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Common phone interview questions ?

 
Greenhorn
Posts: 2
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Hey guys,
I can't believe this - I have a phone interview coming up for Java Programmer position. My first "real" interview in almost three months of job hunting ! I am excited but a little confused - haven't been interviewed in over two (!) years and have no idea what to expect.
Can you please share your experiences with me ? What are the common HR/technical questions that come up in this initial screening phase ?
I claimed the following as my qualifications:
* Computer science degree (BSc)
* Three years of professional experience (two with JAVA and JDBC, about one year with SWING)
* SQL and Relational-database knowledge
* UML, HTML, OOA/OOD
* Proficiency in UNIX and WINDOWS platforms
* Some C, C++, Perl and shell-scripting
I would appreciate any input from anyone who has been through an interview process and who has similar credantials.
I am pretty sure I will get the following:
1. Tell me about the work/projects you have done.
2. How would you go about developing JAVA/database application.
Thank you !
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 23
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I've always been asked:
Why are you leaving your present position?
What technology do you prefer to work in?
Why did you choose to study ...?
Do you enjoy doing what you do?
What kind of management experience do you have?
That's all I can think of for now, but I hope this helps.
Dalia
 
Alison Beasley
Greenhorn
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Thank you ! I'll get busy crafting my answers
I would really appreciate if someone posted some common technical questions appropriate for someone at my level (two years of JAVA coding).
[ May 08, 2002: Message edited by: Alison Beasley ]
 
Ranch Hand
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I would ask (and as well expect to be asked) questions about general system architecture, what did you do at your last projects and WHY did you choose to do it that way and not the other. This will give them an idea of how broad your understanding of systems architecture is.
Also expect a questions starting with HOW. If a person you interviewing with thinks you are are of a junior-to-mid level, they might ask you HOW would you code this or the other. The top on my dummy-meter is "How would you code a bubble (or some other type) sort?" or "How would you create a linked list (this is more from C++)". If they think you are mid-to-senior level, they might ask "How would you go about designing a system if you need a web interface, store info in the database and do some processing (information might vary)", i.e. be prepared to explain how n-tier architecture works and how does one server communicate with the other (TCP/IP, ports, RFCs etc.). Usually they just "glance" to see if you understand, not if you have a deep knowledge.
A question I've seen pop up a few times: "What is polymorphism (inheritance)".
[edit: comments below]
On second thought, if it is a phone interview, I doubt they'll go deep into your projects and architecture, because you'd usually need a paper or whiteboard for that.
Try these then
1. How would you access a database from Java app or JSP page
2. Give definitions of a) table keys; b) Join, inner or outer (left or right, whatever database you are familiar with); c) what would you use to pass data from database back to program; d) what is connection pooling
3. What are the differences between Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator (this if you are going for web developer position)
Oh, and be prepared to answer these, if it you are interviewing with a dummy-HR person:
1. What are your strengths and weaknesses
2. Describe your boss, your coworker and yourself in one word (one word for each, I've been asked that??!!???!! :roll: )
3. Do you prefer to work alone or in a team (and why)
Good Luck
Shura
[ May 08, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
 
Greenhorn
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hi, I have been in a phone interview and be "scanned" about the technology skills. I remembered the following questions:
1) How do you handle JSP/Servlet sessions among different servers(Tomcat)?(I still do not know the answer, till now even. so if anyone can kindly teach me, a hundred thanks )
2) talk about thread.
3) what is the role of application server, which one have you used before?
4) some unix/linus questions, like make, etc.
5) native method
6) what is decomposition in RDB
7) talk about exception
8) something related to TCP/IP model.
that's all i could remember now. hope can help you.
good luck
 
lanling wong
Greenhorn
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one more thing just remembered, in terms of software engineering, I was asked about the procedures and besides UML, what others tools that I know.
 
Ranch Hand
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This site: http://www.geocities.com/korayguclu/docs/INTERVIEW_V010502-00.htm
has a collection of questions.
 
Rancher
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We tend to run phone interviews as light technical interviews, no HR spin. The interview only lasts about 10 minutes and has a range of questions (from remedial to eye-poppers ) and is designed to be a technical screening to see if we bother getting someone in for a face-to-face.
Therefore the questions are all technical, nothing about "strengths and weaknesses" or "where you'll be in 5 years time".
The benefit of the phone interview is that it takes 10 minutes and only requires a techy with a script. A full interview (round these parts) involves 30 minutes to an hour with a senior techy (or two), half an hour with HR and half an hour with the boss, in no particular order.
It's a lot better to crop over the phone than to sit someone down who can't answer a single question
Some of our sample questions included stuff on bitwise operators and usage, differences in Java and C booleans, brief coverage of RMI and CORBA (what it is, what its for)...
The other part is that our phone interview and face-to-face has the same set of questions. Over the phone we just choose a few almost at random, but cover more depth if you get in the door.
Dave.
 
Ranch Hand
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Shura,
When I've been asked about polymorphism they want the textbook definition, polymorphism is not the same as inheritance. Make sure that you know what the actual words mean, not how they are implemented in various languages.
There are some more questions on my webpage.
Simon
 
SJ Adnams
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Oh and BTW, the most common question is:
String s1 = new String("foo");
String s2 = new String("foo");
s1 == s2
s1.equals(s2),
what is the difference between the 2 operations, etc etc...
 
Ranch Hand
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Typically what kind of algorithms do they ask in a phone interview
 
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