Getting ready for a job interview in any industry can be a daunting task. Co-founder of Pramp, Refael Zikavashvili — along with his co-founders Matan Goldschmiedt and Omer Gelbard — created their platform after noticing the lack of affordable and effective ways to prep for coding interviews. In fact, they used to interview with companies just for the practice.
Pramp pairs software engineers with others looking to practice coding interviews for free. Interviews are bi-directional, based on level, availability, practicing needs, and programming language preferences. The live one-on-one video sessions take place on their website in a collaborative coding environment. The website also takes care of scheduling and interview prep content, and requires no installation. With Pramp, you can schedule and have an interview on the same day. Users get access to real-world coding interview questions asked by top tech companies.
Refael Zikavashvili reveals information about the platform, tips for aspiring developers, and more.
Does Pramp have any competitors? If so, what makes Pramp different?
We do. Pramp is the only platform that is truly peer-to-peer and enables its users to have as many practice interviews as they want, whenever they want. Other platforms focus on recruiting and pay interviewers to conduct interviews. Candidates, thus, get to do only one interview at most with these companies. Pramp is also the only live practicing platform to provide interview content. Once the interviews are over, you provide feedback and rate each other’s performance.
Peer-to-peer is the only way to make one-to-one learning both free and at scale. When we founded Pramp we had a clear goal in mind — make it accessible to everyone. We did not want cost barriers to prevent underprivileged populations from using Pramp. And after hosting more than 80,000 interviews on Pramp, we know that for fact. Many of our users tell us that they learn from interviewing others as much as they do from an interview.
Are there other resources for software developers that Pramp offers?
Pramp offers its top performing users the option to get fast-tracked at great tech companies. We match them with hiring managers for a technical phone screen, skipping the resume screening and recruiter phone call. This service is opt-in and we connect candidates to companies only after we received candidates’ explicit consent.
Will Pramp (or the technology) be available to other industries in the future?
Absolutely. Now that we’ve created the playbook for successful peer-to-peer learning, our plan is to apply it to other domains like Product Management, Banking, Management Consulting, UI/UX Design and more. Peer-to-peer mock interviews is just the beginning. We’re building a world where Pramp enables anyone to gain, and share, new knowledge in real time. And, at no cost by pairing them with other people over common interests.
What advice would you give to companies who want to hire from the Pramp platform?
Hire as many female engineers as you can. Numerous studies show that the more women on your team, the better.
What would you suggest to new or aspiring software developers for standing out from the competition?
To stand out, new and/or aspiring software developers need to be bold. Instead of working on a forgettable coding project that nobody is going to use, they should instead identify a product feature that one of their dream companies could benefit from and implement. Next, cold-email hiring managers at that dream company and let them know what they built. This strategy is very likely to land them an interview with that company.
What's next for Pramp?
We are working on supporting new types of mock technical interviews. Our platform is currently more geared toward backend and full-stack engineers. We’re now looking to expand into front-end, mobile, and machine learning. In parallel, we’re building new software that will allow companies to screen their own inbound flow of technical candidates.
This article was written by Marie Flounoy for Small Business Pulse