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#1 Wildfire  Icon User is offline

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Help! (Job Interview with HP)

Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:15 PM

Hey everyone! To get started, I just wanted to say that I'm new here but looking forward to becoming a part of your community :)/>/>/>/>

So yesterday I got a call from HP, who apparently had my resume on file from previously -- they are looking to hire me as a software developer and asked me a few questions over the phone and then set me up with an in-person interview for Monday.

A little background: I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in IT about a year ago (I started with CS but switched to IT because I was interested in more than just programming at the time). I live in a small city and finding a good tech job is near impossible -- there are a few but they are mostly for experienced professionals who can jump in already knowing exactly how everything works so there's not much opportunity for "entry-level" kids like me. I am waiting for my fiancee to graduate so moving to a new city is not yet an option (the HP office I will be interviewing at is in a bigger city nearby and I plan on commuting if I get the job). I'd love to get into web app development (Rails or Django) but right now I have no time to learn Ruby/Python extensively and I make practically no money right now so I'll take any job I can get.

I am currently working at an extremely small organization (about 10 people in the entire office) as a "web developer" for slightly more than minimum wage. This was my college job from before I graduated. I am the only one in the building who knows anything about computers so although I build and maintain the website(s) much of my job is providing basic tech support, graphic design/photoshop, etc.

Here's what I'm worried about: I suspect that HP will be testing my Java/C/.NET knowledge and I haven't done any of that since before I graduated. As a matter of fact, I haven't really done any programming at all in the last two years (the website I built for my current employer is a Drupal site, so although I have to deal with PHP/MySQL every once in a while I hardly consider it actual programming). I am currently strongest in HTML/CSS as I work with it daily, and second strongest in Java as most of the programming classes I took were in Java. I took a couple that were in C++ and Python too but overall I just feel really uncomfortable with the idea of telling someone that I am great at programming (even though I am confident in my ability to very quickly pick up any programming language and use it effectively with a little training).

Does anyone have any tips for a job interview at a place like HP? What kind of technical questions will they ask me, and will they make me write a program/fix bugs as a test? What's a good way to brush up on my Java before the interview?

I really want this job but I am super nervous about the interview. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Replies To: Help! (Job Interview with HP)

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Help! (Job Interview with HP)

Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:32 PM

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I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in IT about a year ago
...
I suspect that HP will be testing my Java/C/.NET knowledge and I haven't done any of that since before I graduated. As a matter of fact, I haven't really done any programming at all in the last two years
...
I just feel really uncomfortable with the idea of telling someone that I am great at programming (even though I am confident in my ability to very quickly pick up any programming language and use it effectively with a little training).

Odd question - if this is the case then why haven't you done any programming since you graduated (let alone your senior year!)? It just seems counterproductive to have halted any form of programming for two years knowing that you have this moral hangup.

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Does anyone have any tips for a job interview at a place like HP?

Treat it like any other job interview. Don't lie.. don't project false information.. don't be too humble.. brush up on your knowledge.. etc.

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What kind of technical questions will they ask me, and will they make me write a program/fix bugs as a test?

You can find technical questions on glassdoor.com or a just any cursory search may reveal them.

I would assume they will.. eventually.

Quote

What's a good way to brush up on my Java before the interview?

Write small apps.. refresh yourself with the framework.. etc.
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#3 Wildfire  Icon User is offline

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Re: Help! (Job Interview with HP)

Posted 15 November 2013 - 12:37 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 14 November 2013 - 12:32 PM, said:

Odd question - if this is the case then why haven't you done any programming since you graduated (let alone your senior year!)? It just seems counterproductive to have halted any form of programming for two years knowing that you have this moral hangup.


I'd just been too busy with my dead-end student job, pursuing other hobbies like photography, and family stuff to think about programming. I honestly wasn't too sure what degree I wanted or what I wanted to do with my life after college so I didn't try to pursue a specific career path. My senior year was spent fulfilling general education requirements that I needed in order to graduate (Sociology, Economics, Government, Health Science etc.)

I have a much better idea of where I want to go in life now, though. Working with Drupal for 2 years and dealing with its limitations has inspired me to learn how to build web apps using a real framework. :)/>

Anyways, thanks for your response, very helpful. Glassdoor is a great resource!
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#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Help! (Job Interview with HP)

Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:36 AM

If you prioritize photography over programming, then you should be pursuing photography jobs. There is no point going after something you really don't care about. It will just make you unhappy. The people I work with are all coders and engineers. They would do this for free if someone put food on the table for them. They do it at work for pay. Then they do it at home on their hobby projects whether it is a USB weather station or making educational games for their toddlers. I'm not saying they are boring people with only one pursuit. Just that computers tend to be at the top of the hobby list, not the bottom as you have described. And they often find a way to tie them together.

You like photography. Did it occur to you that you could write photography related software to tie the two hobbies together? If not... Then it sounds like programming is a lot further in the back of your mind than you want to admit to yourself.

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 16 November 2013 - 06:37 AM

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