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    Devshed Gringo
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    When going for interviews...


    Do you get drilled on the language, like a paper & pencil test requesting you build a function on paper?

    I always end up looking like an idiot because I get trapped with some questions. I'm so used to building stuff and referencing online (like php.net)...

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    Still don't know how to do a "Hello World"?
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    Originally Posted by -=-steve-=-
    Do you get drilled on the language, like a paper & pencil test requesting you build a function on paper?

    I always end up looking like an idiot because I get trapped with some questions. I'm so used to building stuff and referencing online (like php.net)...
    I've never been asked language specific questions, that's not to say they won't. If you've got the interview I assume they pressumed that you're qualified enough so they wouldn't have to nit-pick on language specific details.

    Depending on the job they'll ask questions about experience, what you've done/built in the past. Be prepeared, predict their questions and if all else fails smile and nod

    It's nice to show them a portfolio of work if you've got one.

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  5. garish grotesque gargoyle
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    there's a certain amount of familiarity you gain with any language from use... if you can't build the function on paper (maybe with some typos or incorrect function parameters), you'll be spending too much time referencing and not enough time coding for many employers.

    Besides, a question like that is almost always to see if you can find an optimized solution to a problem; as a potential employer I'd hire someone that wrote pseudo-code that solved the problem efficiently over someone who wrote syntactically perfect php code that doesn't quite get the gist of the problem/solution.

    If you're being asked to solve a problem in code on paper, just solve the problem -- even if you have to munge some details or add comments that say 'this might not be the correct function name...' or 'can't remember whether this takes 2 or 3 parameters in this form...' -- if your employer cares more about you remembering exact syntax from memory than your ability to see code patterns that solve problems, you don't want to work for them anyway.

    my 2¢

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    In my experience, they will generally ask you to write a bit of code for some simple algorithmic thing. Generally they don't care about the language... I always used loose C++... and they aren't going to care if you accidentally miss a right closing parenthesis or use a deprecated function. The only thing they want to know from a code question is whether you can solve problems and translate solutions to a logical form, or whether you're one of the too-common would-be programmers that has to get somebody to help them with everything.

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    Last edited by AuburnMathTutor; August 5th, 2010 at 07:15 PM.
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    Originally Posted by -=-steve-=-
    I'm so used to building stuff and referencing online (like php.net)...
    Depends on both the company's culture and the position you are applying for. If you are relatively junior, you should expect one person to be the designated nit picker. Just answer that you use places like php.net for reference. As other has said, no one expects perfect syntax from memory. Especially with something as bizzare as C++.

    But if you are talking C++, you had better know how to cast away const-ness or know in detail how a reference difers from a pointer.

    For more senior positions, they usually focus on larger pictures, like how to you scale this to support hundreds of thousands of users. Or when do you denormalize a set of DB tables.

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    At least from the networking side of things I've been asked interesting questions anything from port numbers to how I would explain to my grandma what DNS is on top of many others. It's weird some of the questions they ask.

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    No one ever asked me about my grandmother, although I did take the time to explain domain name servers to her the last time I visited her grave, may she rest in peace.

    Most of my interviews have been non-technical. I ace them when they start asking about their company. What do I know about the company, why I'd want to work there, why I'd be a good fit. If it's a technical interview then surely be prepared for that but don't neglect to prepare for the rest of the interview. Having been on the other side of the interviewing table I could relate some pretty humorous tales of candidate pompousness, amongst other things.
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    Definitely learn about the company, specifically if they're in an active and diverse market. Know about recent innovations they've made, as well as their competition.

    I've had interviews where I was asked to write a basic function (check_palindrome is a favorite) and my current job quizzed me on the difference between == and === in PHP. VERY important, and often overlooked. That kind of question reveals whether or not you're skilled enough to do the details right.

    I also had an interview where someone asked me who my favorite Star Trek character was.

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    Originally Posted by medialint
    No one ever asked me about my grandmother, although I did take the time to explain domain name servers to her the last time I visited her grave, may she rest in peace.

    Most of my interviews have been non-technical. I ace them when they start asking about their company. What do I know about the company, why I'd want to work there, why I'd be a good fit. If it's a technical interview then surely be prepared for that but don't neglect to prepare for the rest of the interview. Having been on the other side of the interviewing table I could relate some pretty humorous tales of candidate pompousness, amongst other things.
    The interesting thing is I put my resume on Careerbuilder and I'm getting a few hits (mostly to sell insurance for some odd reason). I had a call yesterday from this recruiter saying they were looking to expand their company and would be interested in an interview. They didn't mention what the job was or the company was. I called back and received a voicemail and yet I have no clue what the company is, what they do, or even remotely what the job would be.
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  19. Sarcky
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    Every week or so I get a call from someone in india begging me to take an interview thousands of miles away. Recently I got a call from a guy insisting that he'd found a great job for me: A Java position in Seattle. I said "no, take me off your list" and hung up. He called me back to tell me I was rude. As you can imagine, he got an earful.
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    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    Every week or so I get a call from someone in india begging me to take an interview thousands of miles away. Recently I got a call from a guy insisting that he'd found a great job for me: A Java position in Seattle. I said "no, take me off your list" and hung up. He called me back to tell me I was rude. As you can imagine, he got an earful.
    So now they're outsourcing headhunters to India? Damn, this country is going down the toilet.

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    So now they're outsourcing headhunters to India?
    I think it's more like this:
    1) companies put jobs on monster
    2) most companies offer recruitment kickbacks to "consulting" organizations
    3) HR managers have no idea what skills are necessary for IT jobs
    4) someone realized that they could combine a web spider with a $0.50/hr call center and churn out potential candidates for the jobs on monster, on the off chance that they'll get $5,000 bonus for making a successful connection

    This is how a lot of people end up in jobs that are way over their head, because a web spider told someone in India they were perfect for a job, and then the HR manager couldn't tell the difference between "XML" and "Cisco" on the resume, and by the time he got to the actual interview the company was desperate for warm bodies and figured "hey (s)he already made it through two levels of screening."
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  25. Autodidact
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    The worst I ever got was, "parse this XML and put it into a database." I just had a shell, and I was a total Linux noob. Don't underestimate the importance of your social skills.

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    Last edited by f_nietzsche; August 6th, 2010 at 10:50 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    4) someone realized that they could combine a web spider with a $0.50/hr call center and churn out potential candidates for the jobs on monster, on the off chance that they'll get $5,000 bonus for making a successful connection
    Sounds like a conversation I had with one of my professors in college. Basically I asked him why would anyone send out spam when nobody ever buys anything from a spammer. He said the cost to send out an email, or millions, is so small that even if they get 1 customer, they are still profitable. Come to think of it, that's right on the dot. They just need 1 idiot to buy something and they're profitable. What you described sounds like the same logic.
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    I've only had one job interview. They had a 20-question programming test which consisted of a few simple programming questions, but mostly general common-sense development questions (ex: What do you do when you see code you think is wrong?). Afterwards, there was an interview where I spent about 10 minutes discussing the test and 3 hours listening to my future boss ramble about World of Warcraft. All of my work since then has been people chasing me; so I've not needed to interview.

    Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" to a couple questions. Some times you'll be asked stuff just to see how much you'll try to bull**** them.

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    Last edited by AndyMNE; August 6th, 2010 at 08:57 PM.
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