☎️ homeaway interview process - phone screens

After learning web development independently for the past two years, I decided it was finally time to see what was available. I've been at Dell for eight years, so I had to start from scratch. I created a solid portfolio on Github, wrote up my resume, and even made a LinkedIn. Luckily I have friends at some great Austin based companies, so I started with referrals and got a response from HomeAway first.

hr phone screen

The first call was with a human resources representative. She asked me basic questions like if I required sponsorship and what my timeline was. Then she asked some meatier questions about why I wanted to leave my current job and why I wanted to join HomeAway. This led to some discussions about team dynamics, how developer success is determined, and company culture. Finally she walked me through the next steps. She told me I'd have a technical phone screen with an engineer, where some coding would be involved.

technical phone screen

About a week later I got on a call and was greeted by Chris Karcher. I was impressed by how thoroughly he reviewed my resume! He went through all of my personal projects and my Github and was eager to talk about my web development learning process, where I started from a Node only server and iterated until I built a full backend web application.

We talked about the evolution of JavaScript and which of the latest features I used. He asked me to explain callbacks versus promises versus async/await. We had a good discussion about CSS, how to architect it, and how to bring it into front end code.

I really enjoyed this portion of the interview process, it was nice to talk about JavaScript and web development with someone who not only understands, but who has their own opinions formed by years of working in the industry.

coding question

Next, Chris and I hopped on a platform called HireVue which seemed like glorified plain text editor. Honestly, I would have preferred something like CodeSandbox Live or VSCode Live Share. He asked me to share my thoughts and type out a solution to a coding question. The problem was something like this.

The goal is to write a configuration parser, in the format name=value.
This parser should support interpolation of values, denoted by ${}.
The parser should support nested interpolation.

I managed to talk through the solution decently, although I was definitely nervous. Coding the solution went terribly, as HireVue wasn't actually a code editor. Luckily, Chris never expected me to run the code, he just wanted to hear me think through the problem and see psuedo code.

But I'm not the type to leave a problem unsolved, so here is my solution.

on site interview

As Chris and I wrapped up our conversation, I directly asked him how he thought it went, and he was honest and told me he was going to recommend to bring me on site for the last part of the interview process! It's a three hour interview with four different individuals, focusing on both front and back end skills to determine which team I'll fit best in.

I'm definitely nervous about this portion, and I can't stand whiteboard coding. So I've been preparing by solving problems on Codewars and LeetCode.

Wish me luck on Twitter @bradgarropy and stay tuned to find out how it went!