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136
votes
13answers
12k views

Is it just me or is this a baffling tech interview question? [closed]

Background I was just asked in a tech interview to write an algorithm to traverse an "object" (notice the quotes) where A is equal to B and B is equal to C and A is equal to C. That's it. That is ...
119
votes
11answers
9k views

Is it appropriate for interviewers to ask candidates for their Stack Exchange user name? [closed]

Would you consider it appropriate if you were asked for your Stack Exchange username in a software job interview (or as a pre-interview screening question)? To me, it seems like a very reasonable ...
79
votes
15answers
44k views

Tricky logic puzzles - Are they really useful in assessing programming skills? [closed]

In the last interview I attended, I was asked to solve a puzzle where I was expected to measure exactly blah liters of water given two buckets with capacities - blah and blah liters respectively. I ...
77
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the relevance of resumes in the age of GitHub, Stack Exchange, Coursera, Udacity, blogs, etc.? [closed]

My resume is no longer relevant. It can no longer contain an adequate description of my technical abilities. One can get a much better sense of what I am capable of by looking at my GitHub ...
76
votes
15answers
5k views

How much help should I give during technical interviews? [closed]

I'm asked to perform or sit in during many technical interviews. We ask logic questions and simple programming problems that the interviewee is expected to be able to solve on paper. (I would rather ...
72
votes
14answers
6k views

How important is it for a programmer to have an online presence? [closed]

I've noticed more and more mentions (both in posts here and in actual job descriptions) of programmers' "portfolios" - typically their public profiles on sites such as this, GitHub, etc. How ...
69
votes
12answers
56k views

How to recognize a good programmer? [closed]

Our company is looking for new programmers. And here comes the problem - there are many developers who look really great at the interview, seem to know the technology you need and have a good job ...
69
votes
2answers
4k views

Should we hire someone who writes C in Perl? [closed]

One of my colleagues recently interviewed some candidates for a job and one said they had very good Perl experience. Since my colleague didn't know Perl, he asked me for a critique of some code ...
66
votes
8answers
4k views

Asking for a code sample of the company at an interview [closed]

Asking a job seeker to show some code is a fairly common practice for a software company. However, would it be acceptable for the candidate to ask the interviewer to show him a small piece of code ...
59
votes
7answers
9k views

The Joel Test's equivalent for measuring a programmer [closed]

I understand that to measure a project or code, we can use The Joel Test, but is there any simple standard test (like The Joel Test) that is able to measure and filter how good a programmer is? My ...
53
votes
11answers
4k views

How common is it for a team to write everything in-house? [closed]

In a recent interview I asked the interviewers "how do you go about evaluating new technologies and libraries (such as SignalR) and bringing them in to use?". They said they don't, that instead they ...
52
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it wise to ask about design decisions made on a product during an interview? [closed]

I've been thinking about interview questions lately and I've been reflecting on bad interview experiences I've had in the past. One of particular note is where I had asked the interviewer why the team ...
46
votes
11answers
3k views

What can I do when the interviewer doesn't know the answer to his/her own question? [closed]

Yesterday I had a terrible experience in an interview. Interviewer asked me about pure virtual function. I said, It may or may not have definition in base class, but derived classes should provide ...
46
votes
4answers
70k views

How can I test PHP skills in a interview? [closed]

My company needs to hire a PHP developer, but nobody has PHP knowledge in my company and we find difficult to test for PHP skills. If it were a C/Java developer I would ask him to write a quick ...
45
votes
16answers
23k views

Extremely trivial C++ phone interview question [closed]

My company is currently interviewing for a developer position, and a disturbingly high number of candidates with good resumes end up being total frauds. We do have a written technical test which works ...
43
votes
9answers
23k views

Hiring a Junior Developer, What should I ask? [closed]

We are currently hiring a junior developer to help me out, as I have more projects than I can currently manage. I have never hired anyone who wasn't a friend or at least an acquaintance. I have a ...
43
votes
17answers
12k views

How to check or assess debugging skills of a person? [closed]

What kind of skills determine a person that is capable of debugging code with ease? Some time ago my friend carried out an interview with a relatively good programmer. The programmer got hired. He ...
43
votes
17answers
3k views

How can I thoroughly evaluate a prospective employer? [closed]

We hear much about code smells, test smells, and even project smells, but I have heard no discussion about employer "smells" outside of the Joel Test. After much frustration working for employers ...
42
votes
14answers
2k views

Do companies hire software developers that are aspiring entrepreneurs? [closed]

There are developers out there that not only write code and solve problems, but aspire to one day be an entrepreneur and run their own company. They may participate in open source projects, go to ...
42
votes
12answers
3k views

Is thinking out loud during an interview really the best strategy? [closed]

In another question I asked recently about best practices for whiteboarding, there was general consensus that thinking out loud while coming up with the answer was the best strategy. Indeed, long ...
41
votes
13answers
6k views

Is it bad interview practice to have candidates write a linked-list implementation? [closed]

Reading this site and SO I've seen many stories of interview questions and answers saying a candidate had to implement a linked list from scratch. Usually this is a "gimme" exercise for programming ...
41
votes
6answers
6k views

Engineering interview candidate refuses to use whiteboard [duplicate]

Today I experienced a first in a technical interview. The candidate refused to use the whiteboard to solve an algorithm question, as I requested. There was no sort of disability at play or anything ...
41
votes
7answers
41k views

How can I evaluate a candidate's knowledge of Html/CSS during an interview? [closed]

I am trying to determine some good interview questions to assess the ability of people coming in for a Html/CSS job, however that topic is extremely broad, and I'm not sure what sort of questions I ...
40
votes
18answers
4k views

How important is it to be syntactically correct during an interview? [closed]

When asking an interview candidate to write a program on the whiteboard, do you expect the candidate to write code that is syntactically correct? I had two candidates, one of which wrote a ...
39
votes
6answers
11k views

Developer failing developer interviews [closed]

I'm a Java developer, mostly doing Spring stuff. I understand the patterns, OOP, bean injection, multithreading and everything that goes with it. I don't feel like I'm a bad developer, I get my stuff ...
38
votes
9answers
12k views

Is it appropriate to ask for reasons after rejected after the interview? [closed]

I thought I did okay in the interviews but apparently the interviewers didn't think so. Is it appropriate to ask for a reason after I have received the rejection email? After all I don't want to annoy ...
37
votes
7answers
3k views

What standards can be expected from graduate/junior engineers? [closed]

Are buffer overflows acceptable from a graduate developer? Are we setting the bar too high? What are the expected capabilities of graduate/junior engineers? Context: We are currently recruiting for ...
37
votes
19answers
5k views

The 10 minutes technical interview [closed]

I must do a quick assessment of dozens of fresh students very quickly. I have 30 minutes meeting with each of them (in two or three days). I want to use most of the time to discuss non technical ...
37
votes
11answers
3k views

How to sell a high SO reputation at an interview [duplicate]

A question with absolutely no relevance to myself: How would a programmer with a stellar SO reputation (like 30k+) market his or herself to poential employers/investors who have never heard of SO? In ...
37
votes
10answers
3k views

Effectiveness of FizzBuzz and Beyond [closed]

As part of the interview process we initially ask the candidates to do 'FizzBuzz' nowadays the percentage of candidates that can correctly answer FizzBuzz has increased dramatically - this may be due ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it bad etiquette to ask a potential employer how they score on the Joel Test? [closed]

Developer interviews are different than most other places, because not only do you worry about the people you work with, benefits, job description, etc., you also have EXTRA to worry about after ...
35
votes
18answers
12k views

How do you feel about being asked to code during an interview? [closed]

I have seen a lot of comments about good interview questions and puzzles to require potential developers to solve during the interview process. I have personally had several interviews in which the ...
35
votes
14answers
3k views

Comparing one's self to others during interviews [closed]

I'm often asked at some point during the interview process to compare myself to my peers. For example, one of my first after-graduation jobs asked me to compare myself to my classmates. A job I ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

Brain picking during job interview [closed]

Recently, I had a job interview at a big Silicon Valley company for a senior software developer/R&D position. I had several technical phone screens, an all day on-site interview and more technical ...
31
votes
13answers
4k views

How to react to wrong/not answered questions during interview? [closed]

Today I have held my first interview with potential interns. While this has been mostly open questions, I have had some trivial programming tasks for them: Write a function that returns true if ...
31
votes
9answers
9k views

Why are SW engineering interviews disproportionately difficult (vs. research interviews)? [closed]

First, some background on me. I have a PhD in CS and have had jobs both as a software engineer and as an R&D research scientist, both at Very Large Corporations You Know Very Well. I recently ...
31
votes
11answers
13k views

How do you answer the question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” [closed]

What do recruiters expect you to answer when they ask, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Something like: I want to improve my technical skills ... blah-blah-blah ... architect? Is it just ...
31
votes
7answers
24k views

How to get a job with no experience? [closed]

I am about to be a new college grad and I am trying to get an internship or a jr software engineer position. However, I have no experience at all in the field. All I will have is my degree and my in ...
30
votes
12answers
46k views

How do you respond to “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” question in interviews? [closed]

I've been asked this in a few interviews. And it always catches me off guard.My professional and academic background are already in the resumé, which the interviewer has obviously looked at. What more ...
30
votes
5answers
8k views

Don't like my current job, want to leave, how to explain this in a job interview? [closed]

A few years ago I immigrated to another country and early last year I managed to get my master's degree. Back then I was desperately looking for a job and I was fortunate to get offered a job in a ...
30
votes
7answers
969 views

How can I show aptitude to prospective employers when my all my work is on internal projects? [closed]

I've been in my current position for a long time (10 years) and in that time, I feel like I've performed well as a designer, system architect, and programmer. However, all that work has been on ...
29
votes
18answers
6k views

Should a senior developer refuse to take paper exams during an interview? [closed]

I found that many senior developers refuse to do paper exams in interviews. They regard the exam as a kind of humiliation, because they think that "They don't trust my programming ability even if I ...
29
votes
13answers
6k views

Is “White-Board-Coding” inappropriate during interviews? [closed]

This is a somewhat subjective quesiton but I'd love to hear feedback/opinions from either interviewers/interviewees on the topic. We split our technical interview into 4 parts. Write Code, Read & ...
28
votes
10answers
1k views

How to find out if a company has insane policies [closed]

When interviewing for a job, is there a delicate yet accurate way to find out if they have insane policies, like "no open source", or "no installing software without permission", "not upgrading ...
28
votes
15answers
2k views

How to interview a natural scientist for a dev position? [closed]

Original Question I already did some interviews for my company, mostly computer scientists for dev positions but also some testers and project managers. Now I have to fill a vacancy in our research ...
27
votes
10answers
2k views

How to avoid to be employed by companies which are candidates to DailyWTF stories? [closed]

I'm reading The Daily WTF archives and especially those stories about IT-related companies which have a completely wrong approach of software development, the job of a developer, etc. Some stories ...
27
votes
11answers
13k views

How do I design an arbitrary system in an interview? [closed]

A common question in Tech Interview is to design a particular system, usually an existing product of the company. For example, "Design Google Docs". What is the expected answer for such a question? I ...
26
votes
12answers
9k views

Do I need to understand algorithms and data structures to be called a programmer? [closed]

It has been six years since I have been coding. Coding into all kinds of things like ActionScript, JavaScript, Java, PHP, Ajax, XML HTML, ASP, etc. I have used arrays, maps, linked lists, sets, etc ...
26
votes
24answers
5k views

What to bring to a programming interview? [closed]

I have just completed my Master's degree in Computer Science and have gotten my first job interview as a developer. I do not have much experience in large scale development projects, but I am hoping ...
26
votes
17answers
2k views

What's the best lesson you have learned in your career? [closed]

I think mine is "there's no such thing as a five minute job" - that programmers tend to be overly optimistic about development and that we should really think through a the implications before ...