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Answers to Most Common Interview Questions | Reply
I like to share this link with other developers http://www.faiqs.com .This site contins huge collection of most frequesntly asked interview questions(FAIQS) with answers .PLs post similar links so that others could benefit for their next job interview
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by MrPi) | Reply
I don't get it. What's good about sharing such information? I for one wouldn't like to work with someone that has no real knowledge but memorized answers to all common interview questions and got lucky.

BTW: level of this page is rather low (but I only checked C++ and Linux), you're better off not reading it at all or you have a good chance of picking something that's completely wrong and embarassing yourself during the interview.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Krzysan) | Reply
I would.

It would make me look a lot better come performance review time if I was working with people who bluffed their way into a job without any real competence!

Unless we were both employed to write interview questions I suppose.....
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
If the interview questions are widely available than what's the point of the interview? Ability of memorizing answers by heart is not the most importand skill I would seek in the future employee. When you believe you are better for the position than the other candidates you should wish for as hard and unstandard questions as possible - that can give you an edge of adeventage over them.

(Of course if you know the questions beforehand and the others don't it also gives you significant adventage - but it doesn't feel like fair play)
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by slex) | Reply
If you can gain an advantage over others by looking at previous interview questions why not do so? Why put yourself at a potential disadvantage by not doing so?

The worst you have done is prepared yourself for the type of questions that *may* be asked.

If you go into a technical interview with no knowledge of a subject other than what you have gleaned from previous interview questions then you are a obviously a fool.

Failing to properly prepare for an interview when you have an opportunity to do so is possibly even more foolish though.

A decent interviewer should be able to spot any imposters. If they don't then they shouldn't be interviewing candidates in the first place.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
Why waste your time cramming if you know the stuff already? And if you *don't* know something well, why try to misrepresent if, as you say, a decent interviewer should be able to spot imposters?

There is absolutely no substitute for actually knowing the material in a given subject.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by antimatter) | Reply
Most commercial developers use a lot different technologies in their day to day work.

I have a set of core skills (on which I am confident of answering most questions) but I also use other technologies either partially or infrequently.

Most advertised positions specify a set of essential and 'nice to have' skills. Employers realise that people are rarely equally strong across all of the skills they require.

I don't see anything wrong with making sure you can talk a little/answer simple questions regarding technical skills that are 'nice to haves' if you have used that particular technology but not claimed to be an expert. It certainly makes a better impression than saying nothing at all.

Employers are not necessarily looking for a guru in one particular field that can read/write heavily optimised/obfuscated code.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
Honesty is the best policy..

People usually mean "be your best self" when they mean "be yourself". But then people usually get a job as "something that pays me money" instead of looking for a career or a place where you can explore..
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
I don't know if that was some sort of dig at the end, so I'm going to ignore it.

As for the rest of what you said, sure, employers do ask for lots of different things. Of course everyone has their core skills, along with stuff that they've touched briefly or used a little bit. And of course the employers know that this is the case.

However, my personal philosophy is to not misrepresent. If that means saying "I've worked a little bit with AJAX/J2EE/whatever, but haven't done it in a while so I'm rusty", then so be it. I fail to see how this makes any worse of an impression than just being able to answer stock questions about the given subject.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by antimatter) | Reply
No dig at all and I apologise if my post came across that way. I was indirectly making the point that knowing a language inside out doesn't necessarily make you a good commercial prospect.

I feel if you have even a little experience of a skill/technology that is relevant to a position it is better to mention it and make sure you can answer simple questions.

To me that means having *some* understanding, not simply repeating the answers to a few questions that *may* come up in an interview.

Personally I like looking at these type of questions before an interview. It helps build up my confidence. I don't treat it as a learning experience.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by antimatter) | Reply
Cramming and/or trying to misrepresent yourself is a bad idea. Reviewing things can be a very good idea. A good interviewer who is willing to explore and dig will determine whether you are good or not. Unfortunately, many interviewers use a predefined set of questions, and if your current focus is in a different area, you may look worse than you are.

I still remember an interview back in college, with a company who is known for their good, technical interviews. They asked me a question which was right out of a data structures class. Having been 6 years since I had taken the class (I took it in high school), and not having had to do a similar problem since then, I was rusty on the material. Failing an interview that I would've aced 6 years earlier was frustrating. Had I reviewed the topic a little bit, I feel I would've been able to much better represent myself.

That being said, the little bit I looked at the said link, it didn't really seem that useful.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
If you can gain an advantage over others by looking at previous interview questions why not do so?


I'm not sure the website at the beginning of this thread will give you any kind of advantage in any interview. I've been through a good number of CS job interviews, and most of them ask problem-solving questions. The interviewers actually hoped that I didn't know how to do the problems and wanted me to think on the spot (some interviewers actually even asked me beforehand to tell them if I had heard the questions before so they could give me new ones). In the couple cases where they tried asking me stupid memorization-type questions, I interrupted them and asked me what they're trying to accomplish. Remember, you're the commodity to them -- they need to impress you in the interview. If they're asking you stupid questions, it reflects poorly on them. You have to think...if those are the kinds of questions they screen candidates with, then of what caliber will your co-workers be?
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Minilek) | Reply
If you ask what final does in Java or using in C# is it a memorization-type of question? When I was asked the latter I didn't mind. These type of questions can be used by the interviewer after he decides you should be hired in order to get an idea about what is the best team for you to work with at the start. Learning a new technology can be time-consuming and it makes no sense to put you in a team that badly needs X skills right NOW.

But I wholeheartedly agree that if they seem to take a decision for hire/no-hire based on that type of questions something is really wrong. Most questions of good employers are geared towards figuring out how you think. An example of why technology-oriented questions are stupid is my experience with Brainbench. I took the C# test on a boring day after reading about the language for about four hours and before writing my first line of C# code. I got in the 94 percentile and the title `master'. In fact, it was a boring week so I did the same with the XML (97%) and XML concepts (93%) tests. I've used C# afterwards but never XML. If I would go to an interview now and I would be asked about XML I would say that I've read about it but never used it.

PS Mysterious Ways: I just got an email, while writing this, from Brainbench with the subject "you are invited to participate in an elite IT research panel". Should I peek or delete right away?

edit: BTW, Joel Spolsky has a blog post on interviews. What do you think about his opinion on aha! questions?
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by rgrig) | Reply
The value of "aha!" questions is basically what you would expect out of a Game Theory class - as more interviewers use "aha!" questions, more interviewees study these questions.. there's an equilibrium somewhere..

I rather enjoy those problems, but probably on my own time, and not under the pressure of an interview. Though once I got an "aha!" question very quickly (you can say a light bulb came on) and the interviewer just assumed I saw it already..

So the value is drastically diminished..
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Larry) | Reply
Don't you have the feeling that most people consider TopCoder problems to be aha! questions: you either saw it or not?
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by rgrig) | Reply
But with foundations. For example, familiarity will allow you to just say "ah, that's just a shortest graph problem" and code, while some people might take a little bit longer.

Of course, knowing the solution is only part of the problem.. you still have to implement it correctly..

And then there are the problems that mixes a few algorithms in different domains that makes it interesting..


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Larry) | Reply
Heh, any time I hear that now, I remember a conversation I had with NeverMore where he said his supervisor claimed that "uncommented code is indistinguishable from magic." Given the more common anecdote, it made me suspect that he doesn't comment his code :-)
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by rgrig) | Reply
What do you think about his opinion on aha! questions?


I disagree with him on the "aha! questions" section. He claims that people who are able to get it probably saw the brainteaser before. So...give them one you've made yourself. Also, to use Topcoder as an example, there are several "hard" problems in SRM's that are easy for people that have a good knowledge of their algorithmic toolbox. You'll often hear people call a problem "standard" for example -- they've maybe never heard that particular problem before, but it's a straightforward application of ideas from an undergrad algorithms course. I think a couple of those questions are a good idea. And afterward maybe toss in a problem that requires a bit more creativity. Of course, this depends on what you're hiring for -- maybe you're not looking for an algorithms person.

I think it's important, as he said, to ask people what kinds of projects they've done before, or what excites them. Not everyone who loves programming does algorithmic contests for fun. Some people are really into operating systems, or maybe compilers. Mind you I've never been an interviewer, but if I were I'd read resumes beforehand and make sure that the interviewer for the candidate shares a common with him/her. I wouldn't dare interview someone who writes their own compilers for fun. I'm not qualified to, because I'm not interested in compilers. No one is going to be able to spot an compilers enthusiast better than another compilers enthusiast.

“How many piano tuners are there in Seattle?” The candidate won’t know the answer, but smart candidates won’t give up and they’ll be happy to try and estimate a reasonable number for you.


I completely disagree here too. If I got a question like that during an interview, I'd be pissed. I'd probably answer to be polite, but if the interview didn't consist of other more solid questions then I'd refuse to work for them.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Minilek) | Reply
I think the piano tuner problem isn't too bad a problem, since it allows the interviewer to see your thought process. As long as the interviewer knows that it's highly unlikely to get it close..

That said, of course, it seems to be very linear in how to approach it, so I don't like it too much..

I do like sanity checks though. In my freshman physics class, my physics teacher used to give partial credit most of the time, but if your answer doesn't even belong in the realm of possible answers (or at least note that it doesn't make sense), then you won't get too many points. For example, in a thermodynamics reaction, if you get a final temperature that's hotter than the center of the sun, it's _probably_ not right..
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Larry) | Reply
lol, do you really need to stress the word 'probably'? ;)
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Larry) | Reply
The physics sanity check reminds me of a time when we were dropping glass beads into graduated cylinders filled with water, and based on the experimental data we had to calculate the terminal velocity. No matter how many times I did it, I kept getting a result that was somewhere on the north side of c. I wasn't sure what the answer should've been, but I was confident that wasn't it.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Larry) | Reply
I'd expect most piano tuners have another job next to their piano tuning. At least any piaon tuner I've met didn't do it for a living. So they could be tuning any number from 1 to 30 (or more?) piano's a week. That would make it very hard to estimate the number of piano tuners.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by dskloet) | Reply
Oh, definitely. What I meant to say (and probably not clearly enough) is something like:

It's a good question to ask if they don't really expect you to be right, but just wants to see what "corner cases" you can think of. It's not so bad, just very linear..
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by dskloet) | Reply
Speaking of which, if I were answering that question, I'd mention that if my dad came to Seattle on business or just to visit us, there'd be one more.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
And is it his main occupation?
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by dskloet) | Reply
No, if he were in town for business, it wouldn't be for tuning pianos ;-) He works for a government technology contractor, and he does come to Seattle to visit Boeing.

The person he learned from might have been full-time, I don't know.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply

It would make me look a lot better come performance review time if I was working with people who bluffed their way into a job without any real competence!


I couldn't help but think that the whole purpose of having these kinds of technical interviews is so that your company can hire and pay good developers that will write good software so that they can afford to not lay everyone off :-)
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
That's why I added the "!" to indicate I wasn't particularly serious.

Then again if a particular skill is in particularly short supply I bet not eneryone that gets hired is a winner.
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
You probably need something like "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm_mark".. =)
Re: Answers to Most Common Interview Questions (response to post by Krzysan) | Reply
Yes, the level of the C++ stuff seems to be quite low. Here's a sample:

[About copy constructor] constructor with only one parameter of its same type that assigns to every nonstatic class member variable of the object a copy of the passed object

Ridiculous! The type of the argument is not the same as that of the copy constructor, and in many practical cases the assignment it talks of would be illegal.

According to the site, area can be measured in both feet and square feet, and someone can earn "$ 650 rupees".
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