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Asking for Interview Questions Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:16 AM
Old Hand

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churlbut (4/18/2013) I don't understand why someone would get annoyed by a forum post asking for interview questions, sounds like there are quite a few people that are kinda snobby in these forums.

patrickmcginnis59 10839 - I actually posted what I felt were valid counter arguments in the last thread on this subject on why withholding interview questions ultimately helped no one and pretty much got one fellow so upset he described me as some sort of forum bully. It did motivate me to take a break from here but in hindsight it looks downright comical.


This is becoming a common problem in a lot of "help" blogs and forums. You especially see this in the "StackExchange" threads. There a lot of times a question/answer is posted and it is deemed not helpful, not a valid question, a duplicate, or given some other reason and the posts are deleted or modified. I also am seeing a lot of responses that are mean, snobbish, and downright nasty.

This is very true when posting a question on a development method or tools. The questions are deemed "not a valid question" that will cause arguments. Well, sometimes it is a good thing to have a deep discussion on development methods. This is especially true now is relation to the Microsoft programming stack. With all Microsoft's changes of direction in the last couple of years (Silverlight, XNA, forms, WPF, MVC, MVVM), it is difficult to get a good idea on how to proceed when starting a new development project.

If we continue to denigrate and put down questions, especially from the new developers out there, you will see less and less people doing this for a living. We need people who are willing to extend the helping hand no matter how stupid a question seems.

This site has really been a very open and inviting place to post questions and responses and I am amazed at how much I learn and still need to learn.

Thanks,

Anton





Post #1443831
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:17 AM


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The problem I have seen in most of the posts asking for interview questions is a lack of effort on the part of the poster. Most of the time they just ask for answers to a broad range of questions and don't even try to answer them themselves. I'll help someone who is genuinely trying to learn and understand the topics they are asking about, but most just want answers.

The other problem is some of these questions asked are experience related, how would you work toward a solution in a given situation. Or more important, the interview question asks about a problem one had in the past and what they did to solve the problem. You can't fake this type of answer, so why try.



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Post #1443832
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:17 AM
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This is a little off topic, but we now include a simple quiz with all of our job posts. Something like: "Here's a list of people, a list of tasks and who is assigned to what task. Please define a database to store this info. Write a query that lists all of the people and their tasks. Write a query that shows all unassigned tasks." REALLY basic stuff! Embarrassingly simple! It's amazing how wonderful someone's resume looks and how awful they answer the quiz. I don't even bother looking at their resume if they can't do SIMPLE quiz.
Post #1443833
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:28 AM
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I would say it depends on the kind of questions they ask. I had a lot of "technical interviews" where the questions could have been answered by someone who just took a class or certification exam.

Another kind of question can give good insight into how someone approaches a problem or whether they have some actual experience, like "the server is slow, what do you do first? What do you do next?"

Then there are the HR questions I dreaded like "Describe a situation where you had to work with others to solve a difficult problem."
Post #1443845
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:38 AM
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Steve

Like you said, "fewer jobs than candidates." All candidates need all the edge they can muster. I'm looking to relocate. Questions I have difficulty with are areas I don't have much to do with the past few years along with having far more non-DBA duties pushed down to me due to a reorg. Candidates need to know what they don't know about positions especially by READING the job description and learning about the requirements to understand and communicate that it is understood although not used.

I just told someone also, take every interview you can get at least for the practice so you're ready for the job you really want.
Post #1443860
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:49 AM
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For example, one of the best interview questions I ever heard was: "If I asked you to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, what would you do?" You can tell A LOT about a person by how they answer that.


What can you tell from the answer? I would consider this question as insulting and say so.
Post #1443873
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:11 AM
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OCTom (4/18/2013)
For example, one of the best interview questions I ever heard was: "If I asked you to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, what would you do?" You can tell A LOT about a person by how they answer that.


What can you tell from the answer? I would consider this question as insulting and say so.


I think the reply to that would be: Sudo make me a sandwich (http://xkcd.com/149/)

Another good response (perhaps) would be "Do you have a peanut allergy?" (safety)
Or "What kind of jelly? What kind of bread?" (resource allocation)
Or "Do you want that for lunch or during our 9:30am interview?" (time budget)

Asking questions to further define the scope of the project is a hugely valuable step. Too frequently the eager beaver ends up as roadkill from assuming the deliverable then delivering incorrectly.

I guess it falls under the reality check: Are we solving the problem right and are we solving the right problem?
Post #1443890
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:30 AM
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Mike Dougherty-384281 (4/18/2013)
OCTom (4/18/2013)
For example, one of the best interview questions I ever heard was: "If I asked you to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, what would you do?" You can tell A LOT about a person by how they answer that.


What can you tell from the answer? I would consider this question as insulting and say so.


I think the reply to that would be: Sudo make me a sandwich (http://xkcd.com/149/)

Another good response (perhaps) would be "Do you have a peanut allergy?" (safety)
Or "What kind of jelly? What kind of bread?" (resource allocation)
Or "Do you want that for lunch or during our 9:30am interview?" (time budget)

Asking questions to further define the scope of the project is a hugely valuable step. Too frequently the eager beaver ends up as roadkill from assuming the deliverable then delivering incorrectly.

I guess it falls under the reality check: Are we solving the problem right and are we solving the right problem?


ha, my first thought to the peanut butter/jelly sandwich was 'who is this sandwich for', e.g who is eating it.

i know the question was 'if i asked you to make me a sandwich', but i read that as 'if i gave you an instruction to make a sandwhich rather than 'i want a sandwich, make it for me'!.
Post #1443904
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:31 AM


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OCTom (4/18/2013)
For example, one of the best interview questions I ever heard was: "If I asked you to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, what would you do?" You can tell A LOT about a person by how they answer that.


What can you tell from the answer? I would consider this question as insulting and say so.


Heh... I think I'd tell the interviewer to make it themselves.


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Post #1443905
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:32 AM


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lshanahan (4/18/2013)
You may also want to think about asking questions such as, "Do you work better in the morning or evening?" or "If you did get the job, tell me how to manage you."


Oh... these are good. I have to remember them.


Wayne
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008
If you can't explain to another person how the code that you're copying from the internet works, then DON'T USE IT on a production system! After all, you will be the one supporting it!
Links: For better assistance in answering your questions, How to ask a question, Performance Problems, Common date/time routines,
CROSS-TABS and PIVOT tables Part 1 & Part 2, Using APPLY Part 1 & Part 2, Splitting Delimited Strings
Post #1443907
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