Mag Gam on 11 Feb 2009 17:09:19 -0800

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

Hot dang,  this is getting to be an interesting thread. And thanks for
the replies.

I think Toby feels my frustration.

I guess I was a little frustrated by the questions because they are
either you know or don't know. Example: What is the color of "Calcium"
at absolute zero --
By luck if you know it ..great, but if you don't you aren't qualified
for the job -- I felt like that from the Interviewer.

Its interesting to hear other people's interviewing stories.

Fortunarely, its good to see managers want a person who can solve
problems and explain their experience then just knowing the answer.

Thanks again!

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:49 PM, Jon Bringhurst <> wrote:
> I should say that one of my more interesting interviews was for Apple.
> The first part consisted of talking about what I did on my weekend for
> about an hour. The second phone screen was walking through the
> bootstrapping process.
> For Google, it was more automated. I was screened by a person who
> asked me how I would rate myself on a scale of 1-10 in various topics
> (You answer 10 if you invented the topic). It turns out that I was
> strongest in Linux Administration, so she then read a bunch of
> questions off of her computer that all seemed to have multiple answers
> (i.e. What does the sticky bit do, How do you get the inode number
> from a filename, etc). Alas, I got all of them right, but it turns out
> that they were only looking for full time people (I was in school at
> the time) so I didn't get passed to the next round.
> Amazon was kinda neat too. They asked me to solve a problem, like
> sorting a list. Then, over the phone I needed to  read off the
> program, every last bracket (written in C) to confirm that I knew.
> Then, the next stage was to take what I've written and try to find a
> way to optimize it. I made it to the second round (more of the same)
> but ended up getting most of the optimizing parts wrong in the second
> part (like running in O(n) vs O(n*ln(n))), so I was turned down for
> that one. Meh.
> At my interview at Microsoft, they asked me how I would design a
> children's cell phone. That's it. I spent the next hour digging more
> info out of her on the limitations. That was kinda neat as well.
> At my current job (Fortune 50, where I'm mostly working on OpenGL
> stuff) my interview consisted of sitting at a table with a few random
> people (managers, software engrs) and letting them ask me random
> questions. Most of the questions ended up being about process (it's a
> CMMI Lvl 5 shop), but there were a few basic programming questions
> thrown in.
> Anyway, that's some of my craziness experienced with interviews.
> -Jon
> On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:55 AM, Alan D. Salewski
> <> wrote:
>> On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 10:26:41AM -0500, Toby DiPasquale spake thus:
>>> On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 10:25 AM, Art Alexion <> wrote:
>>> > Ever make up a question, consisting of nonsense and out of thin air, just to
>>> > see if someone will try to bullshit you?
>>> For this purpose, I used to ask if the candidate had ever been in a
>>> fistfight. Absolutely no one is prepared for that question in an IT
>>> interview.
>> --
>> a l a n   d.   s a l e w s k i   
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
>>                        I had a blind date
>>                      Had dinner and a movie
>>                    Thought she was female...!
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Generated from Haiku-O-Matic: 
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