Author Topic: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy. Update #13  (Read 1559 times)

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afbluebelle

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Job interview ???s Programmer heavy. Update #13
« on: April 01, 2013, 07:56:40 PM »
I've never interviewed for a real "career" type job. All my work history is service industry, and in the military (9 years and counting!) That being said, DH has graduated, and is now on the job hunt. So I'm curious as to what the callback/interview process usually is. I'm just wondering if he is in for more rounds of meetings, or if his interview tomorrow is a good thing.


He is going into computer programming. Javascript, C++, SQL, etc. I know these are languages, but I know as much about computer languages as I do Mandarin Chinese  :P



Okay, rambling done. He has been through 1 interview, and had a take home test where he had to do... "stuff". He did the required "stuff", but at the end of the list, there was a huge reformat thing that meant he would have to rewrite the entire "stuff" to make it work.  Instead of delaying the turn in and asking for an extension, he turned in the product he had to the company manager/interviewer guy with an explanation of why it was not completed.

He was asked for a 2nd interview to meet with the program team tomorrow. So, yeah... does that still mean it is a good thing? I have no idea how unfinished business will look, and "stuff" is well... yeah, might as well be Mandarin Chinese. I don't get it at all.



Not the first time I'm glad my job tells me what to wear and how to do everything :P
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 11:13:38 PM by afbluebelle »
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Surianne

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 08:12:42 PM »
Sounds like he didn't read through all of the instructions on the programming test before completing it?  It's great that they're giving him a second chance!  My guess is they didn't receive completed, correct tests from the other candidates either, so he got very lucky.

My advice would be to ask lots of interested questions at his 2nd interview, to show them that he pays attention and can listen and understand instructions, since that's the part they'll be worried about (where he messed up on the assignment). 

If he's assigned another test, he should be very careful to read through all of the instructions first.  If he's confused about something, it's better to ask the person who assigned it to him than to guess and do it wrong or be late.  That will show he's proactive. 

In a programming job, spending time on coding the wrong project, or a misinterpretation of a project, is a *huge* waste, so it's always better to be proactive.  Good luck!

afbluebelle

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 08:19:37 PM »
Sounds like he didn't read through all of the instructions on the programming test before completing it? 

That sounds about right.  He usually does well with instructions, so I'm not sure why he didn't read the whole thing. I do know he was working in a language that he'd never taken courses in (which the interviewer knew), which might have been what saved him.

How many interviews do these type of jobs have to go through anyway?
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artk2002

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 08:22:38 PM »
Good luck to your DH. I'll say, though, that if he missed the reformat step at the end, I'd be looking at him unfavorably. I expect people to read *all* of the instructions before beginning, because something at the end can trip you up. Surianne's comments above are very good.

It does sound like he got past that hurdle, although he should be mentally prepared to address it if it comes up (do not bring it up.) Doing some kind of a test is fairly normal in the industry --  you can engender some very hot debate about whether those tests are useful or appropriate.  Sadly, there are enough fakers out there that they are more than useful.  Being asked to meet with the team is a *very* good thing. Software development requires a lot of collaboration and if the team doesn't like him, he very likely won't be hired. Unlike management interviews, this one could get technical or could drift off into "what do you do for fun" type questions.

Tell him not to try to fake the answer to any technical question. The best answer is "I don't know that, but I do know where to find the answer." I don't expect people to have every detail of every language memorized, but I do expect them to know how to find out.

We're still refining our interview process, but someone applying at my company can expect a phone interview with the hiring manager and then either a phone interview or in-person interview with most of the development team. Since I'm 320+ miles away, I either call in on the team interview or do a short phone interview. Since my team are very good at finding the technical fakers, the interview with me is more about how the candidate goes about problem solving. I'm looking for people who can apply creativity to a problem and (very, very important) are able to look beyond the immediate problem.  Curiosity is a trait that I insist on -- I don't want to find out that someone fixed a problem in one spot when either: 1) The same problem existed in other places in the code; or 2) There was already a solution in place that could have been made more general -- avoiding two nearly-identical copies of the same solution.

I've been the candidate where I had four or five separate interviews. There's really no standard to it.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

jpcher

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 08:38:30 PM »
Instead of delaying the turn in and asking for an extension, he turned in the product he had to the company manager/interviewer guy with an explanation of why it was not completed.

Depends on the explanation.

If it's because "Well, I had daddy duty" or "the home needed major repairs" or "Hey, Cub's opener! ;)" then that's not a good explanation.

However, he got a second interview! ;D  so his explanation was probably more along the lines of "I had some thoughts, but needed to do additional research in order to complete this task in the best possible manner."


So, yeah... does that still mean it is a good thing?

Yes. I think it's a good thing.

He can still ask questions, give the interviewers his thoughts . . . "I'm more than eager to learn. I thought about doing this with the program, but I need additional input (answer my questions, he should have a strong list of questions) then I feel confident that I'll be able to come up with a solution.

The important thing is that he not bring any negative or self-doubt into the interview. "I didn't understand" or "That's beyond my capabilities." Even if he doesn't know the answer he should go in with his confidence and show the ability to learn and be a team player. (Yes. Sometimes you gotta "Suck Up." ::))



I got a job once because there was a trick question on the test. They marked the question "wrong." I refuted the wrong marking because I knew my answer was correct. Out of 33 people, I was the only one that did that. I was the one that got the job.

Maybe? This is what the interviewees are looking for? Someone to take the initiative to question their test?

Or maybe not.



Good Luck, DH! ;D



(3 responses while I was typing . . . guess I'm off track, but posting anyway)




eta: Art2002 put it much more succinctly than I did, but that's the point I was trying to get across. DH should show his desire to learn and his ability to be a team player.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 09:03:11 PM by jpcher »

bo

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 08:53:27 PM »
My husband works with all those programming languages. Sometimes employers like to see their problem solving skills and their thought process more then they want them to solve the problems.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 09:04:42 PM »
My husband's first programming job was because his soon-to-be boss was sitting near MIL on an airplane and mentioned he ran a software company.  MIL told him "You should hire my son; he's very smart!" and told him all about DH (we had just graduated from college at the time).  DH's interview consisted of his boss telling him all about how awesome it was to work there - didn't ask one question.  He's had two more programming jobs since then and has never yet had the programming-quiz-type interview.

That said, I'd suggest checking out www.thedailywtf.com and the section of their site called Tales From the Interview - most of them are funny (even to me, a non-programmer), but they also might give some more insight as to what computer interviewers are looking for in a very general sense.

amylouky

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 08:24:15 AM »
I think if he got a second interview, that's definitely a good sign. I've never had to do a test in an interview but I've interviewed a few people using technical questions. Generally it's not expected that someone know EVERYTHING about a particular language, just that they show good thought processes and problem solving skills.
Good luck to your DH!

Hijinks

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 04:52:51 PM »
They wouldn't bother to bring him back if they weren't still interested.

In my area, it's a candidate's market for IT-related positions.  Too bad my husband isn't looking for work now.

Snooks

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 05:18:36 PM »
I think it probably depends on what the task was.  I'm trying to think of the best way to explain it but in my mind with my (limited) programming experience if the test required him to do things in certain steps, for example write some code that does A, now add to it and make it to do C, then D.  It might that you could write part A in one of two ways and he just picked the way that meant it would work for A-C but not for D.  Either way I'd say a second interview is a good sign.

An excellent blog is Ask A Manager for all sorts of job seeking information.

helixa

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 09:16:28 PM »
That said, I'd suggest checking out www.thedailywtf.com and the section of their site called Tales From the Interview - most of them are funny (even to me, a non-programmer), but they also might give some more insight as to what computer interviewers are looking for in a very general sense.

OTOH most of the job interviews are examples of places you'd never want to work at!
   

diesel_darlin

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 09:19:40 PM »
I have no advice, I would just like to wish your hubby good luck! I took a C++ class last summer as a filler class to get my full credit hours. I am definitely not patient or smart enough for all of that!  ;D

jpcher

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy.
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 11:55:02 AM »
Any update, afbluebelle?


afbluebelle

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy. Update #13
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 11:07:23 PM »
Was out of town for a wedding, but I do have an update... DH got the job ;D They waited until late Friday to tell him, and by the time they had called, DH's friend had already talked to him about one of the interviewers saying that DFriend knew the new hiree. SO I'm pretty glad he got the job... now we just have to figure out the one car situation until I can get a working vehicle :-\

On a funnier note, DH composed a nice thank you e-mail after the second interview. Unfortunately, the new system for the mail client he uses allows you to access all of your e-mail addresses. He accidentally sent the thank you e-mail from his personal account, which has a super goofy name. He will be getting made fun of when he starts tomorrow ;)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 11:13:19 PM by afbluebelle »
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Surianne

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Re: Job interview ???s Programmer heavy. Update #13
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 11:21:59 PM »
Congrats to your DH on the new job!