Questions on job interviews, concerning preparation for and attending job interviews, as well as designing job interviews for recruiting employees.

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151
votes
11answers
14k views

Is my work on a developer test being taken advantage of?

I am looking for a job and have applied to a number of positions. One employer responded. I had a pretty lengthy phone interview (perhaps an hour +) and they then set me up with a developer test. I ...
131
votes
14answers
11k views

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

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 ...
114
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 ...
97
votes
16answers
14k views

How can I tell in an interview if a programmer is passionate about programming?

While most interview questions are focused on current knowledge of a candidate or check his/her skill to solve algorithmic problems I would like to hire a developer who is passionate about ...
92
votes
24answers
48k views

Why are data structures so important in interviews?

I am a newbie into the corporate world recently graduated in computers. I am a java/groovy developer. I am a quick learner and I can learn new frameworks, APIs or even programming languages within ...
92
votes
18answers
13k views

How to market yourself as a software developer? [closed]

I have noticed that this is a frequent issue among younglings from technical areas such as ours. In the beginning of our careers we simply don't know how to sell ourselves to our employers, and ...
75
votes
12answers
10k views

How do you interview someone with more experience than you?

The company I'm working for is looking to hire a senior developer with more experience than me, and they expect me to do the technical part of the interview. I've only been programming a few years and ...
75
votes
15answers
5k views

How much help should I give during technical interviews?

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 ...
73
votes
9answers
7k views

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

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 ...
73
votes
15answers
38k views

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

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 ...
72
votes
37answers
5k views

How to handle people who lie on their resume [closed]

Moderator comment Please note that this is a two year old question that has just been migrated from Stack Overflow. Please take your time to read all the answers and ask yourself "would my ...
70
votes
14answers
5k 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
26answers
3k views

Should we hire someone who writes C in Perl?

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 ...
69
votes
14answers
9k views

What questions do you ask about a company before deciding to work there? [closed]

Sort of like the Joel Test I guess, except you don't need to limit it to checklists of yes/no questions.
66
votes
8answers
4k views

Asking for a code sample of the company at an interview

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 ...
57
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
56
votes
12answers
39k 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 ...
53
votes
11answers
4k views

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

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 ...
51
votes
10answers
2k views

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

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
16answers
4k views

Is big-O really that relevant when working in industry?

In every interview I have been in, I have been quizzed on mathematical analysis of complexity, including big-O notation. My question is, how relevant is this test to development in industry? How often ...
46
votes
16answers
18k 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 ...
45
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 ...
43
votes
18answers
3k views

Is this a good idea to use humour during a job interview? [closed]

I wonder if it's a good idea to be slightly funny during a job interview. I don't mean to try to tell a joke, but just to insert a humourous thought, related to the question or the theme we talk ...
42
votes
17answers
2k 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 ...
41
votes
14answers
2k views

Do companies hire software developers that are aspiring entrepreneurs?

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 ...
41
votes
4answers
51k 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 ...
40
votes
18answers
3k views

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

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 ...
40
votes
10answers
9k views

Why was I asked general, non-technical questions during an interview?

I got through the first phone interview at Amazon last week and they asked some basic technical questions during that interview. Today, I had my second phone-interview and I prepared myself well ...
40
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 ...
40
votes
9answers
2k views

What can I do about multiple coworkers who constantly question my knowledge?

At my current job, I have coworkers who still throw interview questions at me even though I've been working there for 6 months. I though it would end after I got hired but then it continued on and on. ...
40
votes
9answers
18k views

Hiring a Junior Developer, What should I ask?

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 ...
40
votes
12answers
2k views

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

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 ...
40
votes
16answers
9k views

How to check or assess debugging skills of a person?

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 ...
38
votes
9answers
11k 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

Do we set the bar too high by requiring that code tests not suffer from buffer overflow?

We are currently recruiting for a Junior Developer position working mainly in C on Linux. As part of the process, we require candidates to complete a code test at their leisure in C. So far we have ...
37
votes
20answers
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
13answers
5k views

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

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 ...
37
votes
11answers
2k 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

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
14answers
2k views

If you had two projects with the same specification and only one was developed using TDD how could you tell?

I was asked this question in an interview and it has been bugging me ever since. You have two projects, both with the same specification but only one of these projects was developed using Test ...
36
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

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

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
7answers
34k views

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

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 ...
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 ...
34
votes
18answers
9k 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 ...
33
votes
7answers
3k views

C++ Interview question

This problem was given to me on previous job interview test. It is over now, but I would like to go through my mistakes and hopefully be more prepared next time! // Identify as many bugs and ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

Brain picking during job interview

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?

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
11answers
11k 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
12answers
2k views

Would a cut and paste coder ever get past a job interview?

As a long time cut and paste coder I never committed much of the syntax of a language to memory. Even worse, I now use google to solve many of the coding problems which are of the type typically used ...