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Interview: How to answer questions about areas you're not as experienced in

Ricky Jay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2010
Posts: 62
Any suggestions on how to field tech questions on areas you're not as experienced in?

Ex. Say you are interviewing for a Java position and they also want DB2 and Cobol exp. If you have more experience on the Java side, and barely any on the other, how would you base your responses?

Be honest? "I took a Cobol class in college".

Or be honest and then tie the answer back into your strengths?
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38045
    
  22
Are they asking for a Cobol programmer when they advertised for a Java programmer? Should you point out this is an additional skill over and above what they advertised? It is another "string to your bow" and probably worth learning, then.

Can you say you can learn the language if they want you to? That would certainly be possible if they advertise for a Java programmer and then add C#, which is another object-oriented language, to the requirements. If they have additional requirements like that, shouldn't they be paying for additional training?
That might be more awkward with something like Cobol which is probably procedural.
Ricky Jay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2010
Posts: 62
Campbell Ritchie wrote:Are they asking for a Cobol programmer when they advertised for a Java programmer?


The Java skills were at the front of the description. I can learn all the need me to learn. I've been working with Java mostly, but as you know...you can never know all of that either. I think my focus is going to be that I'm a young developer looking for a shot. I'm inside the company so that is a plus. I have projects to show them as well.

As Bear suggested in another topic, I think I need to focus on the interview questions...
Where you see yourself in 5 years?
What are you strength/weaknesses?
Why are you leaving you last position.

But I was just curious how others have handled questions in regards to areas where their knowledge was lacking. I don't want to sound stuipd and just say I don't know it...I can learn about anything that I'm surrounded with everyday.
Ricky Jay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2010
Posts: 62
Campbell Ritchie wrote:
That might be more awkward with something like Cobol which is probably procedural.


They maybe wanting to move from COBOL and DB2 systems into Java/Oracle. That's what I'm thinking.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
Ricky Jay wrote:
Campbell Ritchie wrote:
That might be more awkward with something like Cobol which is probably procedural.


They maybe wanting to move from COBOL and DB2 systems into Java/Oracle. That's what I'm thinking.



Looks like a migration project. Can be interesting and challenging. Get it clarified any way.


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subject: Interview: How to answer questions about areas you're not as experienced in
 
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