A young blonde woman and a young dark-haired man sitting in front of a whiteboard, laughing and discussing whiteboarding.
Nikita Armstrong and Dwayne Armitage, Liberty IT. Image: Luke Maxwell

Why do graduates need to know about whiteboarding?

17 Aug 2018

Whiteboarding could help you stand out during the recruitment process. So, what exactly is it?

One of the major things graduates will want to know about is how the recruitment process will be when they apply for jobs.

Most will be used to a standard interview and will prepare for the typical questions they might expect. Software developers might even feel prepared for a technical interview to show their skills.

However, an element of the recruitment process that you might not be familiar with is whiteboarding.

One company that incorporates whiteboarding into its recruitment process is Liberty IT.

We headed to Liberty IT’s Belfast office to speak to senior software engineer Nikita Armstrong and technical capabilities manager Dwayne Armitage to find out more about how they use whiteboarding.

Armstrong said that when a candidate comes to interview at Liberty IT, they will be asked a series of different questions and one of the things they can do is illustrate their answers on a whiteboard.

Armitage said that using the whiteboarding opportunity would be a great asset to candidates who come to interview.

“It gives them a slight advantage and allows them to sort of talk through the technical problem,” he said.

So, how can graduates and other candidates for interview use whiteboarding? Armstrong suggested sketching an architectural diagram of a project they have worked on, or use it to explain an answer in more detail.

She added that using a whiteboard in an interview can really set the best candidates apart from the rest because it allows them to show their technical communication skills.

This, combined with the fact that whiteboarding is used a lot in tech firms, means that it’s an important skill that will be carried beyond the recruitment process.

Armitage said from his own point of view, whiteboarding gives an insight into the bigger picture of an application. “Especially working with the developers on the ground, it definitely gives me that holistic view.”

While this may sound like a simple skill, it’s something graduates should think about before heading into their interviews.

Ask yourself how you might demonstrate an answer on a whiteboard or think about a diagram you can draw to demonstrate a project you worked on. When properly used, effective whiteboarding could be what sets you apart from hundreds of other graduates.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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