NYCPHP Meetup

[nycphp-talk] Oh... Interviewing

Christopher M Mancini mancinic at gmail.com
Thu Aug 2 06:54:07 EDT 2007


Ophir,
I greatly agree with your statement regarding the un-usefulness of written
technical exams.  A recruiter asked me to complete an online one recently, I
felt lost and disoriented.  Even though that being a developer for almost 3
years using PHP, I have never come ac crossed a problem that I
couldn't FINDan answer for.  But on this exam, I couldn't answer at
least half of the
questions.

Chris

On 8/2/07, Ophir Prusak <prusak at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> As someone who has been on both sides on the fence, a few helpful
> comments based on my experience:
> (I'm brainstorming here, so this is in no particular order)
>
> - It's totally acceptable to try to get a better understanding of a
> candidates "true" technical capabilities during an interview. Of
> course you need to let them know in advance that you'll be asking
> technical stuff.
>
> - A written test is *not* the best way to gauge a person's knowledge.
> What works best for me is a conversation between myself and the
> candidate.
> This is for a couple of reasons -
> (1) Many people just aren't good at written tests regardless of their
> knowledge (it makes them nervous, etc).
> (2) Ultimately, you shouldn't really care about a person's specific
> knowledge at a specific point in time (ie the interview) You should
> care about their ability to make the right decision at the right time,
> and in timely fashion.
> For me, this means that if the candidate doesn't know something, they
> at least know enough to fully understand the question and it's
> implications, and know where to find the correct answer quickly (and
> understand the answer as well).
>
> - I usually ask the candidate to describe a project they were recently
> involved with and then interweave my questions into the conversation.
> I'll ask why certain decisions were made and what other options they
> were considering.
>
> - It's also very revealing to see what questions the interviewer asks
> back.
> I'll ask something purposely vague (like "you're told to build a new
> web app - what language would u use?")
>
> Hope that helps.
>
> Ophir
>
>
> On 7/20/07, CED <Consult at covenantedesign.com> wrote:
> > I recently sat down with a candidate for a Software Management/Architect
> > position here is what I presented:
> >
> >  Software Architecture
> >   a.. Name 3 design patterns.
> >
> >   b..
> >   c..
> >   d..
> >   e.. Which of the following general statements about a class are true?
> >
> >   f.. Select Answer:
> >
> >   g.. 1. A class represents a concept in an application domain
> >
> >   h.. 2. A class defines a new data type
> >
> >   i.. 3. A class contains data and operations
> >
> >   j.. 4. All of the above
> >
> >   k.. 5. None of the Above
> >
> >   l.. What is the average anticipated load per processor (2GHz) that a
> web
> > application server can support? (in concurrency)
> >
> >   m.. Name 3 Scopes.
> >
> >   n..
> >   o..
> >   p..
> >   q.. Name 3 Aggregate SQL functions
> >
> >   r..
> >   s..
> >   t..
> >   u.. Name 3 Network Layer protocols
> >
> >   v..
> >   w..
> >   x..
> >   y.. Name 3 Transport Layer protocols
> >
> >   z..
> >   aa..
> >   ab..
> >   ac.. Language agnostically describe how you would do the following:
> >
> >   ad.. Switch the assignments of variable A and variable B.
> >
> >   ae.. Reverse the string "apple" into "elppa".
> >
> >   af..
> >   ag.. Describe to your best ability the following:
> >
> >   ah.. Polymorphism
> >
> >   ai.. Clustering
> >
> >   aj.. Persistence
> >
> >   ak..
> >   al.. Using language agnostic regular expressions how would you do the
> > following:
> >
> >   am.. Find "apple" in "Christine's Apple pie"
> >
> >   an.. Replace the 2nd "p" with "g" and change "Planned" to "Plotted" in
> > "Peter Piper Planned Poorly"
> >
> > Now I thought that these questions were certainly challenging yet basic
> > enough for an expert software architect, however, and much to my
> surprise
> > the candidate wasn't really even interested in looking at it, in fact he
> > refused to answer any of it. Other than being surprised, and needless to
> say
> > concerned, It made me re-visit our many emails a few weeks ago about
> > interviewing... and here was my conclusion:
> >
> > 1) If you're given an exam, just try your best, but don't refuse, after
> all,
> > are you or are you not confident in your abilities
> > 2) When administering an exam, be sure to have informed the candidate
> before
> > hand, it gives them the opportunity to prepare
> > 3) In the end, trust your gut. We have all been at various places of
> talent
> > throughout our respective careers, you know when someone isn't
> completely
> > up-to-speed, and when someone is simply bashful about their skills.
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > http://lists.nyphp.org/mailman/listinfo/talk
> >
> > NYPHPCon 2006 Presentations Online
> > http://www.nyphpcon.com
> >
> > Show Your Participation in New York PHP
> > http://www.nyphp.org/show_participation.php
> >
>
>
> --
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Ophir Prusak
> http://www.prusak.com
> _______________________________________________
> New York PHP Community Talk Mailing List
> http://lists.nyphp.org/mailman/listinfo/talk
>
> NYPHPCon 2006 Presentations Online
> http://www.nyphpcon.com
>
> Show Your Participation in New York PHP
> http://www.nyphp.org/show_participation.php
>



-- 
<-------------------------
Sincerely,
Christopher M Mancini
mancinic at gmail.com
-------------------------->
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