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phone interview preparation

Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Hi friends,
Next week I was scheduled at least two phone technical interviews for java server site programming position.
Any idea to help me prepare the interview?
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20695
    ∞

Same stuff as preparing for Java Certification: Just keep shoving lots of Java stuff in your head. If it is for a Junior position, then stuff for certification is good. If it is for a senior position, I suggest you book up on patterns and UML.


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Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
thanks Paul
I am certified java programmer, i am wondering why they ask that stuff again.
last week i got a phone interview, they didn't ask me stuff like servlet , jsp , rmi. why?
Patrick Krook
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2000
Posts: 54
Hi Peter!
Long time no talk. Good to hear things are coming along in your job search. Prep for phone interview. If you are going through an agency or a consulting firm. They should know the scope and content of the phone sceen. If they don't have that information, then find out what they are using. Is it EJB using J2ee Architecture? Then cram on that. Most important though, be honest about what you know and what you don't. I know it sounds elementary, but most good technical interviewers can spot B.S. a mile away. Even if you are just trying to show your best face, tell them what level your knowledge is in the given area. ie. conceptual, working, proficient, or expert. Then thay can weight your answers based on your level of experience with them.
Hope that helps! Tell me how it comes out!


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paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20695
    ∞

Maybe we aren't talking about a tech interview. Maybe this is a manager or recruiter interview. In which case, tone the tech stuff down and think Andy Griffith. Pleasant and Decent. They are trying to guage you on how well you might play with others and what is your level of professionalism. There are a lot of guys out there that know it all, but they are such social misfits that they just cause trouble within the company and nothing gets done.
I like a company that checks for that. It shows that there is a good chance you will be working with a lot of very decent people. The jerk-factor will be low. If all they care about is tech stuff, be prepared for a jerk-fest!
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Hi friends,
Monday I passed a phone interview with project manager, then he arranged me second technical phone interview yesterday with a senior developer. The questions is about basic java knowledge, some OO design concept,database knowledge, sql language etc...I think i did well . Today I got reponse from the company. They will arrange face to face interview for me. but they need few days to process my case.
Any suggestion for face to face interview?
thanks
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20695
    ∞

Wear a good suit.
Bring a copy of your resume and maybe some source code. Bring a pad of paper and a pen to take notes. Ask them at least one question.
Eric Barnhill
Rancher

Joined: Feb 25, 2000
Posts: 233

Good Luck!!!
Let us know how it goes.
Patrick Krook
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2000
Posts: 54
Peter,
In the face to face a few things are important. One: Appearance.
'A good suit' is a generalization. If you dress 'above' the interview, this can be intimidating. The key is to create an absence of difference. Ask what the company dress code is before the meeting, then dress to meet that image. When you meet, shake hands and match the grip of the other persons shake, keep in eye contact and look at them when you are asked and answering questions. Without getting creepy about it, you should be able to remember what color the interviewer's eyes are.
Two: Prepare and rehearse.
It is funny how little hiring managers prepare for the interview. This gives you the opportunity to set the agenda. They may ask an open question to break the ice and put that resonsibility on to you. Something like the good ol' "Tell me something about your self." The answer to this should be something like: "I'd love to, where do you want me to start?"
Usually, it's job history.
I would rehearse your work history. So when they ask about it you don't stutter, pause to think and make noises when you are telling them. Being able to tell them with flow and confidence comes off much more professional and with a 'Pow' impact. The best way to do this is to write it out ( not like in your resume but in a converstional tone covering the following format) What you did, how it benefitted the company, and how it impacted the bottom line. They want to know about the results you were able to achieve, not so much exactly in detail how you got them. Also, they want to see progression, how you became more instrumental with in a job and from job to job. You won't like how it's written the first time, so revise it. By the time you're done, you'll have it cold.
A good exercise to do when you are preparing as well is what we call a 'T' account. Take a piece of paper, draw a horizontal line near the top of the page and than a vertical line that bisects the first. You've made two columns. Labe the left, 'New job responsibilities' (write the new stuff know will be entailed in the job) title the right 'Similiar Activities in current job'. Then fill the list out. So when you're done, and they fire questions at you, you'll have antipated them, along with the answers.
Of course bone up on your technical lingo as Paul suggested in prep of the phone.
If you don't have any or much job experience to draw from, speak more in terms of why you want to work for their company ( researce it, fins a few articles) and how your informal experience has prepared you for it.
The 'Oh WoW' factor comes in when they ask if you have any questions of them. Things like: "What is the conpanies vision of direction they are taking?" " What doe sthe company feel makes it a standout in the field?" or " What outside market forces do you see affecting the company?" These kinds of Q's, especially in a perm job, communicate that you didn't just come here to code, but to be apart of something greater.
A quick note on money:
Some limit the amount they get by asking for a $ amount. Which is fine. I advocate an approach like this in the close of the interview: " I am keenly interested in taking the next step in the process, and would entertain Your Strongest Offer." You only want one. Their best. If you ask too much on the outset they may eliminate you on that w/o ever offering you the position. OR Your number may be much lower than they were anticipating to pay. If you ask for one "take it or leave it" offer, and DON'T SAY ANOTHER WORD, then you'll get it. If you turn it down after getting it, then they may even come back better. It puts you in a position of strength and makes them do all the work. Don't repond to "What will it take." the answer is the best they can offer. The true estimate of what they are willing to pay will come out.
Good Luck! Hope that helps!
-Pat

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