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Help!!! Telephone Interview

Kevin Hou

Joined: Jan 18, 2001
Posts: 27
I will take my first telephone interview next wednesday.
The interview will be technical. they will ask me some questions about the skills which I worte in my resume.
since I am a SCJP, I will be ask some questions about JAVA and SQL ( I know SQL, but not a expert, the jod position requires java and sql).
Can you guys give me some TIPS and some sample questions?
the company E-mail me that the teams leaders will be in the interview.
I fell nervious now,please help me.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
- Read some of the other posts on this disccusion forum. You may have to go through the first 10-15 discussions, but you will see some good advice.
- For your phone interview: You need to be consise with your answers - else you confuse everyone. If there it is a conference type call - you may get into some discussions once these people feel that you know your stuff. This is the direction you want to head. You want to go from an interrogation to a discussion and if you play the game right you can do this.
- Make sure you have a copy of your resume in front of you. OK to have a cheat sheet or two - just don't let anyone hear papers shuffling.
Know your OOA&D definitions, such as polymorphism, inheritance, etc.
Know the difference between an interface and an abstract class.
Know that Java does not support multiple inheritance the way C++ does.
Know that you implement an interface (can implement more than one).
Know that you extend an abstract class (can only extend one).
Know about the access modifiers: public/friendly(default)/protected/private. Be able to explain in one or two sentences for each case. This is where you can get tangled up in a phone conversation and confuse the heck out of the interviewer and yourself.
Know AWT Event Model - tough to do over the phone - but you may get hit on a question.
Know the two ways to start a thread - "extending Thread" or "implementing Runnable". Know that the method is "run" but to run a thread you use "start".
Regarding SQL - I have not had anyone ask me questions about this on a phone interview. Other's here have and may be better able to help you in that department.
If you put in the 3 or 4 months of study for the SJCP - you will be ok on the interview.
Now. If you wipe out. Then use this interview as a learning experience. Take notes.
And don't take it personally. This is why the job search needs to be a full time job on your part. So that if you are rejected by this company - you chalk it up to experience - and the next day/week you interview with another company.
Basically, you hope you get the job, but if not, who cares and you go right to the next one - trying to learn from your mistakes and tweak your presentation. Knowing this is the best way to calm your fears.
The worst thing to do is write to and interview with one company at a time. Because you build up your hopes/dreams and then have them dashed by rejection. Then you feel like crap, kick the cat and feel like more crap because you kicked the cat.
The more of these you do (I've done about 50 on-site interviews in past 8 years) - the better you get. And that too calms your fears.
Let us know (either way) how the interview went/questions asked. And if you got the job.
Good luck!!
John Coxey
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited March 02, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited March 03, 2001).]

John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
vin miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 01, 2001
Posts: 33
It might also be a good idea to go over sql joins.
bill bozeman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2000
Posts: 1070
I have never had questions about SQL, but if I was interviewing somebody and SQL was part of the requirements, I would ask these types of questions:
1. Write a SELECT statement
2. Write an UPDATE statement
3. Write an INSERT statement
4. Show me how to create a table (in any database you are comfortable with)
5. How do I sort a recordset
6. How do I search a database
7. How do I join tables
8. What is the difference between inner joins and outer joins
9. What are strored procedures and triggers
10. What is indexing
11. What is normalization
The last 3 questions are a little more advance and the last 2 of them have more to do with database design than SQL. But knowing those answers would be impressive. Especially if you can get into the details of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd normal form.
If I needed someone who knew SQL, these are the types of questions I would ask. The first 6 are basic, the next 2 are intermediate, and the last 3 are a little more advanced.
Just my opinon.
Good luck,
Vladan Radovanovic
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 20, 2000
Posts: 216
I really doubt they will ask You all those questions on SQL. However make sure You know what is primary-key and foreign-key, and basic database operations (selecting, updating, inserting and deleting).
bill bozeman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2000
Posts: 1070
True I wouldn't ask them all, but I would pick from questions from that so if I was going on the interview I would be prepared to answer any of them.
But I did forget about primary and foreign keys. That is also an area you should know if you are about to go on an interview with SQL.
Hema Sukumar

Joined: Dec 22, 2000
Posts: 22
I even had questions about Pseudo columns on a telephonic interview though I applied for a Java Programmer position . Some other basic SQL questions I would expect are..
1. Difference between query, subquery & correlated subquery.
2. Diff between functions & procedures
3. Diff between package & procedures
4. How does having an index improves the search performance..?
It's better to go through a SQL primer & prepare your own
notes & possible questions. So you will be ready for any SQL interview now & in the future.
Good Luck !!
Rajesh Hegde
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2000
Posts: 112
Hello Guys,
That a was real good compilation of interview questions. I think any person on the job hunt should run thro and prepare for these questions. Atleast iam going to do that right away.
Rajesh Hegde

Kevin Hou

Joined: Jan 18, 2001
Posts: 27
Hi, Guys:
Thank you all. I have go through most posts in this froum. It is very helpful.
I feel nervous about RMI and network programming,even though I am a SCJP, but I am not familiar with these. does the inviewer will ask some questions about these topic?
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
- If you just put SCJP on resume - but did not list RMI or networking - it's a pretty sure bet that you will not get asked this during the interview.
- They might ask you if you know anything about RMI - in which case you reply no. But they certainly should not be asking you RMI type questions unless you specifically mentioned this on your resume.
- Since you are comming in as a junior level programmer - you will basically be asked questions regarding the core Java language. Again, if you put the time (3-4 months) studying for the SJCP you should be ok.
- The SQL will come up - only if you put it on your resume'.
- Tell them what you know. If they ask you about something you do not know about - then say you don't know. Important thing is not to "bluff" your way through a topic if you do not know anything about it. It's much better to say that you don't know.
And don't worry about "I don't know" killing your chances for the job. The interviewer may be testing the boundaries of your knowledge. But very rarely does it go that far - they usually stick to the basics for entry level Java people.

John Coxey
Subramaniam Venkatesan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2001
Posts: 48
Hi Kevin,
Make sure that you tell them what you feel confident of.
MY friend had a telephone interview with Jean Martin co 5 months back and he was asked about the projects he had done and about the present project. So if you put any projects in your resume (or if you plan to tell them) make sure you know that well.
If you have done projects on servlets or rmi, you are more likely to get questions on that. Prepare well and best of luck.

[This message has been edited by Subramaniam Venkatesan (edited March 04, 2001).]
Tom Hennigan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2001
Posts: 71
I particularly support the advice of John Coxey. I might add that in my experience, the simple questions can throw you the most. So, just relax, and even request a moment of silence while you think about your answer. I think that short, concise answers work best. In my experiences, the interviewer does not always completely understand the concept - the short, concise, and accurate answer will match the keywords in their notes.

One that I often get is "what is the difference between a class and object."
Sometimes, I have been asked to provide an example of "inheritance hierarchy", "dynamic method lookup (polymorphism)", or "difference between abtract class and interface"
I have also been asked "what is a final variable" " ... a static variable" "what does static mean"
Good advice on SQL, too. I have most often been asked for simple statement to remove a record from a table and to remove the entire table. Select statements come next in popularity. And how many different tables that I have needed to fetch data from - which translates to how many different 'joins' have I used.
I agree with John Coxey that you must get quite a few interviews (phone and on-site) under your belt to develop ease and confidence, but I won positions early in the game just by presenting (communicating) correct technical answers.
Good luck!

Tom Hennigan<P>Sun Certified Java 2 Platform Programmer
I agree. Here's the link:
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