoroughly prepare for a tech-related job interview by outlining stories and anticipating commonly asked questions
  2. Valiantly engage in an interview simulation
  3. Reflect on interview performance and create a TODO list for future interviews

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Module Core Concepts

Concept 1: Be a prepared interview spy!

Prepare! Use the magic of the interwebs to do solid interview prep-work: What is the potential employer "all about"? What questions do you think will be asked?

Many lists and articles exist about the interview process and common questions. Use the cloud diagram below the screen capture to categorize a dozen or so seemingly meaningful interview questions using these sources.

step 1
Even with a misspelled search argument, corrected the mistake and added an additional word "common" to the search criteria

Recreate categories of questions in your notes as you review questions from the internet sources you found above. Connect the questions you find with one of the clouds.

step 1

Concept 2: Interview with fully-baked stories

Tell stories during interviews: we can connect best with stories since they have "characters" and a mini-plot. We can fully bake stories for interviews by finishing them strong: explain why your story was relevant. Connect your skills to the organization's needs.

step 1
This is a classic story pattern: stories start with setting up the scene. Phase two is the climax that involves you solving a problem or working something out. Fully-bake your story with a closing sentence that restates why you told this story during your interview.


Step 1: Scour Job Posting

step 1

Visit one of the many job posting sites. Search for categories of jobs that are both "good fit" jobs given your current skill set and "reach" jobs that are interesting posts to consider as you plan the rest of your education.

  1. is one of the most widely used, general job posting sites
  2.'s IT job listing has 1000+ results. Check other categories too.
  3. Tech-focused websites often also have their own job posting boards which are valuable to read through since they are drawing a different company mix than, etc. Check out github's job board, for example.

Sample job postings--highlighted and annotated:

sample job posting

Systems analyst job posting: Independent work emphasized

sample job posting

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Step 2: Application Preparation

step 1

Acquire or print a copy of the Generic Job Application. Complete this form for the job posting you chose in Step 1

Download an EDITABLE version of the Generic Job Application. Complete this form for the job posting you chose in Step 1

step 1
  1. With your chosen job posting and the application document side-by-side, consider each question carefully and build your best responses.
  2. You'll provide this document to your peers conducting the interview

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Step 3: Prepare your website for presenting

step 1

Review your profile website and consider any of the following changes:

Once your site is updated, upload it to your dedicated server space on the CCAC Apache server. Ask a friend for help if you cannot do so using the linked guide.

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Step 4: Prepare for the interview

step 1

Now that your application is complete, work through your interview prep form which is on the rear of your Hamburger!

Consider the following guidelines

  1. Plan stories and answers out by trying to say them out loud to yourself, or to a partner. You'll be saying this stuff to interviewers soon enough, so make your practice as realistic as possible.
  2. Consider the most likely questions to be asked during the interview and include them in your thinking

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Step 5: Have the interview

step 1

Interviews are conducted by two peers at a time. Follow this protocol:

  1. Divide into groups of three
  2. Number each person 1-3
  3. Person 3 gives the application and posting to persons 1 and 2 and leaves the room. When 1 and 2 are ready, go fetch person 3. Shake hands, etc. You're acting!
  4. Person 1 and 2 will interview person 3. Person 1 is the lead interviewer.
  5. Once the interview for person 3 is concluded, the interviewers should write notes in the "for office use only" section of the job application and the rear of the document. The interviewee will see this.
  6. Rotate so that now person 2 is interviewed by persons 1 and 3, with 3 as the lead interviewer
  7. Repeat process above
  8. Rotate so now person 1 is interviewed by persons 2 and 3, with 2 as the lead

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Step 6: Evaluate performance

step 1

Reflect on your interview performance by completing the right hand side of your hamburger


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