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#1 Dean_Grobler  Icon User is offline

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A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:54 AM

Hi again,

A while back I asked around for some tips on putting a propper CV together, as seen over Here and with all the great advice I got, I managed to get an interview!!

So I would like to think of this as "Step 2", since ofcourse I've never been for a Junior Java Developer interview, I honestly don't know what to expect. I was wondering if anybody out there has gone for a Junior Level interview (Specificaly Java) and what the experience was like? Do they ask quite a lot of technical quesions? (I Have googled some common Junior Java Developer interview questions). Other than that, just general tips on the interview, how to present yourself, the manner you speak to your interviewer etc.

Thanks again, can't wait for some more great tips!

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Replies To: A Junior Developer Interview

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:56 AM

Congrats!

Best of luck with Step 2 :)
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#3 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 04:02 AM

Make sure you know your stuff, they will test you heavily on OOP concepts such as Inheritance, Encapsulation and Polymorphism. Your also likely to write code and this can range from something like 'Create a Linked List with removeNode(), addNode() and isEmpty() methods' to maybe a simple Fizz Buzz question. Just make sure you are fully prepared. They will ask you general knowledge questions such as 'What is unit testing?' and ask you about projects you have recently started/finished.
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#4 Dean_Grobler  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:17 AM

Thanks! @no2pencil

I got some more details regarding the interview. They first want me to do a test, this is what they sent me in the email:
"Written in Eclipse 3.6 (aka helios) and the questions are fundamental J2SE type question. The test duration is 3 hours and there are 6 questions. The objective of the test is to verify java programming ability. The ability to write and test java code and basic knowledge of the java core API’s is a pre-requisite. The 1.6 javadocs are available. There are questions on IO, threads and common string parsing."

So what you guys think?? :balloon:
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#5 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:37 AM

Basically just practice simple things such as writing files, modifying strings and really just make sure you cover the I/O, Util and Swing packages as-well as String and Thread inside out. Since they are providing the API, it should be easier but if you are not sure about anything, check the API and see what the method or constructor takes as its args and what it returns - if its a method. Stay calm and don't try over complicate things, keep things nice and simple with nice indented and commented code.

One bit of advice I would give you is to get a book or even look on the internet and go though a couple of exercises and self assess yourself and the exercises you found hard, revise them topics. If you find one exercise hard, it's not the end of the world, move on to the next one and come back to that once you have time.

Good Luck :)
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#6 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:00 AM

I've done a couple of these interviews, and they've never asked me to write code. They usually just ask me to look over a few methods in their code and explain to them what the code does. Good luck, Dean_Grobler!
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#7 m-e-g-a-z  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:11 AM

Some places will ask you to write code, some places won't. You should be comfortable with writing code anyways whether they ask you to write code or not.

I had two interviews last year, one company asked me to write code, the other company didn't.

TBH, I prefer interviews where I get asked to write code since I know that they genuinely recruit people who can write code. I wouldn't want to be working alongside an employee that's slacking off all day and leaves me to write everything.
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#8 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:00 PM

What you need first off is the job description for the job you're applying to. What their requirements are and make sure you meet all of them. You probably already do because they likely wouldn't be calling you in if you didn't qualify. However, it's good to have on hand.

Good to hear you already have a heads up on what to expect for a coding test. Personally, I hate the damned things. The only one I've ever taken was an example of incompetence in action and I had to actually answer one question with something like "can't be done with the way this database is constructed".

As for what kind of questions they're going to ask in the interview...that's hard to say. Keep in mind, this is for a JUNIOR dev position so they shouldn't be expecting you to be the Java version of Hercules. You can call and ask about that in advance actually. Just ask what the format of the interview will be, who will you be meeting with and such. You might even ask about dress code. Tell them you intend to wear a shirt, tie and slacks to the interview unless they prefer you didn't. Depends on how casual they are and asking about dress code is a good way to gauge that. In the absence of knowing for sure though, always overdress a little.

However, for the interview you should expect some questions about how well you work in a team, your experience and comfort level with mentoring (they have senior devs who likely guide/train junior devs), what you want from a career in development, and so on. It can't be too detailed as this is an entry level position so the questions will likely be more general in nature. Other interview tips in no apparent order (please pardon them if they seem obvious or mundane...you wouldn't believe how many people DON'T meet all these):
  • Be prompt - for crying out loud...do NOT be late to the interview. In fact, plan to arrive 15 minutes beforehand. You don't need to check in with the receptionist or whomever that early but arriving early lets you compose yourself, have a look around at the workplace. Check in about 5 mins before the interview time and you'll be calmer and more composed. If you ARE going to be late, call ahead as soon as you know you won't make it and tell them what's keeping you. "Slept late" isn't a good excuse. "Twenty car pile-up on the highway" is as long as it's true.
  • Handshake - firm but not crushing. Look person in the eye while shaking hands. Mr. and Ms. as honorifics until they say "call me XXX". Tip: keep a dry paper towel in your right hand pocket so, in the event you're nervous and palms are sweating, you can put yer hand in yer pocket and grab the paper towel to dry it off immediately before shaking hands.
  • Personal grooming: shower and shave that day. Forget cologne or aftershave. Make sure your breath is acceptable. Buy breath mints so you can munch immediately before meeting.
  • Take care of any bathroom issues before you leave for interview. Nothing's worse than having to piss (or worse) during an interview.
  • If allowed to select a place to sit in a meeting room, try and pick a chair that doesn't have you turning your head/body back and forth 180° each time someone speaks to you. In the middle of a meeting table with people on both sides is the worst. End of a table is best.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume to hand out to people. Bring a pad. Bring a pen (make sure pen works).
  • Try to suppress all fidgeting. Nothing wrong with being candid about being nervous but tapping feet, clicking pen, etc...don't do it. Remember look at people when you speak.
  • When introduced to people and if you're not good with names, when possible, write their names down. If you get an odd vibe from them on that, feel free to admit "I'm not great with names". Shows you're aware of your own limitations but have a plan to address them.
  • Be somewhat aware of your and their body language. Leaning forward (when seated at a table, for instance) conveys "I'm listening". Leaning back, crossing arms, looking away...all no-nos unless you're obviously thinking of something.
  • Don't say anything negative about any previous job. This doesn't mean if you had a job you hated and they ask you about it you tell them it was wonderful. Rather say that it didn't suit you and you left on good terms.

If you've never done it before, Google your own name and see what comes up. I did. I found your FB page (KB is pretty hawt, BTW), your Twitter account and several posts you've made here and on other tech forums. No red flags came up from a cursory search but I didn't go in depth. If there are questionable things out there you should probably consider revisiting who can see them or deleting/editing them.

If you know the name(s) of the people you'll be meeting with, consider doing a search on them as well and see what you find. Interviews ARE for gauging your technical fit with the position but they're also equally used to determine whether you're the right kind of personality fit for the people you'd be working with. If you're into some kind of hobby and discover that the interviewer is as well and they ask you what you like to do in your spare time (a very common question) mention that shared activity amongst others. Search Google which should bring back FB, Twitter (sometimes), LinkedIn, blogs, articles, forum posts and such and do a little research on both the company and the people you'll be meeting. Prepared = confident.

Finally, don't be afraid to tell someone you don't know something. Trying to bullshit your way past a question is a bad idea particularly if someone there knows the answer. There's zero harm in admitting you haven't encountered that yet, it sounds interesting and you'd look forward to learning more about it. It's taking a negative and turning it into as much of a positive as you can.

That's a lot to remember but just keep in mind to be yourself as much as possible. Smile some, make pleasant small talk, be confident (but not cocky), be honest and you'll do fine.
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#9 Dean_Grobler  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 23 February 2011 - 03:43 AM

I've never really worked with threads, I read a bit on it now on the web but can't really make a lot of sense from it. I can't seem to find a straight forward explination and easy tutorial on threading.

From what I can make out. Threading(in Java) allows one to run 2(or more I'm guessing) pieces of code at the same time in a class.The reason why you use multithreading is to make more use of the CPU, by using the CPU when it's idling? And that you can use threading in a class by either extending 'thread' or implementing 'runnable'..

And that's how far I got, then it gets very complicated :dontgetit:
Does anyone know where I can find an easy tutorial on it or something? Need to know how this works by Friday morning (Aaaargh!)

******** Edit **********
I think I'm starting to get it.
A thread is like the main() method in normal programs. And the run() method is like the constuctor of a normal program? But unlike the main() method that stats when you execute the .class, the run() method only executes when the start() method is used on the thread/ "main method"...

Correct?

This post has been edited by Dean_Grobler: 23 February 2011 - 05:28 AM

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#10 ForcedSterilizationsForAll  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:20 PM

Make sure to get the names of everyone you talk to and send them a thank you letter immediately when you get home, within 24 hours tops.

Some questions to ask during the interview:

1) What do you like best about your job?
2) What's one thing you would change about your job?
3) What would a typical day for me be like working here?
4) What kind of advancement opportunities are there?

Stay positive and tell them that it sounds like a great opportunity and you'd love to do it.

Unless they bring it up don't ask about the compensation. While it is important it should be secondary to the job, especially if being a programmer is something you want to do.

When asking about your experiences (such as on a team, when faced with a challenge, or with different technologies) give specific examples.

A lot of good points were mentioned. Since it's a junior level position they shouldn't expect you to have a lot of experience. Tell them you are looking forward to the challenges.

Make sure to spend some time researching the company. What I like to do is see what their status/rating is on the better business bureau. I also will check them out on glassdoor.com (great site for reviews of different companies and has some sample interview questions as well as pay rate for different jobs).

There's a pretty good chance you'll be asked why you want to work for the company or what you know about it. So make sure to spend some time on their website.

You'll feel more confident the more prepared you are.

Best of luck!
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#11 mikstur  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Junior Developer Interview

Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:22 PM

View PostDean_Grobler, on 23 February 2011 - 03:43 AM, said:

I've never really worked with threads, I read a bit on it now on the web but can't really make a lot of sense from it. I can't seem to find a straight forward explination and easy tutorial on threading.

From what I can make out. Threading(in Java) allows one to run 2(or more I'm guessing) pieces of code at the same time in a class.The reason why you use multithreading is to make more use of the CPU, by using the CPU when it's idling? And that you can use threading in a class by either extending 'thread' or implementing 'runnable'..

And that's how far I got, then it gets very complicated :dontgetit:
Does anyone know where I can find an easy tutorial on it or something? Need to know how this works by Friday morning (Aaaargh!)

******** Edit **********
I think I'm starting to get it.
A thread is like the main() method in normal programs. And the run() method is like the constuctor of a normal program? But unlike the main() method that stats when you execute the .class, the run() method only executes when the start() method is used on the thread/ "main method"...

Correct?


Hi Dean! :)

What your saying is correct. I thought Id give you a quick example of multi threading... might help you out a little more. Heres a short explenation of what multi threading is aswell:
Application programmers soon realised that they could take advantage of the fact that the operating system simply sees every task that is being executed as a "process". They realised that they could break their programs up into "threads" and so add extra features that were not possible before.

For example:
When using microsoft word, the program automatically checks for spelling and grammar in the background whilst you are typing. This is accomplished by the program being designed to split itself into the "Word Processor" thread and the "Spell Checker" thread, both of which run "simultaneously" on the computer.

So when you hear that an operating system is "multi threading" it simply means that it supports allowing programs to "split" themselves into threads. Just like the operating system divides the CPU's time between seperate programs it can also divide the CPU's time between different threads in a SINGLE application.

I took most of this out of a theory book - "Computers - part of your life. Part 2"
Hope it helps and good luck to you :)
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