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#1 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Interview Conclusion

Posted 05 June 2010 - 12:29 PM

Yesterday, I had an interview with a company called Triple Play Services - specializing in IPTV an Video On Demand services. The role I applied for is a Software Engineer. The interview went well, suprisingly I was shocked in the questions both interviewers asked me. The first interviewer was sat there for 5 minutes staring at my CV and talking about how good it looks and how I did it. I used Latex, used a free template online and adjusted it to my needs and provided the PDF. Anyways, the first question the second interviewer asked me was:

- Create a program that gets nubmers from 1-100 and prints out multiples of 3, multiples of 5 and multiples of 3 and 5.

I was expecting some sort of sorting algorithm, i literally done this in like 30 secs, maybe previous candidates had tougher questions and therefore had to reduce the complexity.

The rest of the questions were some simple css related questions like write how you would make this tag so that the text appears bold and blue.

I then sat there thinking to myself, as a role as a software engineer shouldn't they be asking me things like describe the waterfall model, different types of testing e.g black box testing and white box testing. Test my UML skills such as, how would you draw a Use Case for this scenario or give me an example of a design pattern and were i would apply it. Give me a problem and explain how I would solve it.

In conclusion, I do believe that they weren't suiting the questions to the position.

Your talking about an undergraduate placement for a CS Degree, not a college or highschool placement.

Edit - The program they made me do is called the FizzBuzz Problem.

This post has been edited by m-e-g-a-z: 05 June 2010 - 12:40 PM


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Replies To: Interview Conclusion

#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 05 June 2010 - 12:45 PM

Well, according to the stats, most CS grads can't do Fizzbuzz.

I had an interview that wanted me to write a pow() function and then optimize it. Then a question about serialization. While good questions, I didn't think it evaluated anything pertinent to a software engineering position. We didn't talk about patterns, classes, objects, anything language or paradigm specific or even general.
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#3 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 05 June 2010 - 12:58 PM

From the link you gave -

Quote

I've also seen self-proclaimed senior programmers take more than 10-15 minutes to write a solution.


Im taking it these are the code snatchers that live off Google and now actually have to write code ontop of their head.

Yes, as a software engineer, you would be involved in all aspects of the software development cycle so they should base their questions ideally on this. To be honest, I think they just want to know if you can write code but dont realise that theory and concepts such as what you mentioned plays an inportant role in software engineering.

A candidate for example can write code but design it badly and being prone to errors but they didnt take that into account when they hired him/her because they simply knew they could write an algorithm during the interview.
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#4 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 07 June 2010 - 02:52 PM

Sweet lord, I just wrote that in Java, ran it and it worked...it was less than 2 minutes between writing and running.

I thought there was going to be a trick here or something...but...apparently not.
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#5 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:32 PM

View PostLocke, on 07 June 2010 - 08:52 PM, said:

Sweet lord, I just wrote that in Java, ran it and it worked...it was less than 2 minutes between writing and running.

I thought there was going to be a trick here or something...but...apparently not.


Yeah and you had a big fat smile on your face thinking what kinda doughnuts can't write this lol.
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#6 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:11 AM

Got an email this afternoon from the Chief Technical Officer of TriplePlay Services this afternoon stating that my skills and enthusiasm and interests looked good and that they would like to offer me a year placement and to contact them as soon as possible. The only thing is that this morning, I got an email from IBM stating that I have sucessfully got through the first part of the selection process and that I have to take an online aptitude test. I honestly dont know what I am going to do, do I tell TriplePlay that im waiting to hear from IBM (which would probably seem like im taking the piss) or delay the reply and wait for IBM (their recruitment process might take long) or accept Tripleplay's offer knowing that IBM could offer me a placement. I have even got Accenture to get back to me, just seems like it could all be a critical decision to take.
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#7 RedSon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:38 AM

Congrats,

Is the IBM gig full time with benefits? I had a similar situation recently. I chose to wait out for the FTE job. You can be up front with your contract agency and say, hey I would rather go with the FTE job, so can you give me a week to think about it? See what they say.

The point is, if they really want you, they will wait, on the other hand if they say no we won't wait, but then they can't find anyone then you can go back later and ask if the position is still available.

You don't have to tell them with what company you are waiting, but just be up front.

I think its more douchey to take the job just to leave it in 3 weeks. But on the other hand, contractors usually get shit on by the FTE guys, so you could be eating a lot of crow before getting that job at IBM.
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#8 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 02:03 PM

This is a problem you'll almost certainly find happens every time you do the interview rounds. There's no right answer, either. I would say tell them you're waiting to hear back about another offer. Be honest... but maybe make it sound like more of a sure thing than it is. IBM is a good name to have on your paperwork.
And if you take that advice and end up with neither position, don't think that it's the end of the world.
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#9 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 02:28 PM

Thanks for the advice guys :^: , I sure will think about whats been said and get in contact with them in the next day or so.
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#10 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:25 PM

View Postm-e-g-a-z, on 07 June 2010 - 07:32 PM, said:

View PostLocke, on 07 June 2010 - 08:52 PM, said:

Sweet lord, I just wrote that in Java, ran it and it worked...it was less than 2 minutes between writing and running.

I thought there was going to be a trick here or something...but...apparently not.


Yeah and you had a big fat smile on your face thinking what kinda doughnuts can't write this lol.


No kidding. ;)
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#11 Astraeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:30 PM

Quote

Edit - The program they made me do is called the FizzBuzz Problem.


I love the FizzBuzz problem. It was one of the first programs I've done. XD
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#12 5thWall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:11 PM

I don't think that not being asked about testing or UML would raise any red flags for me. Being asked to describe waterfall would be a red flag (why are they asking about waterfall, are they still using it?!)
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#13 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Interview Conclusion

Posted 10 June 2010 - 08:50 AM

If it was a segue into why one shouldn't use it then it would be a valid inquiry.
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