A lot of time for decent tech jobs you have to go through a phone screening process. If you suck over the phone you generally don't get a chance to show how bad ass you are in person.
These interviews, even for experienced and advanced positions, very often involve trivia style questions over basics. Unfortunately for me they're always in something I don't generally think about and didn't imagine to prepare for. With more experience with them (I haven't applied for a lot of such positions) I imagine I might get better but in the meantime...
So for example, converting some decimal value XX to hexidecimal or binary. Last time I interviewed for something I had a total brain-fart on how to actually do this. I very rarely have to care. I use hexidecimal any time I want to be associating values with bit construction and decimal when I want to think of the value as a number. I rarely convert between the two. When I do need to I just pop open the calculator and let it do it for me. It's not like it's hard or anything but for some reason I simply couldn't even remember how to do it. I told the interviewer the truth and told him I'd have a better chance to convert the other way (since it's way, way easy and still shows understanding I guess).
He then mentioned that most people struggled with that and wondered if it was some sort of age difference thing. Maybe, maybe not. I explained where I was coming from and let it at that.
But, being a phone interview he couldn't exactly tell how I'd come up with the answer. Perhaps it's perfectly legitimate to just use the tools I always do?
What do you think? If you where interviewing someone, asked a question like that, and then found out that they'd used a tool or reference to answer your question rather than do it by hand or in their head....would you be pissed off? Would you consider that dishonest or a good use of tools available to solve the problem?