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Technical Test

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by barry, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. barry

    barry New Member

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    I've just been offered an interview with an IT company. It's my first interview of this type - in fact it's my first interview for 7 years.

    The interview will last two hours and will include a short technical quiz. Does anyone here have any idea of the type of thing they mean? Also, what will happen for the rest of the two hours?

    Many thanks,
    Barry
     
  2. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    What area of IT is the job in?
     
    Certifications: A few.
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Greetings, Barry. Welcome to CertForums.

    The content of the test will depend on what job you applied for. If, for example, you applied for PC hardware and desktop support, they'll probably want to know a bit about how you'd diagnose certain problems and if you know how to perform certain tasks such as how to swap out a CPU. I'd imagine basic networking would come into play so for instance, they might ask how you'd deal with an IP address conflict on a LAN segment.

    Those are just guesses, of course. If you applied to be a DBA, the questions will be of an entirely different nature. :wink:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. barry

    barry New Member

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    Hi Rob,

    It's a software development role. They are looking for junior level right up to management level.

    Barry
     
  5. barry

    barry New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and advice. :-)

    Barry
     
  6. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    I do not know much about about Software development they might test you on things the system life cycle and maybe some programming, but I'm sure someone else on here will know more about software development and help you a bit more.

    I have done a few technical tests before you can not not really study for them you either know the stuff or not so do not let it worry you too much. The rest of the time they will probably just do a standard interview and ask you all the usual questions.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Welcome!

    It's no problem at all getting an interview to take two hours (or more). I've been on (and given) some four-hour interviews before! Have to make sure the candidate is a good fit for the company (and they have to make sure that the company is the best fit for them). Lots of discussion, lots of questions... sometimes, some paperwork is also required.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hi and welcome to CF!

    For a software role the test will likely include questions on the languages that they use and, hopefully, you are good at. Often these include some well-known and not so well-known 'gotchas' in that language.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  9. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Actually, I recently interview for a Sybase company and my interview was around 2 hours. The main reason was that I had three serial interviews; the first with a senior R&D developer, the second with the director of R&D and the third with the HR person (and this was for a technical writing position...I'm not even a software developer). In general, they want to know if you have any experience in working in their area, they especially want to know your experience in working with the tools that they work with (or anything similar) and as was said, they want to know if your are a good fit for the team and the corporate culture.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  10. barry

    barry New Member

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    Well I have no experience in their area, but they know this from my CV. Not sure whether that takes the pressure off or not...! :blink

    Thanks for all the responses (and so fast!). This seems like a very friendly forum :biggrin

    Barry
     
  11. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    We try to be a friendly lot. :D

    If your CV got you an interview, they obviously saw something they liked. Just be honest in the interview. Believe me, an experienced interviewer can tell when you're trying to fake your way through the answer. I've answered more than one interview question with "I don't know" and still gotten the job. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions about work conditions, expectations, and benefits. No one will be surprised if you are interested in how the job will fit for you in addition to how you'll fit in with them.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  12. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    My interview here was supposed to involve a technical test, where I would sit down for an hour or so and program the answers to various questions. Due to the nature of when I took my interview (during my lunch break), my manager dispensed with that, and just asked me to tell him how I would approach the problem, what sort of programming techniques I would use, and then asked some questions based on what I said).

    I would expect at least one of the questions to be deceptively easy. Its what happened in mine, and likely what I would do were I interviewing myself. Programming is like occams razor really. The simplest solution is usually the best. Why do something in 30 lines of code you can achieve in 3? Why develop a complex routine to do something the language does automatically for you (unless its crap - side note, why oh why did MS see fit to remove the Key property from things like treenodes? and more puzzling, why in hell did they leave the .containskey, etc, methods in it?)
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
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  13. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    The thing to remember about programming tests is:

    1. The is never usually one single right solution to any problem.
    2. When solving a problem be sure to clearly justify the reasons why you opted for a particular solution, just incase the interviewer doesn't quite see your point of view.
    3. Ensure that your solution(s) specifically solve the problem as stated - make no assumptions, as these can lead to a wrong or useless attempt.
    4. Although rare, a question could be stated where it is very unlikely that you will be able to find a solution there and then. An example being that you are presented with a severely obfuscated algorithm. What the interviewer is looking for in this case is that you are able to understand the theory behind it when it is somewhat explained to you. These ones can be very, very stressful and test how you handle pressure.

    Last but not least, be calm! There is nothing that can cloud judgement like being a bag of nerves.

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  14. barry

    barry New Member

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    Interview was yesterday and I don't think it went too bad. The technical quiz was a bit of a nightmare - all in C++ which I've only brushed the surface of. The test included the use of pointers which I am not used to at all.

    Apart from that, I managed to be quite relaxed and answer all of their questions. Of course, in my post interview analysis session (sitting in my car having lunch) I managed to identify a few places where I could've answered/explained much better.

    Anyway, this morning I was thinking the technical test has probably stopped my chances of progressing, then I get a message from the managing director asking me back for a second interview!

    What can I expect at a second interview?

    Thanks,
    Barry
     
  15. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Interesting. As pointers are a fundamental part of C++ I feel that I would have no idea what to expect in a second interview. Except perhaps that they liked you and had thought of another role in the company.

    Good luck whatever it may be!

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  16. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You are well within your rights to ask the format an interview will take, so if in doubt ask.

    Normally 2nd interviews are just for them to check their initial judgement and have less tests and hoop jumping, however every company differs and sometimes they can be much worse !

    Pointers are more of a C thing really these days, you should use smart pointers or references in C++ wherever possible. This only serves to make Mathematix's point, you have no idea how many 'technical' interviews i've had where i've had to politely correct the interviewer on the problems with their questions, in most cases they don't take this too well ! So sometimes believe it or not it pays to play dumb !
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  17. barry

    barry New Member

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    They only went and offered me the job!!

    Can't believe it - feel as though my hard work is beginning to pay off.

    I accepted, of course.

    Barry
     
  18. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    congrats dude... congrats...
     
  19. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Wow! Great! Congratulations.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  20. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Congrats!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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