3 min read

Using ChatGPT as a mock interviewer. Goodbye to interview prep business?

At the time of this writing, 700,000+ tech workers have been fired in Silicon Valley alone as part of the recent wave of layoffs that started in Q4 of 2022 and still continuing strong in Q2 of 2023. A week ago, a friend who was part of the same layoff wave, reached out for help. He asked if I could take a mock interview as he prepares for his next job interview.

I said yes ( and then I immediately said no in my mind). We decided to e-meet at a particular time when I was expected to interview him for 2 types of interviews. One, a behavioral + engineering leadership interview. The other is a software engineering system design interview. I have taken 100s of similar interviews at FAANG but this time around I decided to do something different. Instead of taking some of my favorite questions from my question bank, I gave ChatGPT a chance. I talked to him for about an hour and his reaction in the end was "Thanks a ton! These 2 mocks were super helpful. Probably the best steps toward my prep. I am thinking of signing up for mock interview websites as well just to double down".

Little did my friend know that I conducted the entire interview using ChatGPT. Every single twist and turn I took during the mock interview was coming from ChatGPT. They were shocked to learn when I finally received it.  Today, I wanted to publically share the basic prompts that I used during this mock interview.

Mock Interview: Software System Design

Turn ChatGPT into a hiring manager working for a major tech company. To do this:

1. Provide context
2. Simulate a System Design interview
3. Give specific instructions on how to ask questions

Get deeper with it. Like any expert hiring manager, it needs to master the job role and company requirements. To do this:
1. Provide a Job description
2. Provide a Company description; and
3. More context for the position Check the YT video in the last tweet for the full prompt!

Direct ChatGPT to be as real as possible. You don't want it to uncontrollably say if you're right or wrong or allow yourself to fake it. To do this:
1. Let it wait for your answer
2. Make it react to your answer
3. Don't let it tell you if your answer was correct.

Behavioral or HR Interview

Turn ChatGPT into a hiring manager working and interviewing you for behavior and cultural fit. To do this:
1. Provide context
2. Simulate a behavioral interview
3. Give % per category you want to practice

[Category 1] [%]
[Category 2] [%]

Give it some constraints:
1. Make it wait for your answer before proceeding to the next question.
2. Provide feedback after each response without revealing correctness.
3. Have it maintain the flow of the interview
4. Let it ask you to elaborate if your answer was too short

A Quick Challenge

You do not have to type the entire answers to ChatGPT. Use dictation on Mac (and something similar on Windows) to type long answers. Try to generate your interview result report with ChatGPT. You will be amazed to see where you can go with that.

Final Words

I believe with the right way of prompting, you can surely simulate any kind of interview using ChatGPT! I predict someone will build a AI-based startup on top of this. Meanwhile, vanilla GPT FTW!