Hot answers tagged

764

I interview a lot of people. Some freeze up. Some don't. Here's what I'm looking for. What can I do to be less nervous during my interview? What are you afraid of? Really. This is a hard self-examination question, but you need to know -- specifically -- what terrifies you. 80% of the time it's the "what if I make a mistake?" question. Which is ...


286

It's a baffling, invalid interview question. The interviewer couldn't clearly articulate what it was that he/she was looking for and expected you to read his/her mind instead of responding meaningfully to your appropriate attempts to clarify the statement of the problem. Consider yourself lucky you didn't get the job. The meaning of the verb "traverse" ...


253

Let us bring some balance to this argument. For the record, I am a 9-5 programmer in the strictest sense of the word. I have coded for many many years and I will probably be coding for many more. I do have a strong passion for development and love seeing all those classes giving each other hugs and kisses. I'm all for fluffy bunny designs and FOR ...


229

All you have to do is ask him to tell you about one of the projects he's worked on that he most enjoyed. You'll find out more about his enthusiasm in the following 60 seconds than you ever could showing him photographs of deceased notables.


186

these are only reasons why it could be faster (of course it depends of what exactly are A B and C) case1 only a single occurrence of loop prologue/epilogue (less code to run) better scheduling of A B and C generated code (more parallelism) may factorize code (no dependency on output, but A B and C may read the same inputs) case2 lower register ...


168

I would never participate in a code test of this nature. I have taken many code tests and done many code projects. I certainly wouldn't check code into someone else's repository under any circumstance. If they don't know what they need to know after a 4 hour sample with some minor bug correction in a pair-programming session, then they won't ever know. ...


142

I had my second interview with a company here in Omaha last night, and it was easily the longest interview of my life (lasting from 3:00 - 5:30, speaking with 5 people one after another after another). I got some good news this morning: I have a job! Pay = $27/hr, more than twice what I made at my previous employment. Start Date = December 15. Here are ...


141

I would argue that "in the age of GitHub, Stack Exchange, Coursera, Udacity, blogs, etc." the relevance of a concise and a well written resume is more important than ever. As an employer, I am not going to start with your github projects and blog posts. I might end up checking them if: your resume is relevant to my job requirements; and your resume ...


129

Laugh along with him. "Oh yes! No main() function. Also, it's written on a piece of paper, which couldn't execute code anyway. And I forgot to draw a 'Compile' button. Ho ho, we're funny guys!" Then try to move onto the next question. Yes, he is nit-picking, but it's really nothing to get upset about. Make it apparent that you think the answer he was ...


125

Look at a resume as a distilled brochure that advertises highlights from your skills and experience. A combination of your github and SO profiles and a bunch of other online resources may be complete and accurate, but it isn't sorted or otherwise prepared for easy reading in any way. People who hire want you to tell them what you think distinguishes you from ...


115

I would favor the person who was able to reason through the problem, come up with a good solution, and then explain their solution to me. Even if their logic wasn't 100%, if they were on the right track and were reasoning through the problem, asking the right questions, and going down the right path, that would be my winner. When you are developing code on ...


114

If you haven't done so yet, tell the customer about the situation up front. If he still insists on interviewing the other developers, let him do it, in a fair manner (i.e. all developers answer honestly and to their best ability), and let him compile her order of preference. Then let him know the cost (in time and cash) of transferring each developer to ...


113

Get them to talk about what they're interested in. I have yet to meet a developer who is really passionate when talking about programming but can't actually code. They may well exist, of course - and your interview should check for competency as well - but passion is a good indicator in my experience. (Note that that's not the same as being able to "talk the ...


111

Asking point-blank what their SO user name is probably not appropriate. It would sound very direct, and I would find such a question a little invasive. Asking what online resources they use when they are problem-solving is much more appropriate. And if they answer that they are a StackOverflow user, then I think you could ask them how interactive they are. ...


109

Get things done. The people that have the power to promote you will only be impressed when they see results. Simply learning many libraries won't be enough to gain you any sort of promotion. It probably will, however, gain you respect from those immediately working with you. Also, don't think of it as 'selling' yourself. It's a case of showing that you're ...


109

I don't think you've set the bar too high, I think you might need a different bar. I think code tests are useful for determining the competency of a candidate, but they shouldn't be pass/fail. You should use the results of the code test to start a dialog with the candidate. If you see mistakes that they've made (especially if they're junior developers) ...


108

When I was in a similar position, I would say to the interviewee: "Pretend I'm Google. If you need to search for something just say so." In one question interviewees needed to be able to figure out the volume of a cylinder, so I didn't mind if someone said, "I'd have to Google for the formula for the volume of a cylinder." I was interested in knowing if ...


103

Short Answer: Absolutely OK. A little lengthier answer: At my workplace, we routinely ask for a candidate's Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange username. Contribution to the Stack Exchange community leaves a much clearer trail of where someone is at with their skills. I know others who ask for GitHub accounts and refuse to accept candidates ...


90

What can I do to be less nervous during my interview? When you walk in, say "Look, I'm a very good programmer, and my work and experience shows this. But I'm a HORRIBLE interviewee. I'm going to freeze up and squeak like a mouse in a food compactor. Please understand I'm not that way normally and look past this nervousness. Now excuse me while I ...


87

Some people ask them in an attempt to gauge your ability and approach to solving problems. Personally, I don't think that such puzzles provide an accurate indicator. In the "real world", you have more than five minutes to figure out if your dealing with a bin packing vs a back pack problem, for instance. Initially, it's sometimes easy to misunderstand the ...


86

If I were an interviewer (which I sometimes am) and received a letter from a candidate complaining that the questions were unfair and they wanted a do-over, I'd thank my lucky stars that we dodged that bullet and immediately move the application to the "reject" pile. Acting like this only shows you to be a complainer, and not having the "can do" attitude ...


83

Should I attempt to determine whether a person really possesses all of the skills they claim to have? Why? To determine if they're a big fat liar? Or to humiliate them? Or to prove your total technical superiority? Or to make a hiring decision? Be sure to distinguish between doing the right thing in hiring and being a jerk about nuances on ...


83

HTML and CSS are difficult to interview for a few reasons: They are too basic, compared, for example, to a programming language, They depend very much on the context of the job. Examples: If you create Google scale, hugely fast and optimized websites, the people you interview for the job cannot ignore what CSS sprites are. If you create XHTML W3C valid ...


82

My goal for any job interview, no matter which side I'm on, is to end up feeling like I'm talking to a colleague. Colleagues come into my office all the time when they're stuck on a problem. I ask my colleagues for help when I get stuck myself. So in an interview, I try to recreate that dynamic. In other words, what would you say if a colleague needed to ...


80

No. And you should thank your lucky stars that you got missed by that particular bullet. Working for people who refuse to admit that they might not know everything, and refuse to learn from others, is a VERY unpleasant experience.


75

An attitude of never using third-party libraries is preposterous. Writing everything yourself is a horrible use of your company's time, unless there is a strict business requirement that every line in the codebase was written by an employee of the company -- but that is an unusual scenario, especially for a private-sector firm like you've described. A more ...


71

"I don't know how to do that, but if I ran into that problem in a project, here's how I'd go about figuring out how to make it work..."


71

For example if I look for a Java developer I can ask who are the most influential people in Java world or show a basic Scala snippet and ask a candidate to interpret the code. I even considered to show photo of Alan Turing and let the interviewee guess who is on the photo. That is trivia and technical knowledge. If you want to find out if they are ...


69

Looking through your question I think I see three questions: Are there many programmers that actually come home and do more programming? Do companies who hire programmers see 9-5 programmers as a less valuable resource? Is well-roundedness a desirable trait? (Yes, absolutely, but just having hobbies doesn't necessarily make a person well-rounded) ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible