5/18/2006

The Worst Java Job Interview Questions.

Why are you looking for a job?

Strictly speaking, this is not a java question, but it shows up in almost every job interview I've been to. The interviewer is testing the candidate's motivation for a job change. Invariably, the answer will be something like, advancing career and professional development. Of course, the candidate won't tell you he/she is looking for a 15% salary increase to cover the gas price increase, or he doesn't get along with his co-workers, or he didn't get the promotion or bonus, or he was rated Under-Perform in last year's performance review.

Which OS do you use in your development work, Linux, Windows, or Solaris?

Java is cross-platform, and I couldn't care less about OS while I'm writing java code. Unless the job is specifically about porting applications to other OS and deploying/distributing applications, I don't see how this is relevant. J2EE, JavaEE and Web applications are all made up of components that are managed by the application server, and thus shielded from the underlying OS.

Are you familiar with Oracle Database, or DB2?

Java persistence can now be easily achieved with ORM frameworks such as Hibernate, TopLink. The latest release of EJB 3 and Java Persistence API has standardize the way persistence is done in Java, J2EE, and JavaEE. The goal of these industry efforts is to let Java developers forget database stuff, which should be left to DBA. Even if Java developers in this project need to deal with database directly, I suppose they need to know about database design concepts and SQL, not some Oracle or DB2 stored procedures.


33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll disagree on at least the second and third point. I think this are good questions. Well, maybe they aren't good, but they certainly aren't bad. They aren't great questions because you can't base your hiring decision on whether they person is running OS X or Linux. However, they do give you some way to get to know the personality of the person. It opens up a lot of doors to talk about WHY they use a particular system or what they like or don't like. Are they rabidly fanatical or coldly practical? Do they stay on the cutting edge or do they stick to the tried and true? None of these are hire/fire answers, but they do tell you a lot about a person that can be very valuable in making a hiring decision.

Anonymous said...

It's not unusual for database intensive portions of an application to require extensive tuning, and this can only be done by somebody who has a thorough understanding of the underlying RDBMS engine. By thorough, I mean much, much more than "concepts." True, some DBAs can help, but most don't have the time or the programming background required to beat the code into shape.

If you don't believe me then try this... go to the Hibernate forums and post a message along the lines of, "Hibernate rocks! I can now write high performance database applications with only minimal understanding how relational databases work".

howto said...

Thanks for the comments!

If I were to make a hire decision, I will certainly focus on these essential info. Having more info is not necessarily the better. You have some good points there, but for me they will appear down in the priority list.

To Alan Green, for such positions, I will just let a team of expert Java developer work closely with a team of DB experts, and managers make sure inter-team communication works well. If you find it hard to at least logically separate database concerns from domain model, then it's time to take a fresh look at the design.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Alan Green about the DB stuff. Your response shows an ideal model of development, but from my experience it rarely works that way. if you have a simple domain model where you can use something like Hibernate and run your queries through it, then by all means you are good to go, but even moderately complex business apps can go beyond simple queries and the different DBMS vendors handle SQL in slightly different ways and knowing how the underlying DBMS acts can be a big plus. Not to mention special functions like recursive queries (oracle has a special function while db2 uses the 'with' sql statement).

howto said...

I'm outnumbered regarding database questions in Java job interviews. It seems this will remain in Java developers skill set for a while, esp for those specialized Java job positions.

Anonymous said...

//Which OS do you use in your development work, Linux, Windows, or Solaris?//

hey i guess/feel this qn adds some value as we all would agree that the underlying OS does not matter while working on a platform neutral language/technology..

why dont we think in the other way around.. we should better be having an idea and feel of working on same technology in other supporting platforms too..

of course we do have a great provision being in such technology which is not at all possible in any other technology rite? wassay?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nisha said...

This is also one of the good site for java interview questions, lot of stuff:

http://www.interviewhelper.org/categorydetail.php?Cat=10&level=1&title=JAVA

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Health Articles said...

Well, first one is a common question for any job, not specific to java :)

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