Toby DiPasquale on 11 Feb 2009 07:12:41 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] OT (but not really): Tough Interview questions

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 10:09 AM, Art Alexion <> wrote:
> On Wednesday 11 February 2009 07:26:12 am Toby DiPasquale wrote:
>> > I consider these fairly tough questions -- what do you think?
>> I consider these to be pretty stupid questions. I know what ELF is
>> because I was curious. I was a Linux kernel engineer for years and
>> even then I didn't have to know that. I wouldn't want to work at a
>> place that had such little clue that was asking these kinds of
>> questions of its candidates.
> The last two jobs I applied for, the last being my current position, were much
> more concerned about how I was going to go about *finding* answers than whether
> I had them memorized.  The same was true in my last career: nobody expected
> you to have obscure stuff memorized, they just expected you to know (1) what
> the pertinent question was, (2) that you knew how to find the answer, and (3)
> that you understood the answer once you found it.

Exactly. These are the criteria by which you select candidates. This
is also why I'd never hire Ken Jennings.

> These seem to be dumb questions under that test.  A quick pop over to
> wikipedia would allow me to provide an answer to the first question, without a
> clue as to what my answer meant, or why knowing it would help me do my job.
> The second questions seems more legitimate, and I could probably provide a
> close answer from memory.  But why would I need to have memorized the precise
> details when there are so many resources for finding them, if and when I need
> that level of understanding.  I have always found that those who tend to
> memorize a lot of questionably useless facts are not the best at thinking and
> reasoning things through.

That's been my experience, as well. Thanks, Art!

Toby DiPasquale
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