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Tech insights: Prompts to practice your developer interview using ChatGPT
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Prompts to practice your developer interview using ChatGPT

06 July 2023, by Chris Booth

Interviews are a chance to show an employer why they should hire you. This can make them feel intimidating and scary. To feel prepared for an interview, it’s always best to practice, and ChatGPT is a readily available tool that can help us effectively prep for every stage of the interview process.

Here are some prompts that you can use to practice your interviewing skills.

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Why use ChatGPT to practice your interviewing skills

Preparing for interviews is hard. Figuring out the right thing to say on our own can be challenging, and while we can ask friends or family to help us practice, they might not have the time or the know-how to help conduct an interview for the position you are applying for. This can leave us feeling anxious and unprepared for every interview we go through.

ChatGPT is a powerful tool that we can use to help us work through problems and brainstorm ideas. With the right prompts, ChatGPT can even help us practice our interviewing skills. This is perfect for job seekers of every level to prepare for various stages of the interview process, from initial chats to final culture fit interviews - it can even help us prepare for technical assessments.

How to set up ChatGPT to help you practice

ChatGPT and other AI tools have certain limitations when it comes to getting them to do exactly what you want. It’s important to set up your prompts so that they are specific and give ChatGPT an idea of the types of things you’re looking for it to do.

Here are some suggestions of prompts you can use to set up your chat with the AI tool.

Initial interview prompts

  • ‘I want you to act as a mock interviewer for a developer applying for a job. Please respond as the interviewer as I answer the questions provided. Here’s the first question: X. Here is the first answer: X’

By giving the first question and the first answer, ChatGPT will continue asking common questions associated with developer job interviews.

If you have a specific list of questions you would like to practice, you can add to this prompt by saying:

  • ‘Please choose the next questions from this list at random. [List of questions]’

If you’re unsure of how to answer a question, ask the AI what the best practices are for answering.

  • ‘What would be a good way to answer this question?’

After you answer a question, you can also ask it to look at your answer specifically to improve on it:

  • ‘Please give me feedback on my previous response. How can I improve on my answer?’

Once you’re ready to move on to the next question, simply ask the AI to ask the next question.

Here are some general questions you can insert and tweak using the prompts above:

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself
  2. I see you’re currently working at X – what kind of work are you doing? / What is your current role, and what are you responsible for?
  3. What do you enjoy about this? Why are you looking to leave your current role/company?
  4. If I were to speak to your current manager, what would they say your strengths are? What about your weaknesses?
  5. What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, how did you address it, and what did you learn from this experience?
  6. What attracted you to accept this interview?
  7. What would you like to develop in your next role?
  8. What are you looking for in your next role/company?
  9. Do you have any questions you would like to ask me about the company?
  10. What feedback have you received that was difficult to hear but has ultimately proven to be very valuable for your career?
  11. What do you do for fun outside of work?
  12. Have you worked in a team before? If yes, how did you navigate working with others?
  13. How do you prefer to be managed?
  14. How did you end up in your current role? OR: If a graduate – why did you choose to study what you did?
  15. What is your most proud work accomplishment and why?
  16. Your expected salary is X. Are there any additional benefits/perks you are prioritising in your next role?
  17. How do you see your career progressing, and how do you see this role at our company feeding into that?
  18. What are you really good at but never want to do anymore?
  19. If we asked a group of people you have worked with recently, what would they say they love most about working with you?
  20. What would the same group of people say they find frustrating about working with you?

Technical interview and assessment prompts

Typically, a technical interview follows the initial introductory interview and will ask more specific questions about the appropriate tech stack.

Try asking ChatGPT questions to prepare for general technical questions:

  • ‘What would be some other good interview questions to prepare for X position?’

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Insert your tech stack to get some great ideas for common questions specific to your tech stack. For example, a JavaScript or Python position.

If possible, ask a developer friend to check whether these questions all make sense in your field. ChatGPT is an excellent tool in our experience, but it can definitely make mistakes.

Once you have these questions, you can use ‘Please choose the next questions from this list at random. [List of questions]’ prompt to help you practice answering the list of technical questions.

Ask ChatGPT to give you technical assessment questions that you can practice for the role you are interviewing for.

  • ‘Give me some examples of technical assessment questions I could be asked for an X developer role.’

Once you’ve chosen and completed the example assessment questions ChatGPT has provided, you can check your answer with the AI and get feedback on your response.

  • ‘Here is my solution to X. Please check my answer and give me feedback on where I can improve.’

Practice makes perfect, and if you want to keep practicing technical assessment questions, then keep asking ChatGPT for more example questions for the appropriate tech stack.

Company prep and culture-fit prompts

If you are interviewing for a position in a well-known company, it could be worth asking ChatGPT how you should prepare for an interview with them. This could provide you with great insight into their hiring process and what you can expect in their interviews. You can then use this information within the prompts above.

  • ‘How should I prepare for an interview at [company name]?’

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This works particularly well if you’re interviewing at a well-known or Big Tech company, for example, Amazon. However, you’ll likely find general principles that you can apply to any hiring process at a tech company. Try inserting the name of the company you’re interviewing at, and see how it aligns with what you’ve learnt about them so far.

In terms of culture-fit interviews, these are usually used by companies to ensure that whomever they hire will align with and contribute to the company culture.

Try and use ChatGPT to generate a list of relevant culture-fit interview questions.

  • ‘Provide me a list of culture-fit interview questions.’

You can once again use the prompts above to have ChatGPT ask you these questions in an interview-like format.

Ask ChatGPT to help you prepare questions that you can ask the company about their work culture.

  • ‘Provide me a list of questions I can ask in a culture-fit interview as the interviewee.’

This will give you examples that you can ask during the interview to make sure that you also feel comfortable and aligned with the company culture - making sure that you think it’s a perfect fit.

Conclusion

While it’s great to use ChatGPT to practice your interviewing skills, it can also be tempting to use AI during your actual interview process or to make scripts from the model answers supplied by ChatGPT. This is not recommended.

In your interviews, you want to come across as human by giving answers that sound natural for you. That is why it is much better to use ChatGPT for practice and to get general pointers on how to answer questions.

It might also be tempting to use ChatGPT during your technical assessment. This is also something to be careful of, as companies often will not accept the use of AI and have methods of detecting its usage. It is far better to answer the technical questions to the best of your ability in order to showcase your problem-solving skills. If you do want to utilise AI, then check if it’s okay with the company beforehand and be explicit about what you’ll use it for.

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