Congratulations- you submitted your code school application and got an interview! You're undoubtedly prepping for the coding challenge and convincing the interviewer that you should be in their next cohort. But the bootcamp shouldn't be the only one asking the questions. A coding bootcamp interview is the perfect opportunity to clear up any questions you have about a school's acceptance standards, teaching style, job placement, and more. Coding bootcamps are a serious commitment – use this guide to acing your interview questions before making your decision.
Start with the basics- who is your interviewer and what's their experience?
Why did you start this bootcamp or why do you work here?
How many students has the school graduated? When was the first cohort?
Does the school have multiple campuses? What are the differences between campuses?
Pre-work can be integral to a strong code school experience; it can also add hours or months to your learning, so be sure to understand what is required of you before your first day of class.
How many hours do your students usually spend on pre-work?
What is the purpose of pre-work? Is it important that I get everything right, or is it more of an evaluative instrument?
Do students ever drop out after just attempting the pre-work?
A legitimate coding bootcamp should be tracking application and acceptance statistics- and should be able to dig up these stats when asked. These questions can help you understand how competitive a school is.
What is the acceptance rate for the program?
What is the yield rate - out of the applicants accepted, how many choose to attend?
Instructors & Curriculum
An instructor can make or break a bootcamp- be sure the teaching style works with your learning style.
How are instructors chosen? Do your instructors have Masters degrees?
What is the teaching style at your school? Are you particularly hands-on or hands-off?
How many instructors are former students and how many are industry professionals?
Do the founders teach any part of the course?
How often do you change the curriculum? What’s the feedback loop?
Find out how intensive this bootcamp is and what's really expected of students.
Should I expect to do outside work to really excel?
What are some examples of productive work/activities to pursue outside of class?
Is diversity important to you in a coding bootcamp cohort? It should be! Chances are, you'll be working with developers from different backgrounds in your career, so you want to learn alongside diverse students!
What is the average cohort size?
Are there different skill levels within each cohort?
How diverse can I expect my cohort to be?
Does the program have targeted methods of increasing diversity?
Students may drop out of a coding bootcamp for a variety of reasons, from family/personal issues to course difficulty. It's important to understand how each school handles attrition.
What is the graduate rate? What is the attrition rate? Do students ever drop out because of the difficulty of the course?
Do students have to pass a final exam to graduate?
Are students allowed to put the course on hold or attempt it again later?
What is your refund policy?
From hiring networks to interview preparation, career resources are a huge perk at a coding bootcamp; what does this school bring to the table?
What level of career support can I expect during the program and after?
Is there a significant network of employers that I can access?
Does the school take a certain percentage of my first year's salary?
Is there a rebate for accepting a job with a hiring partner?
Is there a final exam students must pass in order to get access to career support?
Do you want to land a job as a developer when you graduate? Be sure to ask the tough questions about the bootcamp's job placement program.
What is the job placement rate? What do you count as being "employed?" Do you include part-time, contract work, internships, etc.?
What is your job guarantee?
What is the average annual starting salary?
Does the school hire graduates to teach or assist at the school?
Coding bootcamps can cost a pretty penny, but most schools offer scholarships and financing to help ease the financial burden. Find out exactly what your options are.
Do you offer scholarships?
What does tuition cover exactly? Housing/food/laptop, etc?
Is there a deposit due before class starts?
Do you partner with financing or lending partners like LendLayer, Climb, or Quotanda?
Have you been through coding bootcamp interviews before? Which questions were important to you? Let us know in the comments!
About The Author
Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students researching coding bootcamps. Her research has been cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and more. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube!