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#1 LockEngel  Icon User is offline

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My first technical phone interview.

Posted 02 August 2008 - 09:36 PM

Well, I have a "technical phone interview" comming up.
Apparently they want to test my SQL knowledge over the phone.

I'm rather confident in my skill, but I'm still nervous.
I have a bit of a problem when it comes to explaining things to people out of the blue.

I mean since its a phone interview I can keep a notebook on my lap, so as long as I jot down my thoughts before hand I should be okay.
I'm just curious, have any of you ever had a technical interview?
What was it like?
Any tips / advice?

Oh, by the way, its an entry level SQL DBA/Dev position if that makes any difference.

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#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 02 August 2008 - 09:39 PM

I have no advice to give since I haven't experienced that, but good luck on your interview! :)
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#3 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 02 August 2008 - 09:40 PM

View PostLockEngel, on 3 Aug, 2008 - 12:36 AM, said:

I'm just curious, have any of you ever had a technical interview?

The technical interviews that I have had are basically someone testing my ability / knowledge of my resume. They'll randomly pick something related to the job they are hiring for, & ask me to go over an example of *for example* at Job place ect, ect, when you did Unix administration, what was an example of an ongoing problem, how did you troubleshoot it, & what was the over all solution? Once the solution was reached, how long did overall implementation take? How many users were effected by this change? Describe the testing involved to make said determinations... & so on.

This will test your knowledge against what you said on the resume, as well as test your verbal ability. So be polite, be precise, & don't say "you know". If they knew, they wouldn't be phoning you about it. :P

Best of luck, I hope it works out for you!
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#4 LockEngel  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:10 PM

Oh alright, thanks.
It doesn't sound that bad.

Relating to past experiences should be easy enough.
I was thinking he'd start asking me to explain the properties of sub-queries and things like that.
You see, the thing is, my verbal ability, politeness, and... well... knowledge on the subject are all fine.
Its just that my brain tends to blank out at the worst possible moments.
:rolleyes:
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#5 DeCompile  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:13 PM

The only tip I could give you is to have a pen and paper handy.

When you're asked a question, write as much of it down as possible, that way when you're constructing your answer you can continually refer back to what was asked and give as much detail as possible.
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#6 LockEngel  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:58 PM

Alright, thanks.
I figured I'd jot down a few things before and during the interview.
Still a bit nervous though, but I figure who isn't on their first interview?
:P

Wish me luck guys.
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#7 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 03 August 2008 - 10:12 AM

My technical interview was over the phone and it was grueling. Later (after I was hired) I talked to the interviewer about it. He told me that he knew how the interview would go only a couple of questions in... the first few "ice breaker" questions which were all pretty easy. The questions got tougher and tougher but this was because I was doing good.

So, if you feel like you are being dragged over the coals don't worry too much about it, since you are probably doing good, if the interviewer didn't think you were worth asking the question to they would not have asked.

Be honest. Don't try to blow smoke up the interview's ass. If you don't know the answer, be honest, but say SOMETHING about it (you might be really surprised how much you do know... I found that once I started talking I often found that I knew more than I thought.)

As an example, I had never worked with AJAX before, but I was asked to describe how it worked. Well I didn't KNOW -- so I started out with, "Well I have never had a chance to work with AJAX but from what I understand..." and I pretty much described how AJAX works (luckily AJAX is really not very difficult). I didn't know I knew.

The interview is not just interested in finding out how much information you can regurgitate, but how you approach unfamiliar territory. So don't feel bad if you get asked something you don't know the answer to.

This post has been edited by NickDMax: 03 August 2008 - 10:13 AM

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#8 LockEngel  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 03 August 2008 - 05:41 PM

Alright, thanks a ton.
I got kind of similiar advice from a friend of mine.

Luckily I got the kind of advice that helps me with my little describing problem too.
Basically I was told to, if I can't define something as they want, rather substitute the definition with an example of what it is.
I guess the interviewer shouldn't mind much, since in the end all he probably wants is to know if I understand what it does, even if I can't necisserily give him a complex definition.
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#9 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 03 August 2008 - 05:55 PM

Good tips. Let us know how it goes! :)
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#10 LockEngel  Icon User is offline

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Re: My first technical phone interview.

Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:34 AM

Sorry for the late update, I've been quite busy these last few days.
Anyway, long story short, I got the job.
:P

Thanks for the tips and soforth.
Ended up that I was worried about nothing (as usual).
The questions were surprisingly extremely basic.
I guess it makes sense though as they plan on sending all candidates for extra (more area-specific) training.

For those like me, who didn't really know what it was, simply put it was partly like what no2pencil said.
Part of it was centered around past/present work and your education (Resume stuff basically).
The rest centered around testing your understanding of the technology/skills you require for the position you're applying for.
It wasn't extremely grueling, but I did lose my train of thought twice.
So if you can, do what I did and write down a few of your thoughts beforehand.
Chances are they're not going to ask you everything you wrote down (or even anything you wrote down) but it'll definately boost your confidence before the interview, especially if you have something to scan over the last few minutes before it starts.

Anyway, thanks again.
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