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tech interviews

I had one a week back where they asked me to solve 5 problems, by coding them on the computer, pseudo code was fine, and sending it back in 2 hours. In addition I was asked fundumental computer science questions.
Does this appraoch really work for the hiring company, in differentiating potential employees?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I not know what kind of problems they asked to solve, but 2 hours seems too long, IMHO.

Evgeny Gesin /
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

It's quite an investment, but that's the sort of investment both parties have to make to ensure correct matches.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

its better than: "So I see you had three years of java experience"

the artist formerly known as prince
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I agree. It's not the best, but at least they are trying *something*.

Technical interviews are hard.  Companies that don't totally fail at them are, relatively speaking, doing pretty well ...

Matt H.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Whether it works for the company in question is something you'll have to ask them, not us.  Such an approach would not work for me -- when I interview someone, I care far more about the _process_ that they use to come up with a solution than the actual solution.

The kind of problem that you can hand someone and get an answer back in two hours must be one that is precisely specified and rather trivial.  Those aren't the kinds of problems that my team faces!  I want to give people problems that are poorly specified and admit multiple solutions so that I can engage in a dialog with the candidate.  I want to watch the candidate explore the problem, narrow it down, understand the customer requirements, and THEN write the five lines of code. 

But likely my requirements are different than your company's. 

Eric Lippert
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

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